Wednesday, December 17, 2014


You mystery fans out there. Which detective in all of fiction solved the most cases? Sherlock Holmes? Hercule Poirot? Nero Wolf? Ellery Queen?  Jane Marple?   

After doing some research, I've discovered none of the above. Nancy Drew outranks them. Although, there are sources that say Nancy Drew solved only 56 original mysteries, they go on to say between the first books, the updated releases, and joining the Hardy Boys in TV episodes, there are more like over 500.

Nancy is a teenage girls' favorite first detective. A teenager sleuth who's stood the test of time from the early 30's until present day. Teenager Nancy Drew was born in 1930. She lives in River Heights with her lawyer father and Hannah their cook/companion.  Her gift for solving puzzles (maybe a teenage Jane Marple?) leads her to solve crimes for her father, friends, local police and people she meets on vacations, in towns, in and of the country,  in old mansions,  in attics, cellars and ranches.  

Titles indicate her breadth of experiences: The Secret of the Old Clock, The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk, The Secret at the Gatehouse, The Clue of the Black  Flower, The Ghost in the Gallery, In the Shadow of the Tower, The Secret at the Hermitage and The Thirteenth Pearl.

Who was this ingenious author, Carolyn Keene, who wrote the Nancy Drew mysteries? Enter Edward Stratemeyer, writer, publisher of children's books. He didn't have  time to write all the stories in his head, so he hired ghost writers to do it for him.

Mildred Wirt Benson is the real writer of the first Nancy Drew mysteries. Born in 1905 in a town in Iowa, she loved sports and a good outdoor adventure. Her love of books created a desire to write, and she had her first short story, "The Courtesy" published at age 13.  Mildred was the first woman to graduate from the University of Iowa with a Masters Degree in Journalism.

Then, she went to work for Edward Stratemeyer.

Her  first novel ,The Secret of the Old Clock was based on Stratemeyer's characterization and a three and a half page outline.  But it was Benson who breathed life into the character. She influenced young girls to know they could accomplish their aspirations and goals.  Benson wrote 24 of the first 30 books, which became instant hits. 

She went on to become a journalist until she died at age 96. She loved adventures, which helped shape the persona of Nancy Drew. Mildred Benson was not only a writer, but an amateur archaeologist and received a pilot's license in her 60's.

Stratemeyer hired many different authors to write Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys Mysteries, The Bobbsey Twins, Dana Girls Mysteries and Tom Swift from outlines he provided. His syndicate's practice was the authors should remain anonymous, and despite the revenue brought in by the books, they paid the authors $125 for each book.  Each writer wrote under the pen name of Carolyn Keene.

Edward passed the reins to his daughters Edna and Harriet. The syndicate, under the direction of Harriet kept the series alive and thriving. In 1959, she and several authors rewrote the earlier editions, eliminated racial stereotyping, updated the language,  condensed the books and rewrote outdated plots.

Other writers included Harriet, who wrote most of the series after Mildred Benson. Subsequent authors included: Walter Karig, Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Nancy Axelrod, Prscilla Doll, Charles Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr and Margaret Scherf.

So, who is Carolyn Keene? Rather, who are they?  And more important, who is Nancy Drew?

Los Angels Times, March 28, 2010
Childresn's "Much Like Nancy Drew" by Elizabeth Kennedy, Chief Books Expert

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Alice Kemp's new novel THE TASTE OF HER

Here's a new book by author Alice A Kemp. Unfortunately, I'm still unable to post the photo of Alice's cover. You can go to her blog sit at http//  Alice offers advice on how she plots her stories in this short article. I'll have to check out Michael Hauge's Story Mastery. 

Thanks, Patricia, for the opportunity to do a posting for your blog. The topic I chose is my last book, The Taste of Her, which came out as an ebook on December 2.

Margaret Angelo, a New Orleans homicide detective, works to catch a serial killer, the Slasher. Despite the sexism of the NOPD, she heads the task force to stop this killer, who kidnaps women, assaults them, and gets off on licking their bodies before he kills them. Although devoted to her job, Margaret longs for a life partner. She reconnects with a high school acquaintance, Jim, whom she hires to paint her house. They begin a relationship, but Margaret is kidnapped by the Slasher and faces certain death. The other detectives manage to rescue her although the Slasher escapes their trap. He is losing control and hunts Margaret down, determined to finish her. With Jim’s support, can she escape this mad man?

