By the Wind Grieved

By the Wind Grieved
“O lost, And by the wind grieved, Ghost, Come back again.” Thomas Wolfe

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Switchbacks (and New Horizons) on the Publication Trail

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If not the cruelest month, December was a real doozy on the personal and professional fronts. The result is that I am again about to be reported for neglect to the Blog Oversight Agency. But not to despair. Though I managed not one word in this space, my writing goals creep apace with the new year. A quick recap:

In early December the plans for publication of my client's book came to a screeching halt. While he and I were both grateful to Martin Sisters Publishing for the chance to publish there, at the very last moment my client decided to heed the advice from his new publicist and turn the book over to a professional editor/agent. The good news for me is that I will have the opportunity to get my writing before yet another seasoned professional, and to learn from her the process by which a personal story becomes a more commercial product. Once her edits come back to me, I will share the insights I glean from her expertise.

At the same time, I delved into preparation to upgrade my blogging. I had already been exploring WordPress, the favored platform of many writers I follow. Then, in November a blog post about free WordPress templates by publishing guru Jane Friedman caught my eye. I went on to take her webinar on the topic, offered through Writer's Digest (well worth the $89.00!). I look forward to unveiling the new site in the spring.

A great inspiration in all this is Charli Mills, a blogger and writer I have mentioned here before. Her website, Carrot Ranch, is beautifully designed and an effective vehicle for the different kinds of writing projects she does. It is also a communal space for the online literary community of "Rough Writers" Charli created, which takes its name from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. I am excited to be officially joining the Rough Writers this month, and look forward to regularly participating in the weekly flash fiction challenges.

Which leads me to this week's flash fiction challenge from Charli on "Being." I was initially a bit intimidated by this prompt, as it brought to mind my attempts, when writing my Masters thesis, to understand the German philosopher Heidegger and his work on Being and Time. But then I realized we were working in a literary not existential/philosophical frame here. And, after mentally browsing a number of scenarios, and in honor of my induction into the Rough Writers, I crafted my flash from a childhood memory involving horses. Kudos to those who recognize The Big Valley reference.

Being in the Saddle

The horse towered against the sky. Great russet belly, planted hooves, snorting muzzle. “His name’s Tomohawk,” the ranch hand said. “But I wanted a pony, Dad,” she wailed, again. It was too late. Her feet left the ground. Small rump plunked into the slippery saddle. Feet found the stirrups and rattled there. One hand grappled for the horn. Clung to it. The other fingered and fisted the looped leather ribbon. Tomohawk’s cropped mane rose before her, a stiff brushy ridge. She exhaled. Sat tall. She was Linda Evans in The Big Valley. Gave a little kick and was off.


  1. Perfectly captures what it is to be on a horse despite initial reservations! Way to start your year and your ride as a Rough Writer! Your client work reminds me how slow the publishing process can be, but how it works to fully develop the book from the story. Thank you for your encouraging words. After Wednesday, I hope you still like the design over at Carrot Ranch. ;-)

  2. Yes, this whole last year has been taken up mainly with the publishing process, from researching and querying agents (and later, publicists), to sending off synopses and soliciting blurbs, to coordinating the contract for my client, and then, after all that, to have the publicist suggest we step back and redirect. But it has all been good. To be able to earn while I learn has felt like a blessing.Can't wait to see the new design at Carrot Ranch!

  3. Finally, got this read this morning just now. Loved it, and nice to be taken back to our Cole's Ranch days for a few minutes!