BarbaraEllinFox.com

While I am writing each day, a myriad of unresolved questions swarm my mind. Should I pursue traditional publishing? What about Indy? Should I continue to enter contests? How soon should I tell people about my stories? I have to tell you—there are a lot of questions. Another question is when should I tell my non-fiction readers about my fiction side? Once I invite people into my more casual mind-set, opinions could change. I’ve never been one of those people who eases the band-aide. I grab the edge and rip. Sometimes that’s good. Other times not so much. Writers are sensitive and ripping the bandageRead More →

Reno BarbaraElinFox.com

Reno is my BLM mustang who was captured by the government during the horrendous Calico round-up in Northern Nevada. In fact, his HMA (herd management area) Granite Range is the setting for my current work in progress. Over time I’ll tell you Reno’s whole story starting with his capture, but for now I’ll tell you about yesterday, because today yesterday is hard to forget. Mmm, Reno is a Little Chubby One thing Reno has difficulty with is saddle fit. He’s a large chested horse with a round back that is shorter than most horses.  Reno has a special gel infused saddle pad for his westernRead More →

real deal BarbaraEllinFox.com

In the 2007 movie “Wild Hogs” four middle aged suburban men take a motorcycle road trip to California on a search to find themselves. Along the way the four biker wannabes get into a mess of trouble when they run into the Del Fuego motorcycle gang whom they believe are the ‘real deal.’ The wannabes stand up to trouble and find the men they want to be. They also discover that the Del Fuegos are posers. Before the action starts we meet Paul, the owner of the local image bar where Doug, Woody, Dudley and Bobby hang out to fulfill their motorcycle fantasy. Paul isRead More →

morning BarbaraEllinFox.com

Morning in the barn is a favorite time for me. I love the sounds and the interaction with the animals. Hoping to find a way to share my blessings with you, I took photos and recorded sound this morning. If you’d like to listen to the birds while you read this post, just click on the sound bite. Where do they Sleep? Most of the horses spend their time outside unless the weather’s bad. Two usually come in at night—Reno my mustang, and Lewis. Reno has his own room for two reasons, and we’re alike in both cases. Reno is always dieting. He loves food,Read More →

love horses BarbaraEllinFox.com

 When did I first love horses? Not exactly a burning question for anyone other than myself, but every now and then, when I survey the Missouri farm and multiple horses in the pasture, I wonder—How did this happen? My Home I grew up on Long Island. That’s the skinny island that sort of looks like a fish with Montauk Point at one end and New York City at the other. Montauk Point is home to a lighthouse that was authorized by President George Washington in 1792. Long Island, or L.I., Is about 118 miles long and 23 miles wide and is currently home to more than 7,800,000Read More →

Capi BarbaraEllinFox.com

Capi is a 17.1 hand Percheron horse who weighs 1850 pounds.  That means he’s one inch taller at his withers (front part of his back) than I am at the top of my head, and he weighs more than eight times what NFL Quarterback Tom Brady weighs. I’m pretty sure this is the only time you’ll find me with Tom in a blog post. Capi is our first draft horse, and when he arrived at the farm his mass and height were intimidating. His hooves were almost as big as my head and his head was almost half as long as my body. The ideaRead More →

Desperation BarbaraEllinFox.com

Has desperation ever driven you to try something new? When you’re well educated in your field and you’ve been at your craft for a long time it’s easy to become skeptical of new methods. That’s the way I was about horse whisperers twenty-five plus years ago until a situation put me at a point of need. This particular situation requires remembering disappointment from the past, not a fun road to travel. God tells us in Is. 43: 19 & 20  “Remember Not the former things, nor consider things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceiveRead More →

Worst Fear BarbaraEllinFox.com

As writers we are told to discover or determine our character’s worst fear. Is she afraid of losing someone? Losing a job? Sickness? Losing her life? I had difficulty pinpointing just one worst fear for the protagonist in my first manuscript. Certainly she was fearful for her daughter’s safety but her daughter was only part of her life.  What deeply embedded fear motivated her? It wasn’t until I researched fear in riding students for The Riding Instructor blog that learned about root fears in an article by Karl Albrecht Ph.D.The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share. When I looked at Rylie with these five definitions,Read More →

Horse Whisperer BarbaraEllinFox.com

Being labeled a horse whisperer has not always been good for the person or the horse. In the 17th century there was a possibility that a person caught speaking to animals would be accused of witch craft, something that did not usually end well. The Following is an excerpt from J.S. Rarey’s Art of Taming Horses, copyright 1859. “In a work printed in 1664, quoted by Nolan, we have a melancholy account of the fate of an ingenious horse-tamer. “A Neapolitan, called Pietro, had a little horse named Mauroco, doubtless a Barb or Arab, which he had taught to perform many tricks. He would, atRead More →

