Thursday, March 23, 2017

Riding Broncs: An interview with Nolan Gillies

Nolan Gillies tacking up.

Riding Broncs: An interview with Nolan Gillies
As seen in the February 2017 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.

“I try to just stay positive and find good things I do in every ride, even when I make mistakes.” Nolan Gillies

Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, Nolan Gillies is a cowboy… a rodeo cowboy. He is a student at Boise State University and a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He spurs on in the rodeo circuit, gaining accolades for his rodeo rides, including second place Silver State Reserve Champion. He has broken his wrist, with other bumps and bruises along the way, but keeps his form and confirmation in the saddle – arm back, toes out, squared up!

Welcome Nolan…

GM: When was your first encounter with a horse?
NG: That's kind of a funny story. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, my family moved out to a little town in eastern Idaho called Teton. We were originally from Boise. All I ever did was play video games and read when I was a kid until I was 14. We had about two acres of pasture in our yard we never used, and some people who lived in town were riding their horses around town when they stopped at our house and asked if they could lease the pasture from us to keep their horses. We ended up letting them keep the horses there free of charge, and in return, they taught me how to ride. The first horse I rode was a beautiful palomino they called May, and eventually the guy that owned him ended up selling her to us. From that day on, that horse and I were partners. Most of what I learned about riding came from her, and she was my first buck off as well. 

GM: What is it like to be a PRCA Bareback Rider?
NG: It's surreal. For so long it felt like an unobtainable dream. I'm at the very bottom of the totem pole right now, I didn't win any money in the PRCA last season, everything I won came from amateur rodeos this year, but it's still been an awesome experience competing with the guys I've looked up to for so long, and it's even more incredible that a lot of my friends from high school are also riding at that level, so I've bumped into a lot of them down the road too. It's definitely rough, but I love it, and my failures from last season are only pushing me to drive on harder.

GM: What has been the most rewarding event/ride of your career?
NG: I think my most memorable experience in rodeo so far was my first round ride at the Silver State International Rodeo in Winnemucca, Nevada, back when I was in high school. I qualified for that rodeo by placing in the top ten in my state, and I drew this pretty decent sized colt from Four Star Rodeo Company. I remember him having a yellow and white coat, and he was pretty electric in the chute. I remember watching everyone ahead of me get bucked off, and I knew I had to find some iron in my heart if I was going to do any good there that week. When the chute opened, that horse took a short scoot out into the middle of the arena, and I held my feet through his run, then he reared up, and I reached up as far as I could with my feet, and had to hold on for dear life as he came dropping down. I almost was thrown right over the front of him, but somehow, I managed to push my hips and upper body back, and keep flailing with my feet just trying to stay on. I ended up taking the lead in the round with the hardest earned low score of 58 points I've ever acquired in my life. I ended up getting beat out the next day by one point, but that ride was still one of my greatest in my opinion. I missed winning the rodeo by just a handful of points, and it was the closest I had come to winning a championship title. 

GM: There are several techniques to riding a bronc, which do you use?
NG: I've personally changed my technique a lot through the years. My first few years in high school, I tried to emulate Royce Ford by pushing my free arm straight back and being really flashy with my feet, then as a senior I got a little more conservative, and stayed tighter with my upper body and my feet, which ended up working really well for me for a short time. After that, I don't know if growing made it harder for me to ride that way or something, but I always tip into my hand, so I've decided to change my style this year, and I'm currently in the process of changing my technique to ride more like Wilderness Circuit Finalist Morgan Wilde, who tends to lean a little bit away from his hand. I figure if I can stay a little more away from my hand, that will compensate for me going into my hand all the time, and keep me more square. Rodeo is a game of trial and error, and sometimes what worked for you before, will just all of a sudden stop working for you. It can be really frustrating.

GM: Describe your daily routine... 
NG: I'm on a workout regimen my older brother set up for me. He has a certification in personal training, and he has me on a workout that consists of light weights and a lot of repetitions for three days, and then heavy weights and a lower amount of repetitions the next two days, and every day I do a cardio and ab workout as well. I also try to spend at least 45 minutes on my spurboard every day. Some days it gets hard because I am also working and going to school, but I typically find time to train. The winter drives me insane because in the Northwest, there aren't very many places to practice, and there aren't a whole lot of rodeos during the winter, so I rely on my spurboard to stay tuned up until things pick back up in the Spring.

