Friday, February 5, 2010

Whiteouts and Hay bales... And there was something else, but I forget...

I forgot what day it was. That is, until the lovely and impeccably organizedHeather from over at Edited to Within an Inch of My Life, sent me an email letting me know that her interview with me was up, I forgot what day it was. *sigh* I should hope that I'll get better at remembering things like this, since I'm working on becoming published, and they usually expect authors to remember things involving them directly. I SHOULD hope... but I know that would be a waste of a wish. You can check out my interview by clicking Heather's link. And I'd like to say THANK YOU to Heather for offering to interview me to start with. I forgot (are you surprised?) to thank her in my first comment over there... which I'll rectify momentarily.

Like many other writers, or artsy-fartsies, when I get into 'the groove', the rest of the world just sort of fuzzes out. This is awesome, as long as you remain in 'the groove'. But when you manage to pull yourself OUT of 'the groove' you're likely to be met with strange things. Like children who look familiar but are dressed in scraps from the laundry hamper and are eating things like raw hot dogs, sticks of butter and whatever else they could find in the second drawer of the fridge, which is as high as they could reach. In my case, when I come out of 'the groove' I usually find myself surrounded by equine drama. This week, that included, but was not limited to: Lame ponies, sick ponies, very pregnant almost-at-their-due-date-could-pop-at-any-time ponies, crotchety old stallions who think spring is here and want to prance for the ladies - even if it means falling on their butts in the ice, incorrigible brat-baby ponies who don't understand snow and having to stay inside, and one very contrary donkey who is convinced that he may actually starve to death before spring.

Most of this drama was abated and dispersed by simply attending to it as it occurred. But since someone decided to create a dimensional vortex in which several hundred square miles of the Artic was transposed with areas of central Virginia, we also had to plan for the incoming snow. So I've been busy hauling hay home to my own horses (and that poor starving donkey) in addition to regular work. Oh, and did I mention that my clone-sibling, code name Fenris, is pregnant herself? So she can't help as much with the heavy lifting and she isn't allowed to go skijoring behind unruly horses. Add to this my own maniacal compulsion to keep writing on several WIPs at once and you get madness. Utter, blissful, wonderful madness.

I added this picture as evidence of our snow plight. That's me on the dark horse who's face was strategically cut off by the photographer (Fenris' hubby, Chucky Duck). His name's Sierra. That's me ma on the sled (where did you think I get my wild airs from?) and Fenris on her fat strawberry roan, Dixie. The starving donkey is just out of view, in front of Sierra, wielding a stick in his mouth and preparing to give chase to us. My father wasn't present because he's a funeral director and he was off on a death call. Welcome to my family. This is my madness.

And madness, I must say, is awesome. But it tends to make one, vacant, at times. Which might come across as inattentive or uncaring. And I'm not either. I'm just artfully forgetful. Doesn't that sound better than saying 'I can't remember my own ass because my head is filled with characters and plot points'? Yup, definitely sticking with artfully forgetful. Of course, the results are the same. I wake up and check my email and discover that I've forgotten what amounts to my second interview of all time. But I'm on the right page now, and... and... what was I saying? I had to pause so I could write down this really cherry nab of dialogue I've been trying to get just right...


  1. Hey. Loved your interview at Heather's and this post. Your writing and real life sound amazing. Look forward to reading more of it here and in book form.

  2. Artfully forgetful? That's awesome. I'm going to have to remember that the next time the phone rings from inside the fridge. And, you were just fine this morning--if you hadn't fessed up to forgetting, no one would have known! But it makes me feel better about my own fog that I live in when I'm writing.

    I just showed this blog post's picture to my daughter, (codename, Cowgirl) and she wondered where she was, in the picture. It took me a few moments to convince her that she wasn't riding one of those horses in the snow. Thanks for the great interview!

  3. Thanks for having me Heather. That was sooo fun and cool. Phone in the fridge! We recently lost a brand new box of Klondike Bars. They were in the fridge rather than the freezer, and a loaf of bread was in the freezer rather than the bread box... that turned out interestingly...

    Does your daughter ride? My boy Sierra is a big softy for kids. He gives 'pony rides' to my mom's preschoolers every year. Then I hop on him to show them how fast he can go and he always pretends that he's going to buck me off. Life is a total game to him.

  4. Well--it's a funny story. We found out before Cowgirl was born that she only had one kidney. She's perfectly healthy, but there is some concern to keep her one kidney very safe. She shouldn't fall on it. So, I had ONE thought. Maybe I wouldn't let her ride horses. If she had been a boy, I would have decided no football. (I'm hoping she won't choose football too!)

    So, of course, she was born obsessed with horses. Obsessed. Very bizarre. So, I when she was a little older, I took her to a zoo with pony rides, thinking, most two year-olds are probably scared of sitting on a pony. I plopped her on the pony, and she made me let her ride it by herself, nobody holding on. That was when I knew that this was not something that I could keep her from. It was natural to her. Every chance she gets, she wants to ride a pony.

    I'm hoping that she won't do anything competitive, but I am looking for a very good horseback riding teacher.

  5. That's hysterical! Fenris and I were also born obsessed with horses. Well, all animals really. We were convinced we could ride anything we could get our legs around, giraffes, cows and whales included. My mother swore that was impossible, but since then, I've met women whose kids grew up riding both Labradors and Rottweilers and cows... We used to set up picture books on their edges and run around on our hands and knees jumping them. My mother found a stable where you had to do EVERYTHING involved with horse care, convinced that when we had to shovel poop that'd be then end of it. Twenty one years later...

    A good instructor is a must. Preferably someone 'old school' who is more interested in the art, and communication with the horse rather than competition. And if you want to avoid jumping (being a funeral director, my dad suffers from what he's dubbed 'Rhett Butler syndrome') try and aim for dressage, which doesn't involve jumping. She still might want to jump (I hate to admit it, but it's like flying without the wings) but at least you can try. Also, you can look into protective riding vests. Tipperary makes some of the best. They're expensive (I have to warn you, horses rarely give your purse a break) but many models extend down to specifically protect the kidneys.

    Good luck with Cowgirl! *laughs with maniacal joy at the thought of yet another horse girl in the world* :)

  6. I was so excited to see your picture! It looks like so much fun. Why hadn't I thought of that? I'm already a bad parent and tow my kids on the sled behind the car, why not a horse?

  7. My world fuzzies out when I get in the groove too. That can be a lot of fun... but coming back to the world can be fun too!

  8. A. Grey--I agree, horseback riding is not a cheap sport, made worse by the fact that people around here tend to dress up to do it. When I rode as a girl, I wore jeans. But, I'm going to look into the protective clothes. They actually have something that they make specifically for kids who only have one kidney.

    And, thanks for answering all the great questions at the interview. You might want to keep stopping by--sometimes there are stragglers over the weekend (which is why I do it on Friday--gives people a few days to get over to check it out). And I think you might have skipped over Tina's question (I miss comments all the time) about whether you write every single day. (And I'd love to hear the answer!)

    Anyway, awesome job with the interview, and all the indepth answers to the questions!

  9. Hey A. I read your interview over at Heather's blog. Good stuff and good to get lost in that groove now and then though yes, coming out of it is chaotic sometimes. Beautiful snow pic.

  10. Love the picture!!! I am definitely like you and the world becomes fuzzy when writing, and in the zone! Love your blog!!! I will be checking out the post on heathers site :)

    Look forward to following you!!