Great Expectations Badge BarbaraEllinFox.com

I’m excited to share that Remember Not is a finalist in The North Texas Romance Writers of America Chapter Great Expectations Writing Contest 2018. This is our first contest entry for 2018 in the inspirational category. The process of entering was easy and the contest coordinator, Amanda Byrd, is super helpful. Why Do I Enter Contests? Wins are not the real reason I enter a writing contest. Feedback from contests provides valuable help to writers. Great Expectations uses very good judges. I received helpful advice for Remember Not from three published authors who were trained as judges.  Great Expectations was the first contest ever for the secondRead More →

Dressage Test like writing contest BarbaraEllinFox.com

What is a Dressage Test? A dressage test is a performance done by a horse and rider. There is a prescribed pattern during which the rider and horse perform certain movements. A judge with the benefit of a scribe scores each movement, makes comments, and at the end the scores are tallied and the winner is chosen numerically. What is a Writing Contest? A writing contest is a performance by the writer and their manuscript. There are certain prescribed rules and conditions required for entry. Several judges score particular elements, hopefully write comments and the points are tallied to choose the finalists. Is there aRead More →

Cover for Kiss of Deception

Rather than computer games or TV, reading is my entertainment, and I become frustrated when I can’t find a book to crawl into for a terrific adventure. I’d caught up on the latest releases of my favorite authors and had numerous other books that were either boring or had simple plots. Outside of Christian fiction I was disappointed by no depth to the morals and characters who couldn’t speak unless they used the most popular profanity. Give me a plot with depth, romance, adventure and make it contemporary. And they’re always better if they have a horse or two. Call me frustrated and hard toRead More →

Writing the end should be a peak among peaks for a writer but the problem with mountains is they rise out of valleys. The highs and lows for a writer. I was with Rylie when the world tried to gobble up a naïve Pollyanna. We lived through her horrible college experience and crushing demoralization. Rylie and I have been together for years and I’ve written the end twice with her. When she discovered a broken and abused kindred spirit in Eskador, I stood at her side, guiding her through the gut wrenching pain of a nearly destroyed creature. Together, we brought him back to lifeRead More →

But is a big fat three letter word. BarbaraEllinFox.com

Time is suspended between Christmas and the New Year. It’s intended for dreaming, reorganization, evaluation.  Since it’s part of the holiday season, pressure is off, most deadlines are met—until January 1 when it begins again. New, but… Shirley E. Gould’s interesting ACFW blog What Hindered You? got my mind on a roll. Paul wrote about the race. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 he talks about winning the perishable wreath and only one runner winning the prize. In His generous love God has made certain the best prize is within the reach of everyone in a race we can all finish. Shirley’s point was Galatians 5:7 “You wereRead More →

laugh BarbaraEllinFox.com

I Choose to Laugh There are days that I sit back and laugh (yes out loud) at myself, because crying would be just plain dumb. Besides, I never feel better when I cry. My writing journey has been a path of adventure with periodic highs and plenty of opportunities to stumble. I’m firmly committed to persevere, and I believe that I’m able to learn everything I need to know to reach my goal. And yes, I believe writing is the path God has for me. That’s why I trip over some of the smallest pebbles on the path and blunder my way into the underbrush.Read More →

happily ever after hands BarbaraEllinFox.com

I’ve been diligently working on a book proposal to send to prospective literary agents. This, I can tell you, is no small undertaking. One of the larger stumbling blocks in this project is book comparison. Book comparison? If my book was like someone else’s, why would I even write it? I’ve spent a couple of weeks searching for books like Remember Not, and I found a few with some of the same plot points, but not enough to fill my need. Besides, I had a niggling feeling that I didn’t quite get the idea of a book comparison. After reading what I thought was aRead More →

coffee and a note pad

This web site and I have been at a stand-off while I consider how to start the first blog post. And then I thought, why not? I’ll go first and tell you a little about me. Then maybe you’ll tell me about yourself. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m no stranger to blogging.  I’ve blogged at TheRidingInstructor.net for more than ten years. But this is different. This is the first blog post for my new author’s site where I’ll tell you about myself, writing, and other things I think will interest you. Writing this first blog post is like writing to someone you’ve neverRead More →

Red & Yellow fall leaves meme Barbara Ellin Fox

The view from my office window says it’s one of those gloomy sorts of days. Cloudy. Not with white puffy clouds that make you happy but with the grey ones, lacking shape, moving quickly across the sky. The weather app on my phone says 43 agrees. Later it will be 60. No rain.  The app isn’t always right even though the national weather center is ten miles from here. So I slip a turtle neck on with my jeans, add a polar fleece layer and then stick my arms into my vest. No sense being cold. I stuff my leather roper gloves into the pocketsRead More →