Jodi Thomas Is Back in the Saddle Again

In this time of ‘house arrest’ we are all staying home most of the time.  Now I don’t know about other writers (haven’t seen any) but I started out the first two weeks thinking I’d write like crazy. 

Didn’t work.  I cleaned closets, cooked, watched TV, read books.

When the two weeks continued on and on, I made a list every morning of what I would do. Pretty soon I learned I could keep my Monday to-do-list all week and just change it to Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday.

THEN I discovered a box of old music, country of course.  I bounced out of bed, put on my sweat pants, didn’t bother with shower or makeup half the time, and flipped on Only the Lonely by Roy Orbison. We danced around the house.

I know it sounds strange but it cheered me up. By the time I played it three times, I was ready to write.

Then I found a CD of Riders in the Sky with a song Gene Autry wrote.  Back in the Saddle Again. I learned to sing Whoopi-ty-aye-oh. Dancing again. To hear the song click here.

I played it as I saddled up for work.  When I was a kid I loved nothing more than riding across open country and today (as I have for thirty years) I love writing.

I’ve stepped into fiction in good times and bad.  When my heart’s been broken, I fall in love with my characters. When reality gets too much, I make my own world. When I simply want to have an adventure, I travel in my mind.

During this time of isolation, I still feel connected to my readers and all the writers I know. We may be home dancing to Only the Lonely but we’re together. 

After I took a bad tumble riding in my teens, the hardest thing I ever did was climb back on a horse, but the strange thing was, once in the saddle, I wondered why it had taken me so long.


My advice for this time: 

  1. Be good to yourself.  Get lost in a good book whether you’re reading it or writing it. Have a party every night.  Popcorn and a movie or cookies and milk on the porch watching the rain.
  1. Be happy.  Sure you don’t get to see the people you love, but the upside is you don’t have to be around all those folks who bother you.
  1. Dance.  Personally, I never learned to dance, but I do it anyway.  I told Tom once that I may look like I’m standing still, but I’m dancing inside.  He smiled and said, “I know.”

I’m in the middle of a series and I’m loving it. Book One, BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFÉ came out last week. It’s packed with action and love stories that will keep you reading through the night.

Please add it to your reading list and ‘if you have time’ leave a comment and tell me what you’re dancing to during this isolation. One reader’s comment will be selected to receive my first book out of the box. 

Joke of the day from Riders in the Sky.  “If the world was logical, men would ride sidesaddle.”



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68 thoughts on “Jodi Thomas Is Back in the Saddle Again”

  1. I found the old westerns from my childhood on a channel I never watched before. Shared with my friends.
    For my Reading friends, I made recommendations from my loves.

      • Great post,Jodi. I needed a bit of inspiration and guidance. I’m currently reading “Honey Creek” and enjoying it very much.

        My husband has been ill and our social lives have become going to doctor’s or having telephone calls.

        I still try to write something every day.

  2. Oh I love to dance around my house to oldies and newer country songs. Something about how it makes me feel. Used to work all day go home saddle up the horses and my ex and I would go riding till almost dark. The rhythm on a horse is so relaxing. Thanks for memories you brought to my mind. Have a blessed day.

  3. Good morning Ms. Jodi. Your blog brightened my day. I love your sense of humor and witty nature. I’m 1/2 through Breakfast At Honey Creek and I’m truly in love with these characters and town.
    I think this might be your best book to fate, but I think that every time I read one of yours. Even when I go back and re-read an older book, I’m in AWE of your written words.
    I can’t wait until all this isolation is lifted and Linda and you come North and we meet and visit. I have really enjoyed the isolation, just as you said, I don’t have to be around people who rattle my nerves. You have a blessed day and keep dancing in your mind. We all deserve to enjoy our inner music these days.

  4. I pretty much like all music except rap and classical. One good thing about not being able to go anywhere is I didn’t have to deal with family get togethers with my husband’s family.