Some words from the author: "I love the cover - a bloody knife against a brick wall with a length of heavy chains. This was the first draft the art folks sent me. Fearing that Debby Gilbert, the publisher and my editor at Soul Mate Publishing, would think it was too creepy, the art director superimposed the face of woman beside the knife. Debby said, and I agree, we have to let potential readers know this is a romantic suspense, not horror.

I plot my stories using Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery structure with his five key turning points. He’s spoken twice at the annual Romance Writers of America convention, and I’ve learned a great deal from him."

The Red Halter Top, Soul Mate Publishing on Amazon.
The Jury Scandal, Soul Mate Publishing on Amazon.
The Taste of Her,  Soul Mate Publishing,
I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”  —Patrick Dennis

Friday, December 12, 2014

Merry Christmas everyone, Happy Hannukah and Happy Holidays.  I'm keeping life simple these days, so I put up my little tree by the window.

Research, Research, Research

I love Janet's blog about organization. I decided to follow her advice and clean out and organize my computer. Lots of old website and blogspot addresses need to be cleared away (especially the ones that no longer exist.) 

As I was wading through some of my (and others) old writing articles, I thought about the value of research and how much time it would save all of us. 

Referring to novels: we know (pretty much) where our novels take place, who our characters are, where they live (or we have a vague idea of the building, apartment, house) where they live. Don't we? We have a vague idea (unless we're really brilliant and can either panzer off-the-cuff or outline first) what will happen to them. Where the plot is going. Its theme. The characters goals, motivations, conflicts and resolution, don't we? (hint, hint)

But, do we know, I mean really know who they are? What are their character traits? How they dress? How they look? In detail, what their dwellings look like? Who are those villains and what are their histories? What makes a serial killer? What events triggered their mad responses to life? Do they have any good in them? The'd better have something, because if they don't, they'll be two dimensional. Everyone of us has a good side and a bad side. I do. I'll be the first to admit the fact. In Waterlilies Over My Grave, the villain Duncan Byrne saved a girl's life when her sole support and roof-over-her-head dies. The fact that he later tries to push her in front of a train doesn't help his image any.  

Why character trait? Because what our habits and personality show us is how we'll respond. An example: My character Elena has a habit of walking out of uncomfortable situations, especially when she's angry. In "Legacy of Danger", she walks out on such a situation and gets kidnapped. If I didn't show that side of her earlier, it wouldn't have made her response to this flight and fight for her life scene as realistic. 

It also makes a difference if you have an image of her character. Maggie in "Arms of the Enemy" has strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. If I didn't have a firm grip on the way she looks, she'd end up having green eyes in chapter 20 and someone--some brilliant reader--would catch it. Trust me, they would. 

Where are they? In "Legacy", much of the novel takes place in Romania. Romania has earthquakes. As a reader, you need to know, maybe in dialogue and history that earthquakes took place hundreds of years ago and that they'd had one recently. That will make a later scene more viable when the characters meet one, trying to escape. 

In other words, if someone is killed with a sword, you'd probably better show the thing hanging on the wall over the fireplace. Otherwise, where the heck did it come from? 

You get the idea. Research can be tedious, but it can also be fascinating. Writing about Romania has been a "writing" lifetime of experiences. I never was in that country, but I did live in Germany for a few years. And, I've done research on the culture. The old farmer driving his cows home in the shadow of a mountain with a cross and a small chapel on its peak. It was a glorious picture. 

So, do a casting call. Find a star or celebrity you could picture as your character and tack him and her on your wall. Write down your descriptions from the color of their hair, their eyes, their clothes, their hobbies, favorite meals and drinks, favorite colors, to their history and everyday lives and put the page(s) in a notebook or someplace you can get quick access. 

You'll be glad you did. 

Have a great day. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I don't know about you, but I can utilize this timely advice. 

Three Quick Ways to Write More…Even During the Holidays
   by Janet Butler

. Organize.
Write “to-do” lists for everything you can, even things you think you can keep track of without doing so.  No, this isn’t a “gag” piece of advice about “writing.” JThis technique will free up your mind to do creative activity, rather than trying to stay on top of the dozens of things we all have to take care of this time of year. Sometimes the most valuable “writing” work you can do in a day is prewriting, research, or the like; this kind of writing is just as valuable.

