Sunday, June 30, 2019

Quotes, Quips and Wisdom 6 30 19

Monday Creek Publishing
Quotes, Quips, and Wisdom
Follow us on fb Monday Creek Publishing







Monday Creek Publishing
Quotes, Quips, and Wisdom
Follow us on fb Monday Creek Publishing

Monday, June 24, 2019

Milliron Monday: The Parking Lot - Peacocks 6 24 19


Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Above, Dr. Smith's Milliron Clinic, Athens, Ohio. 
June 16, 2017Photo courtesy Joy Miller-Upton

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; 
peacocks and lilies for instance.
John Ruskin


Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

The Milliron Clinic parking lot holds lots of memories for so many people. The era of the peacocks - those beautiful menacing birds that monitored the parking lot; nosing into other people's business, flaunting their proud disposition, and possibly thinking of flogging you as you made the trek to the clinic door. 

The peacocks were the guardians of the outer limits – the parking lot. Pete had acquired peacock chicks as a barter for vet services. “I had nothing to do with the peacocks,” Jody, Pete’s widow, makes clear. “One time Gil Whalen’s killer turkey attacked a peacock. The peacock went away for a while. It came back and would tromp around on the roof of our farmhouse, on our metal roof. You could imagine the noise. 

“Another time, one of the peacocks flew off the hill to the clinic parking lot, swooping and calling. Pete was working on a paint mare that was being a real jerk, jumping around, being difficult. When the peacock swooped down into the parking lot where the horse was standing, the horse just froze. The horse never moved again until Pete finished vetting it. 

“The last peacock was stolen when someone broke into the clinic and lifted eleven dollars, some rabies vaccine, and J.B., short for Jaunty Bird, the last of the peacocks. The night of the robbery, we could see the tire tracks up our hill to the farmhouse. We could also see by the scratches on the inside of our kitchen door that Puff, my Belgian sheepdog, had greeted the burglars with growls and barking. They stole J.B., we weren’t upset. J.B. had already cost Pete plenty when the bird decided to roost on top of a client’s car and scratched it, requiring Pete to pay for a new paint job. After that, I said, ‘No more peacocks!’”  

Hearing a peacock (listen below) in the heart of southeastern Ohio made you feel like you were on an exotic island – a scene from Hatari or The Jungle Book, maybe Mowgli was somewhere nearby. But, alas, it was just the Milliron Clinic parking lot, where peacocks once roamed. 





Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019

Milliron Monday: The Parking Lot 6 17 19


Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Above, Dr. Smith's Milliron Clinic, Athens, Ohio. 
June 16, 2017Photo courtesy Joy Miller-Upton

Don't let your cat get loose in the parking lot...  

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

For some reason I keep thinking parking lot is one word. It's not. Parking lot. Parking lot... 

If the Milliron Clinic parking lot could talk, well, it would have a lot to say. Of course, parking lots can't talk and we are left to tell the witty, wise, and sometimes whimsical legends from the limestone. 

This is the first of a series about the parking lot. Oh, yes, there are a lot of stories from the old lot. Hard to believe, I suppose. But, nonetheless, I will share with you everything that I know and what I've been told. 

We will take a grand tour of the parking lot - from the first ton of stone to the beautiful/annoying peacocks, woolly sheep, lumbering oxen, horses, and more.

Can a parking lot really hold that much interest? Yes. Amazingly so. Imagine animals in and out of the clinic, horse trailers packed to the perimeter, cattle trucks, horses and riders with standing room only, oxen peeking in client's cars while they're sleeping, peacocks claiming their territory, people with pets in and out, lives altered, miracles... whew! And, we can't forget the cattle guard leading into the parking lot. 

Parking lot. Keep tuned in every week as Jody and clients share their stories of the Milliron parking lot. 

Have a great week ahead.


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Writer's Bulletin: The Author's Table

Every author anticipates a book signing event. It's a great opportunity to increase book sales, extend your territory, and network. When invited to a bookstore or book signing event, the author is provided a table or counter. Tables come in all shapes and sizes and it's up to the author to make the best of the space.

What should be on your book signing table? Every author has their own strategy to drive traffic to their table. Here are a few ideas...

