New Link!

Check out my new blog here. http://betteratagallop.blogspot.com

It’s still being worked on, and I don’t know if I should keep both blogs, or just keep that one, or just keep this one! Tell me which one you like best. :)

- Ellyn

Switch

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I’m hoping to switch this blog from Wordpress to Blogger sometime soon because…I’m having some trouble with Wordpress. I looked for help on the support forums, and it’s just people asking questions and no one answering them. :( And besides, all the cool layouts and fun stuff are for Blogger sites!

The blogging world is predjudiced… :P

I’ll write soon!

Bantering

Got this idea from Gwyn over at the Celtic Cowgirl blog. Enjoy my conversation with my main character!

Ellyn (me): Only one more round of revisions and Torn Heart is finished. I can’t wait!!

Jacha: I’m sure you can’t. But I don’t like being tweaked around like this.

Ellyn: Come on, I’m not tweaking you very much. Won’t you like your new section?

Jacha: *grumbles* More work for me…

Ellyn: That was my point, kinda sorta.

Jacha: *wrinkles brow* Kinda sorta?

Ellyn: That’s how they say it in my world sometimes.

Jacha: You live in a strange world.

Ellyn: I know. But you don’t have to say it in that tone of voice. I should have taught you your manners long ago. Where’s your respect for me? I created you, didn’t I?

Jacha: Hey, I’m learning, aren’t I? Besides…*quietly* Without me, you wouldn’t have a protagonist.

Ellyn: *teasing* Oh, protagonists are easy to come by. Quite.

Jacha: *turns* All right. It’s been nice working with you. *walks away*

Ellyn: *gestures wildly* Wait! You can’t LEAVE! The book is almost FINISHED!

Jacha: Doesn’t matter. I’ll find a gig somewhere else. Do you think Christopher Paolini would take me on? What did he write again, something with dragons…?

Ellyn: *mouth drops* You wouldn’t dare.

Jacha: Watch me.

Ellyn: *shouts* I’ll have you break your leg! I’ll have someone steal Violet! I’ll -

Jacha: *yawns* You know what, I’m kind of tired. I guess I could stay…

Ellyn: *wipes brow and heaves a sigh of relief*

Jacha: *smirks*

Ellyn: *hesitantly* You wouldn’t really leave…would you?

Jacha: *low voice*: Of course not.

Drip, Drop

I love the rain. Even as I type this, my hair and capris are soaking wet. (Thank heaven for thick sweatshirts.) Minnesota is the best cause you get some Washington in there, a snatch of Texas, and more than a bit of Alaska. ;)

Part of why I love the rain is the suspense factor. You know – “Is it gonna rain?” “Better hurry, looks like rain!” etc. And before the rain comes clouds. I think everybody’s mood is triggered somewhat by weather, and mine is too. Except I am thrilled with a cloudy sky instead of a blue one. Except in winter and sometimes fall – then I prefer sunny. But all other times, I LOVE clouds!! They make the day seem so much more adventuresome than weather that’s sunny and perfect.

Last week, coming home from a grad party, we thought we were going into a tornado. We drove underneath a huge cloud that was literally BLACK. Other wisps of white clouds blew across it at an alarmingly fast rate. It was a sight to see.

- “The sky is the bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eat Your Fruit…First?

According to Dr. Oz, we should eat the fruit part of our meals first. When we swallow fruit, it doesn’t mosey down the pipe like everything else – it wants to zip through the stomach to the intestines as fast as it can so that it can clean out our system.

So, if you eat your chips or a sandwich before a piece of fruit, it can’t go as fast as it wants and clogs up behind all the other food. That’s why you sometimes burp after eating fruit on a full stomach… :D

Here is some info on certain fruits and how they can help us. And I quote…

KIWI: Tiny but mighty, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange!

AN APPLE a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants and flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C, thereby helping to lower the risk of colon cancer, heart attack and stroke.

STRAWBERRY:Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits and protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

EATING 2 – 4 ORANGES a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent and dissolve kidney stones, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON:Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. Also a key source of lycopene, the cancer-fighting oxidant. Also found in watermelon: Vitamin C and Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA:Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene, good for your eyes.

Endquote. :) Also, canned fruit juice is void of a LOT of the natural vitamins and minerals. So is cooked fruit, because it has been under heat. Growing your own fruit is great, because you can be sure they are wholesome. We have lots of apple trees, and also plum and pear. I think we might have a sour cherry, too…no regular cherries, though. Minnesota isn’t good for that ;) We’re also growing strawberries this year. Unfortunately, we won’t have a prime harvest of them until next year, because if you want your plants to thrive, you have to pluck off all of the strawberry flowers the first year.