. Give yourself five minutes.
Many writing gurus will tell you, “If you want to write, sacrifice some sleep. Get up an extra hour earlier in the morning and write then.” But how many of us can reasonably do that for any sustained amount of time, especially around the added stresses and work of the holidays? Much better: Set your alarm clock five minutes earlier in the morning. Get yourself that little extra boost—not even necessarily to write as much as to give yourself a small “head start” on all the other things you need to do. Sometime during the day, you’ll find yourself with space to breathe, time to think…and that’s when and how some of our best story ideas come, in those spare moments when we don’t have to rush so much. Even five minutes, day by day, add up. A few minutes every day, a few lines—and when the holidays are done, you could have several pages added, or started on a new work. Not bad for still getting a full night’s sleep!

. Do double duty.
“What?” you’re probably thinking. “There aren’t two of me, and I don’t multitask well.” Not to worry.  “Double duty” is best accomplished by delegating work to others—but even if you have no one else to rely on for your holiday tasks, you can still make your time do double duty. Turn off the iPod or the music or the TV and let your mind write a scene or imagine a setting while you fold laundry. Have conversations with your characters over a sink of dishes. OR, flip that advice and be totally IN each moment of your preparations. Relish the sensations that come with being outdoors in crisp weather—even if you don’t live where it’s cold for the holidays, chances are you still see a change in your surroundings as Christmas and the New Year approach, and this is valuable sensory detail to import into your work.  And, with that extra five minutes you’ve given yourself…you can jot these details down.  

Yes…it all works together. Organization…stealing a few minutes here and there…making your “real life” do double duty for your story life…all tiny steps that don’t look like much, don’t sound like much, and don’t seem like much—until you realize you have been productive in your writing during the busiest time of the year, without sacrificing your sanity, your health, or any special holiday moments with your family.
That’s a gift any writer would love to unwrap!

Janet Butler will continue to provide monthly sessions in Chapter One's Writers Oasis
VOICE OF INNOCENCE, Desert Breeze Publishing
FROM THE ASHES, Astraea Press

Host and Coordinator (Writer's Oasis) 
Shirley M. Flanagan

Writers' Oasis
Writers Oasis is a resource for writers, published and unpublished, dedicated to the education and encouragement of its participants by bringing varied viewpoints on the craft and business of writing from quality sources. We do not evaluate agents, book companies, or companies and individuals involved in publishing. Writers must do the research themselves that allows for making prudent choices in these areas.

Writer's Oasis resides in AOL Chapter One and takes place Monday nights at 9:00 EST. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Purpose For and Consequences of Reviews

We will be discussing this on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 8 pm CST. by Micki Peluso.  This will be held at Chapter One
The Purpose For and Consequences of Reviews
Book reviews definitely help sell books, but like books they must be seen to accomplish this. Tonight we’ll discuss different types of reviews, and reviewers; how they can help authors sell books reviews, and how reviewers can sell their own books as well.
You may be aware the reviewers aren’t allowed to accept money for reviews unless the author goes to a review site that pays their reviewers. I've never understood this since a well done review is a piece of art, follows a precise formula and requires a great deal of time in both writing and posting in various book sites like Amazon and Facebook, Twitter Goodreads, etc.
Non-professional reviews are more like customer/reader comments as on Amazon and needed by authors. They are usually more emotional — “I stayed up all night, laughing and crying over this book."  Potential buyers are reached on an emotional level by this type of review.
The professional reviews vary. I was taught by the New York Journal of Books to never put “I" in a review, stay in present tense, give a summary of the book, opinions on the skill or lack of the author, add a hook regarding the ending, and sometimes cite other works by the author.
This type review is written in an essay- like form and reads like a professional piece of writing. It's essential to have this type for press releases, book signings and in all forms of marketing. Not all so-called review sites write good reviews. I recently read an appallingly bad By Midwest Review which has a good reputation. It wasn’t my book. J
One of the authors I reviewed regretted paying $400 for a Kirkus review when mine was much better and free. That made me feel better about not spending money on Kirkus for my own review.
I begin writing reviews because I was running out of money buying print books. When I put ‘Reviewer’ as one of my professions on Linked-In, it snowballed and for the past several years I've been so swamped with review requests that I can't get to my own second book.
The upside is that most people I review for end up buying my book and then reviewing it. About one third of my book sales come this way, and I feel it's an honor.
Lately I've read and heard of nasty tactics among reviewers, especially in Good reads, Shelfari, and Amazon. Reviewers (non-professionals) are sniping at each other by giving a bad review to any reviewer who gave them one. This is tacky. If you get a bad review, ignore it and move on. A review, like a bad movie, often draws people to read the book to see why it was so terrible.
The easiest way to write a review is to take notes as you read the book so you get names/places spelled right. At the end of the book the review is ready to edit and post. This does take some pleasure from reading.
Some reviewers won’t give more than three or four stars because “no book is perfect." I don't think a book needs to be perfect to get a high ranking if it was a good read and fairly well written. Amazon’s star rankings benefit Amazon more than the author. Writers with a ton of five stars usually sell no better than writers with less.

