Welcome to the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. Let me start by saying it was never my fantasy to spend a few days standing on the cement floor of a convention hall, under fluorescent lights with no windows. It came with the extra tease that people walked by all day long, on the way to the barn where the horses are stalled, while I stood behind my book table.
The other authors did a great job of hawking their books, confidently asking people passing to stop and look, and I just couldn’t start the conversation with buy mine!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not retired and I don’t have a trust fund. I need book sales just as much as anyone. At the same time, I can only do this selling thing the way I can do it. If I start to feel like the guy at the state fair selling the Chop-o-matic… well, it won’t work for me. It’s awkward; I’m the one who hates it when people try to sell me things. Clearly, I have issues. So I was cross-dressing as an author, wishing I was in the barn where I belong, and trying to find the words that wouldn’t betray my books or me.
That was when I met you.
You were the Mom who knew nothing about horses, but came along with your daughter who was transforming herself in this horse world you don’t understand. All you could see was how beautiful and competent she’s becoming.
You were the husband of the woman who stopped to tell me she loved my blog; you were quiet until we compared dirt bikes to horses, and found we had a sense of humor in common.
You were the lonely horse owner who came back a few times to tell me again about how your rescue horse chose you, and follows you, and shares your heart in a way that has never happened before in the history of mankind.
You were the elderly woman who no longer rides, but still belonged there with us.
And maybe my favorite: the teen girl whose friends competed, while she stayed loyal to the leased, lame, and un-rideable horse who was her best friend. What a horsewoman she’ll make!
Thanks for the reminder that authors, even a memoirist like me, need to tell the personal story that is a shared experience. Sometimes we get so wound up in our own subplot, that we can’t see the bigger story. (Replay the famous Rick-Ilsa Hill of Beans speech from Casablanca one more time!) I could have written a chapter for each of the people I met. Is this where the term Dear Reader comes from? It’s a term I’ll use will full heartfelt affection from now on. I loved meeting you.
In the meanwhile, it’s springtime on the high prairie! It isn’t green yet, but the birds are back and the hibernation is over. We’re all a little itchy to get on with Our Upcoming Events!
- Midwest Horse Fair, April 15-17, in Madison, WI. I will be in the Horse’n Around Magazine booth, #2304. Drop by and tell me about your horse!
- Mountain of Authors, April 23, 11-5, Pikes Peak Library District, at Library 21c, located at 1175 Chapel Hills Dr, CS, 80920. This is an informative day with speakers and a wealth of local talent.
- WEBINAR Calming Signals: Are you Listening?, May 10, 7pm ET, 5pm,MT. Windrush Farm in Massachusetts invited me to create a webinar. It’s available for anyone to watch live, or taped at a later time, with proceeds to benefit their therapeutic riding program. Who knew making this presentation would be so much fun?
- Horse Symposium, Oslo, Norway. October 29-30. International speakers on horse welfare. I’ll present on Leadership that Builds Confidence and Ulcers and Stress. I’m very excited about meeting the people at this event.
This week I’m off to Madison, WI, for the Midwest Horse Fair. Please stop by and distract me from myself!
For as solitary as writing is, it’s also the thing that brings so many intriguing people into my experience. I am so profoundly grateful to you, DEAR READER, for the stories you share with me, as we exchange notes on this horse/life. It’s the thing I never expect but appreciate the most–the reminder that we are all more alike than different. Thank you.