Friday, December 14, 2007

Where to start???? Pick-A-Topic Friday...


It's snowing this morning, and from what I hear on the radio this morning and the news last night, it won't slow up much in the next few days. It's going to get worse. Being a country kid, I've been conditioned to planning on staying put when it snows hard. Sometimes my town-raised friends laugh at my paranoia. But dude. C'mon. If you've ever been stuck in the snow a quarter of a mile from your house in a snowstorm so bad that you had to bunk at your neighbour's house...and overhear your parents discuss the luck of having neighbours so close by...and the next morning be taken home on a sled, in a big cardboard box with your little sister to keep out of the brutal wind... I think you might be a little paranoid about snowstorms too.


I taught half a lesson on Wednesday. I did 15 minutes or warm up, observed the half hour lesson, and did a 15 minute cool down. I kind of went off topic though, because I'd planned on doing jog-trot-walk transitions but instead worked on posting on the correct diagonal. Some of you might be lost right now, but all you have to know is that I ended up working on something other than intended. I learned that I need a lot of practice with teaching diagonals- basically, the rider's butt has to rise when the horse's leg goes forward, but it has to be the leg on the correct side and it's all very confusing at first. I can ride it no problem myself. I can feel it out for when I need to rise, and I don't have to look down at the horse's shoulder. But teaching it is different. I need to build up some hours of observed teaching- our student said I'm like a TA- before I can do my Instructor's Exam. The best part is that this student is also aiming for an Instructor's certificate, making this whole thing educational for her as well.

Also, I had a nice short n sweet ride with the adorable pony yesterday.

She doesn't handle being idle well at all. With only two students currently, Tia is the main lesson horse, being well trained and reliable, and Skyla gets to eat and cause trouble. She needs at least one ride a week. For the last few weeks she's been fidgety and stubborn, and last week my goal was to get her to simply stand still while I got my foot in the stirrup. She's broke and good, but just throwing her attitude around.

Yesterday's ride started off great, with a nice walk, then turned intense when I asked for a trot. We had about 10 minutes of her tossing her head and me quietly telling her that that just won't cut it, and finally when we were both sweating under our bulky winter clothes and fur coat, she settled right down. I could tell she would have quit if I'd let her, but she agreed to keep working. We did some decent haunch turns and some absolutely perfect stops- soft in the neck, correct- and by the end of a half hour she was just my best buddy in the world. I rubbed her forehead extra hard. Happiness.


I'd really rather just throw up pictures of Led Zeppelin on my blog. Honestly. So much easier. And fun. Writing this week has been like pulling chicken teeth. I might blog next week about how blogging and writing are not necessarily the same thing. Blogging doesn't get a novel written.

I got two more rejections this week. I am disappointed. I had hopes for both agents. However, I will not go calling them nasty names or questioning their intelligence. If my book doesn't set them on fire then they won't be so enthused to sell it to a publisher. I want an agent who will fall crazy in love with this book and get everyone else curious about it.

I am going to read my book over the holidays. I know I have to rejig the query letter and I think I'll be able to look at the first few chapters (which were the weakest part originally) and know if something still needs to be fixed. There is the possibility that the combination of farm kids, church, drugs and copious amounts of swearing is a huge turnoff. Sorry man. That's the story.

Meanwhile this new project is fighting me. It's not coming out the way I want. I think I know why though... it's not the one I'm supposed to be writing. The ONE is in the back of my head, sneaking out every now and then to ask why I haven't done anything yet. I don't want to write it. It's awful. I mean, it's hopeful in the end. I want hopefulness. I don't need a happy ending but I need the possibility that it can be okay. It's just that in this story, there's some truly bad stuff to get through in order to find the hope-- ha, doesn't that sound like LIFE-- and I am struggling to find the strength to write it. I'm afraid of what it'll do to my delicate mind.

It makes all the nasty stuff in my current book seem like a fun little popcorn and movies sleepover.

I am afraid.


I have two gifts. That's it. I still don't know what to get for my son. What do you give an 11 year old who has Robert Plant's hair, Stephen Hawking's interests, Evel Kneivel's showbiz sense, and a Certifiied Dragonologist's license????

My 13 year old daughter is much easier. Horses? Orlando Bloom? Pink clothes? With extra long arms? Done.