Hopefully, you have learned a few new things about fruit from this post!

- Ellyn

Snippet

This is a snippet that I found in my files. I wrote it a few months ago just for fun. In it, I have a few of the same characters that I have in Torn Heart, but instead of being 18, 20, and 23, they are 7, 9, and 12. It’s not completed, so maybe I’ll finish it up later and give you the end in a different post. Remember – this was written for pure fun. There isn’t really a plot or a purpose.

———–

The fearsome warrior advanced toward the glittering dragon with his sword held aloft and his blaze of red hair shining in the sun. The dragon widened its golden eyes, trying to hypnotize him, but the warrior stood firm. Behind him crouched the princess, her filmy skirt swirling over the dirt in pale pink torrents. The warrior raised his sword as smoke poured from the dragon’s nostrils…

“No, say ‘billowed’, not ‘poured’,” corrected the princess. “It sounds better.”

“Okay then, smoke billowed from the dragon’s nostrils as he bent forth to eat you.”

“Well, kill him quick, then!” The princess was getting impatient.


The fierce warrior swiped off the dragon’s head in one blow. All of his guts spilled out onto the ground. His slayer gave a triumphant yell, and the princess squealed.

“Eeew!” The princess squealed obligingly. “You’re brave and fierce, all right.”

“How was my yell?”

“It hurt my ears. Kiann!” Nine-year-old Silke jumped to her feet and pointed at the retreating “dragon.” “Dusty’s making right for Mum’s garden! We’ve got to stop him!”

The two children ran after the lanky brown horse, who trotted placidly along, hot on the trail of sweet green buds and shoots. His leadrope bounced behind him.

When the animal was finally caught and returned to his pasture, the door of the white farmhouse on the hill swung open and a tall woman with beautiful chestnut hair popped her head out. “Oren’s here, you two.” A twelve-year-old boy jumped over the threshold after her and jogged toward Kiann and Silke.

“Hi. Watcha playin’?”

“The usual.”

“Oh.”

“Do you want to play? You can be the evil wizard who –”

“Nah.” Oren ran a hand through his shock of black hair. “I’ll only play if I get to throw Silke in the mud or something.”

“Mo-o-o-ther!” Silke wailed, but Mala had already gone back into the house.

“Then I won’t play.” Oren said.

“Well, what do you want to do, then?”

Oren turned to Kiann. “Cuz, let’s go to the secret treehouse.”

Kiann turned all too willingly to bound after Oren. “See you later, Silke.”
“So long, Askila,” said Oren, with a lofty wave of his hand.

“Wait!” Silke stumbled over a tree root and fell right on her nose. Her pale tresses of hair trailed in the mud. “Show me where the secret treehouse is!”

“Girls.” she heard Oren’s echo from somewhere in the deep woods. “Always whining about something.”

Silke got to her feet and sorrowfully wiped off her nose. “Fine. I’ll find a game to play all by myself.” She stomped off toward the house. When she opened the kitchen door, she saw her mother mixing something in a large blue bowl.

“What happened to the boys?” Mala asked her daughter.


“They don’t want me to play with them and Oren’s so mean,” Silke pouted. “Every time he comes over, Kiann goes to his side.”

“Do you know how to wrestle?”

“Not their way, and you don’t allow me to.”

“Do you know how to swordfight with sticks?”

“No. All their games are too rough!” Silke gave an exaggerated sigh.

“Presto. You have the reason why they don’t want you to play with them.” Mala wiped chocolatey fingers on her apron. “Go clean yourself up and you can help me make this cake for Papa.”

“Is it is birthday?”

“No, it’s just to make him feel better after a hard day at the brickyard. Now off to the washbasin with you.”

A while later, just as Mala was taking the hot cake out of the oven and the aroma of warm chocolate had come to linger in the kitchen, the two boys burst into the room, red-cheeked and ruddy.

“There you are,” Oren exclaimed to Silke. “Mala, is that cake…”
“No. You grab some cookies and get your muddy selves out of here.” The woman made a shooing motion with her hands.

Silke tagged after Kiann and Oren as they ventured out into the yard. Kiann reached back to give her a cookie and she chewed it thoughtfully, listening to the other two’s whispered conversation.

“What do you think, should we tell her?”

“Hmm.” Kiann had a mouthful of cookie. He shrugged.

“Tell me what? What are you boys talking about?”

“I don’t know if you would understand…” said Oren, hemming and hawing.

“I’ll understand it better than you!”

“But we’re the ones who made it up,” mumbled eight-year-old Kiann, confused.

“Okay, we’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to tell. Ever! Not a-n-y-o-n-e.”

