Another day in the land of damp and cool-horse and writing and stuff

Classic Western Oregon June summer day–rain, partially cloudy, and 60s. Sooner or later we’ll get warm here, but this is a pattern I’m well familiar with. Still would like to see it go away before Blues Festival, though.

It was a busy day, but I got stuff done. House doesn’t look like it, but I actually was rather productive. Got a car to the garage, wrote about 1300 words, rode horse, made taco salad, cooked asparagus and prepped strawberries and blueberries. After this post I’ll probably work on mucking out the office and getting ready for my Friday-Saturday class, as well as getting ready to start on my online classes. Busy summer.

Actually, this morning, after dropping the car off to the garage, I hiked through part of the old neighborhood and settled in at the local Starbucks to sip some tea and write. I had to wrestle with my phone, but I now have a lovely transit app which lets me check when buses are due. Go me! It took some fussing because the TriMet page on my phone’s browser kept wanting to do something with Facebook, but I finally beat everything into shape. And now I can haz transit tracker (very useful in the land of PDX and for the rest of the summer!).

After writing for about thirty minutes, I packed up, caught the bus, and headed home. Futzed around doing stuff for a half-hour, then headed to the barn whereupon Miss Mocha felt very put-upon to get ridden TWO DAYS IN A ROW, OH NOES. Then she realized we were doing the bareback pad, which perked her right up. This summer I’m riding her in bareback pad and snaffle instead of the sidepull. Darn sidepull is molded up and desperately needs cleaning before it gets used again. Plus then I have to pull the reins off of the Pelham to make it work. Meh.

We had a nice little walk-trot work, with bending and flexing and circles and loops and patterns and all sorts of stuff. I also worked on extending and shortening in the trot. She does it reasonably well in walk and canter, but trot is where she can get really stubborn and bullish. So we’re spending summer schooling working on that bit. No particular reason for her to do it bareback, that part is mostly for me. This time around I didn’t notice as much of a tendency to slump, and we did a lot more trot work, even working on extensions with me sitting instead of posting.

At the end, Mocha lined out in her huge walk, swinging through her shoulders and back. That’s a really fun walk to ride. She prefers to do it on a long rein with a low head, and man, can she power walk with a low head. Ain’t no peanut roller with this girl and a low head–that’s her moving out gear at the walk, and she shows it well.

She’s also much shinier than she was last year. I don’t know, her coat seemed not quite right most of the year last year, at least until I shaved her for the winter. This year she’s sleek and shiny. Of course, I’ve spent a lot of time at the barn the past two weeks and brushing her. I’m trying to get out there at least four times a week, if not five. The added attention shows, and I feel good about it.

Then after coming home and doing the food preparation stuff, I set up a chair on the front porch, pulled on a sweater, and took the laptop out front to write. I started this story, “Bearing Witness,” back in January, then broke off to write “Beer Goes to War,” another story that didn’t sell, and the Uprising edits. Then I got into writing the Netwalk: Foundations giveaways and that’s been a wee bit of a time suck (especially with a story that’s blowing into novelette size). Then there’s been more edits and stuff, so I’ve not gotten back to “Witness” until now.

As always, the added time seems to have helped. But the damn thing seems to want to become a novel, or at least a novella. Ah well, it’s steampunkish or Weird Westish or something. There’s probably a market for it somewhere. I think it’s my summer noodling-about-I-need-a-break-from-Netwalk project.

I think I’m going to spend more time writing outside on the front porch. I did some work on our friend’s porch last Sunday and that was just right. I worked outside today until I came to a stopping place and my fingers got cold.

And now it’s on to doing some housework. I’d like to get some parts of the place in order before I start taking classes!


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