In the Corral
    with Carol

Carol Bartolet

Florida at last! That’s what I thought when my husband, Don, and I finally made the move south from Ohio almost fifteen years ago. My hands and feet not only regained feeling but also became warm and pink! I am definitely not a cold weather person, so I’m not sure how I had ended up in dreary, wet, and gloomy Ohio. Most of my family and good friends still live there and so I make my journeys north mostly in the summertime. We have found many fellow “Buckeyes” in this part of Florida and we love it here! We miss our children and grandchildren, but find the Christmas cards with snowy greetings much more pleasant than the real frozen stuff.

Arriving in Florida with a trailer load of horses and our dogs, we made our home in beautiful Pine Ridge. We also joined the Citrus County Sheriff Mounted Posse and found the camaraderie of fellow equestrians everywhere. This state is a great place to live if you have horses and like to ride trails or go to horse shows. A few years ago we made a move to Dunnellon to a home with more acreage as we have “expanded our operation” to include raising Miniature and Appaloosa horses. We have two stallions and several mares at our farm. See our page for Sun Spots Ranch!

I began writing my first Favors novel while still in Pine Ridge, about nine years ago. The inspiration just “came to me.” I think I can thank my mother, the late Jean Kent, who was a romance novelist. She was also the co-author of “Romance Writers Phrase Book,” which was published in 1984, seven years before she died of cancer. I definitely didn’t give my mom enough credit when she wrote and published all those novels. I can still see her office in total disarray and her old electric typewriter…no computer! She never gave up and I learned a lot from that perseverance when my own first rejection letters began to arrive. But I knew there would be a time that things would fall together. I love reading and I read everything. I found I love writing just as much. At Kent State University, my major was first business and then nursing…not writing or journalism. But, I think life experiences help give you something real to write. Hmmm. Not that my book is real, mind you. And people do ask me about the characters…and if I am “her.” No. I am too busy in real life for that kind of stuff. I ride and drive my horses, travel (I love cruises!), fish, go to the beach, read, watch Greys Anatomy and Survivor…and then when there’s time, I write. I love the beach and found the most perfect writing day involves sitting at a beach house, overlooking the sand at St. George Island on the Florida Panhandle. Early morning coffee on the deck, seagulls calling, dolphins playing in the surf. So mind clearing and relaxing. Yeah, you'll read about the dolphins in my books. For me the writing process is like watching a movie in my head. My job is just to copy the movie into words onto the computer.

Somehow I have to find time to travel and DO things. I've always had the travel bug. One of my favorite adventures was a Smithsonian sponsored watch watch. We went to Baja California to view whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon, their calving grounds. Smithsonian had a permit to enter the lagoon and the whole trip was so much more than I expected. The trip of a lifetime really. A mother whale actually pushed her baby up to our little excursion dingy so we could see it! I think she was showing him off and showing him us! Numerous times whales came right to our boat, so close we could scratch their heads, their eyes staring back at us...who was watching who we wondered? Seeing a whale that close will surely get the heart racing. One juvenile followed us back to our home base, an eighty foot boat. He was having fun looking at us and playing with our boats...even lifting one out of the water and turning it “playfully.” Wow! I'll never forget that trip and the privilege of seeing nature in a habitat as yet totally unspoiled by man.

Oh, I almost forgot…I have a full-time job as a school nurse in Dunnellon.

I love my Florida jam-packed life. And I love the phrase “life is not a dress rehearsal.” It drives my husband crazy, but a girl has to do….!!

Live your life, love your life, and read on, friends...

Carol Kent Bartolet


Carol at Dunnellon, Florida's First Saturday Festival.  

Typing Horse

Don and Carol on a cruise a few years ago

My husband Don and I on a cruise a few years ago

Whale watching in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California with the Smithsonian

Close-up whale watching in San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California with the Smithsonian