GM: Traveling on the rodeo circuit must be grueling. How do you cope with the physical as well as mental demands of being on the road and maintaining your success?
NG: Staying in shape all year is key to remaining healthy during the season. I've had some injuries that require me to tape a little differently than some guys, and I also have to wear a compression sleeve on my elbow, but just staying in shape and knowing your limits is key, and I don't even go as hard as some guys. Because of work and school, I'm pretty much limited to rodeoing on the weekends. The mental aspect is hard, especially when you're going through a slump. I just try and stay focused, and I will never give up, no matter how bad things are going. I try to just stay positive and find good things I do in every ride, even when I make mistakes, and just build off of the positive things. If I'm doing bad in the pros, I'll duck out and enter a few amateur rodeos, win some money, and build my confidence back up. That was one lesson that I learned from Heath Ford, it's never a bad thing to dip into a lower level of competition to better yourself. Don't be afraid to hit a practice pen or an amateur rodeo if you need to build confidence.

GM:  Have you ever met a horse you couldn't ride?
NG: I don't like to think of any horse as impossible to ride, but there have been a few horses that I've matched up with on multiple occasions that always have put me on the ground. One horse in particular I can think of is Storm Cloud of Summit Pro Rodeo. She's this big grey brood mare that J.D. Hamaker has that's been to the Mountain State Circuit Finals a few times. I drew her for the first time in the short round of a college rodeo in Lamar, Colorado. I remember marking her out and holding my feet for her first two jumps, and then after the third, she got really, really, really, strong, and stretched my arm out, and I front flipped right over the top of her. I think I made it all of 3 or 4 seconds on that horse. I had her again at a private rodeo in Denver a few months later, and the exact same thing happened. She's an honest bucking horse, but just harnesses an immense amount of power and strength. My goal is to become strong enough to handle a horse just as strong or stronger than her.

GM: Where is your favorite arena? Why is it your favorite?
NG: I think my favorite arena I've been to so far is at the Copper Spring Ranch in Bozeman, Montana. It's just such a beautiful ranch, and that arena has a very old western saloon type feel to it. It has a western style bar, and it's just a really clean facility. Most indoor arenas smell awful, but this one is very top notch. The rodeo was a short three-day series with a pretty modest amount of money added for a pro rodeo, but it was an experience I'll never forget, and I plan on going back there next Fall. Hopefully this time for the whole three days.

GM: There are many who believe that bronc riding is inhumane and difficult for the horse. What are your views?
NG: I think a lot of this belief stems from the lack of education the average person has on rodeo animals. When you have interest groups like PETA spreading propaganda more than we are promoting our own sport, it's no wonder that people have such a poor image of the sport. I don't think the sport is inhumane, but it definitely can be rough. People don't understand that the average bucking horse is a lot stronger, more muscular, and bigger than your average pasture pet, or pleasure riding horse. If you've ever felt a bucking horse's neck, it's pure muscle. Comparing a bucking horse with someone's pet horse would be like putting Arnold Schwarzenegger next to Michael Moore. These horses are bred, and trained from the time they are colts to buck. There actually is a certain amount of training that goes into a bucking horse. A lot of times a contractor will buck them out as yearlings and two year olds with dummies on their backs. Broncs don't typically get a rider on their backs until they're about 4-5 years old and are fully developed, and know what their job is. There are contractors who just flat out don't touch their horses, and even abuse them, but they are the exception rather than the norm. Bad people exist in every aspect of horsemanship, not just in rodeo. For every instance of abuse you find in rodeo, you can find something equally bad in Dressage, Cutting, or even just someone that owns a horse as a pet. The majority of stock contractors take excellent care of their horses, and they have a bond like no other with their animals. As a competitor, I can tell you that we have a lot of respect for the horses as well. They are how we make our living. It's in our own best interest to take care of the animals. We tend to have a rapport with the horses though, especially because you tend to see a lot of the same horses as you travel down the road more.

