Write With Me Study Hall, Monday, August 8, 2016: Whoaa, Nellie!

Do you get distracted when you write? I do.

The act of writing itself brings up ideas like a percolating coffee pot so that I’m flooded with new stories, poems, even novel ideas. And then, there’s life. Living in Kansas for a while has given me the need to put horses in everything I write. A new essay about living idealism? Sure, there are metaphors about white knights and riding to the rescue. You see what I mean. It’s solely because there are horses down the street from me in both directions, and many in my way to and from everyday errands, so I am always admiring them, talking to them, watching their nuzzling companionship. But do I really need to make horse story every project? Nope.

What to do? Well, I have a stable that’s a center of action for one new novel, so I’m trying to pour all my horse preoccupations there, and let the rest go.

Of course the more I write about the Romanies I know, the more horses crop up, because I’ve never met a Romani person  who doesn’t love horses. (Many of our families have traditionally bred or trained or shoed horses.) But that’s a horse of a different color, so to speak. Horses there are not extraneous. 

So today, off to work on a novel set in Chicago with nary a horse in sight. Unless, perhaps, a Chicago policeman riding a horse is needed. . . . 

 

Who could resist talking to her? We used to call these milk horses.

 
 

Horses in corrals like this are eveywhere in Kansas.

 
 

These two remind me of James Wright’s poem. Do you know it?

 
A Blessing 

BY JAMES WRIGHT

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, 

Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. 

And the eyes of those two Indian ponies 

Darken with kindness. 

They have come gladly out of the willows 

To welcome my friend and me. 

We step over the barbed wire into the pasture 

Where they have been grazing all day, alone. 

They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness   

That we have come. 

They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. 

There is no loneliness like theirs.   

At home once more, 

They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.   

I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, 

For she has walked over to me   

And nuzzled my left hand.   

She is black and white, 

Her mane falls wild on her forehead, 

And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear 

That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist. 

Suddenly I realize 

That if I stepped out of my body I would break 

Into blossom.
There. That’s enough horses for today. Back to work. 

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4 Comments

  1. Bobbi

     /  August 8, 2016

    Had fun today and was surprised to find I’d written over 1000 words–it was so easy. Randi is having trouble with her steady. But she’s enjoying a new friendship with an old (primary school) flame, and they get into funny situations they can laugh about.
    Your hint about re-naming “Ken” was helpful again when I realized I had Dennis on the tennis team! He’s now Daniel.
    R U following Olympic equestrian events? Always fun;horses are so smart.

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    Reply
    • Well, Randi, has some game! It’s wonderful when it flows easily like that, isn’t it? I didn’t get as far as I’d have liked, since I was dogsitting, but I did resolve an issue with one pesky passage and get about 200 more words added.

      No, alas, I have no cable and haven’t had the patience to look for the scheduled events, but horses are always fun!

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  2. Horses were front and center in what was going to be my first novel. The protagonist was a woman who’d grown up on horseback, left for a city life, then in her 30s was called back to manage a small horse farm on Martha’s Vineyard belonging to a family friend. I wasn’t anywhere near ready to write a novel at that point, but I maintain to this day that it was that protagonist who gave me the idea of Martha’s Vineyard, which I did — not to manage a horse farm, though. I did through a series of coincidences get back into horses for about ten years. But horses didn’t show up in my first novel, they aren’t likely to show up in my second, and at the moment I don’t see how they could fit into what I think will be my third. This is strange — a big chunk of my life that I’m not drawing on for fiction. I just finished copyediting the English translation of a wonderful encyclopedia of horses, originally published in French..Maybe the muses are nudging me in that direction . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Hm. Does seem strange, Susanna. But, then, maybe it is in your future, and, on the other hand, it’s sometimes nice to keep something to yourself. I spent years in Academia, but I’ve never written about it. I think that’s because, well, if you can’t say something nice . . . But horses–if I knew more, I would write about them all the time. I know just enough to set a scene with them.

      That encylopedia sounds amazing. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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