Road to Discourse

All it takes for “evil” to grow is silence, the absent voices of reason, peace, understanding, and love. In times of hardship when division is great voices of reason are needed. I know there are many voices of reason that have been silent. I know because my voice has been one of those voices and I have talked to many other people who have also been silent. I thought by being silent I was making room for another voice and honoring another person’s opinion. But I realized that my silence was not making room it was contributing to pain, harm, ruin and injury.

When my young clients talk about the difficulties they face in school. I ask them, “What do your values say you should do?” When they respond, I ask, “What stops you from doing that?” The answer is always fear of losing…fear of losing friends, fear of losing status, fear of losing favor. Silence comes from fear.

I realized that I had confused my fear of confrontation with my value that all voices matter. My silence was from fear of offending others, fear of being attacked, fear of not being heard. It was not coming from my values. A deep belief that all voices matter helps us to engage others and to hear their thoughts. When all voices matter, voices are not silent.

It is important for everyone to speak, for everyone to be heard. And it is important that we listen to each other. It is the only way we will solve the important issues facing us all.

What Will You Choose?

We all struggle with discovering who we are and what we want to be when we grow up. Usually as children what we want to be is defined by a profession. When I was three I proclaimed that I was going to be a veterinarian. I don’t recall giving any thought to what kind of human I wanted to be.

Now, in my fifties there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what kind of human I want to be. How I am in the world is just as important as what I do. Maybe now, even more important. I look out at the world and in this twenty-four-hour news cycle and on-demand frenzy, I see so many horrible things happening. I worry about how these images and words are impacting developing minds. I worry about it tremendously. Yet, I  am hesitant to discuss this with others. I don’t want to impose upon others. People have the right to their opinions and to voice their opinions, however they wish. But with rights come consequences. I can choose to use my power of speech for good or a can use it to degrade and to harm. Either way I choose, my actions will have consequences. Those consequences may be immediate or felt decades later.

Somehow it seems we have come to believe that disagreeing with one another is bad. We have fallen into the trap of believing that a different view-point is wrong and has no worth. At worst we make harsh judgements about those that believe differently from us. Yet, if we all thought the same wHand with marker writing: Whats Your Choice?ay, we would not have innovation. I do not know how we can have a healthy discourse when we hold these beliefs. How can we ever solve the problems that our world is facing if we cannot talk, disagree, respectfully hear each other’s point of view, and combine all of our knowledge?

Sometimes I think we forget that words are powerful. They shape minds, shape beliefs, connect us or separate us. Each of us has the power to impact change just by minding our words. Each moment of every day the choices we choose impact not only us but those around us. We can choose connection over disconnection. We can choose kindness over hurt. We can choose respect over hate. The power is in the choice and it is for each of us to mindfully make. What will you choose?

Goodbye, Sid

A few months ago I said goodbye to my best friend, my soulmate, and the most beautiful soul I have ever known. We were together for 11 years. 11 years is too short of a time but his 11 years were hard years. He battled one illness after another. 100_1811Yet, no one knew because he was so brave and gracious. I will never forget the way he looked into my eyes, gave me kitty kisses, held my hand with his paw, and slept with his check pressed next to mine. He gave so much more than he received. Because of him I am a better person- kinder, gentler, more inclined to spend hours in silence with someone I love, and to sit and enjoy moments. He touched me in ways I cannot describe. He is buried deeply within my heart now and forever. I hope now he is pain free. I do not know where souls go once they are freed from a body but I hope his goes to the most beautiful place imaginable and that he is surrounded by love. That’s what he was, pure love, in the package of a furry, black and white cat.

“The Gift” by Rebecca Hubbard Book Tour & Raffle

An interview with Pip’s dad

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The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard Book Tour BannerThe Gift by Rebecca Hubbard

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  • Paperback:62 pages
  • Publisher:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 23, 2015)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1515181839
  • ISBN-13:978-1515181835


All eleven-year-old Pip wanted was a best friend. When Pip gets a horse for her birthday, she’s delighted. She thinks that the horse she names Buck will be her best friend from the moment that they meet. But she finds out that friendship does not come that easily.

Pip’s father gently guides her so that Pip can discover for herself how to make Buck a true friend. Pip’s new friend, Buck, has a story of his own. After leaving his own herd, to move to Pip’s house, he is looking for a relationship that will help him feel safe. He, too, learns that making a friend takes patience and understanding.

Told from the perspectives of both Pip and Buck, The Gift is a heartwarming and valuable lesson…

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Author Interview with Rebecca J. Hubbard Author of The Gift

eBook Review Gal

eBook Review Gal read and reviewed The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard and we LOVED the book so much we knew we had to have a chat with the author!

eBook Review Gal Author Interview with Rebecca Hubbard, Author The Gift

Hi Rebecca! Thanks for joining us on the eBook Review Gal Blog. Can you please tell readers a little about your book The Gift?

