Chaos or control?

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Writers can be totally in control when putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, where they know their characters inside and out, they have a real knowledge of where the story is going, have a chapter by chapter plan, have a perfect plot and clear outcome.  Other writers start their stories with a vague idea of what they want to write about, half formed characters and no discernible plot so for them the journey is very exploratory.

Then there are the writers who oscillate between the two.  Or if you’re like me, you begin in total control and somewhere about the three quarter mark, you find the story has actually taken a left turn into the bush somewhere about the middle and mentally you’re still on the plot highway no 1!

Often times, a story begins in total control and then like a wilful child, it turns into chaos!  Those stories take some serious wrangling and many rewrites to regain their composure but it’s all part of the journey – the best stories have a life of their own!

TEAM UP by Elizabeth Alexander  avail of Amazon and Smashwords

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That horse!

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I’m very lucky that I’ve had a few incredible horses and would be hard pushed to name just one special one.  In each case, their unique personalities have made me consider things I’d previously not considered – in their preferences, training regimes, abilities and special talents – it’s been an incredible journey with each special horse.  They’ve taught me more than I could ever teach them.  Horses bring such joy and vision!  And I work hard to make sure that comes through in my novels 🙂

TEAM UP by ELIZABETH ALEXANDER  – avail on Amazon and Smashwords.

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As an indy writer and publisher …

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I was recently asked to write a Guest Blog for Christine Meunier about my experiences as an indy author and publisher which she has put up on her fabulous Equine Authors site.  You can read it here:  https://equineauthorsblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/indie-publishing-smashwords-and-marketing-your-horse-book/

I’ve written before about how chuffed I am at the developments within the publishing industry which enables writers an alternative to traditional publishing and although I’m relatively inexperienced in this, I have learned a lot.  And I continue learning every day as I make a sale or ten!

I had thought I’d be happy with just publishing my work, but it turns out that the greatest thrill has been the sales.  In that it demonstrates the time, effort and faith you put into your work was worthwhile.  And when I think about it, it’s way too similar to working with a young horse, the time, effort and faith you put into him gives you a huge buzz when he begins to develop.  “What a feeling!” 

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TEAM UP by Elizabeth Alexander avail on Amazon and Smashwords.

 

 

 

We ride to …?

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I write for very much the same reasons – how lucky to be able to combine my two passions!

TEAM UP by Elizabeth Alexanderhttps://www.amazon.com/Team-Wattle-Hill-Equestrian-Book-ebook/dp/B0749NSPZP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503299739&sr=8-1&keywords=team+up+by+elizabeth+alexander

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TEAM UP

TEAM UP by Elizabeth Alexander.  First novel of the Wattle Hill Equestrian Series for Teen readers.

Avail on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Team+Up+by+Elizabeth+Alexander

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I dare you!

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I love this new publishing world!

Back in the day, you followed your passion, you wrote, you engaged, you edited, you worked harder, you worked smarter and at the end of it – you sent your mss out for someone else to judge. That person’s positive judgement meant your work got published and that was big.  Very big.  After all it was your career start.

But the majority of writers experienced rejection and still do, and often for valid reasons. And back then, there was little else you could about it other than vanity publish which was often expensive.  But certainly doable. Once rejected, you could rewrite and edit more, but there was little chance of a review by the same publisher.  Actually, I was once accepted by a well known publisher.  In a face to face meeting I was asked for edits which I frantically did during a Christmas holiday break and then my work was rejected without anyone even reading it again.  At the time I wished I’d had taken that much needed holiday break instead!

Today, you can take your written work and self publish it on one or many of the various platforms that sell ebooks.  It’s vanity publishing without the expense.  Now, it’s called more nicely, indy publishing.  And what fun it is!  You can get your work out and let the market decide if it is acceptable or not.  I love it!

I ride a what…?!

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As a trainer, coach and competition rider for many years I have to say, I believe we have been well served by the OTTB, especially in Australia, and I am happy to support as much information getting out there as possible about dealing with and retraining the Off The Track Thoroughbred.

In many ways they are worldly when they arrive off the track. They have done so much and seen so much and handled so much more than a non-TB horse six months in from the breakers.  Often their lack of racing ability has more to do with the industry’s expectations than their own athleticism or willingness to try, and the racing industry’s rejection is very often their loss and our gain!

OTTBs generally have a willing work ethic, love to be part of a daily riding regime and thrive on all the attention that entails. They will wait at the paddock gate every morning to greet you especially if you have a headcollar in hand, and we’ve all had other breeds who are not that cheerful about being ridden – especially “forward”!  lol…

In the days or months after their track retirement, they begin to learn to let down, to be less reactive, to have sounder bodies with less daily stress and discomfort, to look forward to quiet patient riding having new skills shown to them, to engage with their riders in a process that is often more personal. They are smart and they are tough.  They are athletic and once retrained can usually turn their hoof to many disciplines and can excel in eventing, show jumping, pony club and polo.  Those riders who’ve got one, know Thoroughbreds can be great fun.

As a horse community I’d like to think we could support the OTTBs in any way we can especially in riding and competing one if possible. Of course they’re not for everyone but it’s time the OTTB became a more popular riding horse because their alternative is less attractive, so let’s do our bit!  I support people like Denny Emerson who uses FB to promote the retraining of OTTBs – see Tamarack Hill Farm.  Please feel free to check out the following information – https://eventingconnect.today/2017/08/13/things-you-need-to-know-before-riding-a-fresh-off-the-track-thoroughbred/

 

 

 

You write what…?

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…Young Adult or teen horsey novels…yep, that’s what I write!  Very possibly I’m delusional, but I firmly believe that there is a market and it’s not small or too niche to find an entry point into despite publishers telling me there wasn’t.

I’ve put my money where my mouth is – or to be more exact – my words where they can be seen by all – which is a little daunting when you’re going up against experienced publishers, but it’s done and dusted now!  Time will tell if my unicorn and I are wrong or if there is a horsecentric YA/Teen market out there ready for some new work especially from The Wattle Hill Equestrian Series, starting with Book One – TEAM UP.

Please pass on if you know of a riding teen reader who will be interested.  TEAM UP is avail on Amazon and Smashwords.

 

 

Are you talking to me?

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Recent research has proven that horses will “talk” to their handlers.  As horse owners and riders, this is not news, we have known this for decades. Horses use body language very well and so long as we’re observant we can see it. act upon it and therefore  reinforce it.

“Do horses talk to humans?”

“They sure do,” said Rachele Malavasi, PhD, of the School of Ethical Equitation, in Moncigoli Di Fivizzano, Italy. Malavasi carried out her research in association with Ludwig Huber, PhD, professor at the Comparative Cognition Unit at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna in Austria.

“Horses are social animals which have evolved skills to maintain their social unity: affiliative relationships, protection from outsiders, social facilitation, and even social learning,” Malavasi explained. “We know now that their skill set also includes the ability to communicate intentionally with humans.”

It is up to us to listen and watch them carefully to interpret exactly what they’re saying!