Sunday, April 7, 2013

Now He's Done It!

So, today while I was taking a break from writing to flip through my Twitter account and re-tweet things of interest, I ran across a couple of different articles from Best-Selling Author and Marketing Guru Jonathon Gunson.

He's talking about what to do with your social media accounts, what not to do and so on and he's a very informative gentlemen.  His articles are well-written, well-researched and well-presented in ways that are easy for people to understand.

A good one is,   and another, Seven Easy Ways To Completely Sabotage Your Book Sales Just to give the man some love.

But that's not what spurred this blog into action.  No, it was a comment he sent to @SamanthaDighton

Jonathon said:  Thanks for the RT @SamanthaDighton The Pixar story rules went far and wide. PS. Have you seen 'Wreck it Ralph'?

To which I replied:
Loved that movie! So many memories of early/mid/late, ok, earlier this morning on World of Warcraft
About 20 minutes later, I got an email to let me know he'd given that reply a "favorite".  I laughed like a little kid!  I swear I did...I think I might have even cracked a tooth too while I was smiling.  I couldn't believe that a Best-Seller Author and Marketing Guru would favorite something I said...
Little old me...who knew right?
But, that's not the reason for this post.  It really isn't.  (Love to Jonathon though!).
No, what it spurred, as things often do with me, was some of the childhood memories Wreck-It-Ralph had given me when I watched it a couple of weeks ago.
Things like...
My very first video game system...which, by the way, was an Atari!  Yes, I said it, I dated myself, but there ya go!
I wrote my very first short story on an old Royal Typewriter!  *gasp*  *shock* *horror*  Yep, you guessed it, I dated myself again.  And when I say typewriter, I'm talking about the massive, green MONSTER that sat on my mother's desk.  It was non-electric, had no form of correction except for me and my handy dandy little eraser pencil and erasable paper and if I got to typing fast enough, the tongues which slapped against the ribbon and ultimately onto the paper, tangled like a train wreck and I had to stop mid-thought and untangle them before I could keep going!
My Horse.
Now, for those of you that don't know, I grew up on a Ranch.  We had 52 people that worked for us and a number of horses, cows, chickens...well, you get the idea.  I also had this horse named Jared.  And Jared was well...special.
He was the smartest horse I've ever known and the most ornery!  Only myself, or on the rare occasion my father, could ride him.  He was almost 18 hands high and we think there was a Clydsedale somewhere in his family history.  There had to be because that was the only way we could find to explain his height and his smarts.
Anyway, Jared over the years became quite infamous for his antics and because my current WIP is set on a Horse Ranch, in Wyoming, I thought what better way to pay homage to a very fond, very loved and very missed part of my past than to incorporate him into the work.
He's been renamed Duke in the book but I know who he is and now, so do you.
So, without further ado, allow me to set the scene for you.
Tara, our Heroine, has been shot and is having a second surgery to remove a chunk of bone from where it has settled next to her heart.  Dane, our Hero, Tara's family and some of the Cowboys that work her have gathered in the waiting room to well...wait.
Now, keep in mind as you read, the stories the crew tells about their Boss, Tara and her horse, Duke actually, really and truly happened in real life.  Only, replace Duke with Jared and Tara with...yep, you guessed it, Me. 
So, with that said, enjoy this brief blip into my own past...
In the end, Thad convinced Dane to give his consent and by noon on May 14th, she was back under the knife.  It had taken some doing, but after all the arguments were said and done, he had to agree that this was her best hope.  It was her only hope actually.  Leaving the bone piece in her chest would kill her, more quickly than not doing something about it.
Still, he’d never known time could move so slowly.  He, Thad, Madie, Simon and half-a-dozen of the cowboys milled about the waiting room and every time he checked the clock, it seemed to have only moved a minute. 
Max had stayed at the Ranch to keep everyone working and Tara would have liked that.  The place was her pride and joy after all.
“I can just hear her now,” Madie whispered tearfully, as if she’d read his thoughts.  “This place doesn’t quit just because I get shot…”
The tension broke with those not-so-simple words and they shared had a chuckle. 
One of the cowboys said, “You guys remember that time she broke her leg?”
Simon rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath.  “Don’t remind me!”
The group laughed and he looked at the one who’d spoken.  “What happened?”
Jones sat forward, elbows on his knees and twirled his hat in his long fingers.  “It was what, guys, ten, eleven years ago?”
Another of them, Blake he thought, answered the question and picked up the tale.  “Twelve,” he said.  “She’d just come back from college.  She strutted around for all of a day, I think, all proud of her degree, trying to be a little lady and what not…until she climbed up in the hay loft.”  He chuckled, shaking his head.  “Someone,” he shot Simon a look.  “Forgot to tell her one of the boards was loose up there.  Next thing you know we hear a screech and the most god-awful string of curses you’ve ever heard echoing out of the barn.”
Richard leaned back in his chair, a wide smile on his weathered face.  “We all go running in, thinking the place was on fire or something and can’t find her.  You could only hear her, shrieking and cussing for all she’s worth.  Eventually we made our way into the loft and there she is, mad as a wet-hen with one leg danglin’ through the floor.”
“She wasn’t to be outdone though,” Simon chimed in.  “She came back from Doc’s place and the next day she appears crutches and all, with her cast painted up like a cowboy boot…”