1)  Use an easel to promote your book. There are many styles and types of easels; wooden, brass, plastic, etc. Choose the style that showcases your book. They are fairly inexpensive and I always keep a few on hand. Amazon has a nice selection.

2)  If you are bringing your own books to the table, count the books to keep track of book sales. Keep a paper and pencil handy to make notes of book sales, etc. If you are making change and handling the money yourself, keep a money bag securely under the table or in your purse/satchel. Don't lay the bag on top of the table (tacky). 

3)  Use push-cards and bookmarks. You can use push-cards as postcards for Thank You's and correspondence. They are great on your author's table as promotional material. Bookmarks are an extra perk for readers (cool, but not necessary).  In my opinion, you get more mileage out of a push-card/postcard. They serve multiple purposes and people will pick them up and take them home (whether they buy a book or not).

4) An author business card is a must. Choose a business card and card holder that will attract readers. My favorites are sold by Victoria Trading here. Here's a link to the business card holders on Amazon.

5)  Have a small (small) vase of fresh flowers or a plant. Keep it off to the side and out of the way of table traffic. 

6)  A small dish of mints or wrapped candy can help entice people to your table. From experience, this seems to be more of the norm for book festivals and larger/group author events.

7) If you are a children's literature author, provide word searches and crossword puzzles that children can take home. A coloring page with a scene from your book is fun, too! Add your website and contact information to the puzzle/page so that parents/grandparents can stay connected.

8)  Glittery pencils and logo pens seem to work at my table. As a children's literature author, kids are drawn to the glittery pencils, while parents like to grab a logo pen. 

9)  Provide a sheet for people to write their email address so that they can sign up for your newsletter and book event information. 

10) Finally, remember less is more. Don't overcrowd your table. Your books are the main attraction. Always dress appropriately and smile. Share the excitement about your book and your passion for writing!

I keep a small letter size box with my author's table supplies handy. It has a lockable lid so that I can tote it around without much effort. If you need samples of crosswords, coloring pages, word searches, etc., I am happy to share. Don't forget to enjoy the event - have fun and be the dynamic person everyone expects you to be! Keep writing.

This is Amazon Best Seller World Poetess N.R.Hart's book event table. 
(Barnes & Noble, May 2019)
Hart has books specifically displayed to entice readers, business cards, push-cards,
and flowers that compliment her table.

www.nrhart.com

Saturday, June 15, 2019

An Interview with Ohio Author Cristina Sicard


Illustrator Katie Drakulich and Author Cristina Sicard at Monday Creek Publishing

An Interview with Ohio Author Cristina Sicard

From Ohio USA, meet children’s literature author Cristina Sicard! I first met Cristina when she was a student at Ohio University. Now, pursuing her Masters degree away from home, she continues to inspire and motivate! Her first children’s literature, Harmony, was released in December 2019. Harmony is the story of an Ohio llama who thinks about his relatives in Peru. A cute story that has become a favorite of many, Harmony continues to be enjoyed by children around the world!

Welcome, Cristina!

GM: Your new children's book Harmony is adorable! How did you come up with the idea?
CS: Realizing writing gave me the power to share stories, I dreamed of writing a children’s book from the time I could talk. Entering Ohio University as a journalism major, I told myself I would try my hardest to find a way into the publishing world. As part of my News and Information Capstone, I interviewed a llama owner, Donna Moore, for Southeast Ohio magazine. That day, I brought my good friend from high school, Katie Drakulich (Harmony’s illustrator), because I had a feeling this was it. From little Harmony’s fluff and friendliness to Donna’s commitment and charisma, I wanted to tell their story with a touch of my own. I was fascinated with all these lovable llamas, thinking how in the world did they end up here? This was a question I asked myself many times growing up away from family. Harmony gave me the chance combine real-life components with a message of appreciation and love.

GM: Writers are always writing, coming up with new ideas. How do you maintain thoughts and ideas for storylines?
CS: There is nothing better than all of this! It has felt unreal sharing Harmony and interacting with the next generation of leaders. I get emotional when kids share stories of their own with me. From reading to the child I tutored to whole classrooms, I have adored and am thankful for every event. If I had to choose, I’d say it’s a tie between reading to my grade school St. Paul and my hometown library in North Canton, Ohio. They were full circle moments in which I saw teachers and adults from my childhood—unbelievably special. I never imagined having the opportunity to revisit my stomping grounds with a book to call my own. Everyone was so supportive, and we had fun crafting all things llama. With summer now here, I am open to any events in Ohio or Georgia!  

