Thoughts on a Racehorse

Good morning Readers!

I’m currently sitting on my little balcony, enjoying the early morning sun. I’ve put in some lavender and rosemary plants recently, and the aroma is heavenly out here. I’m sure you have read the title. This morning I’d like to write to you all a little about the real life Flynn. Now, it may seem from the book that the transition to skinny rescue to eventer was a little quick. That was on purpose, I didn’t think readers would be terribly interested to hear about the real reconditioning of an off the track thoroughbred, which involves a lot of long, slow walks, and spooking at plastic baggies blowing in the wind… Maybe someday I’ll do a short bridge book, talking about how Sarah rehabilitated Flynn, if there’s any interest.

The real life Flynn showed up much like he did in the book. Skinny, with a dull coat, and several large sores from rubbing in the trailer. One major difference between the two was that I did NOT hop on him the first day. Although he settled in nicely at the farm, I spent the first week and a half doing only ground work with him. I walked him on long trials to get him exposed to the local areas. I taught him to lead, turn, back up. He had no lunging skills whatsoever, so we worked a lot on that. And we spent more time than anything just hand grazing and enjoying each other’s company.

When I did get on him for the first time, it was fairly uneventful, in that he completely did not understand how to do anything. I ended up having someone lead me around like I was on a children’s pony ride. He learned more and more, and we were able to add some of the basics in like “turning” or “stopping” (you know, the important things). Even after I started riding him though, we still had a focus on ground work, and we spent a majority of our time outside of the arena, going on long trail rides. He desperately needed muscle build up, and I was worried about frying his brain from too much arena work.

Flynn has not yet competed in his first event, but there’s no rush for either of us. My greatest concern is taking things slow with him, and giving him a great foundation. I have no doubts that we’ll be out there before you know it, tearing up the cross country course. In the meantime though, I’m taking a little bit of advice out from Denny Emerson on restarting a racechorse. Denny recommends walking, walking, and more walking. Because you can’t do much with a horse that’s not fit. Wise words Denny.

Until next time, Readers. Enjoy your weekends, and think about hitting the trails with your own ponies. It might just be a nice break that you both could benefit from.

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A Quiet Summer’s Eve

Hello Readers,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and took a little time for themselves at some point. We all get so busy in our lives; running errands, taking care of our kids or our significant others, tackling our goals and dreams. I only recently have started to try and make time for myself. During the week, this might be as simple as waking a few minutes early to enjoy a cup of tea without rushing off. Or it might be something as extravagant as some takeout sushi and a glass of wine on a Friday (I’ll let you guess if that was how I spent this last Friday!). Whatever you do, it’s always grounding to take a moment to reflect on yourself, where your life is, and where you would like it to be.

This weekend, I was able to take a few moments to replant the planters on my patio. I’ve been putting it off, seeing as we’ve had some very weird weather lately. Also, I hadn’t yet decided whether I would plant vegetables or flowers, or some combination. In the end, I’ve planted a few herbs (lavender, basil, rosemary), and several varieties of flowers. It really does spruce up an outdoor space. Now, in the mornings, I enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in my comfy outdoor furniture, and type away on my laptop while I listen to the morning birds.

Speaking of writing, I’ve done a lot of it this weekend. It’s funny how the writing bug seizes me, and I always write in fits and starts. Today for example, I was throwing in a load of laundry (a Sunday tradition), when a need to write overtook me. I quickly picked up the laptop, and typed out another 1,000 words, changing a story arc slightly (I think, for the better), and advancing our girls along in their journey. It’s possible that my mind just wanted to get out of a mundane chore such as laundry, but I like to think it was a little present from the muses of writing!

In regards to the book, it’s coming along very nicely. I know I told you all it would be done this month, and (knock on wood), I see no reason it shouldn’t be. I’m about 3/4 of the way through, and I have the rest of the story blocked out. For those of you who are curious, usually I begin by thinking of the main goal of the book, then creating an outline. I’ll often start at the beginning, and write from start to finish, but occasionally there’s a scene I’m very excited about so I’ll skip ahead and then come back later. Once I have the story written out, I’ll go back through, not looking for editing errors per se, but rather finding where there are plot gaps. Plenty of times a scene feels like it needs to be fleshed out more, or requires more dialogue, so I’ll fix those pieces. Finally, I’ll go start to finish and fix formatting, spelling, punctuation errors. And then I publish the book for you!

I’m off to finish the laundry I started earlier, but I hope you all have a very wonderful week. And remember, take a few moments for you this week, whether you take a moment to make a cup of coffee, you go for an evening walk, or you sit down with a favorite book. Until next time, dear Readers.

