Yay! I think things are resolved…and DUCKS!

Mallard ducks in snow-covered wheat stubblefield

This picture of mallard ducks in a snow-covered wheat stubblefield just amazes me. They moved in when subzero temperatures hit, creating these nests in the snow. The picture really doesn’t do it justice because I took it on the first day that temps rose above freezing and the ducks were starting to fly around rather than cluster in groups like the one I show here. There were hundreds of ducks in that field. Just…totally astonishing.

We’ve pretty much been riding through the winter weather here. Our little corner of the valley seems to keep avoiding the worst of the storms so far but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We got down to -18F one day and had multiple days where all I did with the horses was go out to the ranch, give them grain and treats, and look them over. Even with a young horse I’m reluctant to ask for much when the temps are less than 15F. Mocha got a neck hood added to her portable shed (aka the heaviest Weatherbeeta brand blanket on the market) and Marker got Ground Schooling With Cones. Which meant a lot of backing up with precise targeting* and lots of step, whoa, step, whoa.

*ahem, not-so-precise right now since he is a wiggly fidgety boy with ADHD elements and he’s not done this before. He’s better under saddle than on the ground so far. But it will come.

The resolution of things addresses not just this blog but my author newsletter. My monthly newsletter needed to find a new home since MailChimp was shutting down TinyLetter. I had considered moving to Substack because, well, it’s easier. I even started adding new subscriber lists to the Substack I made for the author newsletter. Then the whole kerfuffle over extremist content being monetized on Substack happened, and that was a big nope. I have newsletter subscribers who won’t use Substack. I started looking around at newsletter options, and started setup on Mailerlite only to realize that while the free program has a lot to offer, I could only run one thing from it. If I wanted to migrate my Substack blog subscribers there, I needed to run with a paid account.

Not gonna work.

I looked at other options, and either ran into list upload issues, or just didn’t have the room to grow, much less run two separate functions (blog and newsletter) from the same platform. Not unless I paid money, and given that I haven’t monetized any of this stuff, monthly payments didn’t seem like a great thing to do. However, I discovered that there was an option with a reasonable one-time payment, and started checking it out. I’m now working with SendFox. It’s not big but it has more tools than TinyLetter or Substack, really, without overwhelming me like Mailerlite did. If I ever make it big I’ll probably move the author letter to Mailerlite–or not. I have more tools to work with and figuring these tools out is going to take me some time.

I’m still tweaking and finalizing things. But how things stand right now is that content for the blog starts here, and is mirrored on SendFox and Dreamwidth.

Just creating the landing signup pages on SendFox this morning was a huge relief. I didn’t realize the degree to which worry about what I was going to do was piling up on me. Add that to the need to keep on top of the weather so I could react appropriately to what was happening and it’s been a wild start to 2024.

What can you expect to see from this blog coming up? Amongst other things, this is one of the few blogs where you’ll see me drafting directly in WordPress. I have several drafts in Word, some about horses, some about writing commentary, and I have a whole list of topics to work on. Upcoming blogs will include a reaction to statements by one of the bigwigs in A.I. about how authors should just upload our work for free, reflections on reforming a villain in one of my worlds, and as always, the occasional horse training and management update.

Meanwhile, if you want to follow me easily, here are a couple of links (note, if you are reading this in your email, you’re fine for the blog feed!):

Want to subscribe to my blog feed and read my musings about writing, life as a senior in the wide open spaces, and blathering about horses? Sign up here: https://sendfox.com/lp/1rev2y

Want to subscribe to my monthly newsletter for more information about what I’m writing, what I’m publishing, and links/announcements of sales, appearances, and special programs? Sign up here: https://sendfox.com/jreynoldsward

And if you want to contribute to the Fund for Horses with Boopable Noses and the Old Grouch…here’s my Ko-fi link! https://ko-fi.com/joycereynoldsward

(Yes, I know I should make the links into cute buttons or so on. Work in progress and all that.)

Oh yeah…the Ko-fi link also allows you to buy ebooks directly from me rather than from the big distributors. I’m running a sale on The Heritage of Michael Martiniere and A Different Life: What If?

Deep breath. I’m baaaack. Watch out, world.



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