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July 17th, 2009

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... still organizing, and I need to make sure that the HTML code for my donation button is still the same from last year, so...

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
heading to bed
Current Music:
Doctor Who Season 4 soundtrack
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w00t - it works!

You're welcome to donate early... xoxo

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
still on way to bed
Current Music:
Oreja de Van Gogh
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Welcome to my Blog, and the 2nd Annual Bay State Equine Rescue Blogathon!

Epona in her new home! Photo: Epona's new family.

For the next 24 hours, I’ll at my desk posting new content every half an hour on my blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Everything will have something that is horse related, but everything will also be something a little different.

In addition to my writing and posting some beautiful horse pictures, I have guest bloggers and several great interviews lined up for the next 24 hours. You’ll hear from sales persons, artisans, editors, writers, actors, equine clinicians, and nurses.

Let me start by thanking my early-bird sponsors, all of whom donated back in April as I started preparing for the Blogathon:

By Light Unseen Media – www.bylightunseenmedia.com
Aimee Weinstein – aimeeweinstein.blogspot.com
Kathryn Sullivan - www.kathrynsullivan.com
Phoebe Wray - www.phoebewray.net
Bookworm, Inc. - www.bookworminc.com
The RainMaker Maker – www.omghub.com/therainmakermaker
New Horizon Consulting – www.newhorizonconsult.com
The Sales Archaeologist - www.omghub.com/sales-archaeologist-blog
June M. House, RN – www.jjhouse.org

Also, many thanks to the advertisers who donated to the Blogathon:

HARO – www.helpareporterout.com
Massachusetts Horse Magazine – www.mahorse.com
New England Horse Talk – www.freebirdtimes.com

The Blogathon is intended to be a social media party to support the amazing horses.

In addition to the blog posts, I will be holding raffles throughout the day. Prizes include books, art, statues, and services.

Even if you can’t add a donation, join in the fun by leaving comments and replying to me on Twitter.

You can also help by reposting links to my BSER Blogathon from your websites or on Facebook or on Twitter.  The more people who come to the site, the more chances we have to help our horses.

Thank you for joining the party!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Hour 1...
Current Music:
Birds singing outside
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Let me introduce you to the recipient of my 2009 Blogathon efforts:

The Bay State Equine Rescue is a 100% volunteer-run, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to making the future a better place for horses. Our work is two-fold. On one hand, we directly intervene on behalf of equines (horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, whatever…) in situations of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. We’ve sheltered many of these animals in our humble barn – built up entirely by the hands of volunteers – at 415 Hunt Road in Oakham, Massachusetts. On the other hand, we would also love to see the world in a state where it didn’t need organizations to rescue horses, so we also do a lot of work in education. We sponsor or take part in community events, help lobby for an end to horse slaughter in North America, and even provide courses in equine care and horsemanship.

Thanks Jane Derosier for the picture!

This is our mission statement:

The Bay State Equine Rescue's mission is to preserve equine integrity through care that provides physical, mental and emotional health. Our focus is the rescue and rehabilitation of equines void of a human advocate, abused, neglected, or abandoned. Our goal is to raise public awareness of equine neglect through regional youth education, legislation, horsemanship education, animal care awareness, and community service opportunities. We are working toward a standard of excellence to create a model which, when duplicated, will unite rescues nationwide to abolish mistreatment and disrespect of horses in this country.

Thanks Jane Derosier!

In addition to hopefully providing you with interesting and entertaining blog content, I also have a few raffles and prizes to give away throughout the day. Every $2 someone donates in the time frame of a raffle enters the donors name into the drawing. Then I will use my highly technical D&D dice to randomly choose the winner. When you donate for a raffle, it is imperative that you send me your PayPal receipt so that I can actually enter your donations. I do not have access to the BSER PayPal account, so I need the receipts.

So, as I continue the next twenty-four hours of blogging, please visit the BSER website (hyperlinked throughout), and please consider helping us help horses by sponsoring me in this endeavor below!

Thank you.

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Drinking coffee #1
Current Music:
Wind outside
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Our first guest interviewee is Inanna Arthen, writer, editor, publisher, Harvard doctor, and just plain awesome person. Through her company, By Light Unseen Media, Inanna publishes fiction and non-fiction content entirely on vampires.

How do you want people to contact you (website, e-mail, Facebook, blog, Twitter, address, storefront, etc.)? They can e-mail me at vyrdolak@bylightunseenmedia.com , or through my websites, http://bylightunseenmedia.com and http://inannaarthen.com. I'm Vyrdolak on Twitter and Inanna Arthen on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Your publishing company, By Light Unseen Media, deals exclusively in vampires. What is it about vampires that intrigues you so much? Why do you think they have such a hold on people's imagination?

The vampire is the ultimate metaphor for the dark side of the social contract. As soon as the word "vampire" entered the English language in the 17th century, it was applied to unlikeable figures such as landlords and lawyers. All the tension between abuse and empowerment, sexual give-and-take, what we have to do to survive versus our impulse to nurture and help others--the needy, predatory, parasitic, powerful vampire symbolizes all of that. For me personally, the vampire is a way of exploring issues I faced growing up as a gifted but socially ostracized child and teenager. My vampires have powers and advantages that are a mixed blessing. Their "unlives" are more complicated, not easier, because they still need and want to be connected to the human world. There is no vampire subculture in my fiction.

What inspired you to start your own publishing company? What are some of the benefits you offer to writers and readers through By Light Unseen Media that they can't get anywhere else?

I'm fiercely passionate about vampires, books and publishing. My publishing company is a life-long dream. I spent years acquiring relevant skill sets for it. I started it because I got funding. The benefit I offer to writers is a lot of savvy and vision about how the publishing industry is changing and how writers can retain lucrative careers and not end up even more marginalized and low-paid than they are now. I'm a writer myself so I'm very sympathetic to writers' concerns. For readers, I offer four decades of in-depth study of the vampire genre and my determination to provide a wide variety of vampire-themed material to suit all tastes.

What books and projects are you working on currently? What do you have coming out for readers?

On August 15th, I'll be releasing Gideon Redoak by Anne Fraser, which just got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. I'll be releasing Cat the Vamp, a dark YA novel by Christina Martine, in time for Christmas. In early 2010, I expect to release Krymsin Nocturnes by Joseph Armstead and the second book in my own series, The Longer the Fall. You can follow updates on all of these books on By Light Unseen Media's website, bylightunseenmedia.com.

What was the greatest lesson you have learned about writing in your life?

Learning to evaluate and critique my own work accurately and effectively, which is very difficult. Too many aspiring writers rely too much on external feedback. They don't learn how to challenge and critique themselves, and they sacrifice their own voice trying to satisfy the contradictory biases of other people.

What do you find to be the best part of being a writer and in running By Light Unseen Media? On the flip side, what is the hardest/most difficult part?

The best part is being so familiar with all the aspects of the publishing process, from the writer's p.o.v. to the marketing side. With most traditional publishers, there's a huge disconnect: the publishers don't understand writers and writing (or readers, for that matter), and authors don't understand the publishing industry and the business side of writing. I have a clear view of the whole picture. The down side is playing so many roles. I'm writing my own fiction, reviews and articles, I'm editing, I'm designing, I'm marketing and promoting. I could use 48-hour days and an eight-day week.

How do you balance the many hats you have to wear as an author, an editor, a publisher, and everything you must do for yourself and your company?

