Monthly Archives: February 2010

Contests

I decided that my goal for 2010 is to finish the novel I have been purportedly working on. It has been renamed, by the way, and this time I’m happy with the title: Doubting River. River is the name of the dog. I really like the multiple interpretations of the title.

My dream agent is a woman named Meg Ruley. She spoke at the PNWA conference last year, and I became convinced that she was the perfect agent for me. Unfortunately, she doesn’t accept unsolicited queries, so the only way to query her is to pitch her at a conference. So my goal was to finish the manuscript by the PNWA conference in July and do so. Turns out, though, that she isn’t going to be attending the conference this year. Another agent — for whom Meg Ruley is a mentor — is, so I’ll pitch to her.

I further decided that I should enter the PNWA literary contest. Finalists in each category get a ribbon to attach to their name tags, and they have a special reception with the agents and editors. I figured being a finalist would help me get noticed! I read the rules and decided to enter the novel in the mainstream category and my screenplay (on which the novel is based) in the screenplay category.

How can I enter an unfinished novel? Easy (and allowed!). They need only the first 25 pages and a synopsis. So my goals for February were to get those two entries done and submitted. It turned out that the Sandy, the literary contest for another conference had their contest due date at essentially the same time, so I ended up getting three conference entries in. I was really, really proud of myself for meeting those deadlines.

There’s another contest due April 1 that asks for the first 50 pages. So hopefully that will keep me going. I love having deadlines and self-imposed ones just don’t do it!

Now I’m trying to get my butt in gear and get back to working on the manuscript. I want to try a couple of things. First, I want to try to shift back into my right brain by writing and not editing for a whole month. Second, I want to try something akin to NaNoWriMo. I’m not going to wait for November — the official NaNoWriMo month — but I would like to set a goal of 50,000 words for the month.

Ugh. To do that means I need to get off my butt and get some planning done tonight. I have to know where I’m going or I’ll never get any words on the page!

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Rowan

Back in December, on the same day that I had to put Aslan down, I found out that Rowan had developed what is essentially a staph infection. She went into the horsey hospital for four days, and then when she came out, she had to be stuck in her stall wearing a removable cast. See, the infection killed all the tissue over one of her tendons, and new skin couldn’t grow over an unstable surface like that. So we had to try to keep it immobile.

Monica, the angel at Eden Farms who trained Rowan, took on the task of cleaning and rebandaging the wound. The vet came out every week or two, and Rowan made some progress, but not as much as she wanted. Then, at the end of January, she backslid to the beginning and needed hospitalization and surgery. Even if we could have afforded it — and we couldn’t — it wouldn’t have been fair to Rowan. Not only would she have had months more in her stall, but she likely would never have been sound again.

We put her down on January 28. Again, although I know it was the right choice, it was devastating. Monica and the people at the barn were devastated as well, though all agreed that it was the right thing to do. Since Rowan had been on stall rest for six weeks, I asked Monica to let her be a horse for a day. They spoiled and loved her and let her run and play. Afterwards, Monica made this lovely tribute video.

Run free, sweet girl.

***

In other news, I’ve been working on my novel. I also have a big project at work that should last through the summer — longer if the dates slide, which I truly think they will. It’s the biggest project I’ve ever been lead ID on, and I’m excited, overwhelmed, frustrated, and challenged. On the positive side, it looks like Myella might be coming back, so hopefully she can work with me.

I’ve been trying to rehome Blue and Guin, my remaining horses. I thought that Kyra was going to take Blue, but she decided, after a trial period, that he wasn’t the right horse for her. So now Leslie — his trainer and soulmate — is going to take him for a trial. I really hope it works out! I also hope that Guin can go down to Leslie’s as well. I was planing to leave her at Eden Farms, but they don’t have much turnout, and I don’t want her stuck in her stall all the time. We’ll see. Worse case scenario, they come back here together. To be honest, I miss them, so that wouldn’t be a horrible thing.

Pax and Pflouff are doing fine. Can you believe that Pax is 8.5 years old? I refuse to believe he is aging. He is going to live forever, and don’t ANYONE tell me different. He’s my heart. Miss Pflouff is growing up. She’s in her second heat right this second. It’s not so bad, though. The dogs adapted well to losing Aslan. Pax had been so perpetually stressed by him. I didn’t realize how stressed until the dietary issues we had been dealing with and medicating for years went away completely within a week of Aslan’s death. I still miss my beautiful boy, but I realize now how horribly unpleasant Pax’s life must have been.

Otherwise, things are fine here. I’m incredibly busy, but that’s not a bad thing. Jay is working hard and gaming hard. Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m loving watching the leaves appear and the flowers bloom. It got up to 60 degrees today!

Sorry it took me so long to update. Back in January I replaced my computer. I tried to reinstall Dreamweaver, the program I use to keep this site up to date, but no dice. My copy was too old for this technology. So I’ve been unable to update until I purchased a new copy of Dreamweaver. Unfortunately, that took a while, because Rowan’s medical bills just about broke us.

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