Archive for December, 2008

Writing: Playing With Matches.
December 14, 2008

I fell in love — that is the only expression I can think of — at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy.

Dylan Thomas

I talk a lot about writing and magic — that magical writing that takes hard-won quality of craft and which forges an instant connection with the reader.

Yesterday, as I was cleaning shrimp, removing the tiniest, most fragile vein, it reminded me of the magic in writing. The best writing finds that vein in the mind and heart and plugs in effortlessly.

Magical writing is an easy communication, a writing that appears effortless. Magical writing is a form of validation that inside these minds and bodies (and especially hearts) we’re not alone — someone else recognizes that inner landscape and describes it with a sense of communion or wonder.

That’s what I strive for in my writing, and it’s only when I’m querying my work that the doubtful fog creeps in. While I want my writing to be perfect, I know perfection isn’t possible. I don’t find the magic, there. 

Perhaps the magic is like a candle on the kitchen counter, flickering as you pound away at the computer, lighting the way as you work your craft. Go to the light! You may be tempted to sanitize your writing, edit it into cardboard or endlessly doubt or berate your grasp of the English language, especially when you know an agent may not read past the first paragraph. 

Go to the light.

That’s where the magic lives. I write my way there with all my might. 

Sure, it’s a candle in the wind — a writer’s efforts at publication versus being true to ones writing self. But in being true, therein lies the magic — and perhaps the magic will work its magic, being magic, after all.

If magical writing is a deep breath that inhales the world, then self-doubt is the exhale that blows it out.

Go to the light.


Bird Song.
December 10, 2008



there you are,

re-winged and bossy as ever

a flash of white and black

with that same piercing call,

the only bird that’ll do

(when you really think about it)

for that large a spirit

and that memorable a song.


you don’t fool me —

I know how it works.


dibs on that cheeky cactus wren

hopping more than flying,

stealing kibbles from stainless steel

every morning and evening,

and beneath the long and starry hush

until we meet again,

going wherever birds go,

maybe back to God.



(Poem and photos by Emily Murdoch)

Protected: In The Aftermath Of NaNoWriMo.
December 9, 2008

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WordPress Is Snowing!
December 6, 2008


You may have already noticed this, but I clicked on a post tag to read more blogs on that subject matter and the page came up SNOWING.

 I heart WordPress!

Are you new to WordPress (like I am) and want to make your blog SNOW? Go to stats, then appearances, then extras. Check the box to make your blog snow.

A Wild Mustang And Burro Redemption!
December 4, 2008


Nevada wild mustangs

(Photo courtesy of Bonnie Jo Mount – The Washington Post)

You are invited to attend a cyber-party honoring America’s wild mustangs and burros!

Please bring your joy, your big heart and plenty of tissues! Party is taking place right now in this post. Tell your friends!

(What do you bring to a wild mustang party, you ask? Plenty of carrots and apples? Well, wild mustangs won’t know what those food items are, but I’m sure they’d appreciate the thought!)

You know those 30,000 wild mustangs and burros in BLM captivity facing euthanasia and slaughter that I’ve been blogging about relentlessly? The ones we’ve been fighting to save, signing petitions for and contacting our legislators about?

They’re SAFE!

I read the article linked below, and cried with joy.   

Click here: A Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West –

“Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, made known her intentions to adopt not just the doomed wild horses but most or all of the 30,000 horses and burros kept in federal holding pens. Lifelong animal lovers, the Pickenses just a few years ago led the fight to close the last horse slaughterhouse in the United States.

Madeleine Pickens is looking for land in the West that would be an appropriate home for the horses.

She is working with the BLM staff to adopt the horses, said Henri Bisson, the bureau’s deputy director, while the agency persuades Congress to shift $20 million in funding to feed and protect the horses now in captivity for another year. As backup to Pickens’s offer, he said, two other groups, both animal rescue organizations, have expressed similar interest in adoption. “We are very hopeful that euthanasia won’t be necessary this year,” he said.”

Things like this restore my faith in humanity and in the horse-sized hearts of animal lovers everywhere.

Some of the best miracles in life remain those man-made, when people pool their resources and good intentions in the name of our precious animals that have no voice of their own.

T. Boone Pickens and Madeleine Pickens, my hat is off to you! Thank you for saving the day and the lives of America’s mustangs and burros!

Best of all, these animals will remain FREE — running free across the West as they’ve done for centuries.

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” Bells are ringing all around the world!

Now, off I go to find more tissues.

Author’s Note: Now that an hour has passed and my boots are back on the ground again, as I would swear I was walking on air, this is great news, but it’s only great news for the 2008 mustangs and burros. There remains a serious, fatal issue for these equines that MUST be solved. Without public outcry and changing legislature, the horses aren’t safe for good. Nothing less is acceptable.

Did you know that the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act used to offer hard-fought-for, full protection to the wild mustangs and burros, and resulted from an unprecedented public outcry much like ours, today?

Then, in 2004 Senator Conrad Burns slipped in a secret amendment that stripped away these protections without public knowledge or debate. One tragic consequence of this unethical action was the legal round-up and slaughter of America’s wild mustangs and burros. 

Click here: The Conrad Burns Wild Horse Slaughter Amendment

I guess the question is, is that okay with you? This is YOUR country, YOUR wildlife, YOUR tax dollars. These are YOUR horses and burros. 

It might not be you, it may be your children or grandchildren who fall in love with horses both domestic and wild, however, the horses and burros are counting on us to do what’s right NOW — for our future generations, and for theirs.

So please, take a moment to sign the petition to save the mustangs. The petition can be accessed through the wild horse badges on my home page. We still need support through your ongoing signatures so we can save ALL the horses! 

Have you already signed the petition, but haven’t gotten your fill of changing the world? The petition below

 calls for a Congressional inquiry into the government’s wild horse management practices.

Heart-felt thanks go out to all those who’ve signed the petitions or called their legislators on behalf of America’s horses.

(And p.s. — thank you Jupiter and Venus!)