Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

USDF Interview: Willy Arts, Trainer, Breeder, and Breed Official

“Behind The Scenes: Willy Arts, Trainer, Breeder, and Breed Official”
USDF Connection
April 2017
United States Dressage Federation


A short interview with a breed association board member.

©2017 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

Previous Posts [Behind The Scenes]

Also by me in the same issue, “Amateur Hour: Top Guns”. A profile of 2016 Dover Medal winner Ruth Shirkey.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Why I Ride, Six-Word Essay

G is for Missed It By THAT Much. Tomorrow is my G post. Couldn’t figure a way to wedge it in here. Blogging A To Z

I ride because I can’t not.

Katie and Rachel have great stories.
Why I Ride by Katie Wood
Why I Ride by Rachel Wamble

My writing has an [origin story].
My riding has no origin story.
My riding career trajectory is simple.

A city kid at summer camp.
Moved to the suburbs. Rode regularly.
Never occurred to me to stop.

I ride because I can’t not.
Six-Word Memoirs
Six Word Stories
[Brevity is the soul of wit]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

State of the Blog: Going Digital

More state of my writing than state of the blog. Previous State of the Blog posts [list].


The USDF Connection piece on Mr. Meredith [Announcer] was my first with the new digital recorder, pictured. Before this, I had been using cassette tapes. Sure they are Flintstones technology but I interview from home over the phone, so portability is not an issue. Plus, have you priced digital recorder$$$? I finally got to the point were the choice was buy more tapes or join the 21st century.

So far, I like it. I can save the files on my computer as backup. No more growing piles of cassettes. (The one interview I tape over will be the one interview I need. Paranoid? Moi?) No more skipping back and forth to confirm a quote. I can go directly to the exact location. Well, almost directly. Still adapting to the forward and reverse rates. It goes slow, medium, and then really, really fast. Also, I sometimes confuse long press with short press, causing me to turn off the machine or jump to different track, causing me to restart the track I’m on, causing me more opportunities to learn about those speed rates. However, the learning curve is flattening out. I overshot way less in my most recent transcription session.

Fear not. I still fly the old school flag. I still interview on a landline. I HATE cell phones for long calls, whether personal or paying. The delay plays havoc with my conversational rhythm. Getting folks relaxed and talking is what I do. Constantly stepping on someone’s sentences is not conducive to the correct atmosphere.

Public props to my IT dude for debugging the new system, mainly due to the age of the other components.

Bought with much helpful advice from Spy Pro Shop, which was an adventure in itself.
Speaking of USDF, I have a brag to share. A thank you note from the owner of Harbor Sweets [Other Writing: Sweet on Dressage].

USDF Connection
February 2017, p10.

Aw shucks, Ma’am, twern’t nothin.

But seriously folks. Just as it is easier to look good on a nice horse, it is easier to interview someone who is pleasant, chatty, and comes with a great narrative.
How about you, old school or early adopter?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

USDF Interview: Nicho Meredith, Announcer

“Behind The Scenes: Nicho Meredith, Announcer”
USDF Connection
March 2017
United States Dressage Federation


A short interview with a horse show announcer.

©2017 United States Dressage Federation. Used by permission. Reproduction prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher.

Previous Posts [Behind The Scenes]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

What I learned from Food Media South

Last Saturday, this was my world.



Food Media South
Birmingham, AL
Southern Foodways Alliance

Here are my take-aways. At least, I think this is what they said. Any errors of interpretation are mine.


Duncan Hines was a real person. He wrote travel guides back in the days before restaurant inspections. He was more concerned about whether a restaurant would make you sick than how locally it sourced its artisanal products. // Post and Courier: Hanna Raskin


After World War II, Greeks in Birmingham changed from immigrants after our jobs to fellow Americans. They became white. (Question: how could Greeks ever not be counted as from a Western country? Greece is the birthplace of Western culture. WTF?) // Alabama News Center: Opa! and Okra: The Greek Connection By Bob Blalock


The ~8-minute film is available at the SFA site, Johnny’s Greek And Three.


America is a young culinary country. // Wanna become a food writer? Become a writer. // Lucky Peach


When entering a situation in which you have no experience, own your ignorance. // Discomfort is not always a bad thing. // From Lagos




Montgomery, AL, has a large Korean population due to Hyundai. Most stay for 3 to 5 years and plan to go home when done. IT dudes often come for 3-5 months. Being intentionally temporary changes the “immigrant experience.” It becomes similar to a diplomatic mission or military deployment. // Cooking Light: Mississippi Chinese Lady goes home to Korea


Classes now require digital literacy. // You Can Now Study Tacos at the University of Kentucky // Taco Literacy


Story Corps teaches people to interview their family members. (I think. Notes started to get foggy about here. Long day.)


Who is being left out of the story? Who is being centered; who is being othered? // La Cocina: Cultivating Food Entrepreneurs

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

State of the Blog: Borrowed Fame

A screenshot of Facebook statistics for Rachel’s post as of 2/24/17. [Why I Ride by Rachel Wamble]


The same thing happened with the previous youth essay [Lightning in a Bottle ]. While the stats package has changed in the intervening two years, I judge the reach to be about the same. More FB shares on one; more direct hits on the other. (Since I use instead of .org, I don’t get Google Analytics.)

Regardless of the specific numbers, the award essays are wildly more popular than my average post. I try to enjoy the spike but not take personally the rise & subsequent fall.

As I said before, all of the credit goes to the author. All I do is recognize a good thing when I hear it.

Previous State of the Blog posts [list].

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Sticking My Toe Back In The Water


Since I have an eligible article this year, I have entered the AHP Equine Media Awards again. In 2013, my entry was a person experience essay [The Envelope, Please …]. I placed 4th out of 18. This year, I entered my profile of Phyllis LeBlanc, owner of Dark Horse Chocolates, aka Harbor Sweets [Sweet on Dressage]. The deadline is tomorrow. Results will be announced at the annual seminar in June.

Entering the contest has flexed my atrophied career muscles. I want to get back in the game. Although, I must confess this is not a new goal. I have been less than diligent.

One of my goals for 2014 was to get more paying work [7th Day]. I’ve approached it with the same intensity that I have used for horse hunting – a general willingness to be open to anything that falls into my lap. This has worked as well as you would expect.
10 Reasons to Get Paid to Write

(Shortly thereafter, Milton fell into my lap. From a fellow journalist, no less. But I digress.)

The challenge opportunity is that the industry has changed. Since 2008, staff positions have evaporated, which means more freelancers. This is what I have always done, so no big deal there. However, it also means competition from people who have done it more, if not longer, than I have.

These days, online is respectable and platforms are a must. It is no longer a matter of contacting the people with whom I used work to ask ‘Whatcha need?’ Or maybe it is that simple and I’m overthinking it. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Wish me luck.


Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott