Book Club: December Wrap and January Opener


Hey Everyone,

So last month, December 2016 we read My Favorite short story by my favorite Author.

The Smallest Dragonboy by Anne McCaffery.

I first met this story in my high school freshman writing and composition textbook. It had a picture of a dragon, what else was I supposed to do besides read?

Keevan is the smallest of the candidates for the current clutch of telepathic dragons eggs. In this story Keevan must deal with the bully, and overcome seemingly impossible odds to make it to the hatching. Will he make it to the hatching, be chosen and become K’van, or will his dreams be put on hold for good?


So because we are getting a late start into January, please continue enjoying short stories from Decembers book. I look forward to hearing and seeing which stories were your favorites.


Howrse: Earning Equs

Hey Everyone,

A recent request to buy a horse for x amount, from another player prompted me to write this post.

How to earn Equs on Howrse

We shall start with the obvious

  1. Sell something
    • That can be a horse, crops, tack, bmi’s, aging points, many items can be sold. To sell items, go to the shop and there is a button on the left that brings you to sell page of the shop. the shop will buy many items for half of what they sell for. to sell bmi’s you have to use the item exchange under the trade tab
  2. Daily Activities
    • Do Missions
    • stroke a horse in the Safe Haven, make sure that if you have an ad blocker it is allowed on howrse, this give you the chance to earn an additional 120e. You can stroke a horse in the haven three times per day with at least an hour between strokes. you may not always get equs, some times you get other things
    • Stroke 5 Xanthos divines. the Xanthos will give you 50 per horse.
  3. Vote on Black Pearl Items
    • Each month on the Creation Space there is a window where you can vote each day for so many player designs for ga coats and backgrounds
  4. Compete
    • Even if you place last you will win equs.
    • if you have a grand prix ticket from a horn of plenty you can enter up to four horses, two per style and earn 500e per horse monday-friday
    • if you have an ec, offer rookie or divine comps which will earn you 500e each time they run, up to once per day if they fill. to help them run more often, make sure you have two horses that meet the comp requirements and enter them daily
  5. Participate
    • play on howrse for a while each day, i often find several equs ufos each day while playing
    • join in on the events, there are always equs prizes or you can sell other items you recieve

Hope this helps a player somewhere, i can be found as jc_gal2017 on the USA and UK servers

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand,


Book Club: December

Hey Everyone,

This month we will be reading a short story by my favorite author, Anne McCaffery!

Anne was born in the USA but later moved to Ireland where she lived in Dragonhold-under-Hill. Her son is Todd McCaffery, who joined with her on the later Pern Novels and continued to write for a time after Anne passed away. Anne’s most well known series is Pern, the world of men and dragons that is plagued by the Thread. Our story for the month is part of her Pern collection. She also wrote  several other series including The Rowan, and Acorna which also take place in her Federation Universe.


Our story is entitled The Smallest Dragonboy. This story takes place relatively early in her Pern timeline. This story can be found in our book, Get off the Unicorn, which is a collection of McCaffery’s earlyish short stories. I chose this particular collection as it introduces the reader to most of her story lines.

Enjoy this story, and perhaps take a few minutes this holiday season to sample other stories in the collection.

Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand


Book Club: November Wrap-Up

Hey everyone,

During November we read A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony. I will admit that I did not read this month, although I have read and enjoyed this book in the past. Hey, don’t give me that look, College comes first, I only have a Semester and a week between me and graduation. So for anyone who did go visit Xanth, I do hope that you enjoyed Anthony’s peninsula of puns. For those who could not find the time to read, here is the book description from Goodreads.


“Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled – where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks.

For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some – and got some fast! – he would be exiled. Forever!

But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted that Bink had magic. Magic as powerful as any possessed by the King or by Good Magician Humfrey – or even by the Evil Magician Trent

Be that as it may, no one could fathom the nature of Bink’s very special magic. Bink was in despair. This was even worse than having no magic at all..and he would still be exiled!”

Next month a journey with the Dragon Lady, Anne McCaffery!

