Westerns Whales and Oceans blog

Saying Goodbye to a Way of Life

With the advent of Covid-19, most Americans will likely find life different in the near future – and maybe forever.

 

I’m no different than most Americans, although I will confess that I think the reaction to the virus has been a bit overblown; however, let me hasten to add that I’m not a doctor, scientist or other health professional. Still…

 

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The scene of the “crime”

As for my own life there are other major changes. For starters, after being pummeled by my mule about 6 weeks ago I found myself in the emergency room being radiated by a Cat Scan and ex-rays. Unable to sleep on my left side, sneeze, or laugh without gripping my side in agony, I made the decision to hang up my spurs. (To be honest, I made this decision as I painfully got up from the ground.) After 30+ years of riding horses and mules, I had no hesitation. In the past I mounted back up when I had a spill – I’d done so several times. Not this time.  My love affair with riding abruptly ended when I hit those rocks. 

 

cropped-cropped-rebaandbecky.jpgAm I sad or grieving? No. I do feel very bad that somehow I failed with this mule. I tried for nearly 4 years to make a go of it with her, but we were just not a good match even though the mule trader from whom I bought her raved about her safety and fine qualities. Did he lie? I’ll never know, but I suspect he was not exactly truthful about a few things. Anyway, it doesn’t matter at this point, I guess.

 

Other than feeling like a failure with the mule, I am not at all unhappy. In fact, as a friend pointed out, we now have a new chapter opening in our lives. WE CAN ACTUALLY GO PLACES AND NOT HAVE TO BOARD THE MULES. Boarding animals is expensive. Keeping shoes on them is expensive. Feeding them is expensive. Vet bills can be expensive. Horse/mule trailers are expensive and in AZ we go through tires quickly due to the heat. So many times we’ve passed up opportunities to take off on the spur of the moment because of the pesky question: who is going to feed the mules while we’re gone? Or we’ve come back early to feed.

 

cropped wallace islandWe can now stay up north longer during the hot Arizona summer months because we won’t need to use a thousand or MORE dollars of our meager vacation fund to pay for boarding the mules.

 

I loved this mule. She didn’t particularly love me. She was unpredictable to the point that I started wearing a helmet two years ago. Good decision. I landed on my head, face, ribs and left leg with a splat on a rock pile.                                   

 

However, despite my “senior-citizen” age and the height from which I was sent soaring, I only broke one finger! Probably got it tangled in the reins. I am so fortunate! And I am thankful everyday for that.

 

JUST1THING E2I now have much more time to promote the JUST ONE THING Alliance, market our publications, hike and ROW, ROW, ROW, and much more time to devote to getting my Marine Naturalist Certification, the Rights of Nature, and Saving Our Oceans since I won’t have to return to Arizona so early every summer due to mule-boarding bills! 

 

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 Although I still cannot lift weights (not even 5 lb. dumbells) I can row my ergometer. I’m headed to the lake next week to see how I do in the wherry. I can hardly wait! I’d like to get into “senior” rowing competitions in the near future. Doing so will take practice and time – and I’ll now have time for that. Basically, I truly believe the changes I’m making are for the better.

 

And perhaps the changes we all may have to make due to Covid-19 will be for the better too.

 

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Release date: May 2019

 

 

     

 

Publishing Slowdown

logoMMA-lg for WPIt’s past time we got back to the original business of publishing – so I’ve been advised. While my personal interests still sit with oceans, whales and the JUST ONE THING Alliance, I’ve been reminded that we have a plethora of award-winning titles that are beginning to languish due to my divided loyalties.

First off, book sales are surprisingly down. I thought sales would remain pretty strong since most people are housebound. I pictured people reading in the long quiet evenings. Not so much, it seems. Perhaps it’s the expense – few good books are free. Even Kindle charges add up quickly and there are other expenses people must take care of before indulging in their leisure habits.

That being said, although our sales are slower, they do continue. Of particular interest is Casey Tibbs, Born to Ride (Rusty Richards), Developing the Art of Equine Communication (C.L. Lee Anderson), A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule (Becky Coffield) and Some Gave All (J.R. Sanders). These titles just keep chugging along! Note that they are ALL nonfiction works.

SGA CoverJ.R. Sanders recently posted a YouTube video for Some Gave All  that is positively inspiring! What a great job. You can see for yourself at https://bit.ly/3eyPCL1. It’s totally awesome!

