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Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's been an Extreme week

Happy weekend everyone. This will be a short post just to say "Hi" and give you something to watch. I will have a more extensive post after next weekend. I'll be headed to Los Angeles (road trip!) to meet up with a friend at a special horse event, and hopefully will have pictures to share when I get back. That's the plan anyway. I also plan on getting some new music to listen to on the way there, so more music videos next week!

In the meantime, let me share a little of another very special event that happened this week. This was the Extreme Mustang Makeover Finals in Madison, Wisconsin.

What? I hear you ask. A car makeover? Pimping out classic Ford coupes?

No silly. REAL mustangs. Horses! The kind that still roam more-or-less wild and free (where they're protected at least) in North America, and particularly in the western United States. I know some people who are very critical of them as a breed, and I know all the arguments, but no-one will ever change my opinion of their heart, intelligence, adaptability, and athleticism.

Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenges occur across the nation and provide many horses, that might otherwise become BLM statistics, with hope of a future home and meaningful life with owners who will love and appreciate them.

Would they be better left alone to live free on the land? Well, that depends on who you ask. Many people would love to see them annihilated completely, claiming they are nothing more than feral castoffs with questionable lineage and poor conformation that are habitat invaders of "native" wild species such as deer, antelope, and bison.

Others will tell you that they are a beautiful symbol of the old west, many of which still carry the DNA and traits of the horses originally brought to this country, the Iberian PRE horses. Has the mustang breed been diluted over the centuries by other, less exalted breeds? No doubt. But many still retain the undeniable qualities and even appearance of those PRE ancestors.

And even other people will point out the fact that horses roamed this continent way before people did. No, not this particular breed of course, but horses belong here.

I've loved mustangs ever since I first read Marguerite Henry's "Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West" when I was about eight years old. As a teenager, I was fortunate to know of two mustangs who lived wild on the ranchland near where I lived and saw them a few times when I was out riding. I even have pictures somewhere. They disappeared eventually and someone told me that they had died during a drought. A shame, but that's what happens to wild horses.

If you have read my novel, "Bronze," you will know that several of the horse characters are at least half mustang. I love mustangs.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover program is rather grueling, and potential trainers must meet strict criteria in order to participate, but the results can be utterly amazing. From completely wild, never-touched-by-human-hand horses, to trusting, well-trained and adoptable equine partners. IN 90 DAYS! Anyone who has ever trained an unstarted horse will know this is impressive. And these horses aren't just unstarted, they're WILD!

Anyway, here's a video of the winning entrants from this year's finals at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison. I'll be back next week with news of my weekend and an update for my novel "Bronze." Enjoy!



You can read more about the Extreme Mustang Makeover at their website Here: extrememustangmakeover.com



Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my Wordpress blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please "Like" us on Facebook!

Buy The Glister Journals: Bronze

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Good Day

I'm actually celebrating because, not only did I get my taxes finished (both federal and state) TWO DAYS before they're due (actually FOUR days--I just found out the due dates are changed this year), but I'm getting an honest-to-goodness REFUND this year! Unheard of! I can't remember the last time that happened. I've been thinking all day about all the ways I'm NOT going to spend the money.

However, I was revising this morning and my computer starting acting a bit freakish. It's acted that way before and it turned out it had a virus, so I ran a boot scan while I finished up the rough draft of a chapter in the new book. (My rough drafts are mostly accomplished long hand.) I would have worked on the next chapter, but I'd already started it on the computer and couldn't remember exactly what I'd done (it's sort of in pieces and chunks right now) so instead I went out to mail my lovely tax forms and took a walk too. That's quite a big deal for me, but I won't go into that now.

Suffice it to say that it was a GORGEOUS day, a little bit blustery but not too cold with huge white fluffy clouds. Almost perfect. I'll have to take a picture next time. I did take a picture of some of my candles last night. I just thought they looked cool. I don't know why there was a power outage; it wasn't storming or anything. But it was kind of fun--the first time in over a year that we actually needed candles. I was working on my computer then too, until the battery got too low.

Blackout candles

Ah well. I do have some real news . . . which I'll share soon. Really! In the meantime I'd love to share an amazing version of a song I referenced a while ago by Gotye (which, by the way, is NOT pronounced Go-tee-yay, as everybody is saying, but Gore-ti-yeah; am I the only one who reads 'About' pages?), Somebody That I Used To Know. If you haven't heard it by now you live on a different planet than me--or maybe just a really different part of this one. I'm a bit tickled actually, as I went into my local record store (YES! I shop brick and mortar whenever possible!) to buy his CD and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about. I told them that they WOULD and they should get the album in.

In the meantime he'd been getting some local airplay and was scheduled to do a concert in a cool but relatively small venue. Well now that has been changed to a MUCH larger venue. The last time I went in to the record store, they'd already sold out of the album. (I told you so! :P And I still haven't got a copy yet!) Anyway, here's the version I was talking about. It's by Walk off the Earth. Have a great weekend!



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com 

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my Wordpress blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!) 

And please "Like" The Glister Journals' page on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Case of Apocalypse . . .

I really hadn't planned on posting anything until next weekend, but I came across this and thought it hilarious. I also wanted to respond to the person who left a comment saying,
Hello, you used to write fantastic, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!"

While I'm pretty sure they are spammers and don't actually read my blog anyway, never let it be said that I wimped out of listening to criticism or that I ignored a comment because it was negative. I would actually love to open dialog on the subject of WHAT constitutes my "super" writings, and in what way the "last several" posts have been boring. I like to learn from my mistakes, if mistakes have in fact been made. So whoever you are, please feel free to enlighten me.

Considering that comment was made on Chapter Three's page (on Wordpress here, and I have said I won't post comments on chapter pages, and that chapter happens to be one of my personal favorites) I don't feel obligated to respond to it at all. But what the heck. I wanted to post something anyway and in the meantime I have found something I thought worth posting.

Now, if you've been reading my blog at all, you will know that I am not much of a traditional sports person. I like soccer and basketball and baseball, but, except during the World cup for soccer, I'm not really that big of a fan. I prefer my sports on the extreme side. So it won't surprise you to learn that I don't watch the Superbowl, Rosebowl, or any other bowl or game of American football. Ever.

But I was doing a search on Big Black Trucks--specifically Big Black Chevy Trucks (for some friends)--and came across this article: Ford Objects to Chevy Silverado Super Bowl Ad and found it very funny. Especially this:
We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.”

Here's the commercial in case you haven't seen it, though I'm probably one of the few that hasn't:

But just for the record, Dave wouldn't be caught dead driving a Ford truck. Maybe a Mustang . . .

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze More Glister info and chapters at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com 

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!) 

And please "Like" us on Facebook!