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Sunday, October 16, 2011

A sneak peak at "Golden Sunrise" Part 1

Well, aren't you lucky? :) I'm going to post a little sneak peak of "Golden Sunrise" for you to read if you so desire. It is still in the rough draft stage and so I don't think that it will turn out exactly like this, but it's a start. If you read any of my other books, you will "get it" more, but I will take the time to explain that the story is told through Cheyenne, a Palomino horse who is accompanying her master Jared who is a soldier defending the famous fort Alamo in Texas. William Travis and Bowie were the commanders of the Texan army that was stationed at the Alamo, if you have any other questions or critiques feel free to post them as a comment. However, just ignore the typos, as this is a lot to type out for you and I'm not the most patient editor/rereader in the world so you'll just have to ignore any mistakes if they're not too huge. I'm going to give you about half a chapter from the middle of the book, divided into two parts.

Crraaack!

The cannon let off loudly, scattering the terrified horses into the corner of the horse pen. I laid my ears flat against my head, agitated. I looked up to the main wall of the mission to see Jared standing next to the famous Davy Crockett, his rifle to his shoulder. Davy wore fringed buckskin and a coonskin cap, his rifle popping loudly every now and then to pick of the Mexicans who were advancing closer and closer to the thick walls of the Alamo. Jared did the same.

Every once in awhile the entire mission would rumble as it took a blow from a distant cannon. I paced around the place nervously. How I wished that I could be up top to see all the action! The thousands of Mexican soldiers lined up in columns, the officers in their striking bright red and blue uniforms with shiny brass buttons, the cottonwood trees that stood silently on the Texan plains, seemingly watching the advancing troops but taking no part in the action. I knew it was dangerous, but I wanted to see what was going on, at least I didn't want to stand idle; I really wanted to be of some assistance.

My nose stung with the bitter smell of gunpowder and smoke as it became stronger and stronger, and I grew more anxious. The men, however, seemed to be quite calm given the circumstances.

Santa Anna was planning to put the Alamo under siege before he attacked the mission. Why would he bother to launch a sudden attack and waste hundreds of soldiers' lives when he could simply wait until starvation and despair overcame the defenders of the Alamo, and then they would be forced to surrender. But the one thing that the Mexican officers didnt' know about was the grit and determination of the American fighters. There would be no surrender.

Not long after the fighting had begun, James Bowie collapsed in the plaza of the Alamo. Men rushed to help him up, no one knew what had overcome the tall, strong knife-fighter but he quickly became so ill that he had to be laid in his bed because he could not stand.

Bowie was so weak that he could not even help lead the men anymore. At his bedside he turned over full command to Travis.

The day went on with little firing. No one was hurt, but the men's morale had taken a direct hit. The sun set over the horizon and nightfall was soon upon us. One of the men passed steaming coffee around to the volunteers as some of them began to make preparations to get some rest.

Some of the men were wrapped in blankets as they sipped their coffee, their eyes blankly staring off into the distance, their minds contemplating the day's events. Others made their way to the barracks. A few men were stationed at each of the four sides of the Alamo's walls, watching and waiting for Santa Anna's attack.

I lifted my head and pricked my ears, my eyes searching into the darkness. What did I just hear? It couldn't be . . .

Friday, October 14, 2011

Curse Google Accounts, Now I'm Bitter

Once again I haven't been on here very often, part of the reason is because of the fact that my google account keeps getting messed up, don't know how, but it is frustrating me terribly. So, some good news, my books are now available for sale on Amazon.com!

Here is Appaloosy

and Dusty's Trail is Here

awesome, huh? I'm so glad, now people who don't know me will be more willing to buy my books. And for those of you who have had a chance to read them and enjoyed them, pass the word on, please!

Also, I have a page on Facebook for my books. Like it if you have a facebook account! Mattie Richardson, ND's Teen Author/Appaloosy Books

So, once again, thanks for reading even though I don't post very often!

Mattie

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another Update

Man I wish I had time to write on this blog. But with 4-6 people constantly using this computer, parents who won't let me have internet on my own computer, and six + hours a day taken up by that horrible chore called school, this blog always get shoved to the back burner.

I am trying to post more. Its just going to have to be occasionally instead of every day. I even started typing out a part of "Golden Sunrise" for you to read, but I won't be able to get that up for awhile until I get a good chunk of uniterrupted computer time, as its pretty long.

But I have a picture for you of something fun that I got to get. Soooo Cuuuuttee!






I was going to call them "Storm" and "Dusty" after the two characters in my book, but the little black one seemed like a better Storm to me so they are dubbed Storm and Stardust.

All for now,

Mattie



Sunday, July 3, 2011

♪ So some good news ♫

  I've been invited to a convention for North Dakota Authors and Librarians only!! Yay! I'm not completely sure what it is, but I know it is to introduce North Dakota authors to the librarians in the area.

Working hard I guess on Blackberry Blossom. Thank you guys for the ideas! Golden Sunrise is getting revised right now. My mom read it. I like to have her read it overall to see what she thinks of it. I love how she circles all of the horse terms and wonders what the are. "What does this mean??" she writes. :) Lets see. Do you know them? You should. Some of the terms she didn't understand: true collection, leads, pace. haha. I can't wait to send Golden Sunrise off to the publishing house! It's got a lot of work to go though . . . .

Check out bookblogger's interview on her blog here: http://booknook4you.blogspot.com/2011/06/author-interview-with-mattie-richardson.html . Thanks bookblogger! (haha thanks for snagging that horrible picture of me. :P)

Also, my friend Lulu is hosting a givaway on her blog. I am sponsoring it with one of my books. Check it out and see if you can win a copy! http://movies4him.blogspot.com/

Any of you have facebook? My parents finally said it was alright, so maybe I can make some new friends. :)

Mattie

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A bit of an update, I guess =)

Okay, so here's what's been going on with my books. Appaloosy has been doing okay, with still about 350 copies sold, but I haven't been doing anything with them really. (which I should) Dusty's Trail sales have been going well, but I really need to order more.

Golden Sunrise (my third horse story) is finished but my mom cannot find the time to read through it (I gave it to her to read about two months ago) so I might take the manuscript back and check it myself then send it off to the real editor. Getting my books published hinges on so many things, deadlines, people and money; it seems like something that wouldn't be too hard but by the time you mess around with all the details it takes forever. It frustrates me so much when I can't get things done because of other people or because of my finacial situation.