I have a really scary multi-colored To-Do List. I journal every day and I copy the To-Do list into the current day's entry. I highlight things I've worked on and delete them when they're entirely done. I use the "follow-up" flags in Outlook mail, too. I try to keep myself on a routine. I exercise every day, I'm on a strict diet, and I stay on a very regular sleeping schedule. I work seven days a week. I haven't had a true "day off" since 2006! But I love what I'm doing with my life.

What is it about horses that inspired you to help through the Blogathon? Do you have a story about a horse (or horses) in your life - or how horse/s may have affected your writing?

I love horses, and all animals. My mom was born on a farm in central New York , and her dad fostered retired sulky race horses. She encouraged my sister and me to be interested in farming, livestock, horses and rural life even though we lived in suburban neighborhoods. My friends and I walked miles to visit horses at the farms outside the city limits. That early positive indoctrination really sank in with me. I live in a rural town and I've learned all kinds of homesteading and hand-crafting skills, from beekeeping to raising chickens. If I ever can afford it, I'd love to foster abused or homeless horses. All of my four cats were rescued from the streets.

Thank you very much, Inanna, for your support of the Bay StateEquine Rescue with this interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!

Current Location:
At the Desk
Current Music:
More birds singing :)
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Susan Sheridan is the President and Founder of the Bay State Equine Rescue. Below, she shares her heart about the BSER Mission.

This post of her letter is thanks to Peter Shankman and Help a Reporter Out (HARO) (www.shankman.com, www.helpareporterout.com). Peter donated $600 towards our advertising for this Blogathon and has spread the word through his service that puts reporters in touch with sources in one great e-mail three times a day. If you’re a writer and want to find sources or be a source, it’s a great resource. Check it out!

(Photos by Colleen Corrice)

A Message from the President:

The rescue is about humanity. It is about giving and receiving. If you look at the photos Colleen sent of her beautiful new foal, a foal that would have been slaughtered while invitro, you can easily see how the rescue of this mare was necessary. If you look closer at the photo you can see what this mare and foal are giving to Colleen. As the rescue gives of itself to preserve equine integrity it ultimately receives so much from these horses. We learn that being human does not mean it's all about "me". This is such a prescious gift. Once we learn to give, in any form, we truly begin to understand we are just a piece of the puzzle, and the more we work together for the good of all, the happier we (all living creatures) will be.

The rescue is moving in the direction of education. Once people learn to consider all components of horse ownership, horse breeding, horse care, they can make more informed choices in these areas. The biggest problem equines face today is over-population. WE MUST dramatically decrease breeding, all forms of equine breeding. The entire issue of equine slaughter would go away if we stopped breeding. Equine slaughter is a VERY selfish enterprise. The people who practice equine slaughter are motivated by greed, selfishness or lack of education. Through education BSER hopes to change the way people view slaughter and put an end to this barbaric practice.

We are an all volunteer organization. We depend entirely on public donation. If you are wondering if you should donate, take a look at Colleen’s photo. This mare would have been slaughtered with this foal in her belly. It costs approximately $2500 to get a horse from a holding pen, medical care and into a good home.

Susan Sheridan, President
Bay State Equine Rescue, Inc.
415 Hunt Road
Oakham, MA 01068


Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Halfway through hour 2
Current Music:
Wind chimes
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Our next guest blogger is Aimee Weinstein, a long time friend of mine through the online tutoring company we both work for. Aimee has the fabulous privilege to live in Tokyo. Fortunately, she’s a morning person and the 12-13 hour time difference means that we get to spend a lot of time talking about writing and life.

Aimee takes her journalism very seriously as she reviews a Tokyo cigar bar.

Hey there! I’m Aimee Weinstein, and I’m a writer. Geez, I say that like I’m a recovering alcoholic! But in reality, a lot of my identity is tied up in my writing. Between that and my kids, my life is busy all the time.

My main occupation at the moment is finding an agent and then a publisher for the novel that I finished this year called The Broker of Time. In the novel, wife and mother Hannah Messenger works to balance her job as an attorney with a large New York law firm with her commitments at home and is largely unsuccessful. Hannah, being driven and directed, achieved a high level in her firm in her early forties. Her husband, a math professor, understood her passions when they married, but is tired of being the primary parent. However, with the demands of their children getting older and the work load increasing, Hannah's focus is wavering. So when she sees an email offering extra hours in every day, she is intrigued.

Though the price of the extra hours seems low at first, it steadily increases as she is enticed to add even more time to her day. Eventually Hannah must come to terms with the real value of her time: to herself, and also to those around her.

If the story line sounds interesting to you, and you’re an agent or know an agent, feel free to let me know and I’ll shoot the manuscript right to you!

This is my first book, but I have two others in the works. We’ll see how it all turns out!

The other interesting factoid about me is that I live in Tokyo, Japan. Here is a link to my blog about it: www.aimeeweinstein.blogspot.com. Tokyo is a fantastic city – it’s like Manhattan only clean, safe and quiet. I could rhapsodize for hours about the unbelievable food and the friendly people, but the best place to find info on Japan is the website on which I’m a contributor: www.nihonsun.com.

Here is my favorite blog post – an ode to my toilet:

“How I love thee, Toto Toilet. Thou art the comfort of my life. Your heat is so cozy in the dead of winter. Your control panel with its shining lights is a beacon of magnificence. The water that you spout keeps me clean and fresh at all times. The temperature gauges let me set the seat and water temps to my current desires and the force gauge ensures that your trickle is soothing and never painful. Oh I know that there are more opulent versions with the up and down seat feature or the big flush versus little flush options or air-dry button. I'm sure there are toilets in the clean-obsessed country of Japan that pat dry or auto-wash or even make coffee while you sit and wait. And alas, I cannot read the Japanese symbols, yet a kind friend mapped out the choices for me in English and said map is safely stowed. I am sure that English versions could avail themselves. But never mind; you dear, simple Toto toilet with your promise of comfort and care is the kindest of all luxuries after all the brutality of life as an expat in Tokyo. Now if you'll excuse me, I have business to which I must attend.”

The Japanese are very serious about their toileting habits, a trait which I find endearing. They are the type of people who make sure that whatever they do, they do it well and completely. There is no half-way in Japan. Their work ethic is tied up in the word Gambate – which literally translated means “hard work” or “work hard” but in reality, it’s so much more than that. Gambate is more than a command, it’s a way of life, and it’s the way I choose to live my life. I work hard for my family and my writing, which is why I get so much satisfaction out of it.

Thank you very much, Aimee, for your support of the Bay State Equine Rescue with this blog post!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Staring out at cloud-darkening skies
Current Music:
Hubby typing behind me
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Your introduction to the beautiful Bella is thanks to Stephanie Sanders-Ferris and Massachusetts Horse magazine who donated advertising for the Blogathon. I met Stephanie through the Bay State Equine Rescue because she shares our dedication to making the world a better place for horses. On top of the magazine’s positive mission, it’s an excellent resource and fun to read. MA Horse is available through tack shops across the state or get a subscription at www.mahorse.com

Bella's first day - photo by A Novel Friend.

Last October, New England Equine Rescues sent out a plea to rescues regarding a family of four Belgian horses who were being sent to slaughter. Rescues from all around the region banded together. Funds were tight, but at the time I had a enough to help the BSER sponsor the rescue of the mare.