 

In other news…our new house caught fire, and my mule Reba launched me into outer orbit. I landed on rocks on  my head, face and left ribs. Fortunately I was wearing a helmet – something I rarely do. My mule is a big, strong girl, and I was no challenge for her in keeping my seat. Why she did this, I have NO IDEA. It wasn’t windy, too hot, or too cold. There were no bees, mosquitoes, or other scary things (like cows) around. Unfortunately, once a mule or horse gets away with this, they are inclined to do it again, so sadly Reba and I have parted ways. I found an experienced, excellent owner…AND RIDER…for her. I’m too old to be hurled onto rocks. I had to walk 1.9 miles home from this traumatizing episode and spend 6 hours in an emergency room. Enough.

 

On the bright side, I can now spend more of my free time rowing and competing in the “senior” divisions. (When did I get to be a “senior”??) Once my ribs and broken finger heal, I’ll be raring to go – wild horses can’t hold me back – so the saying goes. It’s taking all my will power not to rush off to the lake and start rowing now that the weather is good. My ribs would rebel, however – this I have learned the hard way.

 

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We’ve postponed a new publication until 2021. Hopefully Renee and Jered might be back and I’ll be ready to get very serious about publishing again. Meanwhile, one of us will continue our posts!

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Great Year for Moonlight Mesa Nonfiction Titles & Superb Response to JOT

JUST1THING E2      The response to JUST ONE THING has been nothing short of encouraging, according to publisher and JUST ONE THING organizer, Becky Coffield. Although off to a slow start due to the home and business relocation of both Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. and the publisher, the response to date has exceeded Coffield’s expectations.

For starters, the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has enthusiastically endorsed the JUST ONE THING alliance. “The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has got to be one of my favorite organizations,” Coffield recently said. “Joseph Bogaard and his staff are so responsive, supportive and positive. They were quick to endorse our informational/inspirational publication last year, Saving Our Oceans, which has generated funds that we’ve in turn donated to the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and to the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor.”

Coffield went on to add that “The Whale Museum is another organization that has been outstandingly supportive of not only our publication, Saving Our Oceans, but they also have wholeheartedly embraced the JUST ONE THING alliance. It’s a very rewarding feeling to have organizations like these support the alliance.”

Moonlight Mesa already has an alliance with the Ocean Foundation and the Plastic Pollution Coalition. “We’re hoping that we actually get a response from the Inland Ocean Coalition this time around,” Coffield said. “More than just coastal communities and organizations need to come on board for this to be really successful. What we are getting is terrific, but there’s plastic pollution everywhere…not just in coastal regions.”

In addition to organizations, so many individuals have praised the idea and let us know via email or personal encounters. “We’re very enthused and excited to get the ball rolling on this endeavor,” Coffield said. “Now that we’re mostly settled in our new location, we hope to send the message out and recruit more organizations and individuals to the cause.”

And, JUST ONE THING has its prototype t-shirt. “The funds from any shirts we sell will be donated. More than selling shirts, though, our goal is to just get the word out and encourage participation in the alliance.”

2019 PUBLICATION WRAP UP

9780977459391.MAIN. Once again nonfiction dominated Moonlight Mesa’s overall sales this past year. Although Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride and A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule  battled it out for best seller, the honor this year goes to Rusty Richards’ Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride by a small margin. “Richards’ book is going to sell forever, I think,” Coffield said. “It’s a classic in the true sense. Part of its exceptional staying-ability is that it’s available as a trade paperback and an ebook also.”

A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule came in second for sales which is very interesting rebaandbeckyconsidering the book is simply a guideline about buying and owning mules. “I’m a bit surprised at the interest in mules, I guess,” Coffield said. “They are fantastic animals, but not for everyone, that’s for sure. I have one and absolutely love her, but there are days… I’m very pleased to see the interest in mule-information.”

In third place for sales was C.L. “Lee” Anderson’s Developing the Art of Equine equine_comm2Communication. “I didn’t think Lee could possibly come up with another book as helpful and informative as this one, but he surely did,” Coffield said. “We released Lee’s second book, The View from My Old Saddle, in January this year.”

SGA Cover      Fourth place is J.R. Sanders’ riveting Some Gave All. “I know if we can get this book into ebook format without having to delete most of the artwork and photos it will really take off,” Coffield said. “This book is absolutely fabulous.”

 

Saving Our Oceans placed fifth for nonfiction. “I was more than disappointed in this result,” Coffield said, “but it’s probably to be expected considering the topic and the fact that many in Arizona seem to be a bit detached and indifferent to these issues. Our work is cut out for us.”

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Jere D. James, usually a top-selling fiction author, has seen a decline in sales. Jere stopped writing westerns and sales declined when no new titles were forthcoming. The author had a fairly large following who were always anxious to buy the next book in the series. (Cover photo of the 5th book in the Jake Silver Adventure Series.)