Micki Peluso

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rescue a Dog. Adopt, Adopt, Adopt.

Patricia Guthrie shared World Animal Foundation's photo.
It's pretty obvious I got this off Facebook. The stoy of Toby is a tragic one. At least, it could have been a tragic tale. Fortunately, the Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois.  
On January 29, 2010, Toby was found in the fields, in Livingston County, Illinois He'd been running loose according to the people who brought him in. They'd (and the farmers in the area) been trying to catch him for months and finally managed to corner him in a humane trap made for dogs.  He was extremely fearful of people-of life. When he got to the Livingston County Animal Shelter, shaved down to get out all the matts and burrs that collected in his coat, while living the homeless life. Nobody knows where he came from, where he'd been, or made him so fearful. 
He was transferred to the Midwest Animal Hospital, where they did a bone biopsy.for lumps on his front leg. Results were negative, and given other tests that are given to stray dogs. 
There he was rescued by the Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois and where he found his first foster home. 
I was looking for a rescue--I had been fostering; had lost my previous four collies (ages 10-14) who were obedience dogs and companions and my writing partners. The loves of my life. Lack of dogs brought me ti the Illinois Collie Rescue where I helped with the transporation of collies to new homes. I was warned how shy, nervous and scared he was. I found him in a lovely house with a fenced in back yard, with compassionate people caring for him. He was huddled against the door, shaking--looking everywhere but at me. I spent the afternoon with him, walking him around their large yard, getting to know him. Fearful as he was, he never tried to bite. He did get tangled up around the leash. I don't think he'd ever been trained.  No, I'm sure he'd never been trained. He was a year and a half according to the shelter, but my vet thought he was closer to three. 
The foster parents told me he'd been traumatized and they couldn't guarantee he'd ever get over it. The animal shelter in Livingston could have put him down, but fortunately, didn't.  It didn't take me long to decide that Blake (that was his name, now known as Toby) and I could heal each other.
I set about doing just that. Luck of the draw, I discovered that Midwest Animal Hospital in New Lenox, Illinois is owned by the same vet who is my vet at Forest South Animal Hospital. 
We're not sure what the lumps on his legs were--perhaps his knees, very low down. Strange. He has perfectly set natural ears, a collie owner's dream and then to have his leg conformation set so strangely. It's never affect him though. 
Toby lives a quiet life. This is not a dramatic story Not really. It could have been. It probably was before he was rescued. Nobody knows what happened to this wonderful dog. He's now my companion and friend. He still has issues with going down to the park unless nobody's down there. Going out on the front lawn is a challenge for him. He's a house dog all the way. His safe place is my bed and his crate and the patio in the back. 
The end of the tale? Another rescue boring story? Well, not quite. For Toby is the reason of that picture above. He's what happens when a dog is thrown from a car in unknown territory, when a dog is born in a puppy mill with no socialization or friends, when a dog is dumped because, perhaps he was the runt of the litter and maybe came out wrong. With bones that didn't set quite properly. Toby is the story of all strays. God help them
Yes. Rescue, rescue, rescue. My first collie was an obedience dog with several titles in two countries and many kennel clubs. There are so many things you can do with them. 
My story ends here. Toby is safe. Toby is loved. Toby never goes hungry. Toby will never be the outgoing dog he should have been. 