Until we meet again, May God Hold you in the palm of His Hand,


Book Club: November

Hey Everyone,

It is time for me to introduce the author of the month, Piers Anthony. He was born in 1934 and is still humoring us with his puns today. He is classified under science fiction and fantasy for both adults and young adults. His most prolific series is the Xanth Chronicles which currently has over 40 books.

Our book of the month is A Spell for Chameleon, which is the first book in the Xanth Chronicles.


A Spell for Chameleon was a winner of the British Fantasy Society Best Novel award. Here we shall be introduced to Bink and Magician Humphries and the wonderful, and pun-tastic world of Xanth.


Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand,


Book Club:October Wrap-up

Hey Everyone,

It’s the end of the month, and that means that it is time to wrap up our book for the month. This month’s book was Witch World by Andre Norton.


Witch World follows the adventures of Simon Tregarth of Earth in Estecarp. Now Estecarp is an ancient world of witches.The witches are virginal women, who are led by Jaelithe. When Simon frees Jaelithe from Alizon, he joins the guard of Estecarp under Commander Koris.

  • *Please note that Jaelithe is not actually named until the end of the book, she is referred to as “the Witch” throughout the book.*

During the battle for SulcarKeep, with ZOMBIES, the group become split. The men end up with the Falconeers, while the witch ends up in Verlaine. In Verlaine, the witch escapes with Loyse, whose father is trying to marry her off to a duke. Exit the ladies riding ponies. So the witch and Loyse,now Briant shield warrior for the witch, finally meet up with the guys, who by the way have found an ancient ax belonging to an Estecarp hero, and decide to head for Karsten. They trudge their way through Karsten, battling zombies and robo-animated troops, perform some magic and have several crazy adventures along the way. They survive the battle of Gorm, and realize that it is only the beginning of the war. FINITE.

Yes I know, not the greatest summary, but I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not yet read. Also I have been watching videos by Overly Sarcastic Productions all week on Youtube, and this summary was inspired by them.

On wards to thoughts from my live readers here at school.

-Names have power. That is true in any world. In Estecarp, names have literal power over people. Here in our world, names can affect our views both of ourselves and of others around us.

-Yes, this book has some very abrupt transitions, this is most likely due to the fact that at that time, the 1950’s, publishers had a maximum number of pages that they would print, and so many authors cut material that was not perfectly necessary to the story line.

Howrse Basic Training and B.L.U.P. Part 3: Training and Comps

Hey Everyone

Today is Part 3 of my Howrse guide. Today’s topic is training and competitions.

Training opens at age 2. For BLUP your equine needs to be trained in the top three skills only. This picture is from my donkey Dusty who has not yet started training. His top three skills from high to low based on gp are Stamina, Jumping, and Dressage. These are indicated by the small triangles to the left of the skill.


Training and Competitions go hand in hand. The easiest way that I have found to get the 20 needed wins is to choose comps where two of your equines top three skills are used in the secondary and tertiary positions. For example a Cross-Country competition uses Stamina, jumping, and dressage in that order. To enter easier competitions, you want to have minimal skills in the primary, Stamina, but high skills in the secondary and tertiary, Dressage and Jumping.

enter-a-cross-country-competition-howrse-3-9-2016-832This is another donkey, who has completed dressage and jumping skills and I am working to earn wins before finishing stamina training.

So how should training be done?

  1. Look at your equine’s gp, this is under the genetics tab. Find the top three skills in order based on gp.
  2. Decide what competitions your equine should do well in based on the top three skills.(More on that below) Choose the competition type, Western or Classical based on which comps they match best.
  3. Train your equine in the 2nd and 3rd skills.
  4. Enter competitions until you have 20 wins in something, they do not all have to be the same competition.
  5. Train the final skill.

Here is what a Training day will look like.

Groom, Mission or 1-2 hour training, mash, carrot, drink, feed same as with rides, train using as close to 90% energy as possible, stroke, bed.



Gallop Race-Gallop, Speed, Dressage

Trot race-Trot, Speed, Dressage

Dressage-Dressage, Trot, Gallop

Show Jumping-Jump, Speed, Dressage

Cross-Country-Stamina, Jump, Dressage


Barrel Race-Speed, Stamina, Gallop

Cutting-Stamina, Dressage, Speed

Western Pleasure-Trot, Stamina, Dressage

Trail-Dressage, Trot, Jump

Reining-Gallop, Dressage, Stamina

You can also earn skill points from competitions. It takes 25 competitions to finish earning a skill. For example, if I had a western horse who needed dressage points, I could enter them in five competitions for each of the western comps and get all of my available points for dressage.