  5. Good morning Jodi, your blog brighten my morning , I could just hear the music playing. Growing up my mom always had her records playing ( country of course) I can still hear her sing along as she cooked and cleaned. I decided last year I was going to treat myself, (even though I’m a lot older now.) I bought myself a record player and have been collecting old country records. I grew up loving Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams ect so I’ve got a pretty good collection now. Sunday mornings I put on my favorite music and I feel like I’m sure mom did listening to the music as I cleaned.

  6. Good morning. During this time I have cleaned, painted and drawn pictures, sculpture and wood burning. Anything to stay busy. I’ve gone camping at the campground and fishing. I’ve been stressed about my mom who got covid and had a small stroke. Thank you for sharing. Hugs and have a great day.

    • Thanks for sharing all your fun activities–I hear you about staying busy! So sorry to hear about your mom and I hope she continues to recover.

  7. My taste in music is pretty eclectic. I enjoy a little bit of everything from the big band crooners to 80’s techno and rock. I don’t dance as much as I used to, but I sing my heart my out when the music grabs me.

  8. I enjoy music from the 70’s so listen to a lot of that, old rock and country music. Also love Roy Orbison songs.

  9. Howdy Jodi!

    My music taste is pretty eclectic. Jimmy Buffet recently put out a new album and his music definitely makes me happy.

    Your post hit the nail on the head. I’ve been furloughed since April and, although I so much extra time, I have a difficult time getting into my list of projects.

    I do want to thank you for so many hours of reading joy. To this day, one of my most favorite heroes is Teagan McMurray, from Tall, Dark and Texan. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve reread that book.

  10. What a delightful post today. The 1950’s gives me so much pleasure and enjoyment. I am nostalgic for that era since I grew up during that time and miss the music.

  11. I am old fashioned and old school so music which resonates with me is from the 1940’s and 1950’s. The songs are meaningful, fun and make life unforgettable.

  12. I’m working from home these days and realizing how much I miss the background noise of the office. I bought a cheap CD player and have pulled out all my old CDs. Most of them are from college and are country music from the 90s. I forgot how much I like those songs!

    • Carrie, that’s wonderful. Music never grows old and it’s nice to listen to ones we’ve forgotten about. The same is true of books. Over the last four months, I’ve been reading older books that really feed my soul.

  13. Jodi, thanks for coming. We always love having you. I love dancing to Elvis. Oh man! His music sure gets your heart pumping. But when I want something slow and sexy it’s George Strait. But I’ve recently started loving Chris Stappleton. My favorite song by him is Tennessee Whiskey. Very slow and very sexy. Music is amazing. Wishing you tons of success with Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe! 🙂

  14. Depending on my mood, I listen to a wide range of music… love Classical, Folk, Celtic, Oldies, 80s to modern… just not into Rap or Heavy Metal.

  15. I grew up listening to country music so that is my go to when I want to listen to music.
    Your book sounds really good. I have read others of yours and enjoyed them.

    Yes, I would love to see a man ride sidesaddle. A treat for the eyes for sure.

  16. I love old country, gospel, bluegrass, classic rock, Big Bands, what they used to call “pop,” and Southern Gospel. Music (and reading) are my pick-me-ups!! Some of the new country makes me sound like my Daddy, saying “That’s not country” so I don’t do a lot of the new, though some of it I like. I have a hard time listening to the radio anymore, so for me it’s my CD’s, sometimes my vinyl, and youtube.

  17. That is amazing advice!! I am always dancing – even if it is just on the inside. We have tried to have a “party” every night, also, just to make this time special. We are normally a close knit family (homeschooling, farming, hubby works from home) but these past months have made it even more so and mended a few relationship holes. Our favorite music is country, Celtic Thunder and silly praise songs (the kid’s ones). We all love to belt out the songs and make requests. Thank you for sharing today and reminding me what is important!