GM: Do you have advice for new riders and those looking to purchase their first horse?
NG: My advice is find a pro in your area, and pick their brains for all of the knowledge they have. Have them help you set up your bareback riggings, let them teach you proper technique, and listen to their stories. You can learn a lot by other peoples' mistakes and experiences. Most of all, find a way to conquer your fear. Don't ever let fear get in the way of you accomplishing your goals. With the right attitude, physical fitness, and help, anyone can be a great bareback rider. It's all up to you how far you want to go in this sport.

As far as purchasing your first horse, that's a hard one for me. I would say buy a horse that you have a bond with. Spend some time with a horse before you buy them, and always see for yourself how a horse is before making the purchase. A lot of people in the market will lie about what a horse is, how well trained they are, etc. Make sure you know what you're getting into before you buy one, and make sure you have the proper facility and knowledge to keep one. Horses are hard work!

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
NG: Horsemanship to me is establishing a bond between you and a horse. Being able to communicate and work WITH a horse is something few people can do, but once you establish that level of trust and camaraderie with a horse, there's no feeling quite like it. It's not about taking command of the horse, it's about making them want to follow you and trust you. I don't consider myself an expert horseman, but I've found the horses I can establish a foundation of trust and friendship with, tend to be the horses I work best with.

Stay connected with Nolan and follow his standings at Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Gina McKnight is a freelance writer and author, Ohio, USA.

Nolan Gillies at work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reduce the Risk of Colic: Equine Treatments by Equolution

prevent horse colics natural supplement
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Daily GI Combo combines four products, each at clinically potent levels, in one bag. It is the the particular combination of those ingredients which produces better Equine health and performance.
  • The following observations were made by horse trainers and owners after placing their horses on Daily GI Combo:
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  • Improved mental focus and reduced anxiety
  • Reduced risk for colic, ulcers and other digestive upset
  • Boost of muscle- and topline development
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  • Increased immune system
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Photography by Chris


Photography by Chris

Vivid imagery, mesmerizing naturescapes and landscapes!
Cats, Moon & Stars, Birds, and much more!

The Photography of Chris on Bonanza!

About Chris…
I am a photographer since 2016 specializing in wildlife, floral and landscape photography.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Save $50 on a Western Saddle!!
Hurry! Offer Ends 3/31/17

Hi! My name is Veronica and I have been a horse enthusiast since I was little. I have a passion for horses and enjoy sharing my passion with others!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Clip-Clop Chronicles: Stories of a Girl and her Horse Adventures by Angelica Witherspoon-Cassanova

New Middle-Grade Fiction!

Clip-Clop Chronicles:
Stories of a Girl and her Horse Adventures 
by Angelica Witherspoon-Cassanova 

Set in central Florida, Clip Clop Chronicles follows the journey of Roz, a sassy yet insecure, twelve-year-old, horse-crazy girl, determined to make it to the top of the equestrian world. Nothing and no one will stand in her way. Not her arch nemesis. Not Florida thunderstorms. Not even her family, who thinks riding horses is a sport that Black people just don’t do.

When it comes to sports, her very large family shines in all aspects of track and field. Roz runs just slightly faster than a snail. But riding? She’s a budding star. She has everything she needs to make it to the top: a twin sister who always has her back, a best friend who shares her love of horses and her own business to fund her dream.

Roz’s savings account is just shy of the amount she needs to compete in her first Beginner Novice event. When her lawn mowing business takes a hit with the latest thunderstorm, her journey turns into an uphill battle she was not planning for. It’s one obstacle after another including a bully begging for a punch in the face!

Roz feels like giving up. Until she finds the support and inspiration she needs from the place she thought she would never find it. Her family.

About the Author
Angelica Witherspoon-Cassanova is a Florida native who enjoys writing and riding. She holds a screenwriting graduate certificate from UCLA and an MFA from the New York Film Academy. She currently splits her time between Florida and California where she works in entertainment and volunteers with an equine therapy program for veterans.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Seaglass Stair by Ash Gray

Romance & Fantasy
$2.99 eBook

The Seaglass Stair:
A Romance that Transcends Time
by Ash Gray 

Wareska is wizenblood, a woman born with magic powers that will, over the course of a thousand years, render her into a shriveled, elf-like creature. When Wareska’s teacher dies, she finds herself wandering the wilds with her companion, a horse which can speak with her telepathically. She and the horse live in peace for a time, until a strange, dark sickness sweeps over the land, sapping it of life and color and leaving it gray. Rivers run dry and animals shrivel away, as if the very life has been sucked from them. Wareska soon discovers the means to stop the land-sickness and sets off on an adventure to do so, facing down scary unicorns (seriously), evil spirits, ice-breathing serpents, and traveling through the shadowlands of the dead.