A Word on Writing

Some days, writing is like having a conversation with an old friend. It flows easy over a cup of coffee, reminiscing and enjoying the sound and feel of old company. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. It feels… therapeutic. Other days, writing feels like a blind date. Awkward. Difficult. Like two people who are never on the same page, unsure of each other and dancing around the issues.

Today is the second of those days.

I write anyway. I write even if it’s terrible writing and I know I’ll just delete it tomorrow. I write because I’m afraid that if I give in to the writer’s block, I’ll put down my pen (or more accurately, my keyboard), and I’ll never pick it up again. Because each day that I avoid it will get harder and harder and I’ll move further away from it.

If only I could tackle everything in my life with such grace and maturity…

A Woodsy Weekend

I apologize for the delayed blog posts. I just got back from a wonderful weekend spent at a small cabin in the mountains. I was able to fall asleep to the sound of crickets, watch a sky packed with shooting stars at night, and do several hikes beautiful hikes among the waterfalls and dark woods. Weekends like that are good for the body and the soul. I wish I had done some writing, but it was a weekend to relax and reflect, not a weekend to create!

I’m sure some of you are wondering whether any of the characters in the book are real. Well, I like to think there’s a little bit of me in Sarah (and a little bit of her in me as well). A few of the characters down the line will be based on real animals I’ve known and loved, but for right now the only real critter is Flynn. For those of you who are curious, he actually was pulled from a kill pen. Here was his picture from the auction:

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And here is a current picture of him:

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He’s much like the Flynn you read about as well. He loves to sleep, and generally saves his energy for the moments he REALLY needs it. He’s a pretty quirky horse, but I couldn’t ask for a better one!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and gets to enjoy the short week. Ta-ta for now readers.

A Plane Trip

Hydrangeas

Hello readers! I officially came home from desert today. I always enjoy traveling, but there’s nothing like coming home and relaxing in your own home. Right now I’m drinking a cup of sleepy time tea and trying to get a little writing in. I missed out this morning, since I had to get to the airport. I’m the worst about waiting until the morning of a trip to pack, and today was no different! So no morning of relaxed writing like I was hoping for. Completely my own fault though.

I’m starting to see a lot more views on the page, so if you’re one of my new readers, welcome! And if you’re one of my old readers, welcome back 🙂 And of course, by old readers, I mean someone who has read all two days worth of blog posts I have here… Hopefully over time, you all will stick around and will officially become old readers.

I do have to admit to everyone, writing a book and this blog is absolutely terrifying. Putting myself out there and ASKING people to critique my work is a giant step. I feel that it’s going to be a good step in personal growth though. I’ve never regarded myself as a “tough” person, but I’m definitely going to have to be to deal with negative reviews.

So share below. What’s one time that you really put yourself out there in the world?

 

A Beautiful Morning for Writing

Hello everyone! Thanks for checking back in. I’m currently traveling around the country right now. I’m actually spending some time in the desert, which is new for me. I’ve seen so many critters, I had no idea how lively it could be out here! A few days ago I gave a lizard a ride in my car, a burrowing owl hooted at me from the side of the road, and two jackrabbits chased each other in circles around me. I love seeing all this wildlife. And the cacti are pretty neat too.

I did a lot of writing this morning as well. I try and write a little bit each day. Some days it’s good, some days it’s not, but I try and form the habit pattern so that my brain realizes “Oh! It’s time to work now.” My favorite time to write is right when I wake up in the mornings. Before I even get out of bed, I pull my laptop out and type away. Sometimes I write an outline for the day’s writing, sometimes I’ll actually work on the story itself. After I find a natural breaking point, I’ll grab some tea (or some coffee if I need a caffeine boost), enjoy a bit of breakfast, and then keep working. I’m not terribly productive at writing in the latter part of the day. I think of it like in the morning, my brain isn’t too clouded by the days events, and I can let my creative thoughts flow before I start worrying about running to the grocery store!

I think you guys will be pretty happy with the next book in the Shade Break series. There’s exciting things happening at the farm, and Flynn and Sarah are starting to see all their hard work pay off. I won’t give you too many specifics now, but keep checking back for updates. I will say, it’s a much longer book than book 1. I wanted Book 1 to act as a very basic introduction to the characters, and establish how Flynn came to the farm. I just wanted to give everyone a taste, to see if there was actually interest in the series! I expect Book 2 to be finished sometime next month, although I don’t want to give too specific of a date. Sometimes I get stuck on a certain part and it takes me awhile to really sort out the details. I know how frustrating it is to wait for the next book in a series though, so I’ll update you on the publishing date when I can. Until next time, dear readers, I’m signing off as: “Wishing for Dessert in the Desert”.