Silke put her hands on her hips and shook her head. “No way. Papa says it’s never wise to agree to anything you don’t understand.”
Oren sighed. “You always have to make things so difficult. Just come on.” He and Kiann took off into the woods and Silke bunched up her skirts and ran after them, breathless. She caught up to them just as they reached a ramshackle jumble of boards and nails and grass in a tree branch a few feet off the ground.

It must be the secret treehouse, Silke thought to herself.

“This,” began Oren with a dramatic sweep of his hand, “Is the secret treehouse.” He bowed and motioned Silke in.

“Er…where’s the door?”

“Bother. You girls don’t know anything. Come on, Kiann, we’ll go in first.” He removed a fair amount of sticks and leaves and ducked inside.
Once inside, the treehouse was cozy, and much sturdier than it looked from its hodge-podge exterior. However, Silke could see that it needed a feminine touch.

“You should put some violets around the walls for decoration,” she suggested, “And get some old carpet for the floor.”

“Naw, this is a treehouse for tough people.” Oren swung a cloth flap over the door and leaned forward.

“Kiann and I have decided to start a secret club.”

Silke shrugged. “So? You have before. They all dissolve, and I’m sure not even you remember them.”

“Well, this one is different. It’s got a purpose and a password.”

“And we’re asking you to join it,” Kiann broke in.

“Kiann!” Oren turned on his cousin. “That’s not the way! You can’t just say it. You’ve got to use stealth. You’ve got to be wise to ensure what you want without making the other person feel like they’ve gotten the upper hand!” He shook his head in reproach. “I’ve got things to teach you.” He turned back to Silke. “We don’t have to have you join, you know. It’s an honor to be asked.”

“Well, what’s the purpose and the password?”
“Kiann lost his parents in the queen’s court, and I lost my aunt and uncle.”

“They’re the same.”

“Right. Anyway, both of us think that the queen is up to something bad, and we both vowed that when we get bigger, we’re going to fight hard for the rights of the people.”

“How do you know she’s up to something bad? You can’t just falsely accuse.”

“I listen to my father tell the news every night, so you can trust me.”
Silke narrowed her eyes at him. “I don’t know about trusting you. Every time I do, you throw mud balls at me or pour water all over my head or take away whatever I…”

“You can trust him this time,” Kiann assured her.

Oren nodded. “I’ll show you my notes later, okay? Meanwhile, do you want to take the vow or not? Do you want to help us?”

———-

And that’s the END!! Augh!! What a cliffhanger, huh?!! :P Catch ya later. I may be posting again soon because we have been getting a lot of rain.

The Wheels Are Turning…

My dad/editor finished reading Torn Heart and he wants me to make it longer! But that is okay because he gave me some ideas on how to do that.
He wants my main character, Jacha, to take a bigger “hero” role, and he also want more preparation for the battle. I am pretty excited to get working. My mom/editor-second-in-command is reading it next.

That’s mainly why I stopped to write a little. What else can I tell you about?

Indy is doing really, really, really well. I took him on the busy road with one of my friends the other day, and he didn’t spook the whole time. He did spook on the not-so-busy road, but that was just because a dragonfly flew right in front of him. Hey, if a bug flew right in my face, I’d spook too. ;) And a few days ago, me and that same friend rode out on the trail. Indy doesn’t really like the trail too much – I think he gets nervous because the foliage is so thick he can’t see very far ahead of him. But he did great! Even when we got lost…

Yeah, we took a wrong turn on the trail so my friend decided to let her horse Jake lead us out. They do it in all the books and movies, right? Horses just seem to know the way home. Well, it’s true! I was skeptical when Jake turned onto this overgrown path three feet deep in ferns, but we eventually came out right where we wanted to be. And Indy didn’t spook that whole time.

I think it’s because I’m starting to behave more like a leader in our horse/human relationship.

Another cool horse thing is a horse place right by my house. My friend and I met the lady (I will call her Sue), and she holds a rehibilitation program for kids with palsy/autism, and etc. I’m hoping to volunteer there next week. I was going to go yesterday, but it was raining really hard, so I’m guessing it was canceled. Sue is also going to help us improve our riding in her spare time. Cool!!!!

And again…I’m sorry about this double header. Actually, I’m starting to get used to it. Now you have a choice to make with my pages! Will you choose to click the TOP “Books” button, or the BOTTOM one? :P I seriously do not know how to get rid of it…I also can’t figure out why my pictures won’t stay in my posts. >:(

Well, I’ll sign off. I’ve got things to think about :)

Something of Great Importance

It seems like if someone is having a problem, the friendly advice they get from Christian friends is always, “Read your Bible.” Why in the world is reading your Bible so important?

I’ll give an example.