 

NO PUBLICATIONS IN 2020

Coffield announced there would be no new publications scheduled in 2020. “We have too much work to do with Saving Our Oceans and the JUST ONE THING alliance. We also have Lee’s new title to get established in the market place. Plus, we’re looking at a new cover for Sanders’ The Littlest Wrangler. And if time permits, we’d like to take a look at Some Gave All  and see how we can get it into an ebook. We’ll be busy.”

 

 

 

JUST ONE THING Launched

JUST1THING E2       Our grassroots movement, JUST ONE THING, is being launched. Please join us in this exciting enterprise and help spread the word. It’s FREE to join!

The idea behind JUST ONE THING (aka JOT) is simple. If every person does JUST ONE THING to help alleviate plastic use and waste, it will make an astounding difference in plastic pollution (at least in this country and in coastal and inland waters). It would also send a message, albeit slowly, to the hundreds of plastic producers who yearly spew out billions of plastic products and take no responsibility for the devastation and destruction their products cause our planet.

We’re not suggesting people go “plastic free,” which is near impossible in today’s world anyway. However, there are small things a person can do that that can add up to colossal results. Just choose one form of plastic use that you’re willing to eliminate.

This movement is not meant to be a burden. It’s meant to be a statement. It’s meant to be a positive step toward helping solve what seems to be an insurmountable problem.

This year the world’s largest plastic producer, Coca Cola, plans to manufacture over a billion plastic bottles and 3 billion tons of plastic packaging. That’s just one company out of hundreds. The top plastic producers in the United States are Coca Cola, Pepsico, Colgate, Palmolive, Nestle, Mars Inc., Unilever, and SC Johnson. In told, there are hundreds of plastic producers around the world. These companies have tended to blame the consumer for the pollution problem, but we all know that aside from recycling, which has been a disappointment in this country, there’s not much a person can do. Beach clean-ups certainly help – for a very short period of time.

And few people know that 3/4 of everyday plastic products are TOXIC.

JUST ONE THING may start as a whisper, but when enough people have had enough of the plastic industry’s pollution, it could become a roar.

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Need help with ideas? For starters try these websites:  Myplasticfreelife.com; info@lifewithoutplastic.com. Try this book: Saving Our Oceans, by R.L. Coffield.

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(JUST ONE THING logo designed by Vin Libassi, cover designer for Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc.)

Change is Good!

I’m beginning to feel like our “relocation” is a very long saga, so I’ll make the ending brief.

 

1. Yes, we moved

2. No, we did not relocate to the Northwest

3. We relocated to a great location just outside of Wickenburg – so we’re STILL IN ARIZONA. It’s all the change we needed.

 

So, back to business!

 

For the last few months we’ve been struggling to get Lee Anderson’s new book into print. The last technical glitch wasn’t mine (this time). But despite being computer-less for several weeks due to the move, we finally have the book in print. Lee’s new book is phenomenal…and bold. People will love it, or they’ll be furious. Getting it into print has taken its toll on all of us, however. Release date for this title is January 15, 2020.

 

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Author Lee Anderson and his horse Concho

As for end of the year business…I’ll have final numbers soon, but I do know that A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule  was the second highest selling book via Ingram this year.  The other three top titles for Ingram sales were Some Gave All, by J.R. Sanders; Developing the Art of Equine Communication  by C.L. (Lee) Anderson; and Saving Our Oceans, by R.L. Coffield. Note that these are all nonfiction.

 

9780977459391.MAIN.E-book sales have not been tallied, and not all books are in ebook format, but Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride,  by Rusty Richards (available in both paperback and ebook), looks like it snagged first place  in total sales in 2019. That being said, final results have not been determined yet.

 

 

JUST ONE THING

I’ve been rather forced to take a break from publishing this year (2020) as I have no staff left. Renee is sulking (for good reason and won’t be back for a long, long spell if then). Vin (our fantastic cover designer) has relocated to Ecuador. Jered took a job as Account Executive with Shamrock Farms (which pays much better than I do). And on and on. Even Tom has taken on other projects. I’m thinking it’s a sign I need to move on. It’s been 10 years – change is good.

 

So now on to the fun stuff: If I’m not going to publish in 2020, what am I going to do? JUST ONE THING, that’s what I’m going to do. JUST ONE THING.

 

My goal is to start a JUST ONE THING grassroots movement. It’s simple, right? IF EVERYONE, every single person, did JUST ONE THING to stop plastic use and pollution the results would be phenomenal. I’m not talking big sacrifices either. How about buying coca cola in the can or a glass bottle – or any of the many other plastic bottles of crapola  produced? How about saying no to the plastic bag that you don’t really need? We can all make a change that will be beneficial for the environment.