I have been working a little bit on Blackberry Blossom. It is a story about a vagrant teenage girl in the 1930's who survives by riding the rails and playing the fiddle for a place to stay, etc. I think this one is going to be a teen novel and I am adding a bit of a love interest in it. :) Any ideas for me dear readers? I seem to be stuck in a rut a little bit with the main conflict, as it seems this story is just turning out to be a long sequence of events. (arrghh.) I think the main conflict is mostly about how she didn't get along well in her family situation (the reason she runs away from home) that she will eventually have to come to terms with in the end of the book. Tell me what you think. (!)

I really need to get my act together in the marketing part though,too. I guess I have the writing part down pretty well by now, its just the selling that I need to work on. :) Let me hear your thoughts.

Thanks!
Mattie

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thanks guys

Okay, apparently people do read this blog. :) Wow. Thanks guys for the comments, they make me feel a little better. Life has been crazy, so I guess I do have a bit of an excuse for not writing, but not much. My grandma was very ill in the hospital and my family went up to South Dakota to visit her in the hospital. (there is also no internet in her home :p) We were there for about two weeks, then we came home. Two days later she died. We went back up for the funeral and stayed for another week. Then my mother and half of the siblings stayed in South Dakota and went through my grandma's things, and the other half and dad and I stayed home, so I have been busy babysitting and keeping up with our house for about another two weeks while mom was gone.

But now things are finally back to normal. Well, somewhat normal. I've got to go to work now, but in my next post I'll give you some updates on what's been going on with my writing. And btw, I love the comments and keep me posted on your writing too! I'm trying not to give up.

♥Mattie

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Okay I'll post again

Hi there blogger friends
Just read the comments. Wow. I didn't know that people actually read this blog. Lets see how many people even read this post. Truth is, I'm getting discouraged. Nobody cares about teenage authors, except for other teenage authors as I'm finding out. Life has been crazy lately.

Your disappointing blogger friend,

Mattie

Sunday, March 27, 2011

MIA: Mattie Richardson

Ahem. I, uh, Mattie Richardson, seem to be missing in action lately. I am sorry blogger friends, life just always seems to get in the way. I need to work on my other blog too, before I get too behind on answers. I will try to get that done today too.

Tommorrow I go to make balloon animals for kids at a party in Enderlin. It sounds fun, its the second job I've had doing it. On April 14 I will be talking to another school (this time in Minnesota) about Appaloosy. And I've been invited to be a special guest at the "Taste Of Norway" thing going on in Enderlin, I'm supposed to play my fiddle in between dances, make balloon hats and swords, and teach kids guitar chords as part of nordic challange. Boy, my planner is filling up fast.

That's what mainly has been going on, but there has been some fun things for me to do too. I am working again at a greenhouse about a mile away where I mainly enjoy the scent of beautiful green flowers and feel the glorious sun filtering through the greenhouse while outside there is still snow on the ground with a nasty 20 degree high. I would almost work there for free sometimes, but I do need money for some things.

I rolled my car on the way to fargo and now I am stuck with my huge black van again. Hey old pal, and hello teasing again. I really am going to try to get the car fixed though so we can have something with good gas milage.

Sold out of 100 copies of Dusty's Trail in less than four weeks, I need to order more but I dont have any money. The Ransom County Gazette wants to do an article on my second book but I want to make sure that I have books if I do that.

So that is what has been going on mostly. And I'll try to keep up more often. :)

Mattie

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why do I always get so nervous

when I have to perform? arrgh, I'm antsy. And it's not even that big. Today at about 2:15 I will be going to the senior citizens center in Enderlin to play violin and make balloon animals for a birthday party. I don't even really know what to expect, but there are going to be elderly people there and about 18 kindergartners. Whew!
     And I am SOO out of practice too. But I guess kindergartners can't tell the difference between bad violin playing and good playing, especially if they've never heard a violin player before anyway, so it should go okay.
     I am going to do balloon stuff too. I'm going to keep it simple: Hat, dog or sword. Hopefully the balloons will stay together with those kids bashing them around but I guess all I can do is make them. :P I'll let you know how it goes.
   
Wish me luck,

♥Mattie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review--Mixed Bags (The Carter House Girls) by Melody Carlson

  "Mixed Bags" is an appropriate title for this Christian teen novel, about a teen girl named DJ who lives with her grandmother, who was a previous 60's fashion icon, in a large Victorian home. DJ's grandmother decides to open it as a boarding house to take in girls who may become models.
   This wasn't exactly my kind of story--I definitely cannot relate to fashion-crazy girls living together in one house, doing pretty much whatever they pleased for most of the time. I did relate, however, to the main character DJ's tomboyishness and desire to be her own person, but that wore off of her and she started to become a name-brand fashion model girl toward the end, with way-too-expensive clothing and bleached blond highlights to match.
   It was well-written, but the plot seemed to be rather weak and DJ's decision to become a Christian appears to be somewhat random and out-of -the blue.
     Just so you know, there are some topics touched that I don't think went overboard, but the book would have been okay without them .(drinking, smoking and some kissing a boy scenes)
    All-in-all, it is a "fast food" kind of writing in the book. It's not a good reading diet but it will keep you wanting more. It is pretty short, too, and I read the whole thing in a couple of hours. If you are interested in fashion and girl fights, and see this book in the library, maybe you could get it. But I don't recommend that you pay $9.99 for it, no matter how much you appreciate fashion.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just another everyday adventure

In the life of Mattie J. Richardson, Author, performer, fine musician and part time grocery clerk. Haha. When your living life as a homeschooled teenager you have to find adventure in everyday things.

   This last Friday I worked Freight at the grocery store in town. I've never done it before, but one of my friends who worked was sick and sort of asked me to fill in for him. Let me tell you this, first of all: freight is at 4 o'clock in the morning!
    The truck comes at four so we are supposed to be there to open all the packages and put them on the shelves and in the freezers. So, I set my alarm for 3:30, got up and started the van to let it run for awhile, then got dressed and cleaned up and put a little makeup on.
   Another thing to tell you: Freight is for Boys Only! At least that's what my boss thinks. He was pretty surprised when I showed up. He just asked me who I was working for and sent me over with Dillion to teach me what to do. We basically opened tons of boxes and stocked the shelves. There was only 3 other boys and me, there was supposed to be one other kid who didn't show up.
    I was given aisle 4, cereal and soup aisle. I have a hard time sometimes working carryout because the top of the shelves are too high for me to reach; so of course there was a ton of stuff that had to be put up top. Hey, I wasn't going to show myself as a defenseless little girl though, so I grabbed the metal carryout cart and used it for a ladder. Not without nearly falling off and bashing my shin into it, though. I winced in pain very, very quietly. But boy, I was super glad that I was all by myself in aisle 4! It was kinda funny now that I think about it, but at least I didn't actually fall with a huge crash. That would have been really embarrassing!
We only had about three pallets of groceries so we got done by about 6:00, and it was still dark outside.
   When I got home I cooked myself a hot pocket that I bought, read blogs for awhile, then crashed into bed around 7:30. My little brother woke me up at nine and then I did school and went to work at 2 for my "real" shift. I was super tired.
    But, it's always fun to learn new things. And, I guess, I learned after all, it's always boring to work freight.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Update on The Giveaway




  Okay, so I hoped the winners of the prizes recieved them in the mail!! Here's an update on where I think they stand:

Anora got her blog featured but was unable to give me her mailing address. :( I was glad that I could feature her blog though.