“The Gift” is a story about a young girl, Pip, who receives a horse for her birthday and her desire to have a best friend. She believes that the horse she names Buck should be her best friend because he was given to her. She learns that in order to have a friend she has to develop a friendship. She struggles with how to do this and misinterprets Buck’s behavior. From her father she learns how to understand Buck’s perspective and how to develop a friendship with him. The story is told from the perspective of Pip…

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The People's Book Prize

Rebecca J Hubbard⌈ Vote Now ⌋

In the lead up to The People’s Book Prize 2016 we caught up with author Rebecca J. Hubbard to talk about her novel

The Gift 

Texan native, Rebecca J. Hubbard is Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over twenty years of experience working with children and their families. She began writing short stories as a child for her own amusement. Early in her career Rebecca discovered that she could facilitate the healing process of her young clients by writing stories for them and in 2012 she began writing for publication. Currently, Rebecca works at Spirit Reins as a clinician and as the clinical supervisor where she practices Natural Lifemanship,  a Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy model.She enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her two dogs, Idgie and Sully, and her two horses, Cash and Cloud. She loves to read, paint and garden.

When did you start…

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Interview with Buck


Rhonda Smith is the CEO and founder of Spirit Reins, a non-profit that provides treatment to children and families who have experienced traumatic events. She interviewed Buck, a main character in the book, The Gift, at his home pasture for Spirit Reins’ Amplify Spirit Reins campaign for Amplify Austin. Alicia Nance is Buck’s friend and lends a hand as translator.

Rhonda: Buck, thank you for joining us via satellite for Amplify Spirit Reins. The weather looks gorgeous up there in North Carolina.

Buck: You are welcome Rhonda. I’m happy to do it and glad to help out a friend of Pip’s. The sun is shining today. It is very, very warm here. I like to stand down by the lake where the wind is a little cooler.

Rhonda: It is warm here as well. What do you think of the story that The Gift tells?

Buck: I think it is an important story that helps folks understand that just because they think something is one way doesn’t mean it is. All that time Pip thought I was a mean ol’ guy, and I’m not. I think that having friends and knowing how to make them is important. The part that I think is the most important for horses is we don’t like to be alone. We want to be with our herd—that’s where we feel the safest.

Rhonda: We understand from Pip that you like the song “Uptown Funk.” Can you tell us what you like about it?

Buck: I don’t know what that is.

Rhonda: (getting help singing) Girls hit your hallelujah (whoo)
Girls hit your hallelujah (whoo)
Girls hit your hallelujah (whoo)
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you

Buck: Oh, yeah. I don’t understand the words but I love that music! When I hear it I prance around, strike out my hoofs, and toss my head. I can’t stand still. It makes me happy all over.

Rhonda: We asked some of our guests in attendance today for questions they would like to ask you. Is it okay if we read some of these from your fans and have you answer them?

Buck: Yes, that would be okay.

Rhonda: Melissa would like to know what it is like to ride in a trailer.

Buck: It is really weird to be moving and your feet are still! The wind is nice. But you go so fast you don’t get to see very much. It moves and shakes, so it is hard to feel safe enough to sleep. I’m glad I don’t ride in one very much.

Rhonda: Doc asks, “What will you do if Pip makes you mad?”

Buck: Hummmmmm. That’s a tough question. Let me see. I guess it depends on what she does. If she hurts me I might bite or kick her but she’s never done that. Sometimes she doesn’t bring me treats and that makes me feel a little mad. I check all her pockets then I go back to grazin’ and ignore her a bit. Sometimes she wants to do something that I don’t want to do and she keeps bugging me until I do it with her. I get mad about that sometimes. I do what she wants but I put my ears back and do it slow to show her I don’t like it none.

Rhonda: Buck, Doc has a follow up question, “Is it worth it to have a friend even if you get mad at them sometimes?”

Buck: Yep ‘cause you aren’t mad all the time and you can do a lot of stuff and have fun. I think when you feel mad and you can communicate about it and things get better it makes the friendship stronger. Also, having a friend means you are not alone.

Rhonda: Ali wants to know, “Do horses ever get tired of eating grass?”

Buck: No. Grass is the most wonderful thing in the world. Different kinds of grass have different tastes. It would be nice if grass and carrots grew together.

Rhonda: Tim writes, “Change is so scary, how did you get brave enough to try to trust Pip?”

Buck: I didn’t really think I was brave. I just started to feel comfortable around her once she stopped hollering and chasing me. I like the backup game. It makes me feel really good.

Rhonda: Rob asks, “Is there anything you are scared of now?”

Buck: I’m still scared of mountain lions, and coyotes.

Rhonda: Jordan writes, “What do you think of the name Buck? What were you called before you came to live with Pip?”

