Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

The American Gun Mystery
Ellery Queen
1933 Triangle 1940

Bought from Wonder Books via
This Year

[P is for Pace]
[O is for O’Connor]
[N is for Newsum]
[M is for McKinley]
[L is for Lewis]
[K is for Krementz]
[ J is for Journal]
[I is for Ipcar]
[H is for Hatch]
[G is for Gray]
[F is for Francis]
[E is for Endicott]
[D is for Doty]
[C is for Cooper]
[B is for Brown]
[A is for Anderson]

Past Years
[2016 Alphabet] [2015 Alphabet]

Project explanation [AlphaBooks 2017]. Open to recommendations for the remaining letters. Which books would you choose?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Writing Life: My Book

Last week, I said I wanted to write a book [What Next?]. I’ve already written one. Technically. Co-written. I don’t talk about it much. The money was astounding but it was a difficult project that came at a crappy time in my life.

Wally Bunn worked for AT&T, starting as a lineman and working up to CEO of one of the Baby Bells after “the breakup of the biggest corporation in American history. ” [Wiki: Breakup of the Bell System] Leah Atkins and I helped him self-publish his memoir.

I Am a Telephone Man: Wallace R. Bunn’s Life in the Bell System
by Leah Rawls Atkins and Katherine Tuttle Walcott
Pine Ridge House 2009

Obituary at Wallace R. Bunn

+ Wally was a cool dude. He had done interesting things and lived through interesting times. He had great stories which he told well. Interviewing him was about the easiest I’ve done. Watching him run a meeting was a better education than a business school class.

+ Much research and reading was required. This counts as fun for an information junkie. I got to quote my father calling the break up, “The worst decision Judge Greene ever made.” (p105) Although Judge Greene insisted that the agreements were made before he ruled on the case. But I digress.

+ Our writing meshed well. One of us would draft a chapter, the other would correct. By the end, I couldn’t tell who had written what.

+ Money. A sizable amount both as a lump sum and as an hourly rate.

+ A large amount of work. It kept me busy while the freelance world crashed and burned. By the time I got my head out of telephone land, 2008 had come and gone.

– Remember what I said about wanting to take a flamethrower to your co-author’s house [Next]? Ask me how I know. I have no doubt the feeling is mutual. We had two problems. First, I kept everything as electronic as possible. We are talking oodles of text. Easier to edit a file than type-in handwritten corrections. Or so I thought. Halfway through, I realized that Miss Leah was old school and low-tech. I started printing out everything and carrying piles of paper to her house. It got a little better.

What I did not realize until after was that she wanted to be more of an emeritus senior author, lending advice and support while I did the heavy lifting. No problem. It would have been an reasonable exchange of opportunity in return for participation. A historically acceptable Master/Apprentice arrangement. Meanwhile, I was being the deferential junior author and not getting in the way of her project. None of this was said outright and I never guessed, because she is Southern and I am dense.

So, yeah. Not gonna work with anyone anytime soon.

– Validity. It doesn’t feel real. It’s not what I mean when I say I want to write a book.

– A large amount of work. Typing. So much typing. Two people does not make half the work. Between drafting and rewriting, we probably each wrote a full book.

On Amazon, the author is listed as “Leah Rawls And Katherine Tuttle Walcott Atkins” – one person. I’d seen this before, obviously. Since I planned to blog about the book, I thought it would be cool to link to an author page. When I called about correcting the entry, Amazon was useless. The person who created it has to make the change. I have no idea how the page showed up. I didn’t do it. Miss Leah would have added it to her own Amazon page. I am not interested enough to contact her about straightening it out, see above. Even revisiting the experience for the duration of this post has traumatized me all over again.

A project that continues to spread joy long after the completion date.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Greetings Y’All

Regular Readers: Today’s post is a special landing page for people I meet at Y’All Connect, a one-day blogging and media conference. The regular blog schedule will resume tomorrow.

New Readers: Hello! Do you think I should start a food blog?

Me. Freelance writer. Blogger. Horseback rider. [About]

The Blog. A daily blog. Mostly horses. Also cats, dogs, books, LEGO bricks, photography, writing, lettering, biking, firefighting, and so on. In short, whatever catches my fancy at the moment. [Cast of Critters]

The Conference. For the previous 2015 conference, I made myself a list of Do’s & Dont’s [State of the Blog: Y’all Connect]. I had goals. I had plans. I was going to network! Market! Be pro-active! This year, I just hope to show up.

On the morning of the conference in 2015, My horse – the Rodney of Rodney’s Saga – sprung a nosebleed. Horses have big noses, even a minor nosebleed is a carmine deluge. He was fine, but I missed the conference. [Conference Report. Not. Long Version]

Fewer plans for this year. Mission success will be defined as attending. Since I need something to ponder, I’m thinking about a food blog. My husband cooks. I write. We should be able to work with this.

So, that’s me, and the blog, and my goals for Y’All Connect 2017. Let me know where you are visiting from (from where you are visiting? from whence? Pulls self out of grammar tailspin). I’ll come over to say hi.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Driving Thursday


We borrowed from WHF (thank you!) a breastcollar with a deep V that rides higher on Milton’s shoulder and lower under his neck. Freeing up the shoulders freed up the whole horse. We are now ordering one of our own.


