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Monday, November 23, 2009

It is easy to get distracted these days, with so many irons in the fire. One writer put it "we are fragmented and frazzled." I couldn't have put it better myself. Such accurately descript words.

After just completing the Muse Online Writer's Convention - well, it was a month or more ago - I have research materials, notes, and to-do lists spread across the entirety of my desk. I'm having a hard time remembering the color of my desktop - oh yes, I think it is woodgrain, perhaps dark pine. I have papers taped to my wall, things I must study over and apply to my websites. Articles on how to market your book, how to successfully promote an online business, how to attract readers using social media - and there is plenty of that to read about.

Keeping Twitter stuff separate from Facebook stuff, and blog stuff separate from LinkedIn stuff. I have to keep 'MustangingTheWest' material separate from 'TPW Writing Services' stuff, The Sacrifice of the Sage Hen novel stuff from article research notes and article directory stuff. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Whew!

I am now using folders. I have decided they could be the absolute most innovative invention of all time. They have become near and dear to my heart.

Grinding to a halt for a moment - I decided a few days ago, that each day I would take time out and walk my two beautiful pugs - it has come to be a most uplifting distraction. The fresh air - the bird songs - the crunch of dirt & gravel under my boots...and of course, the panting. Before long, the days will turn off cold. Perhaps I'll get stuck inside, merely watching what is going on outside. Until then, however, my other two companions - fragmented and frazzled - will just have to wait till I get back.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Animal Rescue Organizations Are Top Notch With Us

Have you visited www.MustangingTheWest.com yet? If you have, you already know how much we love animals. We have an entire page dedicated to helping to save the feral mustangs, those thousands of beautiful animals who the Bureau of Land Management has stuffed into holding pens - not for three months as promised - but for two years! Madeleine Pickens and others have made it their mission to provide relief and sanctuary for these national treasures. You will find information there at our site on what you individually can do to lend your support.

You will also see from the page http://www.MustangingTheWest.com/Pets---Our-Best-Friends that Animal Rescue operations are top-notch with us Mustangers. So much so, in fact, that we would like to feature those organizations who have dedicated their hearts and lives to helping those who oftentimes cannot help themselves.

If you are a rescue operation, please send us some info, on you/your organization, and where you are located. Include your mission statement, how you got started, and how our readers here can help. If you are not personally a rescue operation, share this post with someone who is. Let us help get the word out!

Most good people believe that the animals are our responsibility, and we desire to take our responsibilities seriously.

I wish you all a Howling Good Day! Until next time ... Susie Schade-Brewer

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

www.MustangingTheWest.com - It's Up & Running! Yea!

Golly, I didn't realize it had been a month since I added to my blog. I have been VERY busy working every available minute on my new site, www.MustangingTheWest.com, which I am happy to tell you is finally up and running.

There is a lot of writing to accomplish with this style of website. It's kind of new in that it doesn't promote a product or service, but is theme-based and informational in nature. At the site, you will find an ever-growing list of interesting articles, all having to do with the theme, "..for the love of all things western."

Just a few of the things you'll find at MustangingTheWest:

1) the history of the wild feral mustangs - how they got to this country since the mustang is Spanish in descent, and what makes the mustang a sentimental favorite of horse lovers?
2) How to have a 'Yee Haw Good Time'. You'll find links to places providing western entertainment - museums, dude ranches, bed and breakfasts. All of these links are in their early stages and will be added on to as time goes by. In fact, if you have a suggestion of your own of some really AWESOME place you have visited, please pass it along for our other readers.
3) There are videos to watch, horse pictures to view, music & books that come highly recommended
4) Invitations to readers to send their favorite horse photos to be published on the site, or pictures of your best vacation spot.
5) An invitation to Writers to send their informational articles along the 'western' theme to be published here along with their byline and a short bio and link back to their own site.
6) A page or two about the weapons of the Old West, a page on the Wagons & Coaches used a century and a half ago, the origin of the actual 'cowboy' boot -- and lots more.
7) Plus, there will also be LOTS AND LOTS OF SHOPPING TO DO, links provided to assist the western lover in picking out boots or books, home decor, western wear, and jewelry.

To get to MustangingTheWest.com, just click on the link above in the first paragraph. Look the site over and then, as my friends, will you let me know what you think? Make suggestions. What would you like to see added? What needs to be re-arranged? I welcome all input - after all, I want this to be the BEST site out there for people like me who LOVE ALL THINGS WESTERN.

