Monday, February 16, 2009

Safe and Sound

Today is a riding day. Sigh, things interfered and I didn't get my usual fix of sitting on a horse and thinking about life. I had to settle for thinking while I emptied water buckets and mucked stalls. This can lead to some pretty dirty thoughts. :)

Off to have dinner with friends, all horse people. I'll have to live off their adventures for now. I'm sure at least one rode through the woods or across a meadow and has a story to tell.

It's going to be a cold night, so horses are blanketed, hoses have been drained and the barn is shut up tight. There's something about doing that, that makes me feel good. I guess I'm weird, or making things snug, is like nurturing, when you are helping others, animal or human, it warms your heart. You feel safe and sound.

Have a good night, sleep tight, all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

To Plot, or Not to Plot - a Story - Is it a question

That needs an answer?

Okay, riding and writing are my big loves(after family) and yesterday I indulged in riding, so today I'll tackle my book, Painted Black. A post on made me stop and think this morning. Probably a good thing, because I prefer to wing-it. The poster was asking about planning a story, how do you plot a book. She was full of technical information she'd garnered from web searches, etc. It confused me just reading it, and it also made me worry.

Is my story, Painted Black, plotted correctly? Yikes, I don't know. I did it the simple way. A character popped into my head and began to move through an imaginary world. I asked myself: Who is this person? What is she up to? Where is she? What is her problem? Will she succeed? Who gets in her way?

Then I started to write. The story took over and I simply followed the adventure, one thing leading to another, until the adventure ended. Yes, I had to go back and fill in some blanks, especially when the person I thought would be the murderer turned out not to be the culprit. :) I had fun. Eventually, when editing, I put summaries chapters on index cards and listed key elements to make sure everything connected, but that was after I'd recorded the initial excitement of the story.

I think if I'd tried to plot out the whole story, making sure I had all the elements people say you need, not only for the big picture, but in every chapter, I'd have lost interest before I got started. It would knock my creativity for a loop.

How about you? Do you plot, then write? Or are you like me? Do you follow wherever the wings of an idea takes you, then go back and fix the glitches? Or do you have another approach? I'd be interested in hearing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February, Sunshine and a Horse, Gotta be a dream, right?

Today was one of those times I'd like to record and be able to play back when I'm thinking life sucks. Up early, I fed the horses, cleaned the stalls, let the cat out of the tackroom and scolded the little dog for chasing the big dog. Bet you thought I was going to say "cat", didn't you?

By eight, I was in my truck and hauling my thoroughbred to a hunt meet. This is his first year to be a foxhuning horse and he's still trying to figure out where the track is. He used to be a racehorse. I ate my Kashi bar, drank a coke, and played finger tag between country music and NPR on the radio. In twenty minutes, I arrived at the meeting spot, the first one there, and nabbed a prime parking space. When you're driving a F350 extended cab truck and hauling a twenty foot trailer, parking moves way up the priority list.

Eventually, others arrived, the hounds were unloaded, and Rustic(that's my horse)and I were ready to roll. The huntsman cast the hounds, sending them into deep, dense woods. Being a whipper-in(helper to the huntsman)I moved off ahead of the pack, but about fifty yards to one side. One hound spoke and then others joined and we were off.

I asked Rustic to pick up the pace and he said, "You betcha."
There is absolutely no feeling in the world like being on the back of a thoroughbred and asking him to run. It is what they are born to do. We streaked up a road, jumped a coop and tore down a wooded trail. He and I were both in a "yee-haw" moment and I almost forgot that my job was to watch for hounds.

The run lasted about ten minutes and then the hounds lost the scent in the wind. The huntsman picked another route, which left me somewhat out of the game. I pouted for a moment and then looked around.

There I sat, on an animal some people only see on television, in the middle of a meadow, the sun warming my back, with a million dollar view of the mountains in front of me, and it was mid-February. A slow smile erased my pout. Just think about it for a minute; February, sunshine and a horse,the makings for a movie, right? No one was there to record the moment,so no movie, but believe me some dreams can come true.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Let's uncomplicate writing!

I was just reading "Mad Utopia", another blog. It is filled with great advice, writing contests, etc. Now, if I could figure out how to link Jon's site with mine, I would. But, I digress. Reading his site made me wonder, when did writing become so complicated? Used to be a pen and a piece of paper, a few brilliant thoughts, then in an envelope and off it went to find a home. Now, it seems one must have a blog, a web-site, a following, before an agent or editor will even look at what you have to say. Do you think we will ever get back to writing because you are inspired, and reading because you are curious to see what this unknown author might have to say?