Buck: The man where I used to live called me Goose. My mama said it was because when I was little I would chase feed bags blowing in the wind, and butterflies. The man said I was a “silly goose” and the name stuck. I like the name Buck. It has a nice ring to it.

Rhonda: Erin wants to know, “What is your favorite candy?”

Buck: My very favorite is the white treats Pip gives me. I think they are peppermints.

Rhonda: Erik wants to know what brings you joy.

Buck: I feel joy every time I see Pip climb over the fence and when she spends time with me, just me and her together doing nothing.

Rhonda: Ralph writes, “If you had a herd now how would your relationship with Pip change?”

Buck: I would love to have a herd. Pip isn’t always here and I spend a lot of time alone. I don’t feel very safe alone. If I had a herd I could feel safe all the time and still be Pip’s friend. I think I would just feel better if I had a herd.

Rhonda: Nina would like to know if you miss your mom or just your friends.

Buck: I miss them all!

Rhonda: Scott writes, “Do horses have names for each other?”

Buck: It is hard to explain to humans, Scott. We don’t have names for each other like humans do but we know each other by the essence of our spirit.

Rhonda:  Max asks, “Can I come over and play with you?”

Buck: I would like that. I like making new friends.

Rhonda: Can you tell us how your life has changed since the publication of The Gift?

Buck: Well, there are a lot more people coming up to the fence and hollering “Buck! Buck!” in a high pitched voice just like Pip used to do. It is rather annoying to have all that ruckus.

Rhonda: I can imagine that it is hard to have so much attention.

Buck: I like attention that comes with scratching under my chin and on my rump as well as carrots and sweet things. But I don’t like folks hollering at me.

Rhonda: I suppose that could be upsetting, especially if you are trying to nap.

Buck: My naps are often interrupted by squeals. Pip says they only come by because they love me.

I think that if they love me they would be quieter and bring more treats.

Rhonda: What is next for you and Pip?

Buck: Pip keeps saying something about saddlin’ up but I don’t really know what that means. Right now we are spending time together in the pasture and waiting for the weather to cool off.

Rhonda: Buck thank you for giving us some of your precious time and helping us celebrate the impact that Spirit Reins has on children and families.

Buck: Liked my time with you. You are welcome. Do you have any carrots?


2 More 5 Star Reviews!

5star-flat-webReview Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed By Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard is a charming children’s book in which eleven-year-old Pip yearns for a horse. She was extremely delighted when her father presented her with one on her birthday. Things are not going the way she likes though, because her horse moves away whenever she approaches. The first few days are very frustrating for Pip because she thinks that Buck, the name she gives her horse, seems uninterested in being friends with her. Guided by her father, she sets out to gain Buck’s friendship, day by day. Young Buck, on the other hand, is separated for the first time from the other horses and it feels different to be in another environment. Lonely and scared, he also longs for a friend, but finds Pip to be a strange creature. Will the two eventually become friends?

Rebecca Hubbard’s The Gift is a children’s book that educates and entertains. It also teaches its readers a thing or two about making friends. Little girl Pip dreams of having a horse as a best friend and is elated when she gets Buck. Thinking that they will become the best of friends immediately, she finds out that she has to gain Buck’s trust before anything else, and this takes time and determination. Beautifully illustrated by Krickett King, the story is first told from Pip’s point of view and then switching to Buck’s, giving readers a glimpse of what is going on in both their minds as they interact. Perfectly written for 4th to 6th graders, The Gift also shows that friendship entails sensitivity and patience, and these are precious lessons that many adults can also learn from.

Review rating 5 stars

Reviewed By Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite

The Gift, written by Rebecca J. Hubbard and illustrated by Krickett King, is the story of a young girl named Pip and a colt named Buck. The young horse goes to live with Pip, but is very frightened of his new surroundings and being taken away from the herd. Pip doesn’t understand this at first and thinks the colt doesn’t like her. Gradually both the horse and girl start to understand each other. Pip learns how to gain the colt’s trust, and Buck realises that the girl does not plan to hurt him. Although he is missing his horse friends, Buck finally understands that Pip can also be a friend.

This is a lovely story for young readers, and delightful in its simplicity. Rebecca J. Hubbard has done a very good job of explaining about friendship, and how one has to work at it and not expect it to happen without a bit of effort on both parts. But this is also a story about loneliness. Starting with Pip’s version, the story then examines the events from the horse’s perspective. This story is about understanding, companionship, patience, and love. Although the story can be likened to human relationships, it’s also about understanding animals and how to gain their trust and love. It’s a good life lesson that friendship and trust have to be earned. Giving the story from both the human aspect and the animal aspect is especially endearing. Apart from the life lessons to be learned, young horse lovers will empathise with this tale. Very nicely done.