A competition day looks about like such

Groom, Mission or 1 competition, mash, carrot, drink, feed, 4 competitions, stroke if desired, bed.

Please note, that earning the wins may take several horse years, this is the one time where using aging points may not help unless you are just trying to earn skill points. I have found that not using aging points, allows me to enter my horse in more low entry level comps.

Rookie Competitions

Rookie comps are open ONLY to horses who have won less than 20 competitions, and/or have no individual skill, Speed, higher than 450 points. By individual skill I mean points from inborn skills, foal games, rides, training, and comps, NOT gp. This mostly affects skillers, or horses with very high gp and inborn skills.

Other Notes about Competitions

Each Competition takes 2 hours of horse time, and has varying levels of energy use. You can earn bonus items by doing missions, comb, hoof pick, and temporary tub of grease. Having level 2 saddle pads, polo wraps, and bonnets of the same color also gives you a small bonus.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below.

Howrse: Basic Training and B.L.U.P Schedule/Plan Part 1: Preparation

Howrse: Basic Training and B.L.U.P Part 2: Rides

Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand,



Howrse: Basic Training and B.L.U.P Part 2: Rides

Hey Everyone,

Today I will be going over the first stage of Blup: Rides.

All foals can do Foal Games to earn 60 extra skill points, 10 per skill. Player Dr. Zig has one of the best foal game schedules currently. Foal games are not required, but they will help with competitions. I will not be covering foal games at this time as many other players have done so quite will.

Your equine is now age 1 year 6 months. The option to play has been replaced by a Mash icon, which you will be able to use after age 2. The Rides bar is now visible, and you can do either Forest or Mountain Rides.


Each ride give skill to the six skills based on gp, so some skills will earn more points at a time. You will need to complete both rides to fully train your horse. You will finish the rides faster in a center of the same location, Forest rides while boarding at a forest center, etc. It can take up to 20 agings to finish each ride type since each ride needs 100 ride hours if you are not in the same center. If you horse is boarded in the same location, you only need 50 ride hours or about 10 agings. So without further ado here is the ride schedule for the first 4 ride agings, each is done the same way for 1.6-2.0.

Groom, ride 1 hour, carrot, drink, feed(see below), ride 5 hours, stroke, bed.


You want to feed the entire ration at once. You are also looking for maximum energy for the remainder of the day. Since you are normally feeding once per day here are the most common ratios of Fodder and Oats. Please note that some ponies and occasionally draught horse 2s will need slight changes.

8 Fodder=6 oat

10 Fodder= 7 oat

12 Fodder =9 oat

14 Fodder=11 oat

16 Fodder=12 oat

This Schedule works for all breeds and species.The day should end by 18:00 with 20%-25% energy.

Now once your equine is 2 years and 2 month, you get a few more things.

Mash and Missions.

Mash provide 10 energy points, 10 moral points, and 5 health points.


You will either do lessons or transport resources, depending on the center’s director. It can change day to day. Missions take 2 hours of time and 30 energy points. But you also gain at least .2 points in the top two skill for your horse, and Equus.  These skill points are in addition to genetic, much like foal games. You will only gain points up to age 25. Note: you are not required to do Missions and will be able to blup faster without then, BUT they are an easy way to gain equus and skill points and you often find bonuses such as comb, hoof pick, or tub of grease. If you decide not to do missions, you can use the same schedule as earlier. If you are doing missions:

Groom, Mission, Mash, Carrot, Drink, Feed, Ride 5 Hours, Stroke.

Feeding should be the same as before, although your horse may go up a feed level, ex 8/6 to 10/7.

If you board in the same location as the ride , you should be able to finish rides even with missions before age 5.

Up Next: Training

Until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand.



