Life Provides Metaphors

Since the last day of 2014 (when it snowed 4 inches in North-Central AZ), I’ve been obsessed with doing jigsaw puzzles. I even got my SIL hooked on them! Some were downright challenging, like this oval of DaVinci’s Last Supper. Last Supper

I thought when the weather turned nicer–and it did almost right away–that I would put the puzzles away and escape to the great outdoors. But I didn’t.  Barn scene

I mentally chastised myself for “wasting” my time, not accomplishing anything. But still the desire, the need, the driving force was there–one more piece, one more puzzle, just one more…Cute Kitten puzzle

I mentioned this obsession to my grief counselor, and she told me something that piqued my writer’s mind. Doing puzzles is a metaphor for picking up the broken pieces and putting something back together.Puzzle pieces

As writers, we all use life experiences to shape our characters and our plots. This is just another example of something we can use in developing a character somewhere down the line.bridge & balloons

Just one more piece… Just one more…

Published in: on February 28, 2015 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Merry Christmas One and All!

Christmas-Tree-Clip-Art-6Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas! Thank you to my friends, my followers, and readers of my books for supporting me so wonderfully this year!

Heidi M. Thomas

Published in: on December 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm  Comments (2)  
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Western Music, Books, Poetry and Cancer

This past weekend I participated in the Silver Spur Western Gathering in Spokane, WA. This was a fundraiser for “Because There is Hope,” a nonprofit organization providing support and lodging for out of town cancer patients. It was founded by Melody Biehl, a breast cancer survivor, and funds go toward purchasing a permanent location, which will be called “Faye’s House,” for a friend who lost her battle with cancer.

The gathering was organized by Melody and Spokane author Dawn Nelson and featured numerous vendors with beautiful jewelry, saddle-makers, western clothing. On stage throughout the day were performances by cowboy poets Dave McClure, Susie Knight, Michael Whitaker and Alan Halvorson of Rockin HW, and Western singers: Almeda Bradshaw from Montana, Susie Knight, Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue, Cale Moon and Mary Kaye Naphus. In addition, we enjoyed a concert on Friday and Saturday nights.

I have a new favorite Western singer/songwriter to join Juni Fisher and Joni Harms on my Top Ten list: Mary Kaye, Academy of Western Artist’s 2011 Western Female Performer of the Year. She has a beautiful, clear-toned voice that I could listen to all day.

Another up-and-coming young artist I was privileged to hear was 17-year-old country/gospel singer/songwriter Cale Moon. He has a rich, deep voice reminiscent of Scotty McCreery, 2011 American Idol Winner and has written more than 100 songs.

I joined a wonderful group of authors, all hawking our wares, and sharing our stories as Spokane’s educational TV channel taped our readings. I will post the link when the show airs.

Although it was not a successful book sales event, I enjoyed meeting many good people, hearing some great music and fun cowboy poetry, and visiting with my sister-in-law. It was a fun weekend.

Join us in Blog Hop Day!

Welcome to the Blog Hop. Leave a comment on my blog and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a copy of one of my books. Then pick one or more blogs from the following list and visit for more chances to win prizes! Sponsored by BOLD e-zine.

PARTICIPATING BLOGS

1.  Bold E-zine
(1)   – $10.00 Cash Paypal
(10) – $20.00 Advertising Certificates redeemable with BOLD – Winner may use themselves or transfer the  advertising certificate to a friend.)
2.  Still Blonde After All These Years
$75.00 Lending Luxury.com Gift Certificate
3.  Bree, Home to Blogmania
$15.00 Best Buy Gift Card – $10.00 Cold Stone Creamy GC
4.  Di Doodlings
$10.00 PayPal – $10.00 iTunes – $10.00 Amazon
5. Momma Told Me
$20.00 Amazon Gift Card – $10.00 PayPal Cash – $10.00 WalMart GC – $10.00 Target GC
6.  The Socialite’s Closet
$20.00 Target Gift Card – $25.00 Apothica GC
7.  Books R Us
$10.00 PayPal Cash – $25.00 gift card to restaurant.com$10.00 gift card to Amazon.com
8.  Heidiwriter
Gift Certificate – winner’s choice – Cowgirl Dreams, or Follow the Dream
9. The Adventures of My Family of 8
$10.00 Gift Card – Starbucks
10. Turning The Clock Back
$20.00 Ecomom gift code – $25.00 Isle of Eden Code – $10.00 Starbucks Code
11. Maxwell’s Mommy
$10.00 gift card to Hashibags on Etsy$10.00 gift card to CSN stores
12. Kelly’s Lucky You
$10.00 PayPal Cash
13. Makobi Scribe Product Reviews
$10.00 Accent Studios Wall Decals – $25.00 Accent Studios Wall Decals
14. My Fitness World
Product code for Win X Bluray DVD iphone rippper
15. Mommies Playground
$10.00 PayPal Cash

How a Horse Taught Her about Fear

This is a wonderful post from the e-zine Vibrant Nation, written by Lisa Arie, the founder of Vista Caballo’s exclusive Innovation Ranch set on 160 acres in the Great Sage Plains of Colorado. Lisa shares the story of how she and her horse first found each other – and how their relationship helped her reconnect with herself, and with life.

Is there life after fear?
They say that whatever you are most afraid of will continue to show up in your life until you face it.

It’s a long process. Most people keep fighting or ignoring fear until one day, the big kahuna of fear shows up. That’s when you have to decide once and for all if you are going to step up or step off. That’s how my life as I know it now all began…

…I gave up my story and set out to find out who I truly was. And I did it with a horse as my guide…

Read more at Vibrant Nation.