Writing doesn’t always have to be physical. I am constantly thinking what children’s story to write about next. I keep a “inspiration notebook” with me where I jot down people, places, things, or interactions that catch my attention (that notebook journeyed with me to the llama farm). I also type what catches my eye in my notes on my phone whenever I misplace the inspo notebook. I keep ideas alive by listening to children and teachers in classrooms, especially during recess and lunch. I listen to what they are talking about—what matters to them. I try to identify their needs and what stories aren’t being told and need heard. I also grab ideas from looking at old pictures of when I was a child, recalling what stories could have represented my community or me. I believe every day can be turned into a grand story!

GM: What are you currently writing?
CS: I just finished writing what I hope is my second children’s book, Sábana the Sloth! Sábana hangs in a tree practically on the ground in Peru worrying about it all. Just like me, Sábana has high anxiety that seems to get in the way of him living. The little girl he meets, Lula (which means famous warrior), is the complete opposite. Like Harmony, this story has touches of personal pieces mixed with humor and hope. With anxiety leading mental health issues among children in this nation, we need to end the stigma about mental health. Sábana the Sloth has actually been really hard to write because I’ve had to open myself up. Above all else though, it’s resulted rewarding. Just thinking about its impact on children exhilarates me. The story includes Spanish words too. I simply can’t wait to share it with you!

GM: Who is your favorite author?
CS: My favorite author regularly changes depending on what’s going on in my life. However, Eric Carle and Gail Gibbons have stayed with me since forever. I admire how they both write and illustrate so beautifully (they make it all look easy). I didn’t necessarily have to read to enjoy Eric Carle’s stories. But once I could—I couldn’t stop rereading his style. And Gail Gibbon’s books made me feel like the smartest kid in town. Both these authors motivated me to craft my own picture books as a child.

GM: Do you have advice for novice writers?
CS: START. Start somewhere with your writing and have fun. Do not look back and do not compare yourself to others (I struggle with this daily, but I know a strong mentality takes people far). Envision your story as a television show or movie (this helps with my character and plot development). Team up with your friends or family to create a story (it could be turned into a play or more). As terrifying as it may feel at times, share your work. Find people who will constructively criticize your work. Keep a notebook with you or use your phone to jot down ideas for storylines. And lastly, read your story out loud to check for rhythm. What sounds okay in our heads oftentimes needs polished once we share it aloud.

GM: List 10 things your fans may not know about you…
CS: 1) Two videos of mine have made it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. One was a Mother’s Day video about my mom being the best and the other was one of Ellen’s crazy challenges where I went “koalaing” or jumping on strangers like a koala.

2) Running and I have an on and off relationship at times, but I mostly love it. Joining track my senior year of high school was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I had the chance to travel with the team to the state championship. Since then, I’ve ran two half-marathons, woo!

3) I LIVE for warm weather and sunshine. My family is from the Dominican Republic, so it may be the tropical blood in me that makes me feel so dependent on the sun. I absolutely love being outside (ideally a beach). Most of my writing happens outdoors (when the sun is out of course).

4) The summer following my freshman year at Ohio University, I lived in New York City interning at a start-up media company. One of my greatest memories was walking the entirety of Central Park with my favorite Aunt Julie. I dream of going back to the Big Apple one day.

5) The travel bug bites me often. I have traveled to Costa Rica, China, Italy, Greece, and Kenya. One of my dearest trips was traveling to Cambodia with my incredibly talented Ohio University Global Leadership Center (GLC) classmates to work as consultants for real world projects. I already can’t wait for our GLC reunion!

6) I journeyed from Athens, Ohio to Athens, Georgia. I just completed my first year of graduate school at the University of Georgia. I am getting my masters in teaching preK-5. My hope is to become an elementary-school teacher and help as many children as possible. Hopefully, I’ll get to use my fluent Spanish in the classroom and continue writing stories inspired by the children.

