The familiar idiom “back in the saddle” means to return to something after an absence; to make another attempt after failure, interruption, or setback. I only published one blog post in the past year, and I haven’t worked on a manuscript since last spring. But as the Public Relations Officer for our Band Boosters, I have been writing a considerable amount in the form of press releases, weekly newsletters, and social media posts.
This month, I celebrated my two-year anniversary as a sidewalker with a local equine therapy program. I volunteer regularly, and the time spent at the barn is the highlight of my week. During this pause from writing fiction, my thoughts and my heart continue to return to a book I wrote called Reins for Warriors in which the main character participates in an equine therapy program to find freedom from her past. You can read more about the inspiration behind this story here.
Five years and multiple revisions later, Reins for Warriors gets one more shot. A short time after deciding to revisit this manuscript again, I had an opportunity to observe Todd Pierce, with Riding High Ministries, connect with a horse on a church stage “to illustrate how Jesus pursues, heals and ultimately becomes one with us as a Father.” This particular work horse came from an Amish farm and had never been ridden. During the demonstration, Todd said sometimes God may tell us to go, and He’ll lead us in the going. I’m leaning into that message, and this blog series is the product of obedience.
“Back in the Saddle” seemed like an appropriate title for the series for a variety of reasons. I’m returning to this story after a long pause. The main character in Reins for Warriors gets back in the saddle as she attempts to regain control of her life, to find the will to forgive, and to ultimately find freedom. Riders in the equine therapy programs physically get back in the saddle during weekly classes to increase core strength, improve flexibility, and build trust with the horse and volunteers. Readers, like you and me, got back in the saddle as we struggled to regain a sense of normalcy in our lives after the pandemic.
When I made writing a priority in my life, the goal was to traditionally publish my stories. I could not have accomplished this dream had I not been surrounded by a network of people who supported me, and readers, like you, who gave my writing a chance. I must admit the journey has been bittersweet and not how I pictured the experience.
- My first book, Pockets of Promise, released during the height of the pandemic. Like many other authors, shut downs and shortages affected my plans, and I had to pivot.
- To edit my second book, Pockets of Purpose, I repurposed my dad’s bedside table as a desk. He passed away the day after I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher.
- My third book, Pockets of Peace, is about an unmarried Amish woman, who places her baby for adoption. The book was incredibly challenging to write, and yet it’s my favorite story in the series. That being said, this book released in the midst of the upheaval surrounding a controversial court case.
Despite these challenges, I celebrated the opportunity to share my stories and reasons for writing with you. The month of April is coming to a close, and I’m reminded of the significant personal milestones that have occurred during this month over the years:
- April 1 – The anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing, which ultimately led me to write.
- April 7 – my birthday
- April 2016 – made writing a priority
- April 2020 – Book #1 in The Pocket Quilt Series released
- April 2021 – began volunteering with an equine therapy program
- April 2022 – Book #3 in The Pocket Quilt Series released
- Easter is often in April.
- April is the Month of the Military Child – you can read more about how this ties to my writing here.
You may or may not be familiar with The Pocket Quilt Series and my Amish characters. If you’ve read any of these three books, would you please consider leaving a review on sites such as Amazon and Goodreads? This is a great way to help other readers discover the series.
In Reins for Warriors, a rescued horse helps an Air Force veteran find freedom from her traumatic past and hope for a fulfilling future. As I polish this manuscript for my agent to pitch to publishers, I would love to connect with readers who would be interested in reading such a book. If you’re intrigued, join my mailing list through the link at the top of this page. Newsletter subscribers will soon get a sneak peek at the scene that was originally written as the prologue to this story.
As always, thank you for giving my writing a chance.