Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's go!

 Dear Diary,

Humans are funny.

Auntie Niki and MomToo said we were going to a horse show. Auntie Niki shaved my legs yesterday, and today, MomToo took me to the washrack and gave me a big bath.

While I was getting my mane washed, I heard a noise. It was a truck. There was a moving box attached to it, and people were loading horses into the box. I didn't know the horses very well, but I whinnied to them.

"Hey, where are you going?"

"To the horse show," one of them said. "So long, Loser."

They had gone to the horse show and left me there!

MomToo led me to the cross-ties. She told me I could dry out in the sun. I didn't want to dry out in the sun. I wanted to go to the horse show. I got worried. Those horses were going and not taking me. I started to jump up and down in the cross-ties.

"Knock it off," MomToo told me, but I couldn't stop. I kept jumping. MomToo put my lead rope back on and made me walk into the barn aisle. We stood there for a long time -- almost forever. Then Auntie Niki came.

"So here's what's happening with Snoopy," MomToo said to Auntie Niki and told her about the trailer and the horses, and my whinnying and jumping.

Auntie Niki laughed. "He really wants to go to the horse show."

She took out the clippers and clipped my face and my bridle path. Then she told MomToo to put me in the cross-ties and she'd band my mane.

"You sure he'll be okay out there?" MomToo asked.

"Yes, the trailer's gone so he's probably over it."

She was right. The horses and the moving box had left, so I stood quietly and got my mane banded. Auntie Niki put my sleazie on me and led me back to the stall.

"Tomorrow, Snoopy," she said. "We'll go to the show tomorrow."

Silly humans. I wish they'd have told me that to begin with.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

To reality and beyond

How do you categorize a story that's true but not true? Snoopy's story is true, in the timeline, historical sense. He was born on the ranch, raised in pens with different horses, started with the groom, shown by Tina, broke his leg, etc.

But when I wrote his book, I took many liberties with the characters, especially those in the hospital. He was there for a long time. I don't know how he passed the time. So the horses he encounters there are completely fictional.

When it came time to write that first page of the book that says, these characters are fictional, I was in a pickle. How to I write that it was true and not true?

Here's what I went with:

This is a work of fiction, based upon a true story. Some of the characters are fictional. Even the characters that truly exist have been modified to suit the author’s needs. Unless you believe that horses really talk. Then it’s all completely true.

Think that works?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cover reveal (insert trumpets here)

I had such a clear vision of what the cover would look like. Snoopy would be running, kicking up his heels, full of life's joy. Lynne took the photos. I handed several to Joe, along with the title, etc.

What Joe gave me wasn't at all in my vision... it was better.

Look at that face. It's so full of personality. The red is a perfect shade of brick, the font whimsical, and I like that dark line close to the spine.

It's not what I asked for but it's everything I wanted. At first, I was disappointed that we didn't use the full photo, but Niki pointed something out that I needed to hear. She said, "We needed to take those action shots just to get his expression."

Soon, Joe will have the back cover and spine for me as well, and I can start assembling the book. Those ARCs are practically in the mail!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The cover is coming! The cover is coming!

"Publishing a book takes too long for an author and not long enough for a publisher."

Jennifer Silva Redmond told me that, and after self-publishing five books, I agree. My little author's foot is tapping while I check my watch and wonder why my book isn't out there yet. In the meantime, my inner publisher is looking at the calendar and asking herself why she promised ARCs at the end of February when the end of March would have given her so much more wiggle room.

The pieces are finally beginning to knit into their final tapestry. Lynne Glazer, the photographer I can never praise enough, got me all the pictures last night that I might use for the book. "Might?" I hear you say. Yes, you heard correctly.

I work with a wonderful cover designer, Joe Felipe of Market Me. All of my covers have so far been a collaboration - I give him some key images that define the book and he gives me three sample covers. I take the one I like best and we hone that one until it best represents the story I'm trying to tell (at least, in my opinion).

But this cover will be different, in that it will have a photo on it. No playing with images. Just Snoopy. So I thought giving him more than one pic would keep him from being locked in with a photo that he may or may not be able to work with.

These are the two photos I chose for the cover.

They show Snoopy looking at the camera, plus a nice shot of his broken leg, and I think that they will translate in thumbnail as being a horse instead of a weird blob.

For the back cover, I also gave two options. If I don't use the one of me and Snoopy on the back, I'll certainly use it on the "About the Author" page.

I love that he has the lead rope in his mouth. It's so Snoopy.

Hopefully, I'll have a cover to show you soon. And ARCs to hand out. I just have to keep Author Me in check while Publisher Me does her job.

P.S. This is my favorite photo of the whole shoot. I've got to find a way to use it. I just don't know where yet.

Friday, February 8, 2013

They know me and I know them

If you're a horse owner, you watch the Superbowl. Not for the football - for the latest Budweiser commercial featuring the Clydesdales. I admit, last year's entry, telling of the end of Prohibition, left me a little cold, except for when they got those two lead horses to rear. Rearing Clydesdales are always impressive.

This year's entry still makes me weepy, and I've seen it several times. It's not like I don't know how it ends.

I don't know how any horse owner (by owner here, I do mean those of us who own them because we love them, not because they are our beasts of burden or other means to an end) can watch the commercial and remain dry-eyed.

When I walk into the barn aisle, I hear two greetings. First there is a whinny from my big, black, goofy gelding. Usually, he is in the back of his stall, but at the sound of my voice, he sticks his head over his gate and calls to me.

As I walk to him, I hear a soft nicker to my left. It's my girl, my little wild red mare, saying, "Don't forget about me."

I stop to give her a kiss on the nose before continuing on, to pat Snoopy's neck. If I try to kiss him, I risk losing my lips.

Why wouldn't I cry over a horse who is separated from the man who raised him, then recognizes him years later, even if it is just a stupid commercial?