Pat G

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review for Micki Peluso's And the Whippoorwill Sang by B. Rosenmanon

I tried to put Micki's bookcover on here and for some reason my blog site won't allow me to post photos--even in JPEG or Ping or whatever format they want. I have to find out what's going on. I LOVE to post photos. (the photos on this blog were posted last year.)

5 stars Who Touches This -- Touches a Woman

ByJohn B. Rosenmanon November 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition

More and more, as I read Micki Peluso's autobiography covering twenty-two years in her life, I was reminded of eleven words in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. "Camerado, this is no book, Who touches this touches a man." In her case, it is a woman we touch, and the reader learns who the author is as few characters we ever come to know either in fiction or nonfiction. In addition, we come to know her husband Butch and her six children as they are born, develop, interact, clash with each other, encounter problems, and sometimes go their separate ways.

And The Whippoorwill Sang presents a journey that is both inspiring and painful. It will make you laugh and cry, and it is structured around the grievous, heartbreaking injury to one of their children who is left shattered along the road by a hit and run driver. There are parts of this book which I find unforgettable, and some of the writing is especially fine. Generally one is supposed to avoid using pathetic fallacies, but I love Peluso's statement that the "sun had the dignity not to shine" at Noelle's funeral. There is a great deal more wonderful writing as well.

This book is many things. At times, it's a sprawling story of misadventures, as when the Peluso family makes its grand westward trek out to Las Vegas and back again. The reader can laugh at some of the mistakes along the way, perhaps remembering ones they've made. This memoir is also a complex study of the relationship between a wife and husband and her attempts to understand him and improve their marriage. Plus, we receive fully realized portraits of all six of her children. They come alive on her pages! If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Noelle.

Add to all this the author's mother; Micki's many friends and acquaintances; the backstory of how she came to get married and change her religion; Butch's quitting jobs and their persistent financial problems; the wonderful, haunted farmhouse they lived in; plus too many other subjects to mention, and we have a book piled to the rafters with subjects that keep us reading. One last thing: the author mentioned to me she had doubts about the title. Well, to me, And The Whippoorwill Sang is perfect, literary, and most appropriate. Don't take my word for it. Read the book and see for yourself.

Book Review "Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead by Sara Miles

The Rev. Sara Miles, Minister and Director of the Food Pantry of St. Gregory of Nyssa in Los Angeles, writes about her work with the residents, rich and poor in LA.

Ms. Miles, her co-workers and volunteers take the local (and some not so local) misfits and turn them into workers and volunteers. She take adults and groups of children brought up in luxury and privilege and places them side by side with the children and adults from the "other side of the tracks" , teaching them the meaning of charity, love and a sense of “people.” The meaning of when Christ says, "Whatever you did for the least of My brothers and sisters, you did for Me." She shows us that faith without following actions cannot work. They are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.

She not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

Her story makes you want to be there with her and Jesus, gathering the food, cooking the meals, empathizing with the lonely, healing the sick in mind and body and feeding those who may not have the wherewithal to feed themselves and their families.

Her story will open your eyes as she and her co-workers struggle to provide; never losing faith, ever comforting, ever struggling to make a better world for those around them. She smacks away our smug attitude about the "laziness and stupidity of the poor." It gives us hope for a kinder world and that, yes, we can all be followers of Christ. Wherever we are, whatever we do.

I gave this book five stars, not only for the message the book sends, but by the way Ms. Miles presents her urban drama-drawing you ever into the church and its Christ-like teachings, ever so gently encouraging the reader that this may be the way we all can live.

Sara Miles was a former cook and war correspondent before she became a minister and founded the Food Pantry of St. Gregory. She also wrote “Faith in the Streets” and “Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion.”

Patricia A. Guthrie
Waterlilies Over my Grave 2008
In the Arms of the Enemy 2007

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thank you for comments.

Darn, I was going to add a photo. Didn't quite work.

Loved many of the comments share when this blog was operational last year.

I would like you NOT to use anonymous, but to put your email name
or your real name on the bottom of the post. (or company name) I always think anonymous means you're ashamed of who you are or that you're peddling something. If you're marketing a book, I understand. But, please put your name NOT ANONYMOUS. (how else could I read your blook and write a review?)


