Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gone Hunting

Yesterday was a riding day and I went foxhunting. It is cubbing season here. That is when we take out the young hounds with the older ones and prepare them for the coming formal season of hunting. They learn to stay with the group, listen to the huntsman, and discover all the scents and sounds of the great outdoors. The goal is not to find game but to train puppies and condition the older hounds.

We hunt early at seven in the morning here, and while getting up in the dark is not on my favorites list, watching the sun rise as I drive to the meet is. The early dew steams in the morning rays creating misty valleys filled with the promise of adventure. I get up before dawn, feed my horses, clean the stalls, groom the one I am going to ride, turn out the others and head to the fixture for the day. A fixture is the place we will meet to hunt.

The hunt is short, young hounds get tired easily, so do out of shape riders. On the way home I marvel at the wonder of it all. The natural interaction of man with his world. Being taken back in time, being reminded we are one of the animal kingdom. Sometimes we lose sight of that in our man-made world. It is good to be reminded of the balance of nature and that we are meant to be a part of that picture.

Did you know that hunters are the best land conservationists? They understand the vital need to keep the wilderness, preserve farmlands, and pure water supply. They know the human's place in the world. Foxhunters will work tirelessly to save the countryside.

Yesterday, I went foxhunting, rode across land that will never be developed. Fell in love, as I do every time, with the beauty of nature and thanked God for creating this natural balancing act that keeps our world a thriving planet.

Gone hunting; when you hear someone say that, thank them for doing their part to preserve your world.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

There's a Story Hiding in My Brain

For the past few weeks I've found it hard to concentrate on the novels I'm working on. One is a mystery, "Painted Black", and the other is women's fiction, "Reflections From The Hot Zone." Both books have been fun to write and are now in the rewrite/editing stage. Aha, some would say, you just don't want to do the real work.

While this is true, that isn't the reason I can't concentrate. In side my head there is story growing. It feels like a deep, dark, serious book in the making. Bits and pieces flit by on the screen behind my eyes. I see a frown, hear an argument, smell the grainy scent of alcohol. A character lurks in the shadows, unwilling to show his/herself. Waiting, I feel, until I promise to let the telling be the character's doing.

Does this ever happen to you? It scares me a bit. I'm not sure I'm ready to hear the truth hiding within the fiction. No one told me this would happen when I talked of being a writer.

Ah, I see the character's smile.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Flash 40 contest at Editor Unleashed Results

Happy dancing! My story "Ten One-Hundredths of A Second" made the Anthology and ended up fifth in the popular vote. Most of my buddies made it, too. As promised here is a list of the finalists.

And the winners, listed in alphabetical order, are:
Grand Prize: Fairy Tales, by Ravenne
At Last, neenerspb
Being a Cop, lmckelvy
Blind Justice, TrinityWolf99
The Brain Eaters, Lady Lawyer
Buck and the Twee Fairies of Interstate 20, cubagw
Circles, TheRazor
Defection, drwasy
Dreaming Lies to Change the Truth, kaolin
Fate’s Heavy Hand, jimbernheimer
Food of the Gods, judy b.
Frangible Choices, KeMari
Grief Observed, Laurita
Guardian Demon, JRTomlin
Mirror, Mirror gretaigl
Monday, Selena Kitt
Night Becomes the City, MPBerry
In the Nuthouse, d o’brien
Parklife, AlanBaxter
Pirated Twinkies, soesposito
Pure White, Stephen Book
Reflection, rjkelle
Rough Trade, JRhodes
Running on the Iron Rooster, Michael J.
Sales Call, graywave
Savor the moment, Kupohunter
Sign Language, LCourtland
Sportsmen, JohnOBX
Ten One-hundreds of a Second, DeborahB
The Distraction, Nocdar
The Mercantile Exchange, kenaipi
The Nearest Thing, John Wiswell
The Vial, bentguy
The Vigil of Clouds, Alegra
Time for a Change, Carol
‘Tis the Season, jmar2
Unscrambling Love, Angel Zapata
Wake up, Please, everyhopejd
What’s in a Name, Craven
When Don Cristobal Eduardo Stabbed his Wife and her Lover, Christopher James

Thank you to all for reading and rating stories!