She came to us malnourished with some of the worst hooves we’ve seen in all our time rescuing.

Bella's front & rear hooves - photo by A Novel Friend.

I was there when she arrived, and after a few name suggestions, Bella stuck. (I had mentioned Bella Sophia, for being beautiful and wise, but we ended up with Bella the Belgian.) She did live up to her name and is quite the beautiful girl.

She wasn’t too keen on humans though. (Gee, I wonder why!) But, rather than act up, she was very quite about it, simply moving away. After a while, she started warming up – especially when it came to grooming.

By December, long time rescue volunteer and supporter, Colleen Corrice had fallen in love with the Beautiful Bella and took her to her forever home, where she is thoroughly and appropriately adored. Then, just a few weeks ago, the rescue was informed about a wonderful surprise:

Bella & Baby Blanca - Photo by Colleen Corrice.

Our efforts had saved not one gorgeous horse, but TWO!

Colleen named the new baby Blanca because when she first saw her, she was this pure white.

Aren’t they precious?

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
still on coffee 1
Current Music:
peaceful quiet
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Kathryn Sullivan is an award-winning author and part of the Broad Universe Motherboard who loves horses and was absolutely enthusiastic in supporting the Blogathon. Check out her books through her information below.

How do you want people to contact you (website, e-mail, Facebook, blog, Twitter, address, storefront, etc.)?

Website – http://kathrynsullivan.com ; Email – mcgyver6@hotmail.com ; Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/kathryn.sullivan

Your web page says you were inspired by reading your father's science-fiction and fantasy collection. What books still stand out to you that made it clear you needed to be a writer?

I no longer remember the books I read that made me say “I can do better than that!” I didn’t keep those when my parents moved and I got to take the books I wanted. I do remember feeling exasperated that there were so many books that had boys having the neat adventures while girls weren’t allowed to go into battle and always had to be rescued.

James H. Schmitz’s Agent of Vega and his Telzey and Trigger series, though, showed me that yes, stories with female heroes would work. And work very well.

What was the greatest lesson you have learned about writing in your life? What is the greatest lesson you have given?

The greatest lesson I learned about writing was not to give up. It took me a long time to find a publisher. I hope that the greatest lesson I have given to young writers is the same. To not give up. If your dream is to write, then do so and don’t give up on your dream.

What books and projects are you working on currently? What do you have coming out for readers?

I’m currently working on a YA set on a space colony and on a sequel to my space agents stories from Agents & Adepts. After that, I’m planning another book with my Fleet One (a horse-like being) wizard. He snuck into Talking to Trees, but he’ll have his own book as well.

Your published books, The Crystal Throne, Agents and Adepts, and Talking to Trees, have all won numerous awards. What do you think resounds most with readers in your work?

I guess it’s the characters, though for each it’s different. I’ve heard from readers who like Jeanne the best, those who like Peter, and those who prefer reading about the Fleet Ones and Elin, my ‘horse’ wizard.

What do you find to be the best part of being a writer? On the flip side, what is the hardest/most difficult part?

The best part of being a writer is when the story comes alive and the characters practically start telling you their stories. It’s wonderful when that happens.

The hardest part is getting to that point: making sure that your characters and world are believable, that the science/magic works according to the rules of the world you’ve set up and the action happens for a reason and advances the story.

What is it about horses that inspired you to help through the Blogathon? Do you have a story about a horse (or horses) in your life - or how horse/s may have affected your writing?

I loved horse stories when I was young – fiction or nonfiction. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. My best friend in high school had an Appaloosa and I enjoyed hearing the details of taking care of him. The first version of The Crystal Throne was what happened when my friend went riding in the woods one day (although she never met a wizard in real life). Both The Crystal Throne and Talking to Trees have “talking horses”, with their own culture and customs.

I’m still fascinated about the impact therapy horses have had on people’s lives, which again demonstrates the bond people have with horses. I’m glad I can help in some way through the Blogathon.

Thank you very much, Kathy, for your support of the Bay State Equine Rescue with this interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Eating Chinese Food
Current Music:
Bunny taunting the cat...
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Your introduction to Star is thanks to Karen Blair and New England Horse Talk who donated advertising for the Blogathon. Karen also runs Free Bird Times and The Capeway Traveler. She runs the Free Bird Times Publishing Company, and has also run numerous stories on the BSER. Check out her publications at www.freebirdtimes.com

Star is the most recent member of the Bay State Equine Rescue family. We’re not quite sure what her breeding is, possibly a Missouri Fox type – or possibly just a beautiful bay “mutt.”

Star is one of the many equine victims of our economic recession. Her family was unable to care for her so, rather than just send her to auction where she may end up on an overseas plate, they made the responsible decision and turned her over to the rescue.

With the work of our volunteers, we’ve discovered that Star really does shine. She seems to have some show experience and is very sensitive to her riders. Her ground manners are good, and she snuggles for grooming (and treats). She would make an excellent companion and is looking for someone she can trust.

Star is available for adoption with a $500 donation. Please visit the BSER website for more information on our adoption procedure.

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Still eating Chinese lunch
Current Music:
Ice-Cream Truck outside
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Rick Roberge impressed me at a meeting of the Society of Professional Communicators in Worcester. We were having a speed networking meeting, and Rick was our presenter. He was an excellent speaker with great tips for all sorts of sales. Additionally, he was very approachable after the meeting, which is where I introduced him to my Blogathon.

Rick Roberge, Sales Strategist & RainMaker Maker

Business name: Kurlan & Associates

How do you want people to contact you? website: www.KurlanAssociates.com, e-mail: rroberge@kurlanassociates.com, blog: http://www.omghub.com/therainmakermaker, Twitter: @RainMakerMaker, address: 114 Turnpike Road, Westboro. MA 01581.

What inspired you to go into not only sales, but helping others achieve their sales goals? What drew you to this path?

I actually wandered into sales. My wife was in Nursing school when we were newlyweds and she studied a lot. So, I got a part time job selling Cutco knives. I saw a lot of people struggle and fail. Since then, I’ve sold a few different things and learned that selling is selling whether you sell widgets or air, products or services, commodities or specialties and that most salespeople know their product, but don’t know how to help people buy it. Even more importantly, many small business owners are much poorer than they need to be. They’re emotionally wrapped up in their business and often don’t invest the time or the money into learning how to sell. They have an idea. They’re good at something. They expect that customers will just see it and buy and many of them starve, unnecessarily.

What was the greatest lesson you have learned regarding making sales, and helping others make sales?

It’s NEVER about me. People won’t do anything for my reasons. They’ll only do it for their own reason. If I can’t find it, they won’t buy. It’s the same in my world. Until I know specifically what a business owner wants, they won’t hire me to help them get it. My first consult is typically 90 minutes of what do you want out of life? How come you don’t have it? And What will it take to get it?

What is the single most rewarding thing about your career? What do you enjoy the most?

Easy! It’s the look that someone gets when they get it. It’s not always a ‘quick fix’. Sometimes we have to do things multiple times, different ways until a client figures it out, but when they do, a light goes on in their eyes, a smile across their face and they have a new confidence in their ability to service their customers.

The "RainMaker Maker" is a great name. What's the story behind it? How did you come up with it?

