Archive for July, 2011

Wild Foals Killed By BLM at Triple B Round-up.
July 28, 2011

 

In my previous post, I’d shared good news for America’s wild mustangs. Unfortunately, the good news was shortlived. The original stay on the Triple B round-up was overturned and is proceding as I write this, including running foals in 94 degree weather until their legs give out. At the link is a video of the round-up which is heartbreaking: horse families separated and screaming to each other; foals limping and later euthanized; water bins blowing over, empty; horses milling about, frightened, confused, their beautiful, wild life over:

Wild Horse Babies Killed by BLM at Triple B Roundup (courtesy of horse lovers and advocates, R T Fitch and Laura Leigh).

There are 30,000 some-odd wild horses left on the range, with more than that number already warehoused in government holding facilities, while millions of cattle graze the horses’ land for a pittance, a practice dubbed “welfare ranching”. The 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act protects the horses from this type of harassment. And yet, here we have a round-up resulting in multiple deaths of very young foals and more warehousing of wild horses, which under the act is both prohibited and unlawful.

 What’s the point of enacting laws that are continuously broken, disregarded and ignored? How long will this abuse and harassment of our wild horses go unchecked even by courts of law? 

I dread the day I post that the wild horses are no more. Because if the BLM under the Obama Administration continues with business as usual, that day may not be too far off.

I, for one, shall continue to do what I vowed: to use my writing to lend a voice to those without voices, whether teenaged characters struggling with hard choices, or our wild mustangs, relentlessly targeted for their land and its resources.  

Awareness is the first step toward change. Please help spread the word — so many people are unaware of what’s happening to America’s wild horses — and perhaps our voices will be heard before it’s too late.

Shooting Star, my Nevada wild mustang saved from slaughter.

Federal Appeals Judge Halts NV Wild Horse Roundup.
July 17, 2011

 

I’m a writer, not a politician, it’s true. But I can’t just sit down and write of imaginary worlds as if the real world doesn’t exist. I also use my writing to stand up for the wild mustangs and burros, a cause dear to my heart, as spreading awareness of their story