Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Track Life: Images and Words" A Review, and, A Tiny Bit of My Fiction Sees the Light of Day

Unless you're new here, you know that I look forward to a few days in Saratoga Springs, NY, each summer with some of my artist friends.  This year that plan was foiled thanks to my committed barn help backing out on me without enough time to find an appropriate replacement, so I had to miss out.  Hopefully next year I'll get things back on track, so to speak!

Three years ago, one of the members of our little group, fine art photographer Juliet Harrison, published her first book of photos from the Saratoga experience.  2013 saw a bigger project come to fruition, as she brought together contributions from artists, writers and industry stakeholders to create a combination of her photos, poetry, and prose relating to a variety of experiences involving Thoroughbreds and the track.  I was among the contributors, and a short excerpt from Fifty Sovereigns is part of this publication.  Maybe it's just a small thing, but I find it exciting anyway!

Rather than repeat myself here, I'll share my review from GoodReads.  You can find the book on  Amazon as well as Juliet's website, which I've linked to above.  The book would be a wonderful gift for someone else, or just for yourself. 

Track Life: Images and WordsTrack Life: Images and Words by Juliet R. Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer:  I might be somewhat biased as a reviewer, being not only a contributor, but also a friend of Juliet’s – perhaps even a friend who is at least partly responsible for her foray into the world of Thoroughbred racing. That said, I believe this book is a fascinating combination of picures and words that will appeal to a broad range of people.  It offers a glimpse into the world of those of us for whom racing is a passion, perhaps one we question with its long hours of thankless work. It also shares words from those on the other side of the fence – the fans who are in awe of the beauty of these animals, and those who are driven by picking a winner in a sport with a rarely predictable outcome. Saratoga features prominently in many of the stories shared – also being where the photos were shot – and one thing is common among them. The town, the track, is a magical, must-see destination. Will you be joining us next summer?  ☺

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Back away from the keyboard....

It's not a newsflash that I could go on editing the LGN forever.  This latest edit hacked out a few more words, but really, I know I need to stop.  I know I'm obsessive.  I started to laugh at myself when I was doing the whole add and take away the comma thing.

I think now I just need to come up with a gameplan.  As 126K is still a significant length, I've been pondering if I could divide it into two or three smaller parts.  I mean, George R.R. Martin kind of has a running tale, right?  Ha!  Yes I know there's no comparison.

The self-publishing/e-book route is getting the most consideration in my brain these days.  I am not looking for fame and fortune.  At this point, I really just want to say I've done it. Just like I want to say I've evented.  You know, before I'm 50.  Which means I need to get on it!  That goes for both publishing and eventing.  :-D

Yes I should be painting, which is actually something from which I make money.  Hmm, I need a book cover....

An interesting note....much of what has been hacked is included in this blog, in the very early posts.  So if, down the road, you decide to read the book, and like it, you can always find more bits and pieces here!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Really, Woodbine, What Were You Thinking?

The RCMP at Last Year's Plate

It's Plate Day, and despite plans to be there, I am spending my afternoon watching my horses, painting, and keeping tabs on Horseplayer Interactive.  I'm not a happy camper with WEG at the moment.  Thanks to changes in the media department, I didn't snag a media pass as I have in past years.  The individual who was so kind as to make sure I had a pass in the past, so that I could take photos for paintings, was among the layoffs this year (thank you, Ontario Liberal Government).  The individual I had to deal with instead, has never been the least bit helpful to me at all.  I mean, let's face it, doesn't everyone at least deserve the respect of an answer to an email or phone call?  I really don't care if you've decided I'm a nobody.  If I ran my business that way, well, I'd be working at Tim Horton's or Starbucks because I would have no customers.  Anyway....I could whine and feel sorry for myself for quite a while about this, so I've been trying to distract myself by working on a painting of 2011 Plate winner Inglorious - from my *own* reference photos.  My thanks to that considerate individual, I hope he's got a better job and is doing well.

Anyway....this year, I guess the marketing Powers That Be decided they needed a signature drink for the Plate.  I mean, the Derby has always had the Mint Julep, right?  Trust WEG to be decades behind.   So what do they call this drink?  The Blue Diamond.  Um....what?  Okay.  It is pretty.  What exactly that has to do with the Plate, I have no idea.  Shouldn't it be called the Gold Sovereign?  I think they should have just hired me.  ;-) 

All right....enough griping!  Time to turn on the TV and watch the big race alone in the comfort of my studio.  There haven't been very many Plates I have missed attending in the last 35 years, and if things had come together with my friends, I still would have gone, but I didn't really relish battling the crowd solo when I know I can't get any decent race photos.  I must be getting old!

(Go Nipissing!  I hear it's pouring rain at the least that no longer affects the track surface...and it will cool things off for the horses!)