Ground Manners’ First Anniversary

Ground Manners’ First Anniversary

GGround Manners. A Novel was published 13 months ago.  One of the traditional publishers I’d sent it to wrote back saying that it was too political.  At least half a dozen advocacy organizations said they would publicize it on their sites; the only Canadian organizations that did were the CHDC and CHHAPS.  Since then, Carol M. Upton of Dreams Aloud Promotions  (see blog) has had reviews published in six horse magazines for which I am very grateful.

But Evelyne Villers was the very first journalist courageous enough to publish her Book Review on a novel written in English about the Québec horse industry.  And today, she re-published her Review with a few changes and also publicized my upcoming booth at the Salon du Livre in Rigaud this Sunday, March 25th.  I can’t thank her enough for this heart-warming surprise.  Please go here to read Evelyne’s review (en français).

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Good News about Ground Manners. A Novel

Good News about Ground Manners. A Novel

Every now and then, I have a brainstorm…as opposed to my usual state, “bubblebrain”.  I came across Carol Upton’s site almost by chance, circuitously anyway, as most “stumbles-upon” occur on the internet.  When I read her site, I just knew that this was the person I’d been desperately wishing into existence to help me market GM and its message to the public.  Now don’t get me wrong:  I have marketing experience; I’m a pretty smart cookie, neurons only just lately starting to crumble, so I thought I’d done a pretty fair job so far.  But now, Carol…well, Carol, like one of those gentle forces of nature–like a sudden wind that knocks you off your feet, or a downpour that wets you through and through before you’ve even processed that it’s raining–just shimmers into your circle like Gwenda in The Wizard of OZ, and carefully assesses your needs, dialogues with you (as a person and as a writer), and then produces results far beyond your expectations, and makes it appear so simple and easy, that you are left quite speechless (which, as you know, is a rare state for me).  (I bet she has a magic wand on her person somewhere; it must be another ‘practical magic’ thing, eh.)   So, before I go on to list and link to the important horse websites which Carol somehow persuaded to carry her excellent Press Review of GM, let me just say ‘thanks, Carol.  I am most beholden to you.’  And one of the most heartwarming results of Carol’s work on Ground Manners’ behalf is that Yvonne Allen, who owns Voice for the Horse in Langley, BC, has asked me to provide, as a prize, a copy of my novel for their First Annual International Writing Competition.  Now, I ask you:  does lightning strike twice?  

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Excellent News about le cheval Canadien

Excellent News about le cheval Canadien

[The following was written by Betty Baxter in the most recent CHHAPS newsletter. I was thrilled to read this! I’ve edited for brevity only.]  Preservation Group in Quebec buys breedings from CHHAPS member.  La Federation de producteurs des races patrimoniales du Quebec (FPRPQ), a non profit society established in 2005 to preserve the genetics of rare breeds in Quebec, contacted Five Winds Canadians as part of their project to purchase frozen semen from Canadien stallions of rare lineage to safeguard the genetics of these stallions for a minimum of 50 years….This will ensure that the genetic purity of the Canadian Horse will be available to breeders of the future.  It was an honour to have our stallion, Bromont Loupin Prince #5159 (see pic by Deb Harper), selected for this project and to have the Henryville line represented for years to come.

Why am I excited about this news?  Prince (see photo) is the gorgeous stallion gracing the cover of Ground Manners. A Novel.  Every time I look at him, I just babble like a schoolgirl.  I’d write him love letters if I could, but I don’t think he’s a big reader.  That’s my personal reason for being thrilled. Another reason is

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A Canadien Stallion: Saved from Slaughter

A Canadien Stallion:  Saved from Slaughter

If you search back through my prior posts (Horses), you’ll read about the demo against horse slaughter held in Quebec at the Massueville horse slaughterhouse (Viandes Richelieu) in October 2010.  The pic is of the magnificent, 5-year-old, registered, purebred Canadien stallion whose fool of an owner was ready to have slaughtered at Massueville for the petty price of $350.  “Macho” (now re-named) was rescued by the demonstrators, especially Celine Tremblay of les ecuries Diabolo who transported “Macho” to Refuge RR.  Most of the demonstrators were from the Ottawa Animal Defense League…but Dave and I were there too…it was a concerted effort on all our parts.  What a beauty he is!  I’m glad I was there and I’m glad we were able to save at least one…and such a one!  (Go to Refuge RR’s website to see a bigger version of this picture.)

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Every Horse Owner’s Friend: Deb Harper

Every Horse Owner’s Friend:  Deb Harper

Right…I know…my last post was supposed to be about the amazing work Deb Harper, natural horse trainer, does, and I ended up talking about so many other things.  Deb Harper  graciously allowed me to spend one full day and one half with her horses in Abbotsford, British Columbia.  Now understand:  I grew up with horses here in Quebec.  My middle brother taught me to ride (Western) and there wasn’t a horse I couldn’t ride, including our humongous stallion, Tornado the Third.  My youngest brother and I would ride for hours in the fields owned by B.P. (British Petroleum) and Union Carbide (they didn’t mind); we could ride for two hours in fields and forests, uninterrupted by civilisation…until we’d come up eventually to Henri-Bourassa boulevard and the nearest “Roi de la Patate”, a fast-food outlet of the era, offering steamed hot dogs and French fries, poutine…that sort of, um, brainfood.  We could stop for a rest, unsaddle and we and the horses would just lie down and chill…no reason to hobble or tie up our friends:  we were all just hangin’.  We were there together, just enjoying the place and the day. 

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