I just did a Google search for “what is a rainmaker?” and am pleased to say that my inaugural post from 3 years ago was the third choice. The whole story is there, but there’s no feeling like being the rainmaker in a firm. The one that brings in so much business that he keeps everybody else in the company busy doing what they love to do. If a client wants to be a rainmaker, I’ll help them.

What makes you stand apart in the highly competitive sales culture? How does this get shared with people who you help?

I’m difficult. I don’t accept mediocrity. If a client wants to grow sales by 5%, 10% or 20%, I’ll tell them do 5%, 10%, 20% more of what they’re doing. If they tell me that they want to sell twice as much in half the time so they can buy a vacation home AND spend time there, that’s interesting. That’s not mediocre. There are a lot of people that accept less. I prefer to avoid them, so my market is that 5%-10% that want something more and are willing to change to get it.

What is the single most important piece of advice that you can give a person about sales (in addition to hiring you for a consultation)?

It really depends on the person, because different people have different head trash that’s keeping them from being successful. However, your readers might enjoy this. Stop listening to your friends! Look around you. How many of your friends have incomes similar to yours? Houses and cars similar to yours? Lifestyles similar to yours? If you started chasing a big dream, wouldn’t at least one of your friends ask you if you were crazy? Wouldn’t they encourage you to give up your dream? Why risk failure? What do you need that for? People don’t chase their dreams because they’re comfortable where they are and friends don’t let friends get rich because they’re afraid of losing their friends.

What sales advice might you offer equine businesses or non-profits in this difficult market?

Sure. You did it to me. I’m getting exposure for me, my business, etc. You want to save horses. You found my need and showed me how helping you save horses satisfied my need. (Re-read #2 above.)

Do you have a horse story you can share that may have inspired you to support this fundraiser?

No. Your passion did it. We were given dominion over the animals. It’s our responsibility to care for them. I’ve always had pets and take care of them. You gave me an opportunity to do a little more.

Do you have a good equine metaphor that would work for sales?

I think so. Many people have a ‘pony ride’ at a zoo, carnival, stable or farm as a child. The attendant helps you into the saddle. Shows you how to sit and hold on. The attendant leads the pony around the track and watches you to be sure that you’re doing the right things and to make sure you get around the track safely. Someday, that child will get their first real ride on a horse. They’ll hold the reins. Ride in a pasture or field. I see horses at Goose Rocks Beach occasionally. Some of those riders will become jockeys and some will win the Derby, etc. That’s kind of what I do. When a client is new, I put them with the prospect, tell them what to do, watch them closely, keep them safe, yada, yada, yada, until they win the Derby.

Thank you, Rick, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue through your interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
At the Desk
Current Music:
Video games in the Living Room
* * *

This blog post starts our first raffle of the Blogathon!! This first raffle is a set of 5 equine photo cards donated by Renée Goodwin, Mane Impressions Digital Photography. Below are some of her gorgeous pictures of Bay State Equine Rescue horses. Renée is a long time friend, colleague, and partner in art. Check out her amazing work at http://www.freewebs.com/maneimpressionsphotography/index.htm

To be part of the raffle, make a donation of at least $2 in the next hour. For every $2 you donate, you get another entry in the raffle! To get counted for the raffle, you MUST send me a receipt of your PayPal donation at trish (at) anovelfriend (dot) com [Get rid of the spaces, and replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . ]

Good luck!

Thank you, Renee, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue with your donation!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Hour 4 more than half done
Current Music:
TSO - Beethoven's Last Night
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Kara L. Gray is the owner of New Horizon Consulting and a colleague of mine from the Editorial Freelancers Association. She is also a horse lover and excellent person!

How do you want people to contact you (website, e-mail, Facebook, blog, Twitter, address, storefront, etc.)?

website: www.newhorizonconsult.com

email: kara@newhorizonconsult.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karagray

Twitter: @NewHorizon1

What inspired you to go into writing – specifically copywriting and consulting? How has it defined your life?

My background is in marketing and public relations, and I have always been naturally curious. I love to learn about new things and teach others as well. My inspiration to launch my writing/consulting business came from the fact that I was out of work! J I’d always wanted to start my own business, but with a family to support, I would have never left the security of a full-time position to do so. In 2003, I got the push I needed: I was laid off from my job as the marketing and PR manager at a nonprofit arts organization. I absolutely loved the job, but a shift in upper management made it clear that a change was coming. When the day finally arrived, I was actually more relieved than upset.

I landed my first paying freelance gig about two weeks later, and I’ve been off and running ever since. I launched my business with the intention of providing full-service marketing and PR strategy and campaign development/execution. However, I quickly learned that there were certain parts of that puzzle that didn’t appeal to me at all (ad buys and media placement), while the writing part of it became my favorite thing to do.

At the time, I didn’t realize that this was even a job a person could have. When I heard the words “freelance writer,” I pictured a journalist. I soon discovered the Editorial Freelancers Association and realized there was a whole community of people out there like me – which proved to be both comforting (I’m not alone!) and intimidating (more experienced competition!) at the same time. It’s turned out to be the most perfect fit for my personality and my lifestyle. I love contributing to the PR process without the pressure of placement and the schmoozing required.

Freelancing allows me to work for hi-profile, hi-tech clients all around the country (and some international) from the comfort of my rural home on 28 acres in the beautiful state of West Virginia. Most of my clients are surprised to learn that I live in a state that has such an unfortunate reputation for high rates of illiteracy, poverty and obesity. We rank high on every list of the bad stuff, and low on every list of the good. But, there are incredibly talented and creative people here, and it is part of my mission – my responsibility, really – to help change the stereotypes most people have about this beautiful state. In fact, we can read and write – some of us quite well!

What was the greatest lesson you have learned about writing in your life? What is the greatest lesson you have given?

The ability to communicate effectively through the written word is a vital skill for everyone. No matter what your chosen profession, the ability to write well will pay dividends in just about any situation. Throughout my education (both in high school and undergrad) there was an emphasis on writing across the curriculum – we wrote a paper in my college algebra class! – and I am certain that this was a major contributing factor in my current career path. This is both my most valuable lesson learned, and one that I share with others, including my 7 year old daughter.

As a consulting agency, there is more that you do than people may realize. Can you share how much you cover, especially parts people may not think of when they think of communications consulting?

My business has evolved from an “all-things-to-all-people” PR and marketing consultancy to become mostly focused on straight-up copywriting for PR and marketing endeavors. I write press releases, by-line articles, advertising copy, website copy, case studies and a variety of other publicity-related documents, mostly in the hi-tech sector.

However, one of the advantages of working with me is that, with my marketing background, I understand how the copy fits into the overall picture – the campaign, the strategy, the objective. I know that every piece is part of a larger whole, and I am careful to ensure that my deliverable maintains that consistent message.

In addition to the writing work, I still do a small amount of advertising and direct mail work, as well as website development consulting, for small businesses in my area.

What's the story behind your company's name of New Horizon? How did you come up with it?

When I was laid off, I half-heartedly sought another full-time job, but found that the prospects were slim in my area for a position that afforded me the creative freedom, flexibility and salary I’d been accustomed to. For about 6 months, I juggled job searching with freelance projects and found myself worrying that one day I’d land the perfect job and I’d be forced to drop the ball on a project in mid-stream. One day, I finally decided it was time for me to make a clean break from the job search and explore new horizons. I considered a business name that included my actual name, but a friend suggested that it might give the impression that I was too small. A “company” name afforded me the scalability I should need if I were to bring on partners or add staff. I just couldn’t get comfortable with anything except this concept of exploring new horizons – so it stuck.

