“Real” author, horse extraordinaire Noah Vail
The release of my new book has encouraged me to pause and reflect on this unexpected and occasionally awkward path I’ve chosen as an author, awkward for a horse anyway.
Take social media. Yes, I know it’s a must for bloggers and other aspiring aspirers. Whether pitching fat-free cupcakes or recipes for kale soufflé, savvy cooks everywhere are online chatting up their prospects. Frankly, I fell for it. Despite taking a ribbing from my gin rummy club, I made a pass at promoting an Equine Epicurean Delight Cookbook. That was until Google Analytics sent a report saying my recipes contained too much fiber for anyone under the age of 70.
Anyhoo, I now find myself grappling with a dainty iMac keyboard designed for fingers not hooves. Consider WordPress. When Madam told me it was my job to manage the “back door” of my WordPress website, I thought she meant the back door—that place where the Waconia Feed and Seed deposits my groceries. But no, instead I’m busy uploading blog posts and trying to size photos smaller than a barn door. An attempt to upload a glamor shot of myself resulted in a close up of my left nostril.
Then there’s the Facebook challenge. I’m never short of things to say, but getting the words in the “What have you been up to” box can be technical quicksand for a horse. That, plus fans ask me bewildering questions. “Can I come to work for you?” queried a teenage girl. “Will you marry me?” came from a divorcee in Cincinnati. “What musical instrument do you play?” asked a Bob Dylan fan from Duluth. Following that last question, a band director from Fargo offered to teach me how to play the trombone. It’s a mystery.
So, my friend Gabe the cribbage whiz offered to help me set up a Twitter account. Gabe, who happens to be a retired show jumper, spends a lot of time online studying cribbage Cliffs Notes. This explains why he never loses a game. I naturally assumed he knew something about Twitter. He did, or at least he knew enough to set up my account. He then shouted ciao and departed for Las Vegas leaving me to manage the fallout. And there was fallout.
My first Twitter follower called herself Sweet Cheeks and wanted to meet me under the Yum Yum tree. The next arrival claimed to be Anything Goes. This one included an impressive photo of her total self as evidence that anything and everything had already gone. Her dress, that was. This alerted me to change my profile from tall, dark and handsome fellow to tall, dark and handsome gelding. It helped.
So my social media experiment continues to unfold. This morning I’m building a case on Pinterest with charming photos of myself originally intended for use on Match.com. Meanwhile it’s almost noon, and I have yet to post anything worth reading on Linkedin.