Nela received her prizes! She even sent me a picture! (It's a little blurry because of my email conversion, but isn't she cute?)


                                                                            

Bookblogger's copy of Appaloosy was sent out but I haven't heard from her yet. Did you get the book yet?

Scezzle -- I am sorry. I sent your book out a week ago but got it back because a new person at the post office didn't know how to do international media mail properly. So I sent it off again on Saturday. Sorry for the delay, and let me know when you get it!

And I drew another name for the Breyer Horse + a copy of Appaloosy (sorry I'm changing the prize a little because I'm out of Dusty's Trail) and so

Sierra from Mission Cool

gets them if she's able to give me her mailing address. Congratulations!!

♥Mattie

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trying out a new blog . . .

  Okay, so I'm designing a new blog called, "ask me anything" and it is just that--a website where you can have a complete stranger answer your most puzzling question on life. :) Check it out at http://askdanielleanything.blogspot.com/ and please--ask me a question! It's kind of an experiment but we'll see how it works. I only have one post for now, but I'll post more information (and questions with their answers) later.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

♥♥♥ OUR AMAZING FEATURED BLOG ♥♥♥ (and how to make little hearts)

Hey Everybody--
   I think that you should check out my friend Anora's Awesome Blog called Live Laugh Love !!
 
create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

  Anora's blog is one of my favorite kinds--it is very cute and simple. Just one girl's blog on living, laughing and loving. The background/design is adorable. Posts are interesting, though I'd like to see them more often. (hey--I guess I shouldn't talk:) She puts up a lot of pictures too and gathers reader interaction too. So, if you want to check out a new blog by a pretty cool girl, use the link above and why not give her a follow? ;)

And also (drumroll please) the SECRET to making cool little HEARTS on your computer:
 It's really easy, it's just finding out how to do it that's hard. I'm a little hesitant to show you myself. (ha ha) All you need to do is make sure num lock is on, then press alt and "3" at the same time, exactly the same time. ♥ There's other cool things you can do to, like ☻ ♦ ◘ ○ ♣ ☺ See if you can discover more!

Mattie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sorry I haven't posted for so long . . .

It just seems like sometimes that nobody reads this stuff, though I know that isn't really true. I have been having kind of a busy time lately --- here's the rundown on what's been happening in my life:

  1. I got in big trouble. That's as much as you need to know. My parents are forcing me to quit my job at the grocery store and they're going to try to keep me at home alot. *stupid laugh* We'll see how that works out.
  2. I found a bass player and a drummer. Yes! You wouldn't know how hard that is to do in this small, boring little town. Now my problem is figuring out how to convince them that a girl guitarist can be just as good as a dude.
  3. I finished the rough draft of Golden Sunrise. Emphesis on "rough", as it is very.
  4. I got invited (sort of) to prom at our local high school.
  I am trying to figure out what to do with my grand prize. I think I am just going to draw another name. Anora, however will get her blog featured, which I will do in the next post. I guess I'll let you guys know who wins the two books and the breyer horse the next post, too.

Your boring friend,
   Mattie

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Still Waiting for my Knight in Shining Armor . . .

   Sorry, it's the day after Valentine's Day, but I wrote this little chunk in my Diary one day and thought you girls might like it if I shared it with you:

                                                      ♥ ♥ ♥

     I'm still waiting for my knight in shining armor.
     My Knight will be kind, honest, and brave. Most of all, he won't be selfish. He will consider my feelings and I will consider his. He will be my best friend in the whole world and we will never let each other down. He will always love to be with me and will never be embarassed by me. He'll love to talk to me but he'll listen when I talk.
     Sure, we'll fight sometimes. But we will always make up again. He'll be able to realize that I'm only human.  He won't criticize me and maybe he'll be so amazing that I won't be able to criticize him.  We'll do simple things like bake cookies together and have snowball fights, go horseback riding and play guitars.
     He won't come to save me from dragons or castles, or anything like that really.
He comes to save me from myself.
 I don't want to be in a fantasy, in a "teenage dream"; I want to be in real life. He'll call me away from my writing and I'll actually want to go. My head will be swarming with writing projects, characters, devices, but they'll actually leave when he talks to me. He will pull me out from the deepest, darkest corners of my soul and will hold me close. He'll bring me back to life again.
     I'm still waiting for my knight in shining armor. And I may be waiting forever.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday {sorta} Writing Tip

Writing is not even half of it.


The other half I really don't like. It's the half where I market, promote, sell, talk, ask, get disappointed, get happy, sell more books, drive, walk, freeze, drive, ask, sign, sign till my fingers are numb, answer questions, ask questions, design, pay, fill out forms, and talk some more.
      *Sigh*. The real life of an author.
    Yesterday I went to Thompson, North Dakota to talk to the Elementary school there. They made this nice sign for me that you can see. I had to be there at 8:30 and it was a two hour drive so I woke up at 5:30 to leave at six. My dad drove, so I got to sleep a little. :)
     I was really nervous but the more I talked I think the better I got. I only talked for like 10 minutes, then I answered questions. Some of the younger kid's questions were funny. I got one,
    "Do you have a car?"
   I laughed. "Why . . .yes. Yes, I do. Actually it's my dad's car but I drive it all the time so I call it my car." But they did have a lot of good questions, too. After everything was over, I'd say it was pretty good. It was the second school I've been to.

   I've sent out the prizes now to the people to have given me their shipping info. Look for the package with the Appaloosa mailing labels. You should expect them within 3-8 days depending on where you live.

ANORA and SCEZZLE: I haven't gotten your information yet. Please let me know by the end of this week if you are able to participate. If not, please let me know so that I can release the reserve names that I drew. Thanks.