Thanks for tuning in. Have a really terrific day! Susie

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oops! The Price of Naivete'

My apologies. I was made aware that following the horse video from YouTube on my last blog post that among the subsequent videos that scroll across the bottom after the video is done, another plays that is kind of nasty as far as horses go. I will fix that as soon as I figure out how! Til I do, please just cover your eyes. :)

I have had some really good feedback on both my blog and my novel, The Sacrifice of the Sage Hen. I've had several comment that they really enjoyed Charlie, the gal that is the main character, and how spunky and independent-minded she is. One fan said the book just wasn't long enough - that her appetite had just gotten whetted (is that the right word?) before it was finished, and it only took her 6 hours to read.

I cut the original manuscript in two (from 110M to 57M words) at the recommendation of someone is an experienced writer of westerns, who said genre fiction will not sell if it is over 100M words. According to my readers, he was wrong. One good thing, though, I have a sequel well on its way to completion.

What is your experience in genre writing? Have you been advised the same as to length of your manuscript? I have read longer, and I have read shorter. Let me know where you think I should keep the length of the sequel.

Thanks so much, and have a wonderful and prosperous week!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Today Is Friday

It has been a long week, but I've learned lots. I'm working on multiple projects even as we speak. My existing website for my writing service, www.TPWWritingServices.com is taking lots of time, as I'm adding many new pages, to cover more detailed information on how to do direct mail advertising and direct response marketing for your business. As a freelance copywriter, I'm teaching my readers how to write a proper sales letter - it's one of the most effective wys to get business. I've included info on how to do a mass mailing using postcards, one of the cheapest ways to advertise, especially when you're working on a shoestring budget. I'm teaching how to write effective website copy for your landing pages, and much more.

My newest site, which hasn't been published yet, www.MustangingTheWest.com is coming along, just not as fast as I would like. But I only have 24 hours in a day!! Hate that! But I'm getting it done. It will be a cool site once it's up and running - featuring 'All Things Western', in time, there'll be anything you would want to know about western life, historical or contemporary. Equestrian, favorite down-home recipes, cowboys, Native Americans, turquoise & silver jewelry, favorite dude ranches and where you can go trail riding ... you just think it, it'll be there. And if it's not - you just have to tell me.

I added a shopping widget to my blog today from amazon.com. It will feature lots of items & specials on sale for you. Take advantage of them. Money is tight these days.

Well, til next time - happy days! Susie

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mustanging The West

I have been doing research on 'mustangs' for my newest website, www.MustangingTheWest.com, soon to be published. I learned something interesting - there is a difference between a wild horse and a feral horse. I had never even heard of a feral horse before, and what I believed the term 'wild' meant, was not necessarily so.

By definition, a wild horse is one that has previously been domesticated, then turned into the wild, to live, to reproduce and make other wild horses, and possibly finish their lives living in wide open lands. Wild horses exist throughout the world, having come from many breeds of domesticated horses.

A feral horse, among which is the true American mustang, is a free-roaming horse which has not been domesticated. The term 'feral' originated in 1604, and means fierce, brutal, wild. Mustangs were brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Distinguishing features, states the Encyclopedia, are that they are small, compact, good bone, and very hardy. It was a Spanish Mustang that appeared in the movie, Hidalgo, a long-distance race through a terrible desert to beat even the pure-bred Arabians.


Because the Mustang so aptly portrays the historic and pioneer spirit of the American Wild West, I thought it a fitting representation for my new website. I will let you know when the site is up and running, I expect within 2 to 3 weeks. It's theme will be 'All Things Western,' - and it will be chock-ful of articles to read - everything from equestrian and longhorn cattle, wildflowers to butterflies, bluejeans to southwest jewelry and handbags. Anything you want to know about anything the western or country life, in time, will be at this website. There will even be a place for your suggestions on what you would like to see next. You will also be able to shop for items along this same terrific theme for yourself or as a gift.

So get ready. I hope you'll visit. Now here's a cool music video on wild horses. Enjoy. Susie






Thursday, June 25, 2009

And You Wonder Why Women Talk So Much.


June 25, 2009

The last post wouldn't take a second video, but you gotta see this one. It's called "Are Women Born This Way?" I remember when my kids did this, only not so long. Enjoy.

Click Here to see the video.



Naughty Thieves

June 25, 2009
Hey, y'all. I was going through my emails this morning and had to laugh at something that was sent to me. Whether you're an animal lover, this will brighten your day. Thought I'd share with you. Laugh - and enjoy!

video

Monday, June 1, 2009

How Vain It Is To Sit Down & Write If You Have Not Stood Up To Live

June 1, 2009
Recently on a day I decided to fly away from life and find respite alone, I drove through an old Kansas cemetery I had once stumbled upon. It was a secluded and peaceful spot, tucked under a patch of dense cedars, surrounded on all sides only by some curious black Angus cattle.

It was an awesome day, the temperature hovering around 65, blue sky and a light breeze through the trees. I was low in spirits, remembering my mother who had died one year before, and me still grieving. I remembered the cemetery from a day when she and I had gone shopping together. She was old and could no longer walk, and after her brain aneurism really couldn’t carry on much of a conversation. Still, I miss her desperately. Things have not been the same without her. There is no one like your mother, whether she agrees with your philosophies of life or not.

Anyway, the day mom and I had driven through this particular cemetery several years before, I had seen a small stone, level with the earth, with a little girl’s name etched into it, and two mighty cedar trees on either side towering over it. I wondered at the time if a grieving couple had planted these trees alongside their little girl’s final resting place, maybe as a way of sheltering her.

It took some searching, but eventually I found the small stone and stopped to read it again and reflect on the story behind the little girl’s demise. You know how us writers are; our imaginations are always conjuring up stories. I was about to walk on, when I noticed another marker a short distance away, this one standing approximately five feet high. It was four-square, tapered at the top, with engraving on all four sides, and I was compelled to know what it said. What I read there brought tears to my eyes and a sigh to my heart.

Facing the east, the epitaph read: “Rest, darling sisters, rest. They faltered by the way and the angels took them home.” Facing south, it read: “Ella M. Williamson, died June 19, 1887. Aged 21 years 2 months 27 days. Last words on earth, “I am going home to die no more.”

On the north side, opposite where Ella was laid, it read: “Artie M Baxter, wife of L.C. Baxter. Died June 5, 1886, aged 17 years 11 months 24 days. “Gone but still remembered.” The last of the four sides facing to the west read: “Baxter. Weep not for her. She is not dead but sleepeth. No pain, no grief, no anxious fear, can reach the peaceful sleeper here.”

I had to wonder if this was the last of the sisters buried here. The style of the epitaph was different from the other two; there was no attention to personal information, not her first name, nor even the date of her death, as had been recorded for the other two. Whoever had buried the first two had been quite articulate in describing her grief, apparently only one year and a few days apart. But no such information was recorded for her. It simply stated that she was at peace, that her pain, grief and fear were now gone. One can only speculate on the reason for the differences; likely we will never know.

However, as I drove away that day, I couldn’t help but reflect on all our journeys through life. Only one thing is certain, it is temporary. In a moment’s notice, it may be cut short. Another stone in the same cemetery read: “Death is Certain: The Hour Unseen.”

Henry Ward Beecher said, “God asks no person whether he or she will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only choice is how.”

I had to ask myself how I have done. “Have I affected others for the good, eased their pain whenever I could? When that time comes for me, will I be able to look back and say I made a difference? Am I using the gifts god gave me to the full? Have I forgiven when it was needed, extended my hand where necessary? These are questions we should all ask ourselves.

A quote of Henry David Thoreau’s says it admirably. “How vain it is to sit down and write if you have not stood up to live.”

Susie

Available at www.SwimmingKangaroo.com or www.amazon.com
Monday, May 18, 2009
Good morning to all. My first entry for my new blog has to do with personal fulfillment.
Mark Twain said, “Many times I have been sorry I did not succeed, but never was I ashamed of having tried.” This quote is framed and placed on my desk, to remind me that one must keep trying, in whatever endeavor our lives point us. We do not give up; we do not give in. Each of us has dreams and aspirations.
In my novel, The Sacrifice of the Sage Hen, the main character, Charlie West, undergoes a number of trials that set her back further and further from the dream she has envisioned for herself. She is only 19, and unhappy with the path through life that others have chosen for her. She tries to please them, to make it work. But she is feisty, headstrong, and often too outspoken, which more often than not gets her into trouble. However, happiness and fulfillment of her own desires is not something she is willing to forfeit forever.
I believe in personal fulfillment. Life is too short to let others call all the shots for you. We all answer to many authorities, but at what point does one decide enough is enough and step out on their own? I am not advocating disobedience to the law, but simply taking positive forward steps to fulfill your dreams.
A question for you readers. What is your personal dream, where do you see yourself in your future? Have you set goals in order to ensure their fulfillment? Share your thoughts with us. What steps have you taken to work out your dream?

Susie Schade-Brewer