My driving Milton is not a policy statement. It was an effort by husband and coach to get me in motion so that I stop whining about my recent uselessness. (Good luck with that.) At the end of the video, I am trying to aim Milton through a pair of cones. Video by Courtney Huguley.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Pondering the Hiatus

Saddle Seat Wednesday

All along, I’ve been saying that I will stay with saddle seat. So why did I feel the need to wander off [Sine Die]?

Proximate Cause
At my most recent lesson, I was offered a choice of two horses to ride, both new to me. I had no desire to ride either one. This is normal for me. I warm up slowly to new horses. Always have.

Once I got on, I just wanted it to be over. This is not normal for me, nor is it a good way to be on a horse. That’s when I decide a break was called for.

Short-Term Causes
At Mid-South this year, I had my best saddle seat show ever [Show Report]. Although I missed sweeping my classes, it was still my best show in terms of attitude and showmanship. I’ve had some great lessons. The good show and the good rides were all on Sam.

My lessons and shows with everyone else have been horrid. I’m not talking, ‘Poor me, I didn’t ride as well as I wanted.’ At ProAm [Show Report], my problems were so obvious that one of the adult novices wondered what had happened to me.

I have no explanation for that degree of difference.

Long-Term Causes
New horses. Always a weakness for me.
Mares. Ditto.
Reconciling dressage and saddle seat lessons.
Not the 6-week break over the summer. That would be logical but my terrible ride on Bingo was before and my wonderful lesson on Sam was after.

When I look back, I see this was not sudden. My saddle seat has been disintegrating since the end of Winter Tournament.
[Graduating From Sam] Riding Desi
[Show Report: Riding at ProAm 2017, or Showing Without My Security Blanket I] Showing Desi
[Styling, Or Not] Wondering Why
[Show Report: Dixie Cup 2017] Showing Mr. Whizbang
[Back To Kindergarten] Regrouping on Sam
[Where The Rot Sets In]
[Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107, Riding] Showing Sam
[Anatomy of a Snit] Riding Bingo
[Getting a Grip, or Not] Wonder Why, again
[Getting a Grip, Proof of Concept] It works … on Sam
[Sine Die Saddle Seat] It doesn’t work

Coach Courtney thinks I am getting myself in a state about the show bridle [Different Versions of the Same Thing]. Correct, but a symptom rather than a cause.

Underlying Cause
My summer problems come from Rodney breaking my heart yet again [Recap]. To suffer disappointment, one has to have hope. I would have said I had no hope left. I would have said that any spark had been throughly stomped after all these years. Then, I look past the confusion to my gorgeous, kind, talented horse, and a small voice whispers ‘… maybe … ‘

This is an acute manifestation of a chronic situation. I’ve said it before [Nerves Update, April 2016], my problems with saddle seat won’t get fixed until I come to terms with the home team, one way or another.

I’m not gone forever, or even for now. Miss Courtney is being a huge help with Milton’s driving. I’ll start riding the new horses, and the mares, and Bingo when I get self sorted out and am safe to ride.

Bottom Line
I’ll be back. Once I get my head screwed on right.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Enough about them [Maiden Voyage!, Milton Drives On], what about me? When we get home from a drive, I am exhausted; partly physical, mostly mental. I said as much after Kentucky [Repercussions]. Here’s why.

Base Emotions
I have never gotten clear on the difference between envy & jealousy. Maybe it’s neither. I don’t want what he has. I don’t want him not to have it. It’s more along the lines of seeing someone eat a candy bar and thinking, ‘That’s looks yummy. Can I have some?’

They Also Serve
Running around being Wonder Groom reminds me that I’m good at what I don’t want, and not good at what I do want. As a career, I should have been a barn manager, or an operating room nurse, or a theatrical dresser. You know, the person working quietly behind the scenes to make sure the rider/doctor/star has what they need to perform. Unfortunately, I have too much ego. I don’t want to be unsung support staff. I want to be center stage, whether or not I have the talent.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Milton is a big, gray reminder of my failure. I want to be happy that he likes driving, but he was supposed to be my riding horse, d*mm*t.

Bottom Line
So that’s me. Perky on the outside. Petty on the inside.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Cookie Ball!

Nose-It! Equine Ball Flat Fill Treat Dispenser
via Amazon (not available direct)

I don’t usually buy cat/dog/horse toys. I am concerned they will become unused, decorative lumps of plastic. We bought what we call the “Cookie Ball” after watching Bliss and Jewel play with theirs at CAA [Show Report]. At one point, Bliss heard Jewel playing with the ball – the rattling treats make a distinctive sound – and got offended that someone else had HER ball.

Our guys love it. No ramp-up time. We presented the cookie ball. They each say, ‘Ah ha! Treats!’ and began to whack it around. Any horse who has ever flipped over a feed pan knows how to do this. I think humans underestimate the power of smell. Note, we have to fill it with “good” treats. They did not feel it is worth the effort for mediocre treats.

Rodney gets the cookie ball with a baker’s dozen of horse cookies as a stall toy when Milton goes to Stepping Stone. He empties all but one or two. In his defense, that last one is hard to fish out.

Comments: There is a small drainage hole on the bottom, opposite the treat hole, for cleaning. It is a clever design but I find I still have to mop out the last bit of water. Our area is bad for fire ants and mice, so I clean the ball each time and keep it in the house. YMMV.

Disclosure: no contact with company other than as a customer.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott