Saturday, May 07, 2011

And They're Off! by Megan

The first Saturday of May is a day my family anticipates. Eagerly. For those of you not already with me, it's the Running of the Roses, the first jewel in the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby.
I grew up going to horse races. After moving to the St. Louis area, my parents attended their first horse race and became fans. They didn't have family here to babysit us, so we got to attend. (Back in those days, grade school kids rarely had homework.) My older siblings sometimes stayed home with us younger ones, but a lot of time, it was off to the races!
I loved rooting for the horse my parents bet on, watching all the horses run, and the rush to ticket window to make a last minute bet or collect our winnings. We always went down once during the night to watch the horses get saddled. It was thrilling to see a horse change into a racehorse.
My mom changed jobs and became friends with a woman whose boyfriend owned and trained racehorses, and going became even more fun. We didn't have insider information, but we had someone to root for. We heard stories about some of the race people, and we had an insight into the workings behind the scenes, which always makes an event more interesting.
One time when the boyfriend's horse won, my parents and sister were photographed with him and the horse in the winner's circle. I always joke that I was there but they wouldn't let me in the picture, but honestly, I don't know where I was. I cherish that picture for the memories of those years.
Today, I'll be watching the race on the TV. It's on against my beloved Cardinals baseball, so I might be doing some switching of channels, but when they load the horses into the gate, I'll be riveted. Okay, I admit, I have no idea who's running, but by race time, I'll have my favorite--based on color, body size and muscles, and how spirited it appears. Sometimes I have a sentimental favorite based on the story behind the horse (the owner's or jockey's life or the struggles with health the horse has been through or whatever), but I'll also know who I think will win.
If you want real guidance, call my mom. She knows the names of the horses running, their track records so far, the reputation of their stable and owners, etc. LOL She's been watching the horse racing channel and reading the sports page. Thursday before my booksigning, she told me who the winner should be. You can bet I'll call her right after the race.
For all those happy memories and others, I want to take this opportunity to say Happy Mother's Day to my mom. I extend that wish to all the moms reading this as well.
What particular event did your family take part in that shaped you? Share with us as we all put on our pretty Spring hats and get ready to sing "My Old Kentucky Home."

Megan Kelly
The Marriage Solution, May 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011


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Sunday, May 01, 2011

The birds and the bees

Several times a week, I receive emails encouraging me, as an
author, to use the Internet to stir up some buzz for my books. I do have a
website – -- but publicists, fellow authors and even
Harlequin encourage me to expand to Facebook and other social media sites.

To get that buzz, I should also use Twitter, they tell me.
Maybe if, like some celebrities, I frequently got arrested or chased by
paparazzi, I’d have interesting, short stuff to tweet, laced with expressions
like OMG and lots of !!! exclamation points. But I prefer to pour my creative
energy into my characters.

Also, buzz and twitter mean something else to me this time
of year as I plant my vegetable garden. I’m also putting in Easter lilies and
miniature roses received as gifts.

While I’m outdoors, digging away in the soil, I listen to
the buzz of bees, the twittering of birds and the rather intimidating Foom! of
rapid wing beats that I feared at first indicated an invasion of giant beetles.
Then one day I followed the sound to the tiny hovering figure of a hummingbird.

Ever since I discovered that these jewel-like creatures nest
in my flowering bushes, I’ve become fiercely protective. A gardener recently
proposed some heavy pruning and I practically threw my body in front of the
bushes, crying, Save the hummers!

I love writng my Safe Harbor Medical miniseries about the
human version of the birds and the bees -- a fertility program and the romantic
entanglements of the staff. But as for twitter and buzz, let’s face it: I’m
most at home with the garden variety.