7) I LOVE Enrique Iglesias, Michael Bublé, One Direction, and Camila Cabello. These beauties bring out all my emotions! I convinced my Dominican family to take me to an Enrique Iglesias concert—there are no words to describe his presence.

8) I prefer experiences over tangible things. So, I don’t watch a lot of
television, but I did finally finish The Office (started this sophomore year of college). The Office is my everything.

9) Dancing is the best. I prefer it over talking. I dance in front of the mirror anytime I have a big project, exam, interview, or just about anything! I love making up dances with friends or family because it’s hilarious and good for the soul.

10) I luckily call mi Mami my best friend. She thinks I’m the funniest person and supports me in everything. We are quite the duo. Love you Mami.  

Connect with Cristina...

The "real" Harmony at home in Ohio.


Illustrator Katie Drakulich and the Author with Harmony at home in Ohio.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Milliron Monday: Once Upon a Time 6 10 19



Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Above, Dr. Smith's Milliron sawmill second floor bookcase; a few of his books. 
Photo courtesy Joy Miller-Upton


Once upon a time it was now.  
 James Alexander Thom


Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Two years ago, June 16, marks the anniversary of the launch of Milliron: Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M. The Biography. It's hard to believe that two years ago this week I was reviewing final edits with Jody, Pete's widow. We had spent almost five years visiting clients, talking with relatives, traveling to places Pete had frequented, digging through old photos, and hours of remembering. 

June 16 is Pete's birthday. We intentionally scheduled the launch of Pete's biography on his birthday - at Milliron Clinic. It was a Friday night. People from all over attended the event. Pete's family was there, as well as Pete's dog Smokey. The clinic parking lot was full. People parked in the fields and along the highway. I remember the warmth, kindness, and sincerity of the crowd. 

Once upon a time... it all began with Pete's dream to become a veterinarian. A life of serving the downtrodden, miserable, helpless, and hopeless. A life of miracles, serendipity, and hard work. A life well lived. 

Reflecting on June 16, 2017, my mind goes back to the event. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share Pete's life - and continue to share. As one of my favorite authors, James Thom, so eloquently stated, Once upon a time it was now.




Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Milliron Monday: Wildflowers 6 3 19


Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Above, Dr. Smith's Milliron sawmill wildflower photo collection taken by Dempsey Sharp. 
Photo courtesy Joy Miller-Upton


To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower.
William Blake 


Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Throughout our lives we collect items that have meaning only to ourselves. Trinkets, totems, knickknacks, old photos, things that people give us that have sentimental and emotional attachment. Maybe these things provide a sense of joy as we journey through life. This is the case with the wildflower photos in the Milliron sawmill. 

Dempsey Sharp and Dr. Smith were very good friends. Most every Spring they would take one day to look for wildflowers. Dempsey knew every wildflower native to Ohio and West Virginia. He was gifted in botany and photography. 

When Dr. Smith built his famous sawmill, Dempsey provided wildflowers. Hanging proudly above a second floor window are Dempsey's wildflower photographs (see above), a testimonial to the intricate offerings of the woodlands. 

Dr. Smith, a sometimes sentimental man who was a skilled surgeon; Dempsey, from the depths of West Virginia, was brave and humble. We see the picture of two hard-working men with calloused hands, the epitome of manliness, bent and engaged in conversation over a delicate blossom.  "Is it a Great White Trillium or a Western Trillium?" they banter in quiet observation. 

The photos are still there, waiting to be revered and enjoyed. Save your trinkets, totems, knickknacks, and old photographs. They are the things that we look to when we reflect on the past while we ponder the future.

"...I would see a flower appear on a hillside and I knew exactly what that flower was, most of the time from their color. When Pete and I went, we were out from early morning to late. When you start looking at flowers, and really look at them, you take your time and don’t look at anything else. Pete loved all wildflowers. We would never pick them. Well, once in a while we’d pick violets." 
From an interview with Dempsey Sharp for Milliron: The Biography


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Behind The Barriers: An Interview with Equestrian Jason Petch by Gina McKnight


Behind The Barriers: An Interview with Equestrian Jason Petch
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the May 2019 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.

Jason Petch is a seasoned equestrian. An Australia native, he is an avid horseman, enjoying the spirituality and joy of horses. Petch has seen a different side of the horse industry – a side that we may not consider. Many horsemen and horsewomen work long hours, taking a toll on their physical and mental conditions. Petch saw the need early on to help those suffering from mental health issues. In an effort to help his fellow riders - including farriers, breeders, jockeys, track riders, stablehands, and more - Petch became the Founder and Keynote Speaker for Behind The Barriers, an organization that provides support to those suffering from mental illness.

Behind The Barriers Mission Statement: “We are dedicated to educate, promote and offer a healthy lifestyle and well-being for racing industry personnel challenged by mental illness in Australia.”

Welcome, Jason!

GM: When was your first encounter with a horse?
JP: In 1975 as a four year old at the stables of Bill Seymour at Epsom in Mordialloc (Australia). Bill was a horse trainer I eventually worked long with and he was like a father to me.

GM: Your compassion for both horse and rider is evident in your foundation, Behind the Barriers. What does your support organization provide for those suffering from mental health issues?
JP: We provide a 1300 number (1300GETHELP) which industry participants can call to seek help for mental health issues. This number is free, immediate and confidential. It also is accessible 24/7. Callers speak to a senior psychologist.

From there the senior psychologist refers callers to a clinical psychologist 'immediately' without the need for a mental health care plan through a GP [General Practitioner]. Behind The Barriers pay for their first three face to face sessions with the senior psychologist. So in effect, Behind The Barriers are immediate responders. We also are 'not' aligned with principal racing authorities. So this gives callers the confidence that all of their issues are confidential.

GM: When did you realize that this type of program was needed and how did you get started?
JP: I have personally suffered with mental health issues all of my life and have been involved in the racing industry as a strapper, track rider and trainer. I was a licensed trainer here in Melbourne Australia for 15 years. I have seen many colleagues suffer with this illness and unfortunately was too closely involved with quite a few in the industry that are no longer with us due to their battles. So I saw a need for the industry to realize there is a need for mental health support in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industries. I did approach Racing Victoria Limited (our PRA here in Victoria) for support, however they 'stole' the concept and run their own out using our IP. However, it is proven that industry participants here support Behind The Barriers as we are 'independent' of PRA's.

GM: What can the public do to support your efforts?
JP: We are encouraging the general public to be aware of how hard people in this industry work for such little reward. But also to be aware of the isolation, low pay and long hours have on our industry workers. We encourage the general or 'punting' public to support Behind The Barriers by way of donations by going to our website www.behindthebarriers.org.au to pledge a donation which goes directly to the psych services we provide through our EAP [Employee Assistance Program] provider called Acacia Connections who pick up the phones 24/7 and arrange immediate psych services. We also ask for volunteers. As it is, we are currently rolled out here in Australia with the view to take this concept globally through the racing and breeding industry. We can only do this with the support of the greater racing and breeding industries on each continent.


GM: Take us through a day in your life. What does a "normal" day hold for you?
JP: Currently, I am a volunteer (even though I was Founder) of Behind The Barriers. No one working within it gets a cent of payment. Therefore, since I retired from training horses due to my own struggles, I have gone back to Landscape gardening (which I did years ago when track riding) to cover my costs of living. Although most of my week is taken up with Behind The Barriers stuff.

GM: You previously owned a racing stable and have a lot of experience with horses. Do you have advice for those looking to purchase a horse for the first time, or those looking to invest in a racehorse?
JP: For those looking to purchase for the first time, I would suggest to align yourself with a horse trainer you can get along with as it is a big decision and it must be done with someone you can get along with. As a horse trainer, you know that patience and perseverance are keys to success.

GM: Would you say that working with horses has helped you in helping people?
JP: No. The only way I can answer this is the following…
Working with horses gave me purpose. They relied on me to function.
Helping people is something that is bred into certain humans.
So I can't associate one with the other personally...sorry.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
JP: 'The World" You can trust horses in so many ways.

Connect with Jason…
Jason Petch
Founder/Keynote Speaker

Gina McKnight is a freelance writer from Ohio USA. www.gmcknight.com