What can people expect when they hire New Horizon Consulting? What are you happiest to provide clients with?

I’d have to say that the hallmark of the “New Horizon Consulting experience” is my can-do attitude. I work very hard to be positive and flexible in order to meet my client’s needs. I’m willing to go above and beyond, help out in a pinch and make it a priority to see that there are no loose ends left hanging. I’m also very professional, motivated and independent. My clients know that if they ask me to do something, I’ll do it – no hand-holding required. It’s also very important to me that I represent my clients well when interviewing sources for articles, etc. I work with a couple of PR firms and other clients on projects that require me to function as though I were an employee of that company, so it’s important that I represent them well in order to keep my client and their clients happy.

I am happiest to provide clients with exactly what they need when they need it. I do a lot of ghost writing work, so often someone else’s name is attached to work that I actually produced. I’m fine with this, of course (that’s just how it works), and it’s incredibly rewarding to hear the “author” say that I was able to capture and convey their thoughts better than they could have themselves.

You told me about the two wonderful horses in your life. Have horses always been a part of your life? Do they work their way into your writing/consulting life – directly or indirectly?

I have two “mutts” – a Quarter Horse pinto gelding named Breeze and a palomino paint gelding named Phoenix. I have literally been riding horses since I could walk (maybe before), beginning with a Shetland pony that, to this day, none of my cousins/neighbors can agree upon who actually owned him. He was community property! I got my first horse when I was 5 years old – a gorgeous, bomb-proof red chestnut Quarter Horse/Morgan named Pretty Boy. My dad would help me saddle him, and I’d pull him alongside anything that could serve as a boost and I’d be off. I spent hours atop that horse, especially during my teen years, when horseback riding meant freedom from parents with my friends. He had to be euthanized during my senior year of college and I cried more over the loss of that horse than I have over any human relative. I still miss him and I’ll never find another like him.

Horseback riding provides me with the kind of mind-clearing euphoria that I need in order to come up with the hook to get me started on a project. Rarely can I crank out good copy while staring at a blinking cursor on a computer screen, especially if a deadline is looming. I worry more about the deadline than the work! I need to escape, clear my head, take the pressure off and allow the information I’ve gathered for a project to percolate. I’ve formulated whole press releases and articles in my head while riding. Since I rarely have paper and pen handy, I used to call my house and leave it on my answering machine, lest I forget the phrasing before I returned. Now, I record it on my BlackBerry!

What lessons have horses taught you about communication? What are lessons can horses share with everyone regarding communication and writing?

The most valuable lesson by far is to understand your audience and what it takes to reach them. Horses don’t really understand English, but they do take direction from physical cues and tone of voice. When one misbehaves, for example, screaming my head off isn’t going to make him understand what he’s done wrong; only that he’s done something to make me mad. But he has no idea how to avoid that in the future. It’s up to me to speak to him in a “language” he understands, by using the right cues to guide him in the proper behavior. By “speaking” to your horse in a way he’ll understand, he will come to trust and respect you, despite the fact that he could easily squash you like a bug. This builds loyalty and a much stronger relationship – much like the successful buyer/seller or vendor/client relationship.

Thank you, Kara, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue through this interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Still munching on Chinese
Current Music:
Cruxshadows - Happy Birthday!
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Congratulations to Kendra Lapin! Winner of 5 photo cards from Mane Impressions Digital Photography!

Some of you who may have seen the Blogathon from last year might remember Allf, our handsome Fjord.

(Photo courtesy Mane Impressions)

Allf had gone to a good home, but, like Star, the family simply couldn’t afford him anymore due to the economic crisis. We welcomed him back to our barn, and one of our supporters is currently fostering (and potentially falling in love with) this bright fellow.

Before I met Allf, I hadn’t even heard of the Fjord breed… so I was a bit confused when I first saw this dun or buckskin equine with primitive markings, sporting a tri-color Mohawk mane, looking something like a cross between a donkey and a mustang.

(We double the l to remind us that his Norwegian name should be/should have been pronounced Ahlf – not Alf, that alien from that 90s TV show.)

Alf is one of those horses that is exceptionally smart and sweet – and he uses said skills to get away with as much laziness as possible. When I started longeing him, I had to RUN after him… the second the longe whip wasn’t within distance where it could snap next to his heels, he dropped to a trot or his plodding walk. Mind you – I rarely had to even snap said longe whip – he knew the distance just by looking. If I was close enough, he responded perfectly to voice commands without an ounce of hesitation – and he had one BEAUTIFUL canter! – but if I had to slow just a bit to catch my breath, he knocked it down a gear. Looking right at me. I took one step and before I could get the TER out on “CANTER”, he was back in motion.

Of course, now, with much more training and experience under his girth, Allf is doing much more riding with his fans. He loves trails and new challenges. If his foster family doesn’t scoop him up, he is available for adoption. Find out about the BSER adoption procedures at our website.

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Looking at still darkening skies
Current Music:
Doctor Who Season 4 soundtrack
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Phoebe Wray joins the BSER Blogathon for the second year in a row. An amazing woman: writer, teacher, actor, poet… she is also president of Broad Universe, an international organization promoting women in science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and other genres. Her first novel, JEMMA7729 is available through Edge books.

How do you want people to contact you (website, e-mail, Facebook, blog, Twitter, address, storefront, etc.)? email: phoebewray@aol.com, website: www.phoebewray.net

In other interviews, you show that you've been a storyteller for all your life, and you've used all sorts of means to tell your stories, from poetry to essays to theatre to researched articles. Do you have a favorite medium for storytelling? What makes a good fit for a story and its medium?

I don’t have a favorite medium. When I sit in front of a blank page, the idea suggests the form. I’ve been working on a play for a couple of years, with a good draft now undergoing serious rewrite. When I got the idea, it clearly wanted to be explored in dialogue. I suppose it could be a short story, but it wouldn’t be as interesting. Every form has limits. Good plays, for instance, don’t necessarily make good movies, whereas novels often do. The idea has to fit the form.

You also teach theatre at the Boston Conservatory. What was the greatest lesson you have learned storytelling for theatre? What is the greatest lesson you feel you have given?

The exciting part of theatre is its immediacy. You’re telling the same story over and over but it is never the same because its in real time. It’s also different because the feed-back loop from the audience changes every performance. Once a story is printed or filmed, any variations or new insights happen in the mind of the beholder, outside of the writer’s control. Theatre is generally focused on human eventsevents of the mind and heart and soul. They are the core, and good theatre people treat them seriously.

Greatest lesson I’ve given? I dunno. I suppose my mantra is respect your work, tell the truth, don’t be afraid to touch your own deep hurt places to tell that truth.

You also live - and have lived - a very active life in politics, the environment, and feminism. A lot of your experience is evident in JEMMA7729. How do you balance what you feel so strongly about with narrative in the story? What advice can you give writers who want to tell stories tied closely to one's beliefs?

The book is boss. What it needs is what belongs in it. Jemma ain’t me. Yes, there are certainly ideas and opinions in the novel, and probably everything I write, that come out of my self and my experience, but it’s not autobiographical. It was influenced by the pain and outrage I was feeling about the invasion of Iraq. We write what we think and care about or what’s the point of writing? If your own life isn’t in it, what is?