Pat G.
I'm back at it again. My BLOG. It's never gone away, just hasn't grown (except with posts, which I'll spend most of my time today reading. A year is a long time and over 100,000 posts indicate either I have had a large following or/ boy are there a lot of spammers out there.

I'm going to comment on writing, reading, the writing business, and other topics such as dogs, horses, maybe even religion, although I've been advised to steer clear of religion and politics. Hmm.

If any of you have an article or short story or post you'd like to share, if it has to do with dogs, horses, writing, a book review or a short story that's well polished, I'll be glad to look at it and post it if I think it appropriate. Also, if you have a new book coming out, I may not have millions of viewers (yet-one can always hope) but this might be another venue. I'll have to keep daily posts to a minimum otherwise, nobody will want to come here.

For the first time in many years I'm horseless. It's been a string of bad luck: After losing Jackson and giving up Smokey to a good retirement home where he'll share his life with toddlers and pregnant mares, I bought a mare that was a love, but very spooky.I'm no longer the rider I once was, so after eight months of working with her with a good instructor, we both felt she wasn't the right horse for me. I bought a young four-year-old gelding from a breeder and after several weeks he threw me into the rafters. I'm still in physical therapy. I should write a book about my experiences with horses. It would be hysterical. However, I am,once again,looking. As ancient as I am (or feel) I'm wondering if I should be more focused on my writing and less on horsecare.

Legacy of Danger is still a work in progress. I have about five chapters to write and perfect. Next comes the process of spit-polish editing (after many other edits and rewrites) On this blog you'll find some tidbits relating to Legacy including a lovely photo of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. I'll be adding some chapters occasionally to wet your appetite (I hope.) I'm starting to put the individual chapters into one document,which isn't easy. I seem to hit the wrong button and find half the darn chapter missing, so I have to start over.

I hope everyone has a great day--and a great holiday, no matter what religion or holiday you celebrate. For me, it's Christmas, so I will say "Merry Christmas" and take gratefully "Happy Hannukah" or "Happy Holidays.

Keep those blueberry muffins coming.

Pat G.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sue Janosek Murphy 8:25am Apr 24
No its too late, he was already put on the slaughter truck hopefully to Canada then Mexico. slaughter has almost doubled since we quit slaughtering them here, its almost 200,000 a year. New Mexico just got approved by usda yesterday to start slaughtering horses again and possibly other plants to follow shortly...good news is... europe is not taking anymore of our horses since horsemeat showed up in their beef so hopefully that will decrease the market.

Anyway I would like to write something about dodger and his storyand how his death was unnecessary, as he was wanted by many and was only sold to the killers to prove a point. Perhaps we can use this to cause more awareness to the public about slaughter and keep the faith ranch. I'm not a very good writer and thought perhaps you might be interested

Conversation History

Sue Janosek Murphy 12:18pm Apr 23
Hi Pat
I have a story that I would like to get out about a horse named dodger that was sent to slaughter for $10 last Saturday despite all of our rescue attempts and was actually done out of revenge because we saved a different horse from this barn. Dodger has that name because he dodged slaughter two times previously and he was renamed Judge...I hope so that one day his killers will be Judged. Please let me know if you are interested in helping me with this project. We are also working on a memorial stone in remembrance of him and all the other horses sent to slaughter. Ok let me know. Thanks

I thought you might like to know this story. It's pretty horrible, especially when it hits that close to home.

Will be back to the blogging asap.


Friday, April 19, 2013

I think this is the perfect way to train a horse.

My writing has given way, this week, to the horse. I hope to be able to get my momentum back next week. I've had the vet out (it's vet day at the barn) and Smokey
is doing a lot better. We're off the Adaquan and will be giving an oral joint supplement. The vet doesn't seem to think there's any risidual effects from the EPM.
Thank goodness for that. I'm still caring for a friend's two horses. I'm thinking about buying one of them, an ex-reiner who is broke to death. That means an old gal
like me can probably ride him without pulling all kinds of muscles I wish I didn't have. Smokey has started back already, but I'm wondering who needs the training more.
I think it's me. i'm afraid to lope--or canter, in the English world. How can that be? That's the most fun.