There was a girl who owned a pretty troublesome horse. However, she did not know how to train him, much less ride him or any other horse. She got hold of a five-star trainer and asked for help in learning how to ride. The trainer said, “Well…I will be out of town for a few weeks. But I’ve written a book on this subject, and I think you’d find it really helpful. I’ll send it to you right away.”
The girl agreed. She received the book in the mail and skimmed a few random pages somewhere in the middle before setting it down with a yawn. “This won’t help me,” she said. “I’ll be better off on my own until that trainer gets back.”
She went out to try and work with her horse, but he was so disobedient that she ended up face-down in the dust. The girl got up and pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket. She was mad, and that trainer was going to be sorry he hadn’t helped her right away. When he finally answered, she launched into complaints. “Where are you when I need you?” She demanded, after she had gone on and on about her horse and her poor self. “What?” The trainer asked, sounding a little hurt. “Didn’t you look through the book?”

That isn’t a perfect illustration, but it gives the gist of the problem. We have received a book from the Lord, and if we don’t read it, how is He going to communicate with us? Why should we think God is going to personally appear to us when we need advice if we’re not even paying attention the advice He already sent? I read in a study book that 90% of God’s communication with us comes through the Bible, while only 10% comes from other things.

“But the Bible is so boring!” Really. Have you given it a chance? If you want romance, read Song of Songs. If you’re a history buff, start in Genesis and read on through the whole thing. If you like poetry and rhythmic verse, read Psalms and Proverbs. There are miracles in the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And if you’re in the mood for some hair-raising and gruesome deaths, read Judges.

I heard a lady on the radio give an example about Bible reading once. She said that when you first start reading, it’s like runny porridge. You abhor it! It’s lumpy, it’s displeasing, and very bland. But if you keep on reading a little bit each day, it becomes oatmeal with milk and sugar. Maybe not your choice breakfast, but it’s definitely better than runny porridge. If you keep on eatin’ your oatmeal every day, it will turn into a dish of peaches and cream – something that you constantly run to and delight in.

I think I’m in between the oatmeal and peaches stage. In our house, we try to read for 1/2 an hour each day. I usually do my reading right when I get up in the morning. I don’t always look forward to it, but if I don’t do it, I find myself constantly thinking about it throughout the day. And 1/2 an hour may sound like a long time at first, but it really is not. I don’t read from one place for the whole time, though…my attention span is too short. Instead, I read a bit from the Old Testament, a bit from the New, one chapter of Proverbs, and I also work on memorizing passages.

On the Proverb thing – if you’d like a way to start reading the Bible more, try reading a chapter of Proverbs each day. There are 31 chapters in the book, so you can read the whole thing every month.

I will leave you with a verse…Psalm 37:4 ~ “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

How do you delight in Him like that?

Read your Bible, of course! ;)

Sorry

I’m really sorry about this messed-up header! I’ll try to get it fixed as soon as I can. :)

I’ll write more soon.

- Ellyn

Back in the Saddle

My ankle has almost completely healed. We think it was sprained instead of twisted since it took so long, but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I finally got to go ride Indy today. It’s only been…a week and a few days, but it’s felt like a year.

As I set out, I had stars in my eyes. I knew in the back of my mind that Indy would be rusty, but all the same, I was not thinking reality. And it doesn’t have to be just horses, but whenever you have starry eyes about something, something else is sure to happen that will make all your stars fall.

First, I couldn’t find my halter ANYWHERE. I decided to chance it with just a leadrope around his neck.

It didn’t work. Indy stepped on my foot. I’ve been stepped on before, but this was the worst. :S It hurt and I whacked him. By this time, I had hit reality, but then something else happened.

I went to get my spare halter from my locker and then tied Indy to the gate so I could brush him. I hadn’t even started before he launched into a bucking fit. This is where quick release knots come in handy. I loosed him and he ran across his pen to the other side. I was mad until I saw that there had been a big horse fly buzzing around his hind legs. No wonder he bucked! All the same, I was a little nervous while I tacked up and led him through the barn.

After that, things began to look up. (not literally.) When I got on his back, I think he tried to buck, but I kept his head up and then got off to shoo any flies away. I didn’t do any cantering, but I walked and trotted and I think I got him into an extended walk. I’m not sure, but I gave the proper signals and his stride seemed to lengthen. :) Overall, it was a good ride.

But incidentally…does anyone know of a state that doesn’t have mosquitos or horse flies??

Updates

6/23/10 - Book Review: "The Shield, Sword, and Crown" trilogy. READ IT!!!!! Also updated "Books" page
6/12/10 - Created "My Animals" page (still very incomplete)
6/12/10 - Created "Hearts Unbroken" page

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