♥Mattie

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Funny Cat Pictures----

 . . . I Love them!

I have decided, however, that I don't realy like giveaways too much. Too stressful! I hope none of you are mad you didn't win. I did try to give away a lot of prizes, more than $50 worth, acutally. So let's lighten up with some funny pictures of stupid cats.












Ha ha! Although I wish whomever made these would spend some time getting the words spelled right > > > > > Thes ones sem to be ok tho. :D

♥Mattie

Friday, February 4, 2011

And the winners are . . . .

  So, Finally! I've got the winners for the Appaloosy Giveaway! I tried to make it as fair as possible and made all the papers with names basically the same size, and I wanted to put them in a cowboy hat, basically for the novelty of the thing, but I couldn't find one and ended up using a mixing bowl. :) So, the first name I drew was: (not surprisingly)


Congratulations! I'm glad you got it, because if anyone deserved it, you certainly did!
Second place goes to:



Pleasant surprise! Congrats, Nela.


Third place:


B.B. Short for bookblogger! (hey my hand got kind of tired after writing all those names)
And because I made you all wait for another day, i decided to add another honorary prize. (The winner can pick either Appaloosy or Dusty's Trail for me to send to you)
And the name I drew was . . .






 So make sure to give me your shipping details, I will send them out on Monday. You can either comment and I won't publish it or you can email me. The one thing I ask of the winners is that after they recieve the package they are to send me a picture of themselves with their prizes. (If your photo on the internet is a problem, let me know, but I would really like the winners to do this!)

 Thanks again to everyone who entered the giveaway, I can't wait for my next one . . . =D
♥Mattie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sorry!

Sorry girls I'll have to wait until tommorrow to tell you who wins. :( I am selling books at the capitol in Bismarck today and I'll be gone all day.
Tommorrow, I promise.
♥Mattie

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Conversation with Cheyenne

  MJR: Hi there Cheyenne. So, you are the new character in my book. How's that going for you?

Cheyenne: I don't really have any choice in the matter, do I?
 
MJR: Well, of course you don't. I am the author, so I get to decide what happens to you. But you should be happy. If it weren't for me, you'd just be another boring, non-talking horse. So, let's get to know a little more about you. What is the main event in this book, Golden Sunrise?

Cheyenne: Well, it's mostly about myself and my rider Jared going to defend the Alamo in 1836.

MJR: Why did Jared decide to call you Cheyenne? I mean, that's kind of a weird name.

Cheyenne: Well, I was born in a place the Cheyenne valley so that's what my first master called me. Even though the name stuck, Jared still has a secret name for me: Aurelia.

MJR: (Scribbling in a notebook) Hmmm. That's a great element of the story. Well, I'll have to remember that. Why would he call you Aurelia then?

Cheyenne: Aurelia is Spanish for golden. He calls me that because of my beautiful Palomino coat. He also believes that if you have a secret name for a horse, the horse will be closer to you. I think so too.

MJR: ARRGH! I feel so stupid. I'm seventeen years old and I still talk to horses. And imaginary ones at that.

Cheyenne: If you don't do it, who will?

MJR: I guess that's true. I have to keep on with my series, anyway, even if I am older now. Gotta keep those avid readers busy! More than 350 copies of Appaloosy sold, all those people are waiting for more. And I guess it is good to keep older reader's imaginations working, too.
To change the subject: What is different about you and my other two horses, Storm and Dusty?

Cheyenne: I don't know. I'd say I'm a lot braver than Dusty, and maybe just a little more loyal than Storm. And, I am a mare. That's different.

MJR: Don't get too full of yourself!

Cheyenne: Hey, you're the one who created me.

MJR: Oh yeah. Can you give me any more ideas for this story?

Cheyenne: I thought that was the point of this conversation. You're the one who is supposed to come up with ideas.

MJR: Well, what can you tell me is special about this story? What makes it stand out from my others?
Cheyenne: (Grinning as much as a horse can) Well, you'll have to read it and find out.

The Alamo as it looks today.


The flag of the republic of Texas

Cheyenne is a Palomino horse!!
                                                                             

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giveaway Closed

 So I can't wait to see who wins!! I'll announce the winners on Thursday. Some people have let me know that they aren't allowed to be in the contest, that's fine, I'm thankful that you follow and read this blog anyway!
We also have someone else who is entered in the givaway now, Katie. Looks like another writer! :)
  Also, please answer the poll underneath the followers gadget letting me your approx. age. I am curious, but if I know too it will help me determine what to post. I've been thinking about more book excerpts, how about you?
   I am almost finished with Golden Sunrise, I am at about 18,000 words and my horse stories usually run between 20 and 30 so we'll see. I'm not really a word counter, anyway. It's just when the story's done, it's done. I still need to have my mom read it and then my editor, and then you never know with the publishing house, it could take 1-2 months just getting it published. So it's safe to say I still won't have it for at least another 3-6 months. But that doesn't mean I can't let you take a look!
♥Mattie

Monday, January 31, 2011

On Pen Names and Such

I've always wondered about pen names. If maybe I should use one? Do you use one? What do you think?
So far, there would be no reason for me to use a pen name. I just use my real name. But I have considered other names. I've thought about M.J. Richardson to put on my novels, but then I realized M.J. also stands for Michael Jackson, and people would be constantly asking me what my middle name was.
   I've also thought about Matty Richardson or even going a little farther with Matt Richardson if I didn't want people to know so much about me. I've also considered keeping the Mattie (it is kind of unusual, the spelling anyway) with a different last name. Mattie Taylor kind of suits me. I also have thought about going all the way with a pen name for something totally different, most likely with the first name Free.

What would your pen name be?

♥Mattie

And P.S. Which one do you like for me?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

People who are entered in my giveaway

Okay, when I started I told myself that I would count each time everyone was entered when they commented me and told me why they were entered. Well, life got in the way, people don't always tell me everything, it seems like people told me some things twice . . . but I have gone through all the comments, blogs, etc to compile this list. So the contest ends officially on the first.
  Just to double check. Here's everyone who's entered in the contest. If there is a (1) by your name that means your entered once. If there's nothing, you're entered 2-4 times. A heart (♥) means you have your name entered five or more times. If you feel that any of this is wrong, please let me know!!!