I'm thinking all kinds of chapter scenarios for Legacy. I've just gotten past chapter 18 where Elena throws the letters at Alex and storms out and, Alex reads the letters.
In the next chapter we find out all kinds of things. My crit partner says I need more action now and less conversation to move the plot forward. I'm thinking a car chase sounds like fun. I wrote one with legacy a long time ago. It would need a great deal of perefial changes, but I don't think I could duplicate the actual chase scene.
I'll have to find it. It's somewhere in the archives.

Sorry, I haven't been keeping up with my blog. I'll try for a little a day. I hope you will all have patience with me.

Take care.


Friday, April 12, 2013


This is Bannerman Castle, by Timeline Photos. Just another possibility for Elena Dkany's castle in Dkany, Romania. However, her castle isn't situated by a lake--there is a river, however. But, should there be a lake?

Pat, who's been working on Legacy of Danger since 1998.

Yes, yes, I know I said I would create a new blog. Hasn't happened yet. I've been busy with Legacy and working with an awesome critique partner,
riding and caring for Smokey (horse) exercising at the local community center and playing cards on my computer. That's the ONLY place I play cards.
Please, I don't want to embarrass or financially bankrupt myself.

Legacy went great up until chapter 18-19 and 20. My partner has pointed out some major structural problems, fortunately the conversations can remain
basically the same, but the order of the conversations have to change. Whew! I'm not sure what to do with chapter 20. Again, I think the changes will be minor, but WHAT to do is another story.

I'm feeling really lousy today headachy, sneezing, coughing and just plain yucky. Just like that past few days in the Midwest. Fortunately, no tornadoes or blizzards, but still. It's damp and nasty. Smokey and my two charges, Mel and Doofis will have to wait another day for me.

Here is something I found on my Facebook page written by Patty Burkhart. I don't know you Patty, but you're up on Facebook and I'm of the age that I'd love this.

When I Am An Old Horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to ALL
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.

-Author Patty Barnhart

Photo Credit: Just My Tidbits

Patricia Guthrie I don't know Patty Barnhart--But, I'm putting this up on my blog.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Got this in an Email and thought I'd share. I don't know who created this, but I can't stop thinking about "Your badge! Show him your badge."

A DEA Agent stopped at a ranch in Texas and talked to an old rancher. He told the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs." The rancher said, "okay, but don't go into that field over there...", as he pointed out the location. The DEA Agent verbally exploded and said, "look mister, I have the authority of the federal government with me!" Reaching into his rear back pocket, the arrogant officer removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. "See this badge?! This badge means I can go wherever I want... On any land! No questions asked, no answers given! Do you understand old man?!"

The rancher kindly nodded, apologized, and went about his chores. Moments later the rancher heard loud screams, he looked up and saw the DEA agent running for his life, being chased by the ranchers big Santa Gertrudis Bull...... With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it was likely that he'd sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified. The old rancher threw down his tools, ran as fast as he could to the fence, and yelled at the top of his lungs......


This story made us laugh. SHARE it with your friends if it made you laugh as well!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Add element

I decided, after a wonderful workshop about blogging on AOL's Chapter One (and Shirley Flannagan) that I would divide up my interests and create a new blog.
It will be connected to "The Cottage of Blog", but will need a new name.

How do divide?

The Cottage of Blog will stay as the writing blog. I'll talk about my WIP Legacy of Danger (which the name--my publisher has approved. I thought it was too common, she thinks differently. I'm glad, because I like the name.)

The other will contain information, tips, musings, photos and some advocacy of horses and dogs. I'm not sure I should include music in this as this was a large part of my life long ago. Maybe I'll need a third one. I could go back into ancient history. But first things first.

I think I'll take off the animal blogs and turn them over to the new blog.

Now anyone have any ideas as to how to CREATE A NEW BLOG? It's been ages since I created the old one. Sigh.

Sounds like some work today.

It will still be on blogspot. I'll have to attach it to my website, which will still include everything. That needs some updating and cleaning too.

If you come to the new blog, you can still help yourself to a blueberry muffing and some coffee. Or should I get a coffee cake in the shape of a horse?

This is kind of scary.

Wish me luck. and please: MAKE COMMENTS!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Hysterical, but just a joke

A young guy from West Virginia moves to Florida and goes to a big
everything under one roof" department store looking for a job.

The Manager says, "Do you have any sales experience?" The kid says "Yeah. I
was a vacuum salesman back in West Virginia."

Well, the boss was unsure, but he liked the kid and figured he'd give him a
shot, so he gave him the job.

"You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did."

His first day on the job was rough, but he got through it. After the store
was locked up, the boss came down to the sales floor.

"How many customers bought something from you today?" The kid frowns and
looks at the floor and mutters, "One". The boss says "Just one? Our sales
people average sales to 20 to 30 customers a day.

That will have to change, and soon, if you'd like to continue your
employment here. We have very strict standards for our sales force here in
Florida . One sale a day might have been acceptable in West Virginia , but
you're not in the mines anymore, son."

The kid took his beating, but continued to look at his shoes, so the boss
felt kinda bad for chewing him out on his first day. He asked
(semi-sarcastically), "So, how much was your one sale for?"

The kid looks up at his boss and says "$101,237.65".

The boss, astonished, says $101,237.65? What the heck did you sell?"

The kid says, "Well, first, I sold him some new fish hooks. Then I sold him
a new fishing rod to go with his new hooks. Then I asked him where he was
going fishing and he said down the coast, so I told him he was going to need
a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him a twin engine
Chris Craft. Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so
I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4x4

The boss said "A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a boat
and a TRUCK!?" The kid said "No, the guy came in here to buy tampons for his
wife, and I said, 'Dude, your weekend's shot, you should go fishing.


"Quotes found on the Internet are tough to verify" -- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, March 29, 2013


This is a photo of me and Zuri, my collie who's now playing on The Rainbow Bridge with her siblings. I have two new rescues sharing my home.

I hope the staff from don't object to my putting this on my blog. I give them full credit for this article that came from their popular website
Everything on this list can apply to person to person contact as well.

Things You Can Learn From a Dog

By: PetPlace Staff

Read By:18,712 Pet Lovers

Related Articles■Great Book Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover - Volume II
■Great Book Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover - Volume I
■Do You Love Your Pet Too Much?
■When Pets Get in the Way of Love
■Do Our Pets Really Love Us?
Our pets can teach us many things - if we're willing to listen. They teach us how to love unconditionally, how to look at each day as a new one, to embrace all the good things and why it really is the simple things in life that we should cherish.

In his book, Souls of Animals, author Gary Kowalski writes about the fundamental lessons pets teach us. ""Without many inborn instincts to guide us, we as human beings need models for how to live. ... In a fundamental way, we need other creatures to tell us who we are."

Here are some basic lessons our pets endeavor to teach us:

1. Always be happy to see those you love.

2. Approach each day and each new experience with enthusiasm (even a walk).

3. Never underestimate the power of praise.

4. Play every chance you get.

5. Don't be afraid to show your joy! When you are happy – show it. Wiggle and wag.

6. Take lots of naps and always stretch and yawn before you get up.

7. Never turn down a car ride with someone you love.

8. Be loyal.

9. Lounge under a tree in the shade on a hot day.

10. Every once in a while put your head out the window and feel the air on your face and hair.

11. Have a favorite toy.

12. Don't hold a grudge.

13. When someone is having a bad day – nuzzle him gently.

14. If you feel like it, shake and let the drool fly.

15. Eat each meal with vigor and enjoy anything that's offered.

16. Sleep in any position you find comfortable.

17. Scratch where it itches.

18. Protect and defend those you love.

19. What you look like doesn't matter – it's what is in your heart (and the way someone rubs your tummy).

20. Enjoy every day to it's fullest – even if you are sick, in pain, deaf, blind, wheelchair (cart) bound or just not mentally all there.

21. Take pride in following the rules.

22. Accept praise and attention without giving excuses.

For more heartwarming thoughts – go to Things Dogs Can Teach Humans or...If a Dog were a Teacher...You Would Learn Stuff Like.

Related Articles■Great Book Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover - Volume II
■Great Book Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover - Volume I
■Do You Love Your Pet Too Much?
■When Pets Get in the Way of Love
■Do Our Pets Really Love Us?
■Love in All The Wrong Places

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