Everybody else is getting books or pictures. I hate shopping.


Barn cats, more horses, music and a heavy examination of how humans can take a perfectly good idea like religion and turn it into something unrecognizably twisted.


rain said...

If I was closer I would help you shop. I looove shopping!

coffeypot said...

As usual, I choose stories about your sex life. All the in and out’s and up and down’s. All the little details – with or without Johnny. Hurry up! I’m waiting.

But, you know, I read what you have said about your religion and stuff. But have you ever gone into detail about what your church life and experiences were like as a kid? I haven’t gone back to real ALL your stuff. So I thought I would ask. That and you sex life!

Heidi the Hick said...

Coffeypot, you delightfully dirty ol feller, I guess I didn't mention that it wasn't a great week for your favourite topic...!

I'll write about my church life. It's reasonably interesting. I kind of avoid it because it turns a lot of people off and I'd rather just be an example by how I live. I don't know if that comes through or not.

Rain...I could use the help. Too bad there's a whole prairie in between!

I'm outta here- gotta bundle up and go ride a crazy pony!

Anita said...

I hate shopping too! Everything I have bought so far has been from eBay or other shops online... lol

Balloon Pirate said...

I'm down with subject 5d.

Writing's writing. You do it well.

Things get written in the time it takes to write them.

Unless you're a megastar, and then you've got a deadline.


dilling said...

Are you kidding?!? Who doesn't want to be taken home in a cardboard box!?!

If it makes everything easier, you don't have to shop for me this year, okay?

Good luck. With everything.

Anissa said...

Extra long arms? Now there's a girl after my own heart. :) I'm forever pulling up sleeves that are too short.

Olly said...

I hear you on the shopping thing. Thankfully I'm almost done. I tend to tackle it like an olympic event. Just charge in and conquer as much as I can. When it's over - I win!

Lol about the snow thing. I remember a few big snow storms on the prairies - where you couldn't see the next door neighbour's house. My mother used to manage a Safeway back then and would get driven to work the next day on a snowmobile. They would be street legal until dark. Good fun.

A Paperback Writer said...

LOVED the snow story!
Oh, and I could so shop for a boy who loves dragons, scientific stuff, and Evel Knievel!
Have you got a planetarium near by? Have you seen those incredibly cool plastic knights and dragons made by that German company? Have you looked through the vastness of dragon books lately?
Maybe it's just that he's like a slightly younger version of the kinds of kids I specialize in teaching.

Heidi the Hick said...

APW- Yep, all of that! He has always been easy to buy for, because I'd just look for dragon stuff and science stuff or scientific dragon stuff...but now he's developed very expensive tastes. That's the problem. He's asking for $500 telescopes! Um...no. He's not getting a Mars Terraforming Fun Kit either!

You mean the Schleich dragons and knights? They are awesome! I love them!

Olly, I've been known to do the Search and Destroy Shopping. Yeesh.

My mom and I were just discussing how many times she slept at work (she works in a nursing home) so that she'd be there to start her morning shift. We haven't had storms like that in 30 years. I suddenly feel kind of old.

Anissa, she's just a little fart now, but she'll end up growing into those long arms and legs!

Dilling, now that I look back, it ain't so bad. You just need air holes, really.

Pirate- 5d comin up...right now I'm glad I'm not a megastar.

Anita, I buy all my stuff at the feed mill!

katy said...

i love shopping too, but not when everywhere is so busy, next year I AM going to start early I AM I AM I AM mmm am i convincing you yet?!

Lynn Sinclair said...

Good luck with the writing and shopping thing. I'm done with mine (the shopping, not the writing).

A Paperback Writer said...

Yeah! That's the German toy brand! Glad you knew what I meant.
I was shopping for a local Angel Tree charity kid (we had a 5 year old boy to buy for) the other day, and I went into a local independent toy store to look for horses (the kid apparently likes horses -- you'd appreciate this), and I found these great castles and stuff. They were all so frickin' cool that I had to drag myself out of the store so I wouldn't buy any of it for me. Why oh why did this stuff not exist when I was a kid?!
(Oh, charity child got a nice 12" stuffed horse.....)

Tod said...

I would be interested to read your thoughts on writing versus blogging.

I really like the freedom of blogging. And I like to think I could write something, but not sure if I would have the commitment or stamina.

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