Bringing in the New Year with Words of Hope

     As the clock ticks past the first minute of the first day of January, we begin celebrating the arrival of 2012, looking forward to a year of peace and harmony and finishing the darn book. 

     Last year seemed to bring disaster in many ways, to many people around the world. It also brought hope for many that their way of life would improve. My wish for you is best summed up in this quote from Ann Landers. 


 Let this coming year be better than all the others.
Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time.
Call up a forgotten friend.
Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories.
Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep.
Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger.
Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.

 May you ring in the New Year with happiness, joy and love.

Bring them on.


Horses, Writing and Mental Attitude

     After reading several blogs and books on the craft of writing, the thought struck me as to the similarities between writing and training horses, two very dissimilar subjects.
     Since I am a barrel racer, it is easiest for me to look at the subject from that perspective. When training a horse to run barrels, the first item on your list should be making sure you’ve learned the basic techniques.
     Well, learning to stay on the horse is technically the first step but we’ll consider that to be understood. If possible, training with someone who is an expert in your field will speed things along and make the the learning fun.
     The same holds true for learning to write. Reading craft books and having terrific critique partners helps speed your learning curve, adds enjoyment and lowers your frustration level by several degrees.
     As your horse becomes more proficient at running and turning and you gain confidence, some of your training methods will change to accommodate the rising skill level. As your writing proficiency improves, your technique will change to encompass your new knowledge.
     Perhaps the most important part of both professions is the mental game. An essential part of succeeding, whether you’re training an animal or writing from your heart, is belief in yourself. Although it helps to have friends and family to provide encouragement, your confidence comes from within.

     Fortunately, there are many great books on improving self confidence that range from Grow Rich While You Sleep (silly title, great book) to Barbra Schulte's The Gift. You can learn self confidence.
This quote from Dale Carnegie says it all.
Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.