And the winner is…

The jogging blogger who won a copy of my book, Cowgirl Dreams, on Blog Jog Day is Barbara G. Tarm from http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com Stop by and visit her blog.

Thanks to all who participated in this fun event, and to those who visited my blog and left a comment. This was a wonderful idea to introduce bloggers to each other. I hope all had a successful day.

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 3:06 am  Comments (3)  
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Blog Jog Day

Thank you for stopping by my Blog on this special Blog Jog Day. This is a first-time event to help Bloggers draw new and unique visitors to their Blogs; a must for successful marketing!

Leave a comment for me and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for an autographed copy of Cowgirl Dreams or a cowgirl/boy-related gift item.

Please explore all this Blog has to offer, then jog on over to http://www.sardiniansilver.com to answer the question for yourself: Can men write a good romance? A. Colin Wright sets out to prove that, yes, they can, with Sardinian Silver. Wright is an award-winning author of plays, novels, short stories and non-fiction.

If this link doesn’t work for you, try www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

If you would like to visit a different Blog in the jog, go to http://blogjogday.blogspot.com.

***

(Also check out the latest review of Cowgirl Dreams from http://fictionshowcase.blogspot.com/ )

Montana Storytelling Roundup

I was privileged to be invited to participate in the Montana Storytelling Roundup in Cut Bank, MT recently. I was thrilled, not only because I met many wonderful musicians, artists and storytellers, but also because Cut Bank is where my rodeo-riding grandmother grew up.

Cut Bank lies 60 miles west of Glacier National Park and often has the distinction of having the coldest temperatures in the nation during the winter.

I gave presentations on the importance of reading and writing in the high school and middle school English classes, and did readings from my book, Cowgirl Dreams, at the Hutterite Colony and Babb elementary schools, along with musician-storyteller Jack Gladstone and Glacier Park Ranger Pat Hagen.

Jack Gladstone mesmerizes his audience at the Seville Hutterite Colony

Ranger Pat Hagen gets audience participation at Babb School

Signing books at the Storytelling assembly

I had a great time there and it was a wonderful excuse to visit my home state once again!

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By the way, stop back here on May 9 for Blog Jog Day! What is Blog Jog Day? Visit and see!

Code of the West

This is a wonderful video that shows the heart and passion of the West. My home state of Montana is very similar to Wyoming.

The Code of the West: Alive & Well in Wyoming – Trailer

from Havey Productions on Vimeo.

And, from one of my favorite blogs, Cattlegrower.com is this article:

Cowboy Ethics
I just finished reading Cowboy Ethics, a book focused on showing the financial world how far they have moved away from the values and principles that some of this country’s greatest heros lived for. I originally bought the book because I was intrigued by the photography of the American West, but as soon as I opened the book I began reading, and an hour later I finished the book.

It really made me take into consideration the Code of the West that the author presents. True, some of the legendaryness (that may not be a real word, but it sure fits this spot) of the American Cowboy may be stretched or idolized, but the true message of the story comes through loud and clear. The message may be aimed toward the financial leaders of the country, but the story is for all Americans to read and to take into account.

The Code of the West that the author implies is as follows:
Live Each Day with Courage
Take Pride in Your Work
Always Finish What You Start
Do What Has to be Done
Be Tough, But Fair
When You Make a Promise, Keep It
Ride for the Brand
Talk Less and Say More
Remember That Some Things Aren’t for Sale
Know Where to Draw the Line

These may sound like a fantisized lyric from some ole worn out country song, but after reading through the story from the author I got to thinking about where my priorities are set and how I treat myself and those around me. So I strongly reccomend this book by author James P. Owen as a good read for those interested in an encouarging read, and not to mention the awe-stirring photos of the American Western Rancher from David R. Stoecklein. I would even consider this as a great gift for those you feel the need to share the message with.

What is your opinion/thoughts on these Cowboy Ethics and the Code of the West and where do you think the ag community stands on these things?

–ARranchhand

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 6:00 am  Comments (3)  
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Photos from WWW Conference

As a former journalist who forgot her camera, I’m relying on the photo-journalism of Joyce Lohse, fellow Women Writing the West author, to give a glimpse of our conference highlights in LA recently.

Our Dorm at UCLA. Joyce Lohse Photo

Our Dorm at UCLA. Joyce Lohse Photos

Social Hour with Linda Mocilnikar, Fern J. Hill, Me, Irene Bennett Brown

Social Hour with Linda Mocilnikar, Fern J. Hill, Me, Irene Bennett Brown

WILLA Winners: Michele Longo Eder, Ellen Waterston, Fern J. Hill, Barbara Linsley

WILLA Winners

WILLA Winners Michele Longo Eder, Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman’s Wife (creative nonfiction); Ellen Waterston, Between Desert Seasons (poetry); Fern J. Hill, Charley’s Choice: The Life and Timjes of Charley Parkhurst (historical fiction), and Barbara Linsley, Dreams on the Oregon Trail (childrens/young adult).

The tour group at Getty Center

The tour group at Getty Center

Beautiful sculptured gardens at Getty Center drew most of our attention on our short tour. We were also able to take in a 1951 B&W photo exhibit by Irving Penn. I can see that one could spend several days at the Getty to see it all!

Getty Center Gardens

Getty Center Gardens

Foliage at UCLA Dorm

Foliage at UCLA Dorm

Carolyn Wing Greenleaf & service dog, Heddy

Carolyn Wing Greenleaf & service dog, Heddy

Fond memories and wonderful photos by Joyce Lohse.

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 2:54 am  Comments (3)  
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