 

MARINE NATURALIST

We’ll be in the Northwest again this summer where I’m hoping to get in some hours toward my Marine Naturalist Certification. Yes, my heart is still in the Northwest, but thousands upon thousands of hearts there are working for the whales, the ocean, the chinook salmon, and cleaner water. My voice won’t be missed. Instead, I’m hoping to bring these issues to Arizona so that they make sense to the people here.

 

I’ll be blogging regularly about all these things and also on a rampage about a few of them. I hope you’ll stay tuned and think about CHANGE!

Change is in the Air

logoMMA-lg for WP 200    After all my off and on hullabaloo about moving my company and household, and my 180 degree reversals on this decision, it actually looks like it’s going to happen! Our home in Wickenburg is in escrow, and as we watch the days slowly slide by waiting for things to officially close, it looks like it’s a done deal on November 19th.

Of course I have not started packing. I have not ordered moving boxes. I did, however, rent a gargantuan storage unit – and I may need another. I just want to make 100% certain it’s a done deal. My husband is convinced it is, and I want to be… I think I’m still in shock.

So the plan is to return to the Pacific Northwest. We’re leaving behind two sons and two grandsons in Arizona, but we won’t be strangers to them. My Alaska Airline Credit Card is so high I’m sure I could fly once a month from Washington State to Phoenix for at least two years. And I plan to be that naughty word “snowbird” for a short spell every winter (for as long as I can stand living in a tiny trailer, that is).

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As for Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc., I will be closing the Arizona corporation and will be opening a DBA as Moonlight Mesa Associates in Washington in due time. My authors will be able to access their books when needed, and I may continue to publish, but probably only personal work. I’m also going to finish my practicum to get my Marine Naturalist Certification! That’s where my heart is and has been most of my life – with the sea and its residents.

Basically, I’ve reached an age where I just want to write, paint, row (even if in the rain) hike, and ride my mule! I was reminded the other day that I don’t have forever to do these things as much as I’d like when I was sternly persuaded to start high blood pressure medication when I registered 200/98. Very weird since I’m a health nut, but I guess our genes don’t understand that always.

So, soon my blogs will be filled with new items and energy! It’s time for a change and a new adventure. I hope you’ll stay with me through it all.

Our last publication, C.L. “Lee” Anderson’s The View from My Old Saddle, will be released in January 2020. It’s a fantastic book to end our 10 years of western passion on.

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Good-bye Arizona

Becky and Reba Peru

 

 

 

 

JUST ONE THING

It’s a minority of individuals who have any sense of stewardship about anything involving nature and animals. Some people are concerned with a specific animal – for example “Save the Whales” – which is perfectly fine. Some are concerned about all animals and nature – for example Green Peace. But we’re talking a very small number of people when it comes down to it.

One problem that those involved with saving animals or nature must dealoiled bird with is that  they’re regularly scoffed at as extremists, tree-huggers, radicals,  hippies,  environmentalists (heaven forbid) and other invectives, and often they must battle big business and corporations. I think it’s safe to say that a majority of people don’t give a thought to a species of any kind becoming extinct and might not even care if someone planted the thought.

whale-postcard3127275067734833074.jpgThis realization really hit home when I sent out an email to a group of 70 people, most of whom I know fairly well. Some I’ve known for years. I asked that they consider supporting the publication of Saving Our Oceans since the net proceeds from the sale of the book were being donated to several 501c3 organizations. Many of the 70 live in California, and California does have a healthy history of protecting their coastline and marine sanctuaries.

Get ready for the big response! Ready? One person out of 70 said they’d be delighted to buy the book. That is .02 per cent.

One woman asked me to remove her from my email list.

Well, it’s very possible it could simply be me.

However, I have found only one individual in the tiny town where I live who cares one whit about the health of the ocean, the captivity of orcas, Japanese whaling, or any similar environmental topic.

It’s NOT okay for 1,000,000 species of plants and animals to die off. It is NOT acceptable to be harpooning the smartest mammals in the ocean (possible smarter than people in some regards) or holding them prisoners in swimming pools for entertainment. It’s not acceptable for big business to rape, pillage, and pollute the earth. There seems to be a robust “leave it for others to fix” attitude. Or is the real reason behind inaction and ambivalence that the problems seem overwhelming and hopeless?

Seaworld's Orca Swimming Pool
Photo by change.org

Yes, for the most part we all have extremely busy, stressful lives, but the solution might be simpler than people realize. Imagine this: What if everyone, every single person, did something helpful. Just one thing. I think we can all afford to do JUST ONE THING.

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Start by saying NO to PLASTIC Bags, Bottles and Straws. One thing.