"Blessi's Mysterious Nose Blessi" Appears in Equus September 2018

My Icelandic horse Blessi really is my muse.  So far he has been mentioned in all three of my articles published by Equus magazine in the past year.  This month, "Blessi's mysterious nosebleed" is the EQ Case Report.  

"On the day before a holiday, a gelding's sudden nasal problem worries his owner as a veterinarian searches for the cause..."  

One day Blessi was discovered bleeding from both nostrils or exhibiting bilateral nasal epistaxis in medical terms.  Dr. Weeks, Blessi's vet from Gig Harbor, WA, became a medical Sherlock Holmes as he tried to make a diagnosis.  I learned lots of new words such as exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, guttoral pouch mycosis, aspergillus....We learned from where the bleeding was originating but not the cause.  Luckily, the nose bleed stopped by itself after two days with no other consequences. 

I  noticed that the cross section drawing of the horse's nasal cavity used in the article looks like it was inspired by Blessi--flaxen chestnut, mealy nose, limited forelock that Blessi has in comparison to other Icelandics but luxurious mane, thicker neck, wide jowls, slightly raven (roman) nose which is also not a breed characteristic...hum looks familiar to me.   How many owners have individual, color portraits of their horses' nasal cavities? 

Please check out Equus magazine.  This month's featured articles: 
- Dr. Bennett's article "Working horses of the West" was enthralling--a wonderful combination of history, romance of the West, artwork, and education about conformation. 
- Plus a friend and I were just discussing how best to trailer our horses so "Prevent shipping fever" was very timely.  
- And the article on "Surprising findings about saddle design" was revelatory.  Finding saddles to fit Icelandics is always a challenge so any good info is welcome.   

You really should invest in a subscription.

Character Creation Is Not a Crystal Growing Kit.

Page and Spine Fiction Showcase just published my article "Character Creation Is Not a Crystal Growing Kit."  My essay shares tips from writers on how to improve character development        Here's the first paragraph in my article.

"How does an author create believable characters?  Anne Lamott in Bird By Bird compares character creation to the development of a Polaroid or the growth of an individual’s emotional arch —the personality of the character reveals itself over time to the author.  In some ways this statement is a misleading to new authors.  It implies character development is as easy as one of those crystal growing kits you get as child.  Add water to the appropriate collection of minerals and, voilĂ , geometric shapes precipitate from the solution with no help from the kit owner.   I suspect many of us beginning writers don’t have the knowledge to mix the required chemicals to grow our own crystals without blowing up the lab and making a mess."

You can read the rest of it at the link below.   


Page and Spine Fiction Showcase is a really great site to read articles about how to improve your writing skills!  You'll learn a lot at this site. 

Impact of Gender in Publishing Success

Source: Wikipedia
Dana Weinberg and Adam Kapelner published their peer-reviewed study "Comparing gender discrimination and inequality in indie and traditional publishing" in April, 2018.  Shockingly, their results show that gender equality between men and women authors in price points of books, percentage of authors published, etc., remains vast in traditional publishing--even bigger than the current pay gap in the general work environment.  Indie publishing still has a built in advantage for male authors over female authors but the playing field is slightly more equitable than in traditional publishing. 

 Using data from 2002 to 2012 from Books in Print, researchers discovered that books by female authors were priced 45% below that of  male authors.  Books by authors with discernibly female names receive somewhat less investment by publishers.  "Relative to their overall representation in the catalog, titles by female authors are overrepresented among the largest publishers, namely the Big Five and other Large Publishers, and also among Audiobook Publishers. They are underrepresented relative to male authors among Academic and University Presses, Institutional Publishers, and other Traditional Publishers."

When examined by genre, the results are even more dramatic.  Comics, humor, history, and business books published are overwhelmingly written by men.  Male authors outnumber women authors by 2:1 in subjects such as antiques and collectables, biographies and autobiographies,  bibles, business, and computers.   Women authors significantly outnumber men in non-fiction areas such as crafts, and cooking.

