Derby 2017...out of gate. : Rebecca's Romance

Rebecca BernadetteMance
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Derby 2017...out of gate.

by Rebecca Mance on 07/23/16

I am out of the gate....

Thank you so much all of you for reaching out to me.  I still can’t believe such a stupid girl as me has fans…all over the world.  I have done nothing to deserve it.  God is so good to me.  How to live up to such an honor?  For my book fans, I’ve not worked hard in that venue…so I am very ashamed….yes, I am very sorry.  But, to live up to you short of finishing next book…I’ll try.  I am working on it.

Now, I could talk about Derby Day.  I was at a nice track in California.  I could not get home to Kentucky.  The people who came were in the spirit….they were totally into Derby….so I was with friends…the track was stunning….  They came in big hats even in California at Gold Gate Fields on Derby day.  I was not at Churchill, but I was with others in California that believed in Derby day. 

I wore a Derby Oaks dress.  It rained very hard, which is odd for California but a blessing from God.  I am a girl who dances in the rain…so no problem for me.  Yes, the girls around me were a bit running from the rain….why?  If you are from Kentucky rain is a way of life winter or summer.  Thus, the green grass.  However, thank God for rain….just kick off your shoes and dance!

A very nice bus drove me from BART station to the race track.  I had a lovely couple I met on BART who also rode the bus…they were two men in very beautiful hats who were going to the same destination...they were a couple with dapper hats…one hat was filled with red roses. 

I was trying to help them with bow ties.  I failed.  You would think a Derby fan could tie a bow tie!  We had so much fun talking and getting excited about Derby!  I’d have loved to have enjoyed the day with them…but I had special tickets in a different area of the track…which got me cigars and stuff.  I don’t smoke….but on Derby Day….the smell of cigar smoke would be perfect. 

So I parted ways with my new friends.  I make friends everywhere.  People are so beautiful. 

I didn’t bet.  They only had odd “betting” screens.  Sort of reminded me of Las Vegas.  It is not like Keeneland or Churchill.  I think, if you are to bet on a fine gentleman or on fine fillies….he or she who has given his  or heart and soul to the game…it seems….he or she should have a real live person taking the bet. 

Not to measure out California….for the experience and all that they have to pay for here (can you imagine what it takes to maintain a race track in Cali?)  Also, the general population is not that up with horse racing.  At any rate, Golden Gate is a respectable track. 

I met friends there that ran down to the paddock with me to see the horses, which I loved.  To see them up close is the most fun!  The paddock there is very nice too.  It is covered so that part was interesting.  I love to see them up close before a race. 

As I have said before, the main road that runs through Lexington is called Man O’War.  Man’O was a Kentucky bred horse.  So that road runs you from downtown Lexington to the airport …where you can, in fact, get Pierce Lyons most fabulous beer (at the airport, I mean) Kentucky Bourbon Barrel…just waiting for it to finally get to California. 

Point is….you look at a like Man O’ such a beautiful horse….that is God’s gift to us.  Now Man O’War….he was so big and different.  He was an arrogant lad.  He said….”Nothing can touch me.”  That is what AP  said too.

I don’t  know much about American Pharaoh other than he has Man-o’s spirit and it is rumored he is in or around where my farm is….I think he just thought  “Just get me out of the gate and I will do it.”   There is such beauty in that.  What an honor to have picked him out of a hat.

So, I bet on no horses this year.  The screens and trying to figure that out just didn’t seem that fun and I preferred spending my time watching the races below me and checking out the paddock and horses close up.

Now, there is a reason it is called a Triple Crown.  Because only the very finest can ever carry it off.  Some say to me…other horses come in to the two races after Derby and they are fresh.  “It is not fair”

I say….Triple Crown is for the “Bestist horse I ever saw.” 

What an honor in my lifetime to see a horse just….simply pull away like it was a day at circus..well…if Triple Crown was easy and any horse could win, then we’d have Triple Crown winners always.  How fun would that be?  Despite the odds and running against fresh horses, there is a horse who will do it.  Man O’War, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and American Pharaoh….also many others.