Howrse: Basic Training and B.L.U.P Schedule/Plan Part 1: Preparation

Hello Everyone,


A long time ago, I mentioned that I play the horse breeding game Howrse. About a year ago I went on hiatus and my US account was closed. I am back on the US server in addition to my existing UK Account. When I left, Howrse had recently made some huge changes to game play, especially the training side. Surprisingly, after over 1 year, I could not find much information about training guides/schedules/plans. So I endeavored to make one that works for the common player. This plan does not require any black market items, showers, or water troughs. It works well for all breeds, in either Classical (English) or Western styles.

So what do you need to know before you start?

  1. There are 2 main ride types. Mountain and Forest.
    1. Mountain ride work on Speed, Stamina, and Trot.
    2. Forest Ridge work on Dressage, Gallop, and Jumping.
    3. The rides go faster (50 Hours) if you are boarded in a center in the same location 9-14 agings. Forest rides in a forest center, and Mountain rides at a mountain center.
    4. Rides at other locations (Forest rides at a mountain center) take 100 hours or 17-25 agings.
    5. Beach rides appear after age 10 and only move skill points from the lowest skill to the highest based on gp.
  2. Training
    1. You can train each of the six skills. Each skill needs 100 hours of time or  17-25 agings.
    2. You only need to train the top 3 skills to Blup.
  3. Comps
    1. You need to Win (1st) 25 comps to Blup.
    2. You can earn skill points for 25 comps per skill. Ex Trot from trot race. The skill is based upon that comps primary skill. You may also earn skill from the secondary and tertiary skills needed.
  4. Blup
    1. Complete Forest and Mountain Rides
    2. Complete Training in top 3 skills based on gp
    3. Win 25 comps, any will do
    4. Age past 10 years
    5. Have maxed out (Bolded and no longer earn points) top three skills
    6. 100 blup of parents leads to better gp for foals and faster gp gain between generations.

Hope this helps. Coming soon Part 2 Rides Schedule!

Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand,


Keeva and the Sword-My endeavor into writing fiction

Hey everyone,

So about a year ago I started writing this piece that is currently titled Keeva and the Sword.

This work is loosely inspired by the anime Fruits Basket, and the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul. Meaning the opening scene of Fruits Basket gave me an idea to start the story and the Chronicles gave me a broad direction for plot. Effectively, this is my attempt at a Christian based story. All characters are of my own creation and any appearance of relation to a real or fictional character or event is entirely coincidental. This first section was published in my school’s literary publication.  At this time I am only editing for spelling and things like that, I would love to see any suggestions you might have to improve my writing. And So without Further Ado:

Keeva and the Sword: Part 1

Hi, I’m Keeva, Keeva Heartridge that is, age seventeen. I am very short, about four foot ten, and I have shoulder length mousy brown hair and green eyes. My hair came from my mother, and I guess the green eyes came from my father. Oh, and I am a follower of Aléthés. But that comes later in the story. Well, here goes.

I walked slowly along the old dirt trail toward the place I now called home. After Uncle died I had to pretend to move in with a different relative to avoid arousing the suspicion of the landlord. The problem was that Uncle was my only relative left. I was born just after my mother finished high school. I never knew who my father was, since my birth was caused by my mother being raped, and Uncle was my mother’s only sibling. Both of my grandparents were only children. I lived in an old shed about two miles from school. I worked at a local restaurant and earned enough money to buy groceries and a gym membership, which provided shower and laundry facilities.


My school fees were covered by a sponsor, provided I kept my grades up. Unbeknownst to me several of the students from my sponsor family had taken notice of me. I guess one of them recognized that I wore the same set of outfits after school. And that my uniforms and school supplies were all old and worn. It was around October when I came home to find a basket with fresh fruit and a new pair of shoes outside my door. These mystery packages continued to appear every three days or so. They always contained food, and usually an item or two of clothing and some school supplies.

I was very tired since we had completed the school fitness test today, and I had worked a shift and a half at the café. It was late and the trail was a mess due to the horrid wind storms that had occurred in the past week. I tripped in a small hole in the trail and fell, rolling down the hill. I awoke several hours later just as the sun was beginning to rise. I was covered with dirt and leaves, and my whole body was one giant ache. I lay quietly for a few minutes taking inventory of the hurts. My right leg distinctly hurt in three separate places, my left knee was either very bruised or sprained, my right arm was covered in scratches, and my left wrist was severely swollen, although I could support myself with it. I was also certain that I had a cracked rib or two. The good news was that I was only about ten feet from the shed.