In fiction, male authors dominate the genres of action and adventure, crime, legal, literary, science fiction.  Women dominate in the genres of romance, christian, erotica, christian, and contemporary women.   In fact, there tend to be significantly more male authors in the remaining genres. 

Of course what we don't know are how many women (or men) are writing under names of a different gender.  Note the researchers eliminated authors with gender neutral names.  Nor do we know what percentage of women submit works of science fiction and what are acceptance rates within each genre.  Nor do we know if there are differing investments by publishing houses in  such areas as editing services, publicity, etc.

Certainly an author may want to consider using a gender neutral name when submitting manuscripts for consideration in certain genres.  I have decided to use my initials when submitting works.  I also have to applaud the editors of on-line publications who ask for blind submissions so that gender or ethnic bias cannot impact the selection process.

You can read the entire article via the link below:

Page & Spine Showcase to Publish My Article on Character Development

I am so excited.   Page & Spine Fiction Showcase is going to publish my article "Character Creation Is Not a Crystal Growing Kit."   In addition to great fiction, this online publication features articles about the craft of writing on its section The Writers' Table.

Anticipated publication date for my article is mid July 2018. I'll put up the link as soon as it is available.

Here's a link to the most recent articles on The Writers' Table.  You'll find lots of inspiration.

 In the meantime, you can view below a timelapse video of crystal growth of citric acid.

Gliderry Embranglement of Mephitic Weasels

1809 Plate from Zoological Lectures by George Shaw
I love words.  I have been known to spend an hour scrutinizing Roget's looking for the precise noun, verb, or adjective to convey exactly what I mean.  Mental Floss blogged about "25 Smart Synonyms You Should Be Using."

Some of my favorite are mephitic defined as "a noxious, foul-smelling fume emanating from inside the earth,.....Case in point, skunks were known as "mephitic weasels" is the 19th century."

Nipcheese is "a ship's purser (the steward in charge of the ship's accounts),..... a mean, penny-pinching person."

"A brangle is a squabble or a noisy argument, while to embrangle someone is to throw them into a quandary or to utterly perplex them. An
                                                                                    embranglement, likewise, is a tricky, confusing situation."

Enjoy the remaining 23 words at the link below:


Equus Will be Publishing my article on Equine Epistaxis

Poor Blessi!
Several years ago, Blessi experienced a nose bleed or equine epistaxis.  He was dripping gouts of blood from both nostrils.  Even though there was no swelling and Blessi seemed to be experiencing no discomfort, I called the veterinarian.  He discussed several conditions that could be causing the bleeding such as a foreign body in the nasal passage, Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage, Guttural Pouch Fungal Infection, etc.

Dr. Weeks ran an endoscope up Blessi's nasal passage to find that he was bleeding from the sigmoid area.  You should have seen the expression on his face when Dr. Weeks ran a 16 inch endoscope up the nasal passage.  Blessi was surprised for the first few seconds but then settled down to see if there was a carrot reward involved in the process.

Best diagnosis was that Blessi had had some sort of stupid pasture accident and was bleeding internally due to blunt force trauma (not a horse kick since there was no swelling around the head).  The vet was not too worried and the bleeding slowed down and stopped in a few days with no further treatment.

I wrote up what I learned about equine epistaxis in a Case Study to help other horse owners.  Equus magazine informed me yesterday that they will be publishing my article in some future edition.

Link to my Equus Article "Riding with Theodore Roosevelt"

Pressreader has selected my Equus article for international distribution.  You can read the entire article about Theodore Roosevelt (without most of the illustrations) via this link. Note there are a lot of typos in this version due to conversion from print to online.


"Blessi's Mysterious Nose Blessi" Appears in Equus September 2018

My Icelandic horse Blessi really is my muse.  So far he has been mentioned in all three of my articles published by Equus magazine in the...