Sunday, December 16, 2012

Marcia Hancock, Equine Author

Welcome Marcia!

Marcia is the author of A Daughter’s Remembrance, the first in a personal biography series about her relationship with her father and a rescue horse named 'Snoops'.  She lives life by the guiding principle ‘ life is an ordinary life, and we are all capable of extraordinary accomplishments...’  

Where are you in the world?

My home is the San Francisco Bay Area with ancestral roots in California’s Great Central Valley and the City of San Francisco. ‘Ms. Abby’ is the rescue Lab who makes my life both interesting and fun.  The Fulton, Missouri area had been my home while I attended William Woods College as a student of Equestrian Science.  I have also traveled throughout the Midwest and Southern areas of USA.  Often I will take a trip to the Modesto, California area to visit my brother, sister-in-law, my niece and nephew.

What was your first encounter with a horse?

My interest in horses has been life-long with an inception in childhood; but my dream of horse ownership was not realized until I became an adult. ‘Crimson’ was my first horse, an older but wiser sorrel Quarter horse mare. Crimson was my teacher: shied at every movement, impatient for any ride to end, food motivated to a fault, and intolerant of novice horsewomen.  I learned much about horses and horse care from this beautiful but cantankerous lady. 

Beginning to ride as an adult led to such notable distinction as ‘...the rider with the most falls and throws and then landing on her feet...’ Crimson did her best to ensure I retained this title for quite a long time.

Tell me about Snoops...

Snoops  or ‘Snoopers’ as my dad nicknamed him, was a Tobiano paint, registered Quarter horse gelding and a rescue.  He was a seasoned trail horse who knew all the trails in the Portola Valley/Woodside area of the San Francisco Peninsula.  When my dad and I ventured out onto the local hills, Snoops knew the trails.  We never worried about losing our way.  Teenage girls seemed to have had a fondness for Snoops with his gentle nature and easy- going attitude, and he seemed to thrive on all the attention.

Snoops did have a pecking order and females of any species were second to anything male.  This was evidenced in his response to my caring for him as if saving his life was a requirement for the privilege. This in opposition to his attitude that my father’s care was superior as dad was his equal. This was never more evidenced in the order in which my dad, Snoops, Buffy and I ventured out on any trail rides: male rider and horse as leader with mere females behind. Any deviation in this order and Snoops would buck and rear ‘til we got it right.  

Snoops was an incredible horse with an undeniable influence on the lives of all who came in contact with him. He overcame a life-threatening condition and adjusted well to a new life. When I rescued Snoops, the Barn Manager said to me, ‘...It is a good thing you are example to the young people here of how one person can make a difference...’. This is Snoops’ legacy and why I am telling his story.

What is your favorite breed of horse? 

I love horses of any breed and have no favorites.  My soft spot is for paints but I also love Anglo-Arabs, Quarter horses, Morgans, Thoroughbreds, and so on. I love to ride a surrey drawn by a Saddlebred.  And there is no more wonderful experience than a good trail ride on any breed of horse.

Where do you like to ride? 

Currently I do not own any horses but definitely plan to make horses a major part of my life in the future.  I trail ride with friends when an ‘extra’ horse is available. And I maintain a definite presence at my favorite barn.

Where do you like to write?

I write from my home office as the windows allow me to look outside and observe the activities of the surrounding neighborhood. There is also ample sunlight for writing and inspiration.  My home is on a major thoroughfare and the cacophony of sound can be stimulating.  My dog lies at the foot of the chair to keep me company and to let me know when she thinks I have been on the computer long enough.  It is my dream to one day own a home nestled in the woods offering an office with many windows looking out onto quiet, wooded surroundings.

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

By staying involved and engaged with life, horses and other areas of interest, by researching ways to connect the past with the present in the effort to bring an understanding and empathy into what I write.  Reflection is one way I maintain thoughts and ideas. Activity is another. Reading is essential.

Do you have suggestions for novice writers?

Hemingway is quoted as saying ‘... keep a journal and one day it will keep you...write something every day...’  That is my advice.  Do not rely on memory because it will fail you or change with time.  Have a journal ready to take notes.  Life has a way of happening unexpectedly.  Be open to learning new ideas and modes of communication and expression.  Explore writing in various genres, from technical writing to creative writing, from print media to social media, to eBooks and e-stories.  Discover the best venue for you.

When can we expect your next e-book release?

The next in the series A Daughter’s Remembrance will be published on Amazon in the Spring of 2013.  I am also writing an e-book on biography writing.  The release of a children’s e-story is planned for late Summer. My hope is to write a personal biography about my grandmother’s journey from Kansas to California during the Dustbowl era as well as other biographies.

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