  18. I have been listening to different songs and music lately to find the perfect one to dance to with my son at his wedding in September.

  19. Okay this may sound strange … but I’m dancing to a hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Our grandson Max saw a brain surgeon yesterday at Children’s Hospital and the results of his brain scan revealed NO CANCER. A shout out to God consumed my thoughts yesterday. I was preparing to face fear, anger, struggling to live my faith, etc. Your post touched my heart today Jodi. Thank you for being real and touching us with emotions we all experience. I’m not a great dancer, but, like you, I dance anyway. Another great read from you is what I’m looking forward to.

  20. I loved your post. I miss going dancing. We used to go every Saturday night. That’s where I met my daughter’s father – dressed head to toe like a cowboy. Our song was “The Woman in Me” by Shania Twain.

    I love the older country music. Definitely not this new stuff you can’t even understand. I like two-stepping, but I also love slow dancing!

    Thanks for sharing and the opportunity!

  21. Hi, well first of all Good for you! We might as well be happy and have fun in our own homes where we are safe. We just need to take one day at a time and enjoy life. And if there is anything about all this craziness happening is something we all know for sure “Don’t take Anyone or Anything for Granted” I Loved reading your post. My husband and I have been enjoying taking our pup for a walk everyday and enjoying our surroundings even more. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family. Your book sounds like a very good read and I love the cover.

    • Thanks, Alicia, for taking time to write such nice comments. I am definitely learning to appreciate each and every day. I hope you enjoy my new characters in the small town of Honey Creek, Texas.

  22. On one of our trips, we discovered the Barra MacNeils (a Canadian Celtic group)when we heard their CD playing at a distillery. Finally found their CD and loved the first song – Don’t Call Me Early In The Morning. I started every day playing it in the car – over & over & over. If I need a pick me up, I will put it on, turn the volume up, and put it on repeat. There are other songs that just need to be danced to, especially if no one is looking.

    It was interesting to read about your list of things to do. I wrote one down March 11, my first day of isolation. Weeks went by and nothing was accomplished. A week went by and I couldn’t count one thing I had done. I have been working on my flower beds for 2 or 3 weeks now. They had been neglected for at least 2 or 3 years and part of one (a 100 foot bed in the front) for longer. Several of the beds were completely grown over with virginia creeper, poison ivy, honey suckle, 2 other vines, and a weed that is impossible to get rid of. One bed if finally done and planted with bedding plants. Another is almost ready to plant. The 100 foot bed is going to take much more work. The beds around the house are ready to finish planting and one other has a little more weeding to be done before I can plant it. It has inspired me to get busy on the inside of the house. There is much to do and it is exciting to think headway could be made.

    I like your three points of advice. We are sitting out on the porch enjoying the breeze although the coming 90 degree weather may make that , and yard work, a bit difficult. I have a cookie recipe I haven’t made in years and have been fighting the urge to make. I haven’t gained weight yet and don’t want to. ( Sorry I got so long winded)

    Keep your wonderful books coming. I love the cover of BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE. It is my dream house on a lake. Take good care of yourself, stay healthy, and keep dancing.

    • Loved reading your comments, Patricia, especially since I can relate to the gardening. I’m going to have to look up the CD you mentioned. Sounds like a great “dancing” song and I promise to keep dancing!

      • More of a sing at the top of your lungs song. Desert Rose by Sting is good for attempting to belly dance or just dance around.

  23. I have read westerns for as long as I can remember. My mom started me out with Zqne Grey. Oh I love those books. Probably because they were my first westerns. But I never like country music. I guess because all I had heard was things like: “my dog got out and got run over by a bus” type songs. When I was an adult with two kiddos, my mom and I went on a trip together. She asked if she could put in country music on the van. What? mom knew I didnt like country music.!! But I said “of course” wow was I surprised. Mom had found some really good christian country music singers. WOW These certain singers I really like to this day, 30 years later. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the give a way.

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