The group laughed heartily and he couldn’t help but join in.
“Or how about that time Duke threw her?” someone said.
He lifted an eyebrow in surprise.  “He did what?”
Blake was quick to defend the horse.  “Oh, it was purely accidental.  Not much scares that big galoot but he is absolutely terrified of prairie dogs.  We’ve never known why, but he will bolt sure as shit, if one gets close enough.” 
He waved a hand.  “Anyway, she’s out for a ride one day, I think she was runnin’ fence line, wasn’t she?”  After a nod from a few of the others, he went on.  “We all knew where she was and thought nothing of it when she wasn’t back by evening.  She likes sunsets and sometimes will stay in the far pasture to watch them.” 
He shrugged a bit.  “So on this day, we didn’t worry when she wasn’t back by dinner.  About an hour after we eat, here comes Duke up to the house, without her.  We checked him over but didn’t find anything wrong.  But big baby tears off into the barn, opens his stall and goes in, all but cowerin’ in the corner.  We thought that was odd and were saddlin’ up to go look for her when here she comes, soakin’ wet, muddy from head to toe with one boot missing.  She walks right past us into the barn, fuming so hard I swear there was steam comin’ out of her ears.”
Most of the group was already laughing and Blake was barely able to finish.  “She slams into the stall and for a good thirty minutes, cusses that horse out in at least nine different languages I think…” he finally managed, holding his sides.
Simon, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes, added his two cents.  “It was ten,” he said between guffaws.  “Remember? She’d just finished learnin’ Russian…”
The laughter echoed across the waiting room. 
When it had died a bit someone else said, “Or how about the great parade incident of 2004?”
A few of them groaned, quite loudly and Simon hung his head.  “She will never live that one down…”
He couldn’t help himself.  “What happened?”
It was Madie that told this one, her face crinkling with a smile.  “Used to be a time that Jackson’s Run had a Founder’s Day parade; every year round about June the whole town would come together.  They’d build floats, the High School Band would march, the mayor would ride threw and so on.  It was a week-long celebration that was really more of an excuse to party than anything else.  But, this particular year, Duke had discovered…kittens.”
The group groaned again and he had no idea what that meant.
“The big numskull had taken it upon himself to protect anything smaller than he was,” Madie mused.  “It started with one of the barn cats givin’ birth in his stall a couple of months before.  As the babies had grown, he’d taken to lying down and letting them crawl all over him.”  She shook her head.  “It was quite the sight, trust me.  Anyway, Duke was set to be the lead horse that year and start the parade and Tara was so proud!  She talked about it, non-stop for days.”
Again, the group was already beginning to laugh and he wanted her to hurry up and finish so he could get the joke too.
Which she did…
“So, they’re lining things up, getting ready to head down Main Street.  Only there’s one problem, nobody can find Duke!  Tara’s runnin’ all over, looking for him and suddenly there he is…”  She burst into laughter but managed to add, “with a nice, cute, fluffy black kitten hangin’ from his mouth.  He puts his head up, walks to the front of the parade and heads out.”
Everyone burst into laughter but he didn’t quite get it…yet.
Simon picked up the tale because Madie had fallen into helpless giggles.  “Just about everyone in town knows how smart he is, so they thought nothin’ of Tara not being with him and fell into line.  It wasn’t until they were about half-way down Main that someone noticed the kitten Duke had a hold of, had two, bright white stripes down its back…and it wasn’t amused at being rescued.”
Jones, seeing his confused look, explained between chuckles.  “It was a skunk, Dane, a baby skunk and the mamma skunk wasn’t happy about her missin’ baby…”  He made a face.  “Mamma came tearin’ around the corner of Crawley’s liquor store and smack into the middle of the High Schoolers, spraying for all she’s worth…”
Another of the Cowboy’s continued the story when Jones couldn’t.  “They scream and scatter and Mamma goes barrelin’ through the rest of the parade, under floats, over them, sprayin’ anything and everything in her path…”
“It was pandemonium!” Simon added, leaning back in the chair because he couldn’t sit up straight any longer.  “She even got the Mayor, who’d gotten out of his car to see what the ruckus was about.”
He finally got it and once his laughter started, he simply couldn’t stop…
When he could though sometime later, he also understood why she hadn’t been all that mad after the ring-around-the-barn incident on their wedding day.  From their stories, it was apparently the norm for something like that to happen.  She probably would have been more upset if it hadn’t and thought something was wrong.
He leaned back in the chair, chuckling now and again as they waited for word from the Doctor.  His wife was quite the character, just like her horse and their stories only served to reinforce what he’d figured out in the days before.   
She was a fighter, a scrapper and wouldn’t just give up without one hell of a knock-down, drag-out brawl…
And he was, without a doubt, 100% head over heels in love with her…
If she lived through this, no correct that, when she lived through it, he would make sure she never forgot it either!
He pulled the ring out of his jeans pocket, where it had been since she’d thrown it at him and sighed softly.  Despite its lack of flash and pomp, it belonged on her finger.  He should have put it there before she went in and the thought that she might leave this world without knowing how he felt made his heart jerk, hard…
I truly hope you didn't spew anything upon your keyboards or monitors...really, I do.
I also truly hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it.

