Writing Accountability Post #30–Hot Weather, Planning, and Horses

Chestnut mare and bay gelding in a grassy field, both looking toward photographer.

Well, it looks like it’s the Pacific Northwest’s turn in the really hot barrel this summer. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve blocked out this month for planning, although the speed at which it is happening is painfully slow. On the other hand, I’ve basically completed a 25 page synopsis for one book, and have gotten things going for the second one.

This past week was also busy with appointments–acupuncture (for me), farrier (Mocha), and moving Marker to join Mocha in the summer pasture. While there was some drama, they’ve pretty much settled in. But I don’t necessarily have that horse time to ride and think like I did with Mocha, and I’m missing that. Now that I’m back in horse training mode, my full attention has to be on the horse while I’m working him. Add in temps in the 90s, and, well…much isn’t getting done. Except thinking and planning. On the other hand, these hotter nights give me an excuse to hunker down behind the retaining wall in the backyard and watch for meteors until I get too cool for comfort. Or something. I usually last about an hour, and last night I saw twenty meteors, eight of which were fireballs.

Some of this is also just due to hacking my way through the planning process. Getting my head into Prodigal’s Redemption turned out to be more difficult than I thought, and revealed a hole in my process. I do tend to handwave later books in a series unless I’m on top of the process. I managed to avoid that with the Martiniere Legacy series, but it shows in the Netwalk books as well as Goddess’s Honor. This is really the first time I’ve done detailed series planning beyond a brief sketch. However, I reached a breakthrough when I started listing the book/series endpoints, then went back to the starting points. Now things are starting to come along. Just slowly.

My gut is also being cranky–in part due to stuff I’m taking to ensure better sleep, in part due to the heat. I’m taking a probiotic right now and I think it’s helping, but it’s gonna take time. It’s also an issue that I can’t eat dairy yogurt. Plant-based yogurt isn’t the same thing.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been groggy when waking. That seems to be a greater problem more and more and I’m not sure if it’s a summer pattern due to heat or if it’s a sign that I need to be more active in the morning. With the temperatures forecast this next week, I think I need to set an alarm to get up, then plan on napping during the heat of the day before going out to work with the horses. I’m not riding Marker in these temperatures–yes, he is part-Arab, but he’s out of shape and we have lots of other stuff to work on. Like maintaining human space bubbles, standing square, yielding to pressure when being worked on the ground (he does it reasonably well under saddle) and all that stuff. He’s getting better at standing without being tied, though I’m not gonna drop the rope.

I think it’s telling that the last point on my “Solutions” section of my weekly executive meeting notes is, simply, this: Survive.

Survive heat.

Survive horse training.

Survive planning.

We’ll see how this next week goes.

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