back on the wagon

I'll have more horse news and pictures next week, we're headed out of town in the morning for a long weekend riding in the Sam Houston National forest. (Yea!)

In writing news - I swore, after I submitted to the FFF Hook contest, that I was going to get back in the habit of regular submissions and I meant it. I've been looking through the RWA contests and found this delightful Sizzle Contest and after much gnashing of teeth and cutting of lines, mailed off a scene. The one I sent wasn't my first choice, but they limit you to 12 pages and it seems I can't write a 'sexually tense' scene in much less that 20 pages.

I'm also looking at this one: THE GOLDEN CLADDAGH CONTEST and will send _Bloodcup_ in as a historical if I can get sneak a few minutes to give it a once-over and pick the best spot to end it for their page limit requirement.

FFFHook Contest - OOOuch!

*head in hands*

The judge hated it. S/he didn't get anything about the time or place ... thought it might be something about Greek.

Only a couple other comments so far (lots! and LOTS!! of hooks posted over the last couple of days, so lots of commenting going on, but easy to get lost in the crowd.). One commenter agreed with the judge and the other more nicely agreed with the judge. :)

But the good thing is that it's interesting to see the story again through fresh eyes and of the three comments so far, they've all three indicated the same area of confusion and that gives me a clear direction. I hadn't tried to write anything like this kind of hook before so it's been a real learning experience - both in writing my hook and reading the posted hooks and critiques and comments.

.... off to the drawing board for revisions!

Yeah, they do that


Not to paint all guys with a chauvinistic or testosteronic brush, but ... um... stallions are guys - big balls and testosterone and all that stuff, and, (cover your eyes if you have a delicate constitution) they masturbate. a lot. and there is a reason that 'hung like a horse' is a compliment.

That's because, well... because they're 'well hung' - at least as long and most probably thicker than your heroine's arm.

so if your virginal heroine rounds the corner at just the right time, she's likely to get an education. Stallions stand around having pleasant dreams at all hours of the day. He may just be dropped and engorged or he may be happily bouncing it up and down so it thumps on his belly. They aren't shy. ('they' meaning stallions, not heroines. ... heroines can be shy)

and that nice sized puddle by the gate that looks like semen ... it's probably semen. If your heroine doesn't know what semen looks like, the puddle of stuff that looks vaguely, but not exactly like mucus - it's semen.

No picture on this one. ... (but it should be easy enough to google.)

Sue L

First Star to the Right ...

The universe shrank to center on the pair as they moved in under the trees and back out to be touched by moonlight.

Trail stretched unending , like a heavy cord of licorice taffy, before and behind. Time stopped - the world faded into nothingness. They ran in a small ever-changing, pocket of existence. The rhythm of his hoofs beat as the heart of that universe. Trail appeared before them and lost substance as they moved past. There was no thought, no pain, no emotion, only a nightmarish, instinctive drive to chase past each ribbon as it appeared. But, perhaps, that was only the perception of the rider, clinging to the saddle.

The young gelding moved down the narrow, wooded trail, alert, with a long, free stride

~ ~ ~

This photo is of me and SHADOW in '93, at about 2am at the finish of our first 100 mile endurance ride. We'd been going for 23 hours and 42 minutes, over 20 hours of that on the trail. It was in October of that year, so yeah, we rode a lot of that in the dark. And not just any dark, but East Texas deep piney woods dark. I don't care how full the moon is, or how cloudless the sky, not much light can get down past those tall pines. The thing is, horses can see in the dark just fine. Most horses live outside. They spend half their lives in the dark and seem to be comfortable with it in a way that modern people can't really wrap their heads around. I'm sure they can't see as well in the dark as they can in clear sunlight, but I've never had one that seemed to have trouble knowing where to put their feet. In total pitch black, they'll slow down and soften their gait and, in my experience, slowly sway their heads from one side to the other as they go down the trail. I don't know if they are watching or listening - probably both.

What seems to bother them more than the dark is the shadows. The night can be otherworldly, turning familiar things unfamiliar - and moreso with a bright moon. It seems that even a stark moon casts muted shadow. Where we live, we have a lot of light-colored rock, and it seems to almost glow in the moonlight, counterpoint to the odd moonshadows from the once familiar bluestem and yucca.

The thing that you really have to have to ride at night is trust - trust in your horse. If you have that, you can let them run - and there is something inexplicably freeing in the abandon of turning yourself over to their care. In the daylight, even at a gallop, you probably keep that contact - you're watching the trail and speaking to the horse with your hands and seat and balance, warning them of a rumple in the trail, a hole or a rock, collecting them subtly when the trail shifts downhill. In the dark, when they can see ahead and you can't - any direction you give them is only interference. If you don't have trust, that same ride will be a trial of gut-clenching terror - like riding a roller coaster with your eyes closed.

Sue L