Oh, and now that I've shared some of my more fond, if embarrassing, childhood memories, I'd love to hear yours too!  So, please, feel free to share!
Until next time.
Thanks for stopping by.

Margaret Taylor


  1. That was a wonderful excerpt. I tweeted.

    1. Thank you very much Ms. Ella. RT's are always very much appreciated!

  2. It is wonderful when you get to connect with someone that you respect like that. I'm an old Atari girl too! :)

    1. Oh definitely! I admit I did a little squee and spun in my chair for just a minute...really, only a minute! Ok, ok, Mel, you caught was more like five...:D

  3. Whenever I sneak in real life stuff in my stories, reviewers declare it unbelievable.

    Turns out real life isn't believable.

    That annoys me...

    I enjoyed and believed your real life share.

    1. Why thank you Ms. Liza!

      I promise you, all three of those incidents, really, truly did happened at different times over the years.

      Yes, Jared loved his kittens and did, once, wreck a small town parade with a baby skunk. Ok, baby didn't, but mom sure did!

      Yes, he threw me into the river that ran through our property, which was low due to the time of year and very, very muddy over a prairie dog. Took me almost an hour to climb out which covered me, head to toe in mud and I lost one of my boots!

      And yes, Jared really, honestly got cussed out, repeatedly, in every language I knew - along with some made up ones just for fun.

      Scary part is, there were times I actually believed he understood every word I!