All of their names are at Churchill Downs.  I have seen them.  Well, I have not seen the Pharaoh’s name.  I am going to do my best to get there on Derby day.  For the man I picked out of a hat, I plan to return to Churchill to see his name under the spires….If God is good to me. 

That is if I get let out of a gate to go home on Derby Day.  2017.

Not only have I not been writing blog…and yes…my blog has been dormant...I have not been working on my latest book like I need to be.  I will make up a little for lost time now.  I will give my heart. 

Let me try by first giving you the gift of the story of Finnegan’s Run.  Finnegan’s Run is my family’s farm in Kentucky.  I might live a life as mild-mannered paralegal in San Francisco….where my heart is too….but I also left my heart also in Paris, Kentucky.

Paris is where I wrote all of my books except the current one.  The Wine Prince was started in Kentucky and completed in California.    

Finnegan’s Run is named after a dog that was a collie dog born in the desert of California.  My son, got him for me just before my family moved to Kentucky.  Finn traveled across the US all the way to a farm in Kentucky.  He was only six months old then.  He had never seen snow or so many acres.  He was barely a year old when he died.  He had a genetic disorder we didn’t know about.  It was epilepsy for dogs.  We didn’t know or a simple monthly pill would have saved him.  We named our farm after him after he died.  His ashes are there and the sign outside our farm has his picture on it along with the name of our farm. 

He had run with me every day down the long quarter acre driveway. (I was working on running with a bad leg...another story...with an amazing happy ending). It was a long way from California, with a lot of space and green grass.  So, that is why my farm is called Finnegan’s Run.  It was about a California Collie who lived his best days there. 

At Finnegan’s Run there is also the “quail story” which I will save because it is a fun story all by itself.  I am the single person who can get into trouble in the middle of nowhere in the country.  So, I will share that story…maybe next week or next month. 

Anyway, while I lived on the farm I let about an acre of land go back to “forest.”  When I was back in the later part of May for personal reasons I observed the forest (Finnegan’s Run Forest) is doing very well.  I also let the tree lines thicken so it was so lovely.  Thick tree lines are a way for farmers to help in conservation of wildlife.  They have signs up in farming areas about “the tree line.”  I think it is a great idea and a lovely compromise.  Wildlife live and travel in the thicker “tree lines.”

I guess I sound like a real “tree-hugger” from California.  I am very much a tree hugger.  Most people in Kentucky are very concerned and love the land.  Californians do not have a monopoly on conservation and taking care of the land.  I am extremely concerned about such things, I am just not rabid with the thought that there is only “one way” to act correctly in this instance…. and without an open mind about it.  Also, I act on it, not talk about it.  (Besides the quail story which will come later) I planted so many trees on my land and took care of them!  My husband and son still take care of them now and even planted many more!

I live my beliefs.  I even have trees growing on my small apartment patio in the bay area.  How many Californians grow oak trees on their patio?  Now, what I am going to do with them when they get a certain size is another matter.  I will address this when they get that big!  Giggles.

Now, for my writing fans….like my editor Liz….Liz just keeps after me about writing, I will talk about why my latest book has gone so slow.  Liz isn’t just an amazing editor, she is such a steadfast friend and believes in my books and writing.  I wonder what I ever did to have such an honor and such friends.  I meet with her and our mutual friend Cindi who tries to look after me in other ways.  I worked with both of them at a lovely firm in the city before I was run over by a car (yes, that is an amazing story and yet another blog topic!)  That will bring me to the topic of when I tried to save the beer.  I get myself into more predicaments than anyone else I know!  Giggles. 

However, life is fun.  I am an author.  How can we (authors) write unless we live interesting lives….I think I write because of my life and how amazing life has been….and every day is a new adventure.  So, why am I not writing?  One excuse….well, at my firm (day job) we went to trial and won.  I worked two 24 hour days…literally.  It sounds daunting, but it was actually very fun.  Well, okay, not at 2:00 a.m. when I was very tired and one of two copy machines went down…yikes and the other one was making terrible lines…the night before trial started.  Double yikes. 