I wouldn’t give advice to a writer until the story is written. I would get my back up big time if someone told me what I should write. That said, the characters are boss, too. It’s what they need to be whole that counts.

What books and projects are you working on currently? What do you have coming out for readers?

I’m not sure what’s coming out next I have a number of short stories under submission. I have a creepy horror story in Backless, Strapless & Slit to the Throat: A Femme Fatale Anthology that’s available from Inkspotter Press. I’m in the end-phase of a sequel to JEMMA7729. It has been written for some time, except for the opening, and that’s what I’m doing now. It’s complicated but fun. I mentioned the play it’s a comedy-mystery with no redeeming social values, just a fun night in the theatre. Well, I suppose it does take some serious swipes at television forensic shows. And I have a fantasy/magic realism trilogy that I’m polishing. Two novels are done, the third is in good draft. They’ve been sitting on my desktop for awhile, so they’re mellowed.

What do you find to be the best part of being a writer and a teacher? On the flip side, what is the hardest/most difficult part?

The best part is doing the writing and teaching. I enjoy being lost in my characters and their worlds. I get happy inventing places and people. I love standing in front of a class and showing them something they didn’t know - watching virtual light bulbs pop up over their heads, sharing as they connect the dots. That’s great.

The hardest part ... in writing, when the ideas don’t come or when a character walks down an alley where she/he shouldn’t go. Or finishing something, letting it steep a little, then going back to find a glaring error or a huge omission. And, of course, if I work really hard on something and think it’s good and then nobody wants it. That’s not so much fun.

The hardest part ... in teaching, well, I teach History of the Theatre and Cultural History, and every year when I set up my classes I agonize over what I may safely leave out. Even with 28 weeks to teach, I have to pick and choose and know that there’s so much more!

Last year, you shared a beautiful story about Starlite, your dream horse, and how she influenced your childhood. What do you think makes horses such powerful icons for children, particularly girls? What is the magic of horses for you?

Ah, a complicated question ... First, their beauty: beauty and strength and power and speed. How can we not admire that? And their cooperative nature. Are we flattered that there seems to be a symbiosis between us? I look at a horse and my head swirls with images from cave drawings to medieval tapestries to the Preakness on television. All of which connects somewhere with freedom. Think of ancient times, when women were truly repressed as a social norm. If a woman had a horse she could get away for a little while at least with a friendly but mighty spirit, become a centaur for a moment, in charge of her own well-being. That has to be important. Do little girls sense all of that? Perhaps.

And that’s their magic for me, too what they represent as our splendid life partners from ancient times until this day.

Thank you, Phoebe, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue through your interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
At the Desk
Current Music:
La Oreja de Van Gogh, 28
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New Raffle!

Thank you to my friend and colleague, Sylvia M. DeSantis, for her donation of an inscribed edition of Patchwork Path: Grandma’s Choice, an anthology of grandmother stories. It’s a beautiful book sitting at 4 ½ stars at Amazon right now.

I met Sylvia through Smarthinking, an online tutoring company, and got to know her when a bunch of us started a critique group. Sylvia is a beautiful writer, an excellent teacher, and a lovely person. She was excited to help out with the Blogathon; she said in her e-mail to me, “I've told you before, it's awesome you do horse rescue.” In helping other animals, she also has written a great article in the 2009 Summer edition of Reiki News Magazine entitled: “Creating Trust: Reiki with a Feral Kitten.”

She adds, “I've gotten the sweetest emails from people regarding animal rescue, so I know there's a lot of concern and love for this work out there!”

Thank you, Sylvia, for supporting the
Bay State Equine Rescue with your donation!

For more information on Sylvia and her work, visit:

To be part of the raffle, make a donation of at least $1 in the next hour. For every $2 you donate, you get another entry in the raffle! To get counted for the raffle, you MUST send me a receipt of your PayPal donation at trish (at) anovelfriend (dot) com [Get rid of the spaces, and replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . ]

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Just had a visitor who needed his tripod back
Current Music:
Roger Cline & the Peacemakers: Turbo 8
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I met June House, RN and Holistic Health Nutrition Counselor of Healthy Living Now, a few years ago, and was inspired by her to work on better health. In our sessions, I learned quite a bit about healthy eating, and how foods affect you on not only a physical level, but mentally and physically, too!

How do you want people to contact you (website, e-mail, Facebook, blog, Twitter, address, storefront, etc.)? website: www.jjhouse.org

What inspired you to get into Holistic Health? What was your journey like?

My own inspiration came from a chiropractor who showed me an alternative way of healing. He used herbs, vitamins and whole foods.

My journey began with the discovery that I had breast cancer. This led me further into using alternative ways of healing such as Ayrvedic medicine, naturopathic, and internal cleanse. I went to energy healers, psyche, herbalist and counseling. My greatest healings came from self-nurturing, meditation and yoga.

What did you find to be the most challenging part in educating people about a holistic, healthy lifestyle?

The greatest challenge educating people is teaching them to listen to their bodies needs. What is your body saying to you in the present moment? Are you an emotional eater? Do you eat according to your moods or do you eat to nourish your body? Are your other needs being met such as exercise, relationships, career and spirituality? All these are nonfoods, but are so important to living a healthy lifestyle.

What is one of your favorite stories to share about a client you helped?

A male client in his 40’s came to me with high blood pressure. He did not want to go on medication for high blood pressure. We continued to go over his diet each week and made changes in his diet. He discovered that he was eating too many hot spices and salty foods. After a few weeks, as he changed his diet, his blood pressure went down to normal.

What is the most important thing that you, specifically, offer to the clients you coach in a healthy lifestyle?

The most important thing is that everyone is a unique individual and no one diet or life style works for everyone.

What do you think is the biggest mistake most people make in trying to lose weight or attain a healthy lifestyle? How can they avoid this?

The biggest mistake people make is going on a diet and depriving themselves of certain foods. Diets do not work, but changing ones eating habits and eating right does. Another mistake people make is not looking at their lifestyle. Lifestyle does affect your eating habits. Making small changes such as job change or better ways of handling the stresses at work can help change your eating habits.

What do many people get RIGHT about changing their lifestyle – that they may or may not realize they are doing right?

Clients begin to realize that what they put into their bodies really does make a difference in their health. They get the connection between emotional eating and stresses in life. They slowly begin to feel more vitality and energy, focused, and happier in life.

Since the Blogathon is supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue, what role can horses – metaphorically or directly – play in a holistic and healthy lifestyle for humans?

Horses eat whole grains, drink plenty of water and exercise daily. They listen to their body’s needs.

Thank you very much, June, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue with your interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Looking at Lightening
Current Music:
Cruxshadows - Happy Birthday!
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Congratulations to Stefanie Gannon for winning Sylvia M. DeSantis’ anthology Patchwork Path: Grandma’s Choice.

Now, to take a break from copy and show you some beautiful rescue pictures!

Thank you to Jane Derosier and other volunteers for these pictures. J

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
At the Desk
Current Music:
Stormbird songs
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Cindy Corliss is a second time sponsor to the Bay State Equine Rescue Blogathon. I met her through the Editorial Freelancer’s Association This year she simply gave a wonderfully generous donation – and then offered her slot to someone else. However, because she’s been such a good friend to the rescue (and to me), she deserves to have her guest blog spot. Here is her great post from last year:

My name is Cindy Corliss and I created Bookworm, Inc. in 2004. I’ve edited, indexed, or written fiction and nonfiction. Prior Bookworm, my publishing experience in the corporate world was as a production editor for an international electronics company; as a technical editor and in-house indexer at an international ITS association. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English, an associate's in criminology, and have completed several continuing education courses (directly and indirectly related to publishing).

