Monday, February 27, 2012

Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show 2012

So, I love my Arabian horses. I've mentioned this, right? I love 'em when they're all slicked out and shiny in the middle of summer, and I love 'em when they're in woolly mammoth mode in February:

Know what else I love about February? The Scottsdale Arabian show, which takes place each year just a couple hours south of where I live. Scottsdale is *the* event in the Arabian horse show world, and it draws exhibitors from all over the globe - Qatar, Argentina, name it. This past weekend I made the trek with a girlfriend and four kids between us. It was about 80 degrees in the sunshine down in the Valley, and I'm pretty sure my winter-white legs (oh, what am I talking about - my legs are always pale as a snake's belly) blinded a few horses and spectators.

I love that there's something for everyone - English events, Western events, and don't even get me started on the shopping. From handmade bosals to diamond necklaces, it's all there.

Of course, the Senior Champion mare and stallion halter classes were a highlight. I was so impressed by the depth of quality in all classes we watched. It was awesome.

And no matter what you may think about halter showing in general or certain handlers in particular, there is no denying that this horse is exquisite. He's Aria Impresario, handled by David Boggs, and you horsey folks can check out his pedigree here. He went champion Senior stallion, and watching him take charge of the arena with his gorgeous, free movement (somebody get me a dressage saddle, quick!) brought tears to my eyes.

The kids and I already can't wait 'til next year!

Friday, February 24, 2012

LinkLove Friday!

First, on this Linklove Friday, I'd like to say how thrilled I am to be a part of The Lucky 13s - a group of authors with debut YA and other children's novels coming out in 2013. Woot!

I love what Natalie Whipple has to say about this sold-but-not-yet-on-the-shelves state in this blog post.

I'm super excited to be heading down, once again, to the Scottsdale All-Arabian Show with a friend and our kids. I've gone to this show for years & years (and even showed there, which was a blast!).

Are you on Twitter? Are you following me? If not, please do! I'm @Nicole_McInnes.

I'm also on Goodreads - and I'd love to see you there!

Have a great weekend, Everyone.


Monday, February 20, 2012

My Very Glamorous Author Photo Shoot

Okay, so I'm super excited that I have a book coming out next year. But when I realized I had to start coming up with other things besides decent writing - things like an official author photo, I started to get a little nervous.

Honestly, there are few things I despise more than having my picture taken. For some reason I always end up looking like a cross between Sally Field's version of Sybil and the last dog in this picture currently going around the Internet

Still, I had a photographer, I had makeup on, and I had a decent location. It was a blustery day, snowing on and off. This was a bummer because of the billowy summer clothes I was wearing, but it was also a good thing, because there was some beautiful, natural light going on (and I really wanted an outdoor setting for my official author photo). Here's the short, 9-shot version of how it went (as opposed to the unabridged 87-shot version):

1. First, an appeal to the Heavens: "Please don't let this be like all the other times I've had my picture taken. Please?"

2. I think it's super important to joke around a little before a shoot. You know, to lighten things up. I'm not sure my photographer agreed. "Okay, so wait wait wait. I have this reeeeally funny joke. What do you get when you cross a duck and a lawn mower..."

3. It wasn't long before I started to feel very nostalgic about the whole thing, even though it wasn't yet over: "Paw? I really want to be a perfeshunal writer someday. Paw??"

4. What? The photographer's yelling at me to get my act together because he's freezing his @$$ off? "Yessir! Whatever you say sir!"

5. "Look at my gums! Aren't they the pinkest, shiniest gums you've ever seen?!?"

6.   "F*@#$#%  it's cold out here":

7. Okay, I can do this. Breathe, Nicole:
But wait. I feel a change coming over me. A hunger. A sudden, insatiable appetite for...


9. I am SO outta here:

Amazingly, I survived. Not sure about the photographer, though. Last time I saw him, he was running through the woods grabbing his skull and screaming something about the Zombie Apocalypse. (??)

I'll be sharing the chosen photo here (don't worry - it's not one of these) when it's all cropped and purty.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Publishers Marketplace & Yours Truly

Young Adult
Nicole McInnes's BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, in which a 16 year-old finds herself lost, alone, and pregnant after a one-night-stand (let's just say it's complicated), and just when she's got nowhere left to turn, help arrives from the one person who is closest to her big mistake, but will leave her forced to choose between clinging to the ledge of fear and abandonment - or jumping into the unknown where a second chance at hope might just be waiting, to Sylvie Frank at Holiday House, for publication in Fall 2013, by Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (NA).

Monday, February 06, 2012

As I posted on Facebook earlier today: "Felt a little guilty yesterday eating delicious Game Day chicken wings while looking out the window at the friends' flock of beloved hens. Didn't stop me from nomming, though." That mostly sums up the day. We were invited to watch the Super Bowl with a great group of friends, all of us most interested in the commercials and Madge's performance (since none of us really had a team in the game - when the Niners lost the playoff, I sort of lost interest). I thought Madonna did a great job, though she has definitely slowed down a bit in the 20 years it's been since I saw her live. Then again, we'd all be so lucky to have her moves and her presence at 53. As far as her guest singers, it would have been out of character for M.I.A. NOT to have caused a bit of controversy with her red undies and hand gesture, imo, and Ms. Minaj was as cartoon-like and goofy as expected.

Favorite commercial? The Becks. Hand's down.

On Saturday, I had the double-treat of writing and riding. It started with a screenplay-writing workshop with David Seals (member of our local writers' group and author of Pow Wow Highway, the movie version of which was produced by George Harrison!). Afterward, I met a new friend for a long trail ride in the snowy woods. It's always nice to meet a fellow Arabian enthusiast here in Quarter Horse country - especially one who has a senior gelding like I do. The horses got along great, and we riders agreed it was like Grandpa's Day Out. Maybe next time we'll treat them to a round of bingo afterward.

I have not forgotten about the exciting news I'm planning to announce soon, but it's not...quite...time...yet.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Linklove Friday!

There's a bag of Valentine m&ms and a bowl of multi-grain hot cereal - both staring me down, competing for my affection as I post this week's Linklove. The m&ms will win. The m&ms always win, because it is in no way shape or form a level playing field.

But it's okay, because there have been stressors in my life lately that made me lose my appetite, and I'm not at all okay with that, because I love food and I know there's something seriously wrong when I don't feel like eating. It's all good though, and the stressors have (for the most part) worked themselves out.
Wait. I know - I'll eat the m&ms and then chase them with the healthy multi-grain cereal. They'll cancel each other out, right?

Topping the list of links you should check out (especially those of you who love your alone time as I do) is this great article from Scientific American on why solitude is "a crucial (and underrated) ingredient for creativity." Introverts Unite! (Plus, how adorable & pretty is the author in question? Cute as a bug, I tell ya.)
The ebook vs. traditional ("legacy" being the new buzzword) publishing debate rages on over at GalleyCat where publishing insider Jamie Raab added her pennies to the increasingly popular notion that the publishing industry is the Evil Empire.
This looks like an awesome show, but I'll have to wait for the DVDs, since we don't have satellite 
Finally, the scary-brilliant Margaret Cho (who writes how I want to write and who (I think) has an uncanny ability to show us ourselves from unexpected perspectives) had these thoughts on bikes and life.
That's it for this week, Folks. TGIF, and have a great weekend!