Lulu (1)
Wheezer(1)
Lauren(1)
Sierra (from mission cool)
Tianna
Shelley (1)
Nela
Scezzle
Becca Isler(1)
Arianna (1)
Sierra (from Whispers of the Wind) (1)
Nature Freak (1)
Anora ♥
+Flamingo Pink+
Book Blogger♥
Ellyn
Raindazzle
Ceara (1)
Stephen Baird(1)
Michele (1)

People I've missed, they changed their names or stopped following, or What? PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE ON THIS LIST, WHAT HAPPENED. :)
Allegra Rockwell--what is your name now?
Crazzee Bookworm
Alistar of Woodland
Salome Unger
REMEMBER, you only can be entered if you are currently following too. :)

Hope everyone sees this before the first!

And remember too, it doesn't always matter how many times you are entered. You just have a better chance  at winning. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who was only entered once won the grand prize. :P

♥Mattie

Saturday, January 29, 2011

They're Finally Here!

My copies of Dusty's Trail are FINALLY here! I'm so excited. No pictures of my excitement though. I am feeling winter-depressed and some pictures of my ugly self on the internet will not help.



  It looks so much better in real life. =D


An inspirational pile of packaged books to be sent off


 And here are some of the books I have to send out, asap! Including a copy to the school in Thompson, North Dakota where I will be speaking.

And BTW you have only TWO MORE DAYS to enter the giveaway, Dusty's Trail is included as one of the prizes. I am going to add up how many times each person is entered and post it tommorrow. That is your chance to bring up any arguments or tell me if you would rather not be entered, etc. So get some more friends to follow.

Thanks a bunch, blogger friends!
♥Mattie

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday Writing Tip (a day late as usual)

Wednesday Writing Tip--
    Keeping a Journal

Jeez, it seems like I have been running out of ideas for our Wednesday Writing Tips. I've covered nearly everything in novel writing, so maybe I should switch things up a little. Here are some of the best reasons to keep a journal:

1. It's a great way of personal reflection
 Unlike blogging, you can really insert your personal feelings here. NO ONE on this whole earth has ever read my journal, and I intend to keep it that way. The way I felt on my sixteenth birthday, how scared I was the first (and so far--only) time I got pulled over for speeding, the crazy obsession I sometimes have for fitting in; it's all there. I can look back on that with the benefit of hindsight, and I can see how stupid or how right I may have been.

2. It will improve your writng skills
 The best way to improve your writing is, well, writing. Though you may not follow all grammer rules and paragraph structure and all that, it really is a good way to get the ink flowing.

3. It will generate even more writing ideas.
 "Hey--that's a good idea for a story. Maybe I could use that as a foreshadow. Wow, I really put a lot of detail into that description. Why? Wait, maybe my life would be a great story!" I sometimes find these things as I flip through my journal. The more you write in this book, the more inspiration you will find from the best source you have available: the depths of your imaginative mind.

4. It's the best way to vent.
 This is one of my favorite things about journaling. I have a bad temper, and sometimes I run upstairs to my room with the hot tears flowing down my face, my head swirling with the words that I have to get down on paper. Being in a big family is hard. A lot of times I think my mom and dad don't give a snap about how I feel, they're always too busy to even notice me, so I turn to my two best friends, a pen and paper.
  And I always feel ten times better after I have it written down, out of my system. It doesn't matter what I write, just as long as it's out.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I hate mornings.

 Arrgh. I hate mornings.
  I love that fuzzy line between sleep and awakness, that point in time where I dream most, and just as my prince is coming to get me, I grab a spoon to start eating that mountain of chocolate brownie ice cream, or when I just put my pen to sign the line give over the movie rights away for my new novel, I wake up. I love dream life. Partially because it's almost always summer there.
   Mornings are when the urge to sleep overcomes the urge to wake up and get something done. Arrgh again. I cover my head with my pillow try to open my eyes. I know I have to wake up, or I will be doing school all day. I finally put in my earbuds and crank up some Skillet as loud as my mp3 will go. Still my body refuses to listen. The dog jumps up on my bed and licks my face, mom yells at me again, and finally my brother pulls the blankets away and I fall onto the floor. Ouch. I am awake.
    On the other side of things, I love nights! It's the time when I'm most awake, when my mind works quickest, when most of my ideas come to me. It's when I can write, and write, and write without running out of steam. When I can play my guitar till dawn without getting tired. When I can just sit, listen to music, and think clearly.
     Arrgh. Third time. I wish that God would make my mornings and evenings switch.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Poem For You

 I kind of always wrote poems, but since I began playing the guitar I've switched over a little more to song lyrics. Well, as I was cleaning out my room a little today, (emphasis on a little!:) I found an old notebook of poems I wrote. I picked one out that I kind of liked to post today:

I thank you God for this day
For all the things you give away
Each new morning slowly coming in
Taking off where the last one's been

For the birds that sing each mornin'
The lovely blue sky they soar in
For the sweet small drips of dew,
Who made them all for me, You.

The soft hoot of an owl,
I'm finally roused out of bed now,
To look outside and say,
Thank you God, for this day.

 As you can probably tell, I'm not much good with the whole rhyme and rhythm thing in poetry, which is probably why I don't try to get it published. Do any of you write poetry? (I know Shelley does =) Give me some tips or post some of yours on you blog for me to read.
I also want to enter another one of Scezzle's contests. I'm going to enter the drawing one, in the Animals category. I have two. Which one do you think I should use?

My scanner wasn't big enough to fit this,
but you can see most of it. I entered this one in
the county fair and won a blue.

Here's a kind of disproportional horse- but hey,
I tried!


Thanks,
♥Mattie

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Listen to this Radio Commercial--If you Get it, You Will Die Laughing

Ha ha!!



     Save the Spotted Ferret Bat! This was really played on a radio station in Minnesota! I heard it when we used to live there. I love people's sense of humor sometimes. I'm not real big on contributing money to animals that are going extinct, there's better way to spend my money. This doesn't change my mind either. :D
 Thanks all for the kind comments on the last post! I don't know when I'm going to be speaking, but I can't wait.
  So the votes are in for my header too. The majority say that they like it! Though there was one person with a "no", I wonder if that person would be saucy enough to tell me who she is  . . .
 I just realized something too. This blog needs more pictures of my life! That means I'm going to have to get off my lazy bum and start shooting with my parent's camera. *Shudders* I am a horrible photographer. Maybe blogging will help.
♥Mattie

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yay! (This is good, right?)

 I've checked my parent's email today for anything of interest to me, usually there's nothing good in there but I thought I'd better check. Well, inside I found an email from a public school in North Dakota asking me to go talk about Appaloosy! Yay!
   Although I hate speaking to people this is really good publicity and also gives me some more practice in public speaking, and not getting so nervous and all that. Kids are so much easier to talk to than adults. I just emailed the teacher back. Hope it will be fun!
♥Mattie

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Ego-Building Book

The Ego Building Book

{Only to be looked at once a month or less}

   I'm feeling particularly down today, so I will pull out my ego building book. It's not much, just an old binder with scraps of paper left in there. I find two articles I wrote for the Valley Equestrian when I was fourteen. I find an award from the Creative Communications Poetry contest. I laugh at how poorly I look in the front page story of "Sheldon Teen Writes Book". I smile at the buckle I won for overall senior horse showman I found in the pocket of the binder. I keep on looking through all this stuff I keep for this reason.
  When I am finished,  I close it and put it back in the bottom of the file cabinet. The world still needs me! I am ready to go on.

        


***

 Do you have an ego building book yet? It may seem to be bad to a lot of people, to seem to be saying "Look at me and all I've accomplished!" but I don't think it is. As long as you don't let it get to your head, one of these books can really be helpful!
  Just do it. Get a binder, fill it up with some things that are important to you, things that really show what you've accomplished. Then close it and put it somewhere where you won't think about it. Then when you're feeling down or depressed, like giving up on writing or on horseback riding or art or whatever it is that you really enjoy, pull out your ego-building book. It will really help you out. It will make you want to get up and do something!
♥Mattie

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing Tip Wednesday




I love writing

I hate writing

Sometimes I enjoy writing.

I am feeling like a horrible writer. I am so stumped. I haven't written anything for almost two weeks. I haven't done any marketing with Appaloosy. I still don't have Dusty's Trail. My Cheyenne of Golden Sunrise refuses to talk to me. I can't even think of anything to write for Writing Tip Wednesday.
 It's your turn.


Vent.
Sometimes writing is so very hard in different ways. Pour our your frustrations. Maybe they will give me an idea for my writing. (Ha ha. But wait, maybe . .. ) I could use your help. :S I don't have any ideas for posts right now so see below for my answers to the comments I have been reading. Thanx,
♥Mattie


Friday, January 14, 2011

Some Things You Should Never Try

 Hi there bloggers! Today at 5:00 I will be leaving for a youth winter retreat. I'm so excited! Finally a weekend I can spend with some friends. I have made a commitment not to think about Golden Sunrise, my song lyrics, my teen novel or blogging so this will be the last post for a couple days. I might post again on Sunday. For this post I've decided to give you kind of a funny list of things that I think you probably shouldn't try unless you're really determined.
And BTW, I have done everything on this list.

1. You should not try trick riding unless you have been trained by someone who knows what they are doing. Results could be any of the following: horse being frightened, you being frightened, broken legs, arms, or wrists, and/or people thinking that you are stupid.
 Though it would help if I had an arena instead of just a long gravel road.



Hey-it looks fun, right?

  2. Driving with no headlights
  Hey, this should seem like a no-brainer. But I'm a big fan of cop chases and the such, though I probably would never get into one sometimes I like to dream. How far down the gravel road can I get with no headlights? Pretty far, it turns out.



3. And as long as we're in the car section--how about just Doing Stupid Stuff with you're car (or van) in general
 Which, for me, includes the following:
 Racing
 Attempting to get through a five-foot tall snowdrift with a six-foot tall car
 Cookies or Dougnuts
 Seeing how fast you can drive backwards without going in the ditch
 Constantly trying to do that cool parking move you always see in the movies


I admit that I'm kinda jealous of this guy.



4. Blowing kisses at an event that you probably shouldn't have.
I blew kisses to everyone when I was crowned queen of royal court in 4-H. Everyone laughed and a whole bunch of people called my leader and asked her if she made me do it. I was wearing a tiara and holding roses so I thought maybe it would be appropriate . . .

I may try to be a princess-but the only thing I
am really able to be is a Dairy Queen

5. Experimenting with a deep fat fryer
  Hey! How do they make fried candy bars? What would a fried cone taste like? Do you think that we could fry an oreo without it falling apart?
  I don't think knowing the answers has helped me out one bit. But it did make up for some serious boredness.
 
 Same goes for blowing up ice cream cones with leftover fire crackers--it sounds amazing, but isn't as exciting as it would seem.

Exciting.

No, it really isn't that






            +







 6. Teach yourself to play an instrument


It would be so nice to just be able to take lessons!!! So far I have taught myself fiddle and electric guitar, though I would recommend that you take lessons for whatever instrument you're playing if you don't live 60 miles away from a teacher.
  Wait a minute, I did get 1 fiddle lesson. From a university fiddle teacher, and for free actually. He said I was great for doing it on my own, but my technique was horrible, my posture unbelivable (as in bad!!) and that I was doing enough work to play 10 fiddles. *sigh* That's one reason why it's good to get a teacher.


  I feel so weird sometimes. Like sometimes you blogger people are the only people in this whole world who really know me. Please don't think I'm weird. Well, it's okay if you think I'm weird, because I am, but don't think I'm abnormal or crazy or anything like that. I'm just very honest and sincere. I know a lot of these things are bad, but this isn't my everday, it's my inner wild child that expresses itself sometimes. I wanted to give you tons of pictures for this post, so hope you like it.
 It may be quiet at Appaloosy Dreams for a little while, but you'll know why. Feel free to comment away, I ♥ comments and I try my best to answer each one that is directed to me. Thanks!

♥Mattie

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing Tip Wednesday

 Where Am I Going With This Writing?
      Considering Publishing Your Work

  So we've all heard it: "When are you going to get this published? Are you going to get this published?"
  But is getting published really what you're aiming for?

   The first thing you'll want to figure out and think about are your goals and what your future in writing looks like. Are you a person who plans on being a writer when you're older? And if you are, do you really think that you are going to write full-time? Be a freelance writer? Make it big with traditional publishers? (yeah, right!)
     If you are, sketch out your plan now. It's never too early. If you really plan on being a full-time writer, you'll want to 1) get great grades in English and Writing and 2) have as much stuff published as possible. But never sacrifice quality for quantity.
   I wouldn't really know a lot about this, because I don't plan on writing full-time when I grow up. I know it will always be a part of what I'm doing, but my whole life won't be devoted to it. I've looked at the facts, and publishing Appaloosy has really given me experience. Being a writer is hard work, and the publishing world is harsh. You'll be admired, sometimes, but mostly you'll have a hard time earning any money and an even harder time pitching stuff to people and dealing with that gut-wrenching feeling of rejection.
   Maybe you're one of those people who never wants to get anything published.  Just writing satisfies you. I really admire those kinds of people, cause it takes guts sometimes. We all want to see our names in print.

  Now: Publishing options. For short stories, articles, poems, etc. Local newspapers and magazines would be the first place to look. I have gotten tons of articles published through this outlet, small-town newspapers are begging for news and can sometimes use other things, and they love having local kids write it for them. Just give the editor a call or email with your pitch!
   When you've done that and are looking for bigger fish to fry, try a regional magazine or newspaper. The Valley Equestrian was my first. They serve about 25 states. Don't be afraid to try! I was terrified to show anyone my first true short story "Spike: My Best Friend" but one day I just closed my eyes and pressed the "Send" button on the email to the top Editor. Surprise! It was published, people sent comments about how they loved the story, (i was forwarded some of them) and now I'm best friends with the editor! You can't be afraid of rejection, or it will keep you away from acceptance (and a lot of other things).
    If you really want to keep going, try for a National Magazine. I haven't done this yet, I have a manuscript  and query waiting to be sent to Parents magazine in my room whenever I get the courage. Just one note on this: Read up and make sure you do it right!
    For novels and nonfiction books, you have three options: Self -publish, Traditional publishing or a combination of the two. Because this is getting a little long, as usual, I think I will take next Wednesday explore the differences in these.
   I'm sorry I lied too. I didn't think I was going to have time to write a post today because I was supposed to go to youth group tonight but I didn't because the people who were going to take me along with them called and said that they couldn't go. So sad!! But at least you get this on the right day!

   

 Thanks for reading,
   ♥Mattie
    

A New Way to Enter the Contest

  Here's a new way to enter the contest--put up my new button on your blog! (Designed by Lulu of Blizzard Blog Design ) Post the link as a comment and then I will enter you another time. Only a couple more weeks until I draw names! And good news--I got one of the prizes in the mail today, and here's a couple pictures to prove it!





I'm thinking that maybe I should just keep this now, it's so pretty! But
a contest is a contest I guess. :D

    Can't wait to see who wins! Hope you guys have a great Wednesday. I have limited time on the computer today, so I will have to post the writing tip tommorrow--I truly am sorry. :S
 Your friend,
♥Mattie

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Entry For Scezzle's Contest

 I figured that since she is having a contest with so many divisions, I should enter at least one of them. I'm going to enter the pet picture one, in the Cute, wait, maybe the Pretty division. (What do you think? Scezzle?)Here's a picture of my Golden Retriever Cody:


     I'm not that great at photography, but it's the best I've got for now. I think I'm going to enter the bedroom makeover contest, too, but first I have to clean my disgusting room!
♥Mattie

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Confessions

  I have been reading a lot of confessions on blogs. But I have been thinking, what constitutes a confession? I think that you should be confessing something that you wouldn't really want people to know, not just spitting out random facts about yourself. I've thought about it, and here are some of my confessions. You may not think about me the same, but everyone has their own little secrets. Some of them are funny, some of them embarassing, some of them . . . . well, we would die if anyone else knew about them.
    But these are a few of mine.
   

Confession-- I like to be with boys more than girls (in general) they're always more fun


Confession--I hate my job.


Confession--I'm afraid of Police officers


Confession--♥Music is my life♥


Confession-- I didn't start wearing any makeup until I was sixteen years old.


Confession-- I'm Stubborn, Arrogant and Criticizing  >:-(

Confession--But I can also be very nice. =)

Confession--When I'm mad at my parents, I love getting into trouble without them knowing.
But when I'm not, I find it hard to betray their trust.


Confession--Sometimes I think I love my van more than some  people


Confession--I hate it when people think we're rich, because we're not.


Confession--The guy I'm crushing on hates my guts



Confession--I get so depressed in winter, and nobody knows. It gets kind of scary. It gets so bad, I think that I can't live through it until one day-- POP spring is here!


Confession-- Almost every day I fear that I will fail in life.  That I won't be smart enough, sucessful enough, good enough. That I will be loser. I fear sometimes that I won't live up to everyone's expectations, that I will get so overwhelmed that I will just give up.



But you know what makes all these secrets easy to deal with and makes some of them go away? Talking to God. Reading his word. That's why it's so hard for me to cope with things if I try to get away from him. I've learned that Always trusting Him  is the best way to go.

What are some of your confessions?
I dare you to put them up on your blog, or comment on them here.

Hoping you think that I'm still normal,
♥Mattie

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Am Now Offering Critique Services

    Now--because I love to read and write I am offering Critique Services for fiction stories. I will read through your manuscript and check for grammatical errors and offer a bit of advice. Here are the terms:

1. Prices are $5 plus postage for manuscripts up to fifteen single sided pages, $10 for 15-30 pages and $15 for 30-80 pages. Postage is usually around 2-4 dollars. I will read fiction in any genre, nonfiction in a few circumstances. (DISCLAIMER--I am not a professional editor and don't pretend to be. You will see that in the prices. Right now I am just interested in helping others out.) If any of you are very talented and proficient in the blogging area (buttons, headers, etc.) we can work out a trade too.

2. You must be under 20 years old for me to read your manuscript at these prices, and you must be unpublished. (self-publishing and small- town newspapers excluded)

3. I probably won't catch every single grammar error, but I promise to do my best and I will probably find quite a few. As for advice, I always try to be kind and helpful and please take it that way. I will offer suggestions on plot & character expansion, foreshadowing, dialogue, etc. but will leave it up to you on how you want your story.

4. If you are interested, please email me at redheadkid7@msn.com with a brief synopsis of your story and when you plan to send your manuscript. I will send you a confirmation email when I receive your manuscript and payment. Please give me about two weeks to complete the critiquing, I will always try to be efficient but if circumstances make it so that I require more time, I will email you and let you know.

Dew you Like Moutain Dew?

     *This is a blog after all, and I think it's time to take a break from all the writing stuff and have some more of personal stuff! =) *
   
      Some weird pictures that my sister took. I miss my Summer DQ days and was frying up some grub for the kids. (I know, unhealty!) with my Mountain Dew Tee. (while taking a break now and then to play some tunes! after washing my hands up of course) I just happen to be extra supper efficent when it comes to frying food and doing something else at the same time. (How else do you think I can accomplish so much in the summer?)
  My sister said, "drink some and I'll take a picture of you!" I was like, "Whatever!" but if you want to see some pictures of me, here you go. Too bad I don't have a kind of photoshop to edit myself a little bit. I wasn't ready for any pictures, but I guess this is more truthful anyway cause it's what I look like a lot of times when I'm at home and nobody cares what I look like. I was going to scan in a pencil drawing that I drew that I thought was kind of interesting and related, but now our scanner isn't working. *sigh*
  I'm trying to learn the song "Free" by Switchfoot and I just couldn't figure it out until suddenly I realized: It's in a different tuning!! (drop d)
   I've got most of it learned, it's just the one hard part with the string bending. (You can hear it if you listen to the guitariest [wait! is that a word?] sounding sound) And also the fact that I don't have a distortion pedal, which makes it sound so weirdly wrong. But oh well.