I grew up with many animal friends. Over the years, I’ve rescued animals, including my cats and dog, and I remain passionate about animal behavior, health, and welfare. If you are writing to better the lives of animals, you may receive free indexing, editing, or writing. I’m particularly interested in (but not limited to) these subjects:

Elephants. Documents written to put an end to: culling; the ivory industry; the use of elephants in entertainment industries.

Racing Industry. Documents written to end the doping, slaughtering, and disposable-animal mentality of dog and horse racing.

Years ago I worked as an apprentice jockey at racetracks in the northeast and at Los Alamitos (CA).
As a naïve teenager, I was surprised to learn that racetracks did not serve as gathering places for horse lovers! Many racehorse owners view their horses as commodities and are not the least interested in the animals but in the money and prestige gained from these “possessions.” I’ve witnessed doping, beatings, and other cruelties inflicted upon racehorses. As one of the few females (then) in such a male-dominated mega industry, I simply left in disgust.

If you are working/have worked “behind the scenes” of horse (or dog) racing or an entertainment industry (especially the circus); have witness the abuse of elephants, dogs, or horses; and would like these factual accounts known in hopes of alleviating injustice against animals, I’d like to help you with your story. I promise to keep your identity private and all communication confidential unless you request otherwise.

Please contact me if you have information but don’t know how to beginning writing, have already written material but suspect you need an editor, or have completed a publication and need an index.

For more information, please visit my Web site at www.bookworminc.com or e-mail me at Cindy@bookworminc.com. Include your contact information, background info relevant the above topics, and status of your project. I’ll respond as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Cindy Corliss

Bookworm, Inc.



Thank you, Cindy, for your continued support of the Bay State Equine Rescue!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Watching it get dark
Current Music:
TSO - Beethoven's Last Night
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This next raffle is thanks to Pennie Mills of Ladies Blend Design Studio.

Ladies Blend is where simplicity and beauty entwine to create fresh and uplifting, stylish designs. Check out Pennie’s beautiful handmade jewelry, sterling silver earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and exquisite eco-friendly candles.

Ladies Blend has donated this beautiful Heart Anklet and Soy Candle Gift Set:

Thank you, Pennie, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue with your donation!

To be part of the raffle, make a donation of at least $1 in the next hour. For every $1 you donate, you get another entry in the raffle! To get counted for the raffle, you MUST send me a receipt of your PayPal donation at trish (at) anovelfriend (dot) com [Get rid of the spaces, and replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . ]

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
dancing in chair
Current Music:
Cruxshadows, 8th Square
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This blog post about the Bay State Equine Rescue’s new location and barn addition are thanks to Scott Wooldridge, my wonderfully patient husband who puts up with a horse-crazy wife and has kindly taken to waiting on me hand and foot during this Blogathon! I love you, dear!

Not everyone is supportive of non-profits – particularly in hard economic times. Last year, the Bay State Equine Rescue had to leave the barn they started with in 2002 and move because rent had gone up too much and the buying price for the land (because we needed to dig a well for water in the winter) was too high.

So, our president Susan, and her wonderful husband Tom, opened their home up to the rescue. Fortunately, it was right across the street so moving wasn’t overly difficult.

However, there was still a lot of work to do.

Susan’s barn wasn’t big enough for all the rescues, so we needed to build an addition. Susan and Tom started clearing their land, and an old friend, Buck Van Hook, came to help with his sawmill. They turned their trees into planks, and volunteers and the community came together to help build the addition.

It’s still a work in progress, but it’s something special!

Help us finish our barn by donating now! All donations still enter you in the raffle for Ladies Blend gift set.

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Stretching shoulders
Current Music:
Light rain outside
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Congratulations to Karin Orsi for winning the Ladies Blend gift set!

Breeze is one of our poster horses. She came to us, nameless and neglected. When Breeze first arrived, it was clear she’d never been handled by humans. Volunteers had to catch and wrestle her to get a halter on… and get some of the excrement off her coat – as the family had been living in a set of stalls that had not been cleaned in a long time. Her fluffy coat was just covered with filth.

Supporters and sponsors sent in donations for a chance to pick the foal’s new name; volunteers sorted through these names and voted. Bay State Breeze was it – and it truly fits her fun little personality.

She’s now a yearling with just a bit of yearling attitude, but she’s also quite the love with nuzzles during grooming. Her Appaloosa spots are just beginning to come out. She’s got a cute little white spot on her chestnut bum, as well as one on her shoulder. Like her mother, Tee (who is in a new happy forever home), she’s going to be the kind of Appy who’s coat is a beautiful surprise each year. Her ground manners are very nice, and she’s a lot of fun to work in the round pen. Curious and just a little sassy, Bay State Breeze will make a wonderful companion to someone.

Rather than do a lot of writing, let me share some pictures of uber-cute-foalness. Most pictures are taken by Jane DeRosier, a few were taken by me.

Breeze is the poster child for a hopeful future for horses. Help make that hope a reality by donating to the Bay State Equine Rescue!

She’s also available for adoption, so visit the Bay State Rescue website to find out more.

To help more horses like Breeze, please make a donation to the rescue below.

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Stretch, stretch, stretch
Current Music:
La Oreja de Van Gogh, Despiertate
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I met Frank Belzer through Rick Roberge, who posted earlier. Being a history buff, myself, I absolutely love Frank’s metaphors and lessons from sales that come from historical events.

How do you want people to contact you (website, e-mail, Facebook, blog, Twitter, address, storefront, etc.)?

Email – fbelzer@kurlanassociates.com

Blog - www.omghub.com/sales-archaeologist-blog

Mixing sales and archeology/history is a unique and interesting take on both studies. Which came first? How did your career path move in this direction? What influenced your final decision to focus on sales and help others achieve sales goals?

I was reading history books when I was eight so I guess that answers that question. I think one of the secrets to teaching anything is combining the message with something that makes it memorable – a lot of my contemporaries use sports analogies and I use historical lessons. I don’t think it really matters what vehicle you utilize to get the message across as long as it is done with passion and the lesson isn’t lost in the material.

What is your favorite lesson from history regarding sales? Why?

That’s really too hard to pick – I guess one of my favorite posts centered around the RAF pilots of World war two that fought in the battle of Britain. It really combined a number of lessons from history, they were part of a team, they had to fight as individuals, they had to rely on instincts, they needed courage, they were the underdog etc. All good sales related application.

What is the most challenging part of mixing history and sales? Do you have a "least favorite" time period to reference?

Actually my favorite time period historically is ancient history – Greek and Roman, but truth be told some of the better teaching periods have been from the Napoleonic wars on, I think most of my posts have ended up being drawn from 19th or 20th century events – go figure!

What is the single most rewarding thing about your career? What do you enjoy the most?

This is going to sound cheesy but when someone really starts seeing the ways you have helped them and starts looking at you as a real advisor and trusted resource – that is what it is all about. We like helping and when someone responds and appreciates the help it is very rewarding.

