Follow if you are a writer and/or dreamer . . . or if you're just awesome.

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?


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)
Sierra (from mission cool)
Shelley (1)
Becca Isler(1)
Arianna (1)
Sierra (from Whispers of the Wind) (1)
Nature Freak (1)
Anora ♥
+Flamingo Pink+
Book Blogger♥
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


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!

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!


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.

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!

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!

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.

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,

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:
 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.


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!


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,

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,

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!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


  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,

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 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!

Here's a cool link for guitar players too: ( online guitar 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,

Thursday, January 6, 2011


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  . . .

A Preview of Appaloosy

 Storm is a beautiful brown Appaloosa Stallion belonging to the
famous Nez Perce tribe. He hates living the domesticated life and is
determined to escape and run free across the open west with a wild herd.

Instead, he is given to a young brave named White Feather and, surprisingly, the two
bond together as everlasting friends. But when war breaks out in the Idaho wilderness Storm's
life is turned upside-down. He is captured and taken to live with white men.

After being sold twice and facing many unique challenges, he comes to live with Faith,
a young girl living on a small farm with her family. The two soon become inseparable, and Storm
was content to live with her for the rest of his days. But when he is stolen by rustlers
heading west, once again circumstances have spun his life around.

When he is finally able to free himself, he must decide between returning to Faith . . . .
or the chance to be free.


This is what is printed on the back of the book. Dusty's Trail definitely had a major conflict point that I was glad to post a few weeks ago but I think that Appaloosy has more of the conflict spread around, so I will publish the first chapter here, though the first chapter and the last are surpisingly different.
    I'm writing this before school, but now I've got to go. I will post chapter 1 of Appaloosy later after school. I hope you guys will like it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday Writing Tip

Top Five Ways Writers Bore Readers (continued)

Okay, here are the last two ways.

#2. Lack of Literary Devices

There are a lot of people who fail to use any literary devices in their story. Yeah, we know that you don't plan on your book becoming the next great American Novel, (at least I hope so!) but you could still use some of those authors' tricks. Books without any literary devices make for okay reading, but for it really to shine add at least some of these into your stories:


#1 Failure to Spotlight the Main Character

I'm not sure if this qualifies as the top way, but it's what I've finally come to. This story is about your main character, the one person (or horse) that you poured all this work into. You can have secondary characters; pretty much all of my books require secondary characters because all horses have riders and other horse friends, but you don't want to focus on their stories.
     Sometimes I will find my book gravitating towards secondary character's lives and such. If I find that happening I quickly try to set it straight, or rearrange it as a subplot. Faith's family problems in the book Appaloosy is an example of a subplot.
     I've read stories that people have written where they tell the story of ten different people! That's great if you purposely want it that way, but if you want your novel to be great, readable, and not boring, then follow the story of your main character.

* * *

     Okay now that I've gotten more followers too I've been asked the question, "What is the book Appaloosy about?" And it's not just local people reading this blog anymore. So, tomorrow I plan on putting up a Synopsis and maybe a Book Excerpt and/or the beginning of the book.

So Don't Miss It!!      


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey

  Hi Ya'll--I'm going to be doing a book review every now and then based on what I'm reading and how much I liked it. I know some of you don't quite yet fit into the "teen" category, but this is the book I just finished reading so it's pretty fresh in my mind.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens is exactly what the title portrays: The Seven Habits
  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-win
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw
   I found this book hard to put down. It is very inspirational but is written for the teen's short attention span. It motivated me to go out and do things, to straighten the areas of my life that needed to be straightened, and to make goals and strenghten my relationships. I really liked the little side cartoons, too.
     This book isn't Christian, but it isn't completely secular either. Covey does encourage you to seek God, but he isn't endorsing Christianity and the Bible. There are some tough subjects covered like drugs, alcohol, etc. but these things do exist in real life and should be taken in stride.
     Sometimes it seemed like he could possibly be talking down to his readers. (not a lot though) and it may be hard to read from a Homeschool viewpoint, though the advice is helpful to homeschoolers, too.
     I liked Covey's informal viewpoint and how it seemed like he was talking to me. One part of the book I especially liked was a part where it helps you to discover you're true personality. At the end of each Habit it also gives you a list of things to do in real life to help you live out that habit.
     Here's an example from one habit: Pinpoint when and where it is most difficult for you to refrain from gossip. Is it with a certain friend, in the locker room, during lunch? Come up with a plan of action to avoid it.     
     I think the best part of it is the way he gives you ideas on how to make each habit a part of your life. There's obviously a reason why this book is a bestseller, and I know that the reason is basically because it's just a great book. I would recommend this for ages 13 (the absolute youngest) to about 20.
     My rating:   * * * * out of five.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thank You All Who Have Entered the Giveaway So Far!

  Wow, here we are at about 1 month until I draw names for the Appaloosy Giveaway. It seems like a lot of you are intent on winning, for that I'm glad. And because you guys are so great, I'm EXTENDING the Grand Prize. Not only will you get Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, First Copy of Golden Sunrise, and your blog featured, you will now get a beautiful collector's item from Breyer!

   Because I love Appaloosas so much, it just couldn't be any other breed! You will notice here that I'm including the Appaloosa Mare & Foal set from Breyer ($21.99 value) to go along with your Appaloosy Book. And if you didn't know, Breyer is The Name in horse collector's models. So keep the followers coming! =)  Here's a link for more information from Breyer :
    ALSO--check out the UPDATED "Appaloosy Giveaway" Page via this link or at the side under "Pages"

  Thank you too for your help in helping people to learn about my blog.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

i am a real person

And I have a face. It isn't a pretty face, but it's mine.
 i don't reside in pictures.
 i'm almost a spirit, moving to and from places as i please, showing up in public school, out of school, in Enderlin, in Fargo, in Minnesota, in the courthouse, in church, in New York, in the newspaper or in your dreams. i am bound by no rules, captive to few laws. None of Man's Law's of course, but there is one law i will always follow: God's Law.
  Does it really seem like I'm talking about myself? Not really. I follow the rules most of the time, but sometimes I just want to sprout wings and fly. Once long ago I almost vowed to myself that I would stop being so shy. It worked. Maybe now I'll try the same thing. I think I am going to stop being afraid of myself in pictures.

So let this be known as the day Mattie Richardson stopped being afraid of herself in pictures.

                                                * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sorry I haven't posted lately. I have recently been reading Bleah's blog (with Love and Kisses) and noticed all the pictures of here. Hmm, quite interesting; though I wonder if it is wise to put so many pictures of yourself on the Internet. BUT- So here's what I got for Christmas! (and if you're curious as to what I look like . . .)

A horse Calender!


Headphones for my guitar so that no one else can hear my annoyingness.

And a surprise from Santa Claus--Balloon twisting book and a lot of balloons.
Some extra balloons on my head and a tiny toy Volkswagen-also from Santa.
Though I wish I could have gotten a real one.

  So there you are-that's what I got for Christmas. I enjoyed reading about what you guys got, too!

   Your Friend,