It took most of the morning but I was able to pull myself in to the shed, drink some water and eat an apple before collapsing on my pallet on the floor. I was already burning with fever.

“Joni, I’m worried about Keeva. It’s Tuesday. Keeva never misses school.”

“I know, I know. Tell you what Tate, since the shed is on that piece of land that Dad just bought why don’t we ride our bikes down there?”

“Sounds good to me.”

As they rode, the two noticed that the trail was a wreck. Just before they reached the shed they found Keeva’s school things scattered across the clearing. They both become increasingly nervous. “Let me go in first, Tate, I’ll come right back out and let you know what is going on.” “Ok, but be careful.” “I will.”

Joni carefully entered the shed, not sure just what she would find, Then she sees Keeva passed out on the pallet, shivering and sweating from a fever with several severe injuries. She quickly steps back out to talk to Tate.

“It’s not good Tate, I need you to help me move her before going to get help.” As they entered Tate gasped in shock. “Do you think she’ll make it?” Tate asks. “I don’t know yet,” Joni replied, “help me bind her legs together and her arm to this piece of wood, then we can move her to the sleeping bag and cover her with the blankets. I’m going to try to get her to drink some water, you go get help.” “Got it.”

The siblings carefully bound the swollen limbs and lifted her to the sleeping bag using the sheet that she was laying on, Tate then ran for his bike. Tate was going for his father, Mr. Hollowell, who was also a private physician with what amounted to a miniature hospital in the east wing of the house.

Upon reaching the house, Tate carefully put away his bike and attempted to make himself presentable before going to his father’s office. He knocked twice and waited for permission to enter. “You look worried, what is your concern Tate?” asked Mr. Hollowell. “Sir, do you remember the student at school we sponsor, Keeva Heartridge?” Mr. Hollowell nodded. “Well, sir, Joni and I went to check on her today since she missed school Monday and today. We were concerned, sir, because she never misses school. When we reached where she is currently…mmm… abiding we found her collapsed on the floor with fever, and rather seriously injured. Please, Sir, will you come and help?” Tate implored. “Very well, you may explain in detail later. Go put the back board and the med kit in the jeep. Now, I must ask just one question. Where is she?” Mr. Hollowell inquired. “She is in an old shed on the back side of the logging property you just acquired, we followed a trail to the shed, but I believe I saw evidence of the old logging road running to the clearing. The only problem is that the road may only be accessible by foot due to all the downed trees from the last storm” Tate answered. “We shall just have to deal with that when we get there” replied Mr. Hollowell, as they set off.

About fifty feet from the clearing the jeep was able to go no farther, a large oak had fallen and blocked the trail. Mr. Hollowell and Tate walked the last fifty feet to the shed. “Joni”, called Mr. Hollowell. “In here sir, be careful of the doorway” she replied. Mr. Hollowell carefully pushed past the blanket that was serving as a door and entered the shed. He stopped and stared in shock. He was having difficulty understanding just how this child was still alive, with the broken limbs, extreme bruising, inflammation, and multiple lacerations. “We need to move her onto the backboard, grab the sheet … one, two, three, lift, … and set her down, easy now, and we’re good. Tate you help me get Ms. Heartridge to the jeep. Joni, you grab my bag and gather her personal belongings and meet us at the jeep.

“Tate get her feet, I will get her head. Joni we will see you at the jeep.” “Yes, sir.” “On it sir”. Tate and Mr. Hollowell carefully transported Keeva to the jeep where Mr. Hollowell began care. He administered oxygen first, the quickly started a fluids and light morphine drip to prevent further shock. Once he was sure that Keeva was stable, he started a basic exam and blood type test. Mr. Hollowell sent Tate back to the shed to hurry Joni along. While the kids were away Mr. Hollowell made several calls.