What best-selling author is sitting at a law firm at 2:00 a.m. contemplating taking boxes and boxes of documents to a 24 hour Kinkos?  Well, this author lives that life and….yes, I think that story should make its way to one of my books and likely will!  However, we prevailed.  Winning is everything.  I pour my heart I into everything I do…which is exactly what one would want from a romance and sometimes erotic-romance writer.  It is also why I often find myself in predicaments that are difficult….I don’t believe there is such a thing as being too passionate.  However, that passion does land one in many interesting places and quandaries. 

I take on overwhelming undertakings that others are too afraid to even try.  My Granny used to say, “It is not enough to be pretty and it is not enough to be smart, it is to be tried in the fires of life that gives you character and strength.”

The second reason I am not writing as much as I should is that is BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has become like a sardine can (more so than ever).  BART is the commuting train I take to and from work.  I have a fantastic little computer with a privacy screen…. but one cannot get a seat no matter what time of day you get on.  Not only that you are packed in like a sardine so by the time you get home the only thing you are running for is a glass of wine and planning the next day.  Being a paralegal is a very stressful job.  Nearly every day you can run into a near disaster.  Digging one’s head into characters is pretty hard after all of that.  (I sound like I need pathetic violins playing right now right?)

I get moments of inspiration on city hikes and we as a firm went on my boss’ sailing yacht which was fun and inspiring.  However, one can unlikely drag out a computer and start working when mingling with co-workers on the sailing yacht. 

Okay, no more excuses.  This latest book is so amazing and fun.  It is just so close to being finished in first draft.  My books have done very well in new platforms and now Iron Horse King has surpassed The Chosen One in IBook sales.  Pretty incredible.  I get a great feeling every time I walk by Crocker Bank in downtown SF (Charles Crocker is the inspiration for Iron Horse King) and I send up thanks when I look inside.  What an amazing story and there really was a man like that! 

It is a very lovely feeling to work all day very hard but know that somewhere, all over the world, someone is buying a book.  That is pretty amazing and stunning.  I am always so humbled. 

So, I owe those of you who, like my editor Liz keep after me.  Thank you.

No, I am not giving up anything on next book.  But it is coming along and I have been working for the last few weeks.  Okay…next blog will be about the Finnegan’s Run Quail and….then Ferguson Fox….perhaps then “saving the beer” story.  In the meantime to all of my fans.....  Remember to live life like an author.  Feel everything, give your heart into everything that matters, don’t be ashamed even when your soul is left to bare because you gave all.  Holding your heart close and staying emotionally safe are just missed opportunities of life to live….truly live and to feel life, even when it hurts.

Sometimes people say to me about horses….what if they hurt themselves?  What if this and that?  What if they don’t want to etc.  What I do know about race horses is that they have spirit and unbelievable hearts.  When they run that race and win or lose.they are truly living….living a dream of a horse.  You see it in their eyes when they run past….they are truly living in those moments…. No horse gets to Churchill except the very finest.  They may not win, but they were in the race. 

We don’t always win every battle in our lives, sometimes we are left out to dry and live with the consequences of our noble hearts, just like them…the race horses.  However, to truly live, you must put yourself out there, you must try.  You have to get into the gate and when the gun fires you have to run with all of your heart….win or lose, you give it your all.  That is what matters.  You must feel the passion, the joy, the heartache, the loss, the laughter of enemies when you fall….but then the triumph on another day.  No matter what happens the next day dawns with another chance to ride the winds of is another chance to be bold, strong, good, noble, to live with beauty and to fight another day. 

What will fate bring? To see another triple crown winner, to write a best selling novel, to win a case, to help someone who really needs it, to make a forest, to save the beer?  To give $20 you can't afford to an Afghan soldier struggling to get back home who sits with his dog on the corner of Montgomery.  To teach someone something new to help them through life?  To use a gift to help a wizard or minor god? 

Or it is just to feel the weight and glory of what we did and tried to do with all of the good of our hearts?  If we do this, put our passion and love into everything...then who knows where tomorrow takes us if we give our entire hearts?  We don't know what we can do, except to get into that gate and when the gun fires, to run with all the have to that finish line.  Win or lose, it is about the race.  Believe.


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