About the Author
Ash Gray is actually a dragon, writing her stories on a minuscule laptop in the murky dark of a silent, wet, cold, comfortable cave. Having quite large claws, she goes through laptops like tissue paper within the span of a week, but it is worth the effort, time, and money to share her stories with an audience as in-love with fiction as she.

Follow on GoodReads here!

 An Excerpt...

That night, Wareska and Shadowmane traveled far from the land-sickness before making camp. As the horse lay nearby and watched, Wareska built a fire. Wolves would be drawn to the flames, she knew, so before setting out to hunt, she whispered a spell, and a light closed over the camp in a brilliant dome that sparkled momentarily before fading into an invisible shield. It would protect Shadowmane and the earth surrounding him until Wareska’s return.
Wareska could tell the horse wanted to stop her going out to hunt. He wanted her to sit by the fire and talk about what had happened, but she didn’t want to talk. She wanted to venture out into the darkness in the quick, cunning shape of a black fox and hunt the coiling snakes that burrowed in the earth of the endless plain. She wanted that meditative silence, where only the sound of her heartbeat could be heard, like the wet darkness before birth. Shadowmane, sensing her need for solitude, said not a word when she changed shape and set forth.
Wareska hunted, swift and silent, for something warm and wriggling, something that wouldn’t speak too much. She knew she must be quick, for those who stayed in beast form for extended periods of time were vulnerable to keeping the form permanently. They would lose their minds due to having defied nature itself by taking on an unnatural form. Such wizen wandered the wild without reason, unable to speak, even to other animals.
Wareska searched with narrow eyes, her belly bubbling and purring with hunger as she sniffed and snort sharp scents through her wet fox’s nose. With the lands dying and fading away, its living creatures were scarce. She couldn’t recall the last time she’d seen a wolf or an acdella roaming in the highlands. So it was that she found herself surprised and delighted when she stumbled upon a snake burrow. She peered with keen fox eyes into that thick darkness and saw one eye peer back at her, bright as a flame, the pupil narrowed. A hiss, and then a voice whispered from the hole, :You are hungry, wizzzzzen, but I have just eaten my fill of the little mordak 7 that roam Lorlassss Ru. Can you not content yourself with one of them?:
Wareska would have made a face of disgust had her fox form allowed it. :I would sooner eat my own tail,: she answered, and the snake chuckled, a dark and hissing laugh.
:Then I would offer a sssssecret in exchange for my life,: the snake answered.
Wareska snorted through her black fox nostrils. :What boon could you give me, serpent-child? I am wizen. I crave none of a snake’s secrets, for my secrets are far greater.: Her long ears pricked forward when she heard the snake’s slick body winding in the dust. She tensed, believing it might strike.
:Do not be ssssso arrogant as to presume what I know,: the snake answered. :All creatures, no matter their sssize, no matter their ssshort lives, have wisdom that a wizen could make use of. Or have you forgotten your first lesson, wizenblood? That the world holds you in its palm, not the other way around?:
Wareska blinked irritably. :Fine, snake. Speak your secrets and I will turn from here. I will stay my hunger.:
The snake’s unseen body shifted in the darkness once more. :I have lived a long time in Lorlassss Ru. I knew your teacher, Hemfra, when she was young. Like you, she took the form of fox and she, too, attempted to devour me. It was a long and bloody battle, one in which I had almost eaten her. She walked away with her tail in tact, if not her pride. I believe I lost one of my teeth in her backside.:
Wareska snorted derisively. :What is the point of this?:
:Your teacher esssscaped alive because of the great lesson she learned that day.:
Wareska waited, half inclined to turn her back on the snake’s nonsense.
:The wheel of time,: whispered the snake after a pause, :is but a snake that eatsss its own tail.:     
:Is that it? I should eat you on principle.:
:Do not be so quick to dismisssss my secrets, Ravenhawk of the West. They might serve you well . . : the snake’s eye disappeared as it slithered back in the darkness, :. . . some distant day.:

Dismally resigned to the fate of hunting smelly mordak, Wareska ate her fill of the rodents, glad once more for the calm of crickets chirruping beneath a starry sky. She traveled in silence through the naked branches of underbrush and returned to her camp, and there within the safety of her own shield of protecting light, she changed back into a woman.
Shadowmane was sitting with curled legs beside the fire, and Wareska had left her clothing neatly folded beside him: brown hide shoes, brown hide pants, a belt made of grass rope, and a shirt sewn of shaggy red acdella fur. Naked in the cold wind, she pulled on her clothing as Shadowmane stared with tired eyes into the fire.
:Were there many snakes to eat?: Shadowmane eventually asked.
Fully dressed, Wareska sat on the dry earth and leaned her back against the horse’s warm side, drawing her knees up. :Only one,: she answered. :Though I did not eat him.:
:Why not?:
:He knew my face name. And he wanted to pose riddles,: Wareska answered in disgust.
:I gather you did not solve the three riddles,: the horse said in amusement.
:It wasn’t a riddle, really. He offered a secret, something that would supposedly help me survive. He said the secret had once helped Hemfra escape a battle with him.:
:Hemfra?: repeated the horse with interest.
:Yes. When she was young, Hemfra stumbled on the same snake . . .: Wareska’s voice trailed off as the realization came to her. :By the gods! That snake would have been incredibly old if that were true.: Her faced darkened. :He had to be lying so I wouldn’t eat him.:
:But how could he know about Hemfra? Or even that she was your teacher? He even knew your face name.:
Wareska slowly shook her head. :I do not know. Perhaps he heard us speaking about Hemfra as we were traveling. Either way, I could not eat him. There’s always the chance that he was simply a test from some spirit, or perhaps another wizenblood playing games with me.:
:Or the Wolf Lord,: Shadowmane suggested.
:No,: said Wareska, eyes on the fire, :his influence begins and ends with canine.:
:Are you sure you don’t want it to be the Wolf Lord?: the horse asked carefully.
Wareska scowled, unable to decide if he was actually jealous or if she was imagining it. :Shadow . . .:
:The way you talk about him sometimes . . . You go on about his power and how you long to take the shape of wolf. I fear you would rather a wolf for a companion . . . and not a horse.:
:It is a foolish fear,: Wareska said at once and could feel the content the horse had for her confident response when his mind caressed hers.
:What are we going to do,: the horse said after a pause, :when the sun rises tomorrow? Will we follow the path the spirit laid out for us?:
:I’m not entirely certain we have a choice,: Wareska answered grimly.
:It mightn’t be as bad as it seems,: soothed the horse. :We’ve been given a chance to heal the dying the land. . . .:  his voice trailed away, and Wareska knew he felt as dismal as she, that his own words were no more soothing to him than they were to her.
:The spirit said to travel north, through the vale and the Waters of Kin,: Wareska said thoughtfully. :I suppose that’s where we’re headed first, then.:
There was a pause, and then the horse spoke the words they had both dreaded to utter, :If we do this thing, if we go to this place at the end of the world, you will die, Ravenhawk.:
Wareska was silent.
:You heard the spirit,: went on the horse. :Healing the land will mean your life.:
:Yes, I heard the spirit,: Wareska answered, :but I am also bound by my oath as wizenblood, to protect life, even at the cost of my own. If I give myself to the gods, color and life will return to the land, earth and sky will sing again. In light of all that,: she shook her head, :my one short and pointless existence seems a small price to pay.:
:Do not say that,: said the horse darkly.
Wareska blinked in surprise. :Shadow . . .:
:No!: the horse insisted. :If you wish to sacrifice your life for the sake of Nesertia, I will stand with you to the very end. But I will not sit idly by while you disparage your own life. It may have been pointless and meaningless to you, but these past two years have meant the world to me.:
Wareska smiled sadly, her eyes on the fire. :I was going to tell you . . . you don’t have to come with me.: She frowned. :I’d rather not put you in danger.:
The horse snorted. :Don’t insult me. I do not intend to cower and hide as my only friend faces one danger after another. And there will be danger, Ravenhawk. The way to the Seaglass Stair will be long and arduous. There will be those who wish to stop you. They will kill you to keep you from succeeding.:
:Why? That’s insane.:
:As if insanity were some fabrication, some dark tale Hemfra told you one night when you were a child and refused to sleep.:
:I can not imagine there are people who would rather I do nothing as the world crumbles,: Wareska answered in amazement, :but you are probably right. Somehow, you always are.:
:I am,: insisted the horse with another snort. :But one question remains: why did the gods choose you?:
Wareska stared into the fire. :I suppose it is not so hard to understand,: she linked after a thoughtful pause. :A wizenblood is supposed to serve humankind. I should be protecting a village and healing the sick, not wandering around in the wilderness. I have no calling, no purpose. I live for myself. It is a direct violation of my existence. Given all that . . . I can see why they would have chosen me for the sacrifice.:
:It seems cruel,: said the horse darkly. :Why should you be forced, by accident of blood, to live for others and never for yourself?:
:Because I have the power to make a difference. It is my responsibility to use that power for the good of all.:
:But it should also be your choice,: the horse insisted. :Your life in service to others loses all its merit when the choice wasn’t even yours to being with.:
Wareska was silent for a long time: the horse was right.
:You should rest,: Shadowmane said after a while. :If we are really to ride for the Waters of Kin, we will both need our sleep.:
:Don’t be a mother hen. I will play a song,: Wareska linked, and the horse snorted irritably.
:Fine,: Shadowmane gave in. :Just one.: He lay his head on the dry earth. Wareska saw him close his eyes, waiting for the soothing sound of her lullaby. 
Wareska held out her hands, her black nails gleaming as material swept to her in a gentle flurry. Her magick pulled from grass and earth and the fire itself to form a long, narrow flute. With the conjured flute solid in her fingers, she closed her eyes, and sitting against the wall of Shadowmane’s warm body, she played a forlorn melody, long and slow, that trembled gently on the back of the wind.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Letters from a Genius to an Oaf: Guy Davenport’s Correspondence by No Sweat

Letters & Memoir
From Monday Creek Publishing

Letters from a Genius to an Oaf:
Guy Davenport’s Correspondence to No Sweat

by No Sweat

Letters from a Genius to an Oaf, the book which tells its story through the correspondence of one Kentucky author to another, Guy Davenport to "No Sweat", reveals the love two men have for writing. One is a highly educated perfectionist and the other, ignorant and raw-boned. Together, they form a" Kentucky world" which happens to be nothing Kentucky.

About the Author
Earl Lowell “Robbie” / “No Sweat” Robbins, Jr, born August 23, 1951, BA, MA, Eastern Kentucky University, a former long-distance swimmer for EKU’s “Electrifying Eels”,  is the author of THESE PRECIOUS DAYS, NEFARIOUS and SINGER ISLAND & ERNEST HEMINGWAY, three books which were all dedicated to his writing mentor, Guy Davenport. He is currently working on two books, THE KENTUCKY OUTLAW, EDWARD HAWKINS, FACT AND FICTION and BLACK BLUEGRASS. No Sweat has been married to his high school sweetheart, a retired school principal, Chesteen, for forty-five years; they currently reside in Richmond, Kentucky where he continues to work as a boiler operator at a coal-fed heat plant. No Sweat and Chesteen have one daughter, Nancy, MA in English, and two grandsons, Lance and Barrett. Besides family and writing, No Sweat is world-renown for his racing pigeons. He is also passionate about scuba diving and catching lobsters, as well as digging for and collecting Civil War and American Indian artifacts and Kentucky red agate. No Sweat grew up at the end of the Irvine, Kentucky bridge living inside a small apartment which was located partially over top of his grandfather’s “picture show” and a pool room where Walter Tevis, the author of THE HUSTLER, was occasionally noted shooting pool and buying bootleg whiskey; a location  about a mile from where the movie star, Harry Dean Stanton was born and early reared.  Both of No Sweat’s parents were alcoholics; his mother sold tickets for the theater and his father operated a fruit and vegetable stand across the street. No Sweat began writing stories as a small boy. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Whole Happy and Healthy: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Thriving with Mental Illness by Jessica R. Dreistadt

Whole Happy and Healthy:
A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Thriving with Mental Illness 

Mental illness is greatly misunderstood. It is distorted, feared, and hidden — often leading to shame, guilt, and exacerbated mental health symptoms. Whole Happy and Healthy: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Thriving with Mental Illness challenges this stigma and opens up new possibilities by exploring how people who experience mental illness can create a full, purposeful, and vibrant life by connecting with and continually expanding their perceptions — the intersection and interaction of emotions, intellect, intuition, and the senses — in twelve areas.

Author Jessica R. Dreistadt reframes mental illness as a gift, rather than a deficit, to help readers discover and develop a holistic, integrative process that leads to more inner peace, emotional freedom, and joy. Whole Happy and Healthy changes the conversation about mental illness and emotional well-being, resulting in increased empathy, compassion, and resilience.

Mental illness is an integral part of who we are, but it doesn’t define or limit us as human beings. Mental illness is an expression of our special exceptionality. The processes through which our cognitive and emotional systems interact creates a distinctive palette that we can use to paint the fabric of our lives. No two people with mental illness will experience it in quite the same way. My experience of bipolar disorder is unique to me and very different from how other people with this same dis-ease experience it.

Mental illness has caused great pain in my life, but it has also been a source of strength. The way my brain works is an asset that, in spite of sporadic setbacks, enriches my life. It has been a special gift that helps me thrive in complexity, appreciate diverse perspectives, creatively engage with challenges, and envision possibilities that might otherwise remain obscured. By being flexible and responsive, my mental illness has become a strong component of my mental acuity and resilience.

As an alternative to treating mental illness by evaluating and controlling it, we can also seek greater understanding and acceptance of our emotions to heal and thrive. Instead of judging ourselves and changing to meet other people’s standards, we can discover and illuminate all of the greatness within so that we can shine the beautiful, warming light of a healthy mind and heart on the world. 

About the Author
Jessica R. Dreistadt is an emotional health advocate, leadership scholar, social justice educator, community change practitioner, and founding director of The Fruition Coalition. Her interests, reflected in both her writing and her research, include wellness, public policy, education, leadership, social psychology, quantum theory, and existential philosophy. Her scholarship and community practice intentionally integrate curiosity, creativity, and compassion into critical thought and praxis to provoke reflection, dialogue, and sustainable transformation.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Unicorns Farting Coloring Book by Maz Scales

"A fun gift for silly people of all ages."

Unicorns Farting Coloring Book:
A Hilarious Look At The Secret Life of The Unicorn
by Maz Scales  

Unicorns are special and magical creatures. They are beautiful, majestic and pure. They carry themselves with dignity and pride wherever they go. But, they have a secret unknown to most.............they love to FART!

They break wind anywhere and everywhere. They really love to share their odious explosions. So if you smell something noxious in the air and you don’t know where it came from, there is probably a Unicorn close by, letting one rip. Now anytime you drop one at an inappropriate time, just blame a Unicorn!
Fun Gift Idea For Silly People of All Ages. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017


"For the Love of Creativity"

pv ART PORTAL is an all in one comprehensive website with the best talents guaranteeing ultimate satisfaction. We have it all in here. Discover a fun, simple, smart way to source freelance creative talent.

We made sure to provide space to accommodate everybody.
Many times it is not just the buyers that suffer from the process of finding
good creative talent, it is even embarrassing to admit that many professional talents carry their service around without being noticed or recommended.

They remain broke and frustrated yet having amazing enviable talents. With time, these priceless skills laying waste starts to depreciate as it is not being used. This is in essence, someone’s extreme satisfaction and joy that is being destroyed and aborted from happening.

There are buyers seeking satisfaction and professional sellers offering this, and now there is the pv ART PORTAL to connect them. is a showcase for artists to offer their services or even people who are seeking to find a cool artist to work with on a project to land that perfect person.