“Dr. Hansen, I need you to assemble the team at my residence stat. I am bringing in a young girl in extreme distress. ETA thirty minutes.” “Mrs. Smith, incoming trauma case, the team is assembling, have the gate open.” “Nurse Taylor prepare the surgery for a trauma case, girl age 19, weigh approx. 95 pounds, x-rays, ultrasound, broken or fractured limbs, and head trauma, eta 30 minutes.” “Deputy Brown I need all the information you can find on one Ms. Keeva Heartridge, age 19.” At that time Tate and Joni arrived at the jeep with the two bags and a bedroll that comprised of Keeva’s worldly possessions. Once everything was secured, Mr. Hollowell raced back to the estate.

Upon arrival at the estate, Tate and Joni were sent to prepare a guest room near the hospital wing. Keeva was whisked off to the surgery room. It took 72 hours to repair the damage that Keeva had sustained, but Keeva was not well yet, she still had to fight off infection and illness before she could recover. As it was Keeva was kept sedated for an additional four days after surgery to provide the best chance of healing.

During this time Keeva was trapped in her fever dreams. These dreams were full of dark, fear, worry, and misery. Imagine a time when you felt depressed or angry, or just felt off then a being put down; place those feelings into a box and lock yourself inside the box. Oh, and the box can only be opened from the outside once you enter the box. This is where Keeva was trapped.

Within the dream Keeva lay in a crumpled heap. She no longer had the strength to move or ignore the voices saying how worthless and pitiful she was, how she had killed her mother, and driven her uncle to despair.


Mr. Hollowell watched Keeva’s fever continue to rise. He called for the nurse to bring in the ice and alcohol soaked sponges. They began to battle the rising fever.

Within the dream Keeva lay in a pit while monsters taunted, beat, burned, and attacked her. By this point Keeva lay curled in a ball too exhausted and injured to resist, ready to give up. Just then she glanced up and saw a small light high above. The light grew brighter, the monsters froze in fear, and the light floated down and joined Keeva in the pit. “Oh my child, you have fought long and hard, but you must rise to fight again. Come.” As the voice spoke, the light lifted her, strength ran through her and a sword and shield appeared in her hands. Together Keeva and the Light-voice fought through the horde of monsters. When Keeva fell the voice carried her and continued to fight.

Finally the voice broke free of the dark realm, and in a quiet, sunlit glade rested. There the voice washed Keeva’s wounds and bound them with strips of his over-tunic. Then he did something many would call ritualistic, he dabbed blood from his wounds onto Keeva’s eyes, ears, lips, hands, and heart. The voice then cleaned his sword while waiting for Keeva to wake.

Slowly Keeva began to rouse, feeling as if she was slowly floating awake. Looking ahead she sees her rescuer. “Who, who are you, where am I, am I dead?” “So many questions Keeva, very well. I am Aléthés, The Voice of Truth, we are in my father’s land, the realm of light and no, you are not dead.” Aléthés picked up a piece of leather and began to polish his sword.

Keeva pondered this for a minute then asked, “But how did you know where to find me?” “My father keeps track of his enemies, whenever they gather he sends me to investigate.” “So you are his champion then?” “I suppose in a way I am, but tell me how do you feel?” Keeva contemplated the question for several minutes. “I hurt, but at the same time the hurt is gone.” “Can you describe the hurts, perhaps?” “My body still hurts, still feels the battles, but my heart is no longer heavy. It is not so much that the hurt is gone, but that it, it is like a wound that is healed but has left a scar. You can still feel the hurt, but instead of the constant pain of the open wound, it is the twinge or stiffness of a long healed injury. Does that make sense?” “Yes, I hoped that you would feel that. The inner healing is the power my father gives me. He sent me to rescue you and to offer you a permanent home. Reaching this home is difficult and filled with battles. You would have to learn to live by the sword. The sword, and the battles will be both of the heart and body. There will be times when you will fight your own body, though I wish that I could heal you inside and out, I can only heal the heart and mind.” Aléthés stopped, seeing the concern, pains and exhaustion on Keeva’s face. “Take heart Keeva, for you will never fight alone.” Aléthés kissed Keeva’s forehead, and she sank into the comfort of sleep.

End Part 1 of Keeva and the Sword

I hope you enjoyed reading. I will try to post updated 2-3 times per month, never less than once a month.

Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his Hand.