It had been a long day-don't judge me so much on how I look.
I don't even think I had makeup on. :)


Doesn't my brother look weird?
     I'm hoping that I can save up my money and buy a little video recorder so that I can put up youtube videos of me playing some covers of songs. People never believe me when I say I can play, and it's not like their going to hand me an electric guitar to show them! I also get very, very nervous when I play in front of people, any people. Anyone else?
     Have a fun day!
   Mattie

Here's a cool link for guitar players too: ( online guitar tuner )http://www.gieson.com/Library/projects/utilities/tuner/

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bad News

   Did you like the first chapter of Appaloosy? I hope you could read most of it without your eyes watering.
   I have bad news. I called the publishing house today and they said that my books (Dusty's Trail) will not be ready until Jan. 20. I also owe them $280. $280!!!!!
   How did the 1/3 payment work out from 203 to 283? I don't know where these charges are coming from, so I'm asking them to send me a itemized bill. And of course it has to come at a time when I am broker than broke.
     For those wishing to publish their own book (I know there probably are a lot of you) : I DO NOT reccommend Morris Publishing!  They have done a great job on my covers, but they are
  • Very Expensive!
  • Very Slow!
  • Not very efficent
  • And sometimes crabby.
     I am not going to be using them for my next book. These books may end up costing more than I will be selling them for!! $700-$850 for a hundred copies, you can see why that doesn't work.
    They have been working for more than a month on this book. I sent it in around the beginning of December. They told me 20 days but apparently they took a long time off for Christmas.
     They charge extra for ANY changes that have to be made to your book. Pages, cover, any minute detail will cost you extra, and they want you to basically do everything yourself. To design my cover cost about $210 itself and I know they didn't spend more than a couple hours on it. (It is a very simple design.)
     I was assigned a person who seems like she doesn't like me, when she talks on the phone to me she always sounds annoyed.
     So you can see that I've simply taken down to countdown. I'll have a post when the books finished. I am so disapointed!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the rant, but a lot of you are authors and can you feel my pain? Or at least know what I'm talking about.

Feeling let down,
♥Mattie
   

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Appaloosy

Chapter 1
A Storm Brewing

     (Please ignore all the typos. I had to type this all by hand because I don't have the original disk. Please comment and tell me if something isn't understandable though!)

     One warm spring day in east Oregon, a young stallion who was called Blackhawk stood watching over his small herd. He was a handsome black Appaloosa, with a broad white blanket spread over his hips, a thin stripe running down his face, and two white stockings on his forelegs. He looked up at the sky, where a dark mass of clouds was forming. The knee-high prairie grass was bending gracefully with the wind and the air was becoming cooler each minute.
  Yes, there was a storm coming and Blackhawk wanted his mares to be prepared. He let out a shrill call to the horses, warning them to find shelter quickly. In a matter of minutes, it was pouring rain, and when Blackhawk was finally satisfied that all of the horses were safe, he went to see his own beautiful brown mare who was in foal to him. She was called Misty and she was his very favorite. She wanted to give him a big, strong colt very badly, but he would be pleased with whatever she gave him, colt or filly.
     He trotted up to the forest where his mares had taken refuge. The trees formed a natural shelter from the raging storm. He came up slowly to where his mare lay on the forest floor and nickered. She looked up and returned his greeting; she was always happy to see her mate. He nuzzled her and then examined her growing stomach.
     The rain dripped steadily and made a soft drumming noise in the surrounding foliage. Water streamed down the powerful stallion's neck and legs. He shook his mane, showering his surroundings with water.
      Misty looked up at him and smiled warmly. "The humans will come soon, won't they?" the young mare asked Blackhawk.
     "Yes, they will," the black stallion answered calmly, " and so will your foal."
     Misty snorted happily. "Our first one together," she reminded him.
     "Yes, and from the size of it I'd guess there is a big, strong colt in there."
     Misty only laughed. Blackhawk nuzzled her affectionately and then was off to see to other matters. He hoped the foal would be born soon.
   "The foal will most likely be born tonight," thought the stallion to himself. "They always seem to be born at the most inconvenient times." He chuckled.
     Unfortunately, he was right.
     The next morning a thick mist hung over the valley. When Blackhawk awoke, he immediately noticed that his favorite mare was missing.  He quickly stood up and started looking for her. He left the forest and looked around the herd, and outside of where they were grazing. The longer he looked, the more worried he became. She could have somehow been separated from the herd, or chased down by a predator!
     But after some patient searching, he found her grazing a few hundred feet from the herd beside a small flowering tree. He trotted over to her and just before he got there, he saw a flash of what was a brown colt dash behind his mother.
   He snorted in surprise, but then lowered his head and gave a small whicker, and the colt stuck out his tiny head. Then he stepped out from behind his mother.
   He was lovely chocolate brown in color, with a large white blanket that nearly stretched to his withers with many round, dark spots, and one pure white stocking on his long hind leg. He had a beautiful double colored mane, and a small white star on his forehead. He was just perfect! The stallion was full of pride for his first son.
     "I'll call him Storm," he said softly as he nuzzled the little brown foal.
     "I know he will be a mighty son of Blackhawk," Misty answered. The colt gave a high-pitched neigh, and the stallion nickered, and then left Misty and his new son.
     I was that colt. I grew fast and loved to play games with the other little colts and fillies. I would always beg my father to race me, even though I knew he was much faster than I was. I quickly became a small ball of energy, running, bucking and playing all day long.
     The one problem I had was with boasting. My father was constantly reminding me to be humble and kind toward the other horses. But I loved to fight with other colts my age, even older ones, to show my power. Even though play fighting would teach us things that we would need to know as adults, my father and the other mares would always keep and eye on us to make sure that we wouldn't get too rough.
     Being a colt, I was naturally curious. One day, as I was playing with tow other young foals in a green meadow, I heard a strange rattling noise.
     I swung my ears back, and soon found that it was coming from a little off to the left in a bush  . . .