What makes you stand apart in the highly competitive sales culture? How does this get shared with people who you help?

We are focused on fixing the root cause of problems that exist and not just the symptom. We won’t even begin training without understanding what we have to work with and diagnosing the issues. This means we have a higher success rate and we improve the individual long term. It also means we are more costly than a boxed training program but then again we fix the problem and they don’t.

What is the single most important piece of advice that you can give a person about sales (in addition to hiring you for a consultation)?

Be committed to improving and don’t think you know it all – this needs to be a personal goal that would manifest by things like your reading habits, are you reading everything you that might help you get better – even books that are not sales focused?

Since this Blogathon to support the Bay State Equine Rescue, do you have a good lesson from horses in history that applies to sales – or vice versa a sales lesson from history that applies to horse owners, businesses, non-profits?

Alexander the Great rode a black horse called Bucephalus to victory all over his ancient empire. The horse was legendary and extremely brave and was much beloved by Alexander. Interestingly Alexander’s father acquired the horse for a real bargain of a price because nobody could tame the animal. Alexander was given a chance and surprised all by subduing it. He spoke soothingly to the horse and turned it towards the sun so that it could no longer see its own shadow, which had been the cause of its distress. Alexander successfully tamed the horse. So the best sales people, the bravest, the ones that will carry you to victory may require some work, some trust and some skills in order to reach their full potential. But they will be well worth the effort.

Thank you, Frank, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue with your interview!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Eating yummy salad made by hubby!
Current Music:
Doctor Who Season 4 soundtrack
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Raffle # 4 is thanks to the fabulous Kelly Harmon!

I met Kelly at Balticon last year through the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. She read from her novella “Blood Soup,” which was not only the winner for the Fantasy Gazetteer novella contest for Fall 2008, but will be coming out from Eternal Press this September.

She also is part of an excellent dragon anthology, BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON.

The prize for this raffle is a signed copy of BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON and a copy of the novella “Blood Soup” when it comes out from Eternal Press this September!

Find out more about Kelly on her website: www.kellyaharmon.com

Thank you, Kelly, for supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue with your donation!

To be part of the raffle, make a donation of at least $1 in the next hour. For every $1 you donate, you get another entry in the raffle! To get counted for the raffle, you MUST send me a receipt of your PayPal donation at trish (at) anovelfriend (dot) com [Get rid of the spaces, and replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . ]

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Almost 1/2 way there!
Current Music:
Roger Cline & the Peacemakers: Turbo 8
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A lot of my sponsors came from friends and colleagues of mine at Broad Universe, an international organization dedicated to promoting women in genre writing. On behalf of all these strong and spectacular women, let me introduce you to Avoca.

Avoca is a very special friend of mine. She is the BSER Pryor Mountain Mustang and the Alpha Mare of the rescue herd.

Avoca embodies all that I adore about horses and the traits of all my most beloved animals. She possesses a wild beauty, a sharp intelligence, and a stubborn streak wider than the broad side of the barn.

We took in Avoca as a foal. She was born with perfect sight, but developed cataracts and within 6 weeks was almost completely blind. BSER raised the money for surgery to remove these cataracts and, with the help of generous veterinarians, we were able to restore a portion of her sight. She is about half blind now, at 5 years old. While she is currently available for adoption, it is ONLY to the most special of homes that we would release her to: not only because of her special need, but because she has become so special and so much a part of the volunteers lives.

After all, something might go horribly awry at feeding time if she wasn’t supervising us from her stall!

Avoca, as I researched it, is actually a name for a location where two rivers meet in Ireland. Susan, BSER president, had told me the name was related to water. It absolutely suits our Rocky Mountain Pryor Mustang by that name.

We were refilling water while the horses were out and left the hose in the main trough so we could do other chores.

I recall the thunder of hooves and snorting and whinnying. I ran out with the other volunteer helping me, Melissa I believe; it was a Thursday morning. There was Miss Avoca, hose in her mouth, prancing back and forth, trying to reach the other horses in the herd with the spray. The other horses had moved away from her and were pretty well semi-circled around, trying to avoid her line of fire, giving her the biggest WTF faces I’ve ever seen on any animal. (Yes, horses can indeed produce clear WTF! faces). I suppose it was to their benefit she can’t see that well.

Avoca is also the main reason we are so often reminded, as volunteers, to double and triple lock all latches and to uphold frequent regular checks of all fencing; she is our Houdini. Here are more pictures of this one-of-a-kind treasure – who also has no problem hamming it up for the camera.

Please, consider helping out the BSER give wonderful lives to horses like Avoca by clicking below and donating now!

(Photos courtesy of Jane DeRosier and other BSER volunteers!)

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!
Current Location:
Full of yummy dinner - Thanks Scott!
Current Music:
Thunder & Lightning
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Congratulations to Scott Wooldridge who won Kelly Harmon’s book package!

The following letter is from my friend and fellow equine supporter, Kathryn Webers, the Massachusetts representative for ending horse slaughter and transport to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Kathryn works tirelessly to educate people about the inhumane practice of equine slaughter – when it was in the US and over the borders in Canada and Mexico.

Dear Horse Lover,

Horse slaughter for profit exists under USDA oversight, and their regulations intend to ensure humane transport, treatment at intermediate feedlots and operating US slaughter plants (there are no US plants today). Reality is that USDA regulations allow injuries, suffering, and death through each of those three industry phases. The industry survives because of this dangerous, low-cost bulk transport. Per these unenforceable, ineffective regulations, horses can ship up to 28 hours without rest, food, or water, their injuries from aggression and falls going unattended. None would ship their own horse under these hazardous conditions:


To understand USDA’s failure to ensure humane treatment, consider USDA’s own documents, but be forewarned of their graphic content. This is the slaughter industry:


At plants, the captive bolt gun is applied against a horse’s skull to have it unconscious for slaughter. This device was designed for cattle skulls and frequently fails to stun horses prior to butchering. Repeated blows and bleed-out while still conscious are not uncommon, though prohibited via the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958. The suffering is insupportable and Veterinarians for Equine Welfare declare: “horse slaughter is inhumane, and that it is an unacceptable way to end a horse's life under any circumstance.”

Horses are costly, but that does not justify inhumane treatment. Access to slaughter, via the nearest auction, fails to lessen neglect. The slaughter industry exists because foreigners want horsemeat, creating a quick reward for overbreeding and disposal of excess stock. Responsible owners never allow their horses to go to slaughter.

Suppose the poor US economy is making it tough for horse owners and breeders to maintain their animals. Why is the solution an act that is culturally and socially unacceptable, and having an appalling USDA record of humane violations? Responsible, post-career programs continue to increase across the country, including low-cost gelding, subsidized euthanasia, rescue and adoption. Sending horsemeat abroad as an alternative for good population control is ethically wrong.

Slaughter is not necessary. Humane treatment of the horse is necessary. Those who care about animals must ensure that public policy reflects our values. Send an email today to MA4Horses@gmail.com and join our state group as we lobby Washington for a ban on horse slaughter.

Kathryn P. Webers
Marshfield, MA 02050

MA4Horses (at) gmail (dot) com

(Photos of BSER horses that would have gone to slaughter courtesy of volunteers.)
Donate to help us save more horses!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!

Current Location:
Cringing at storm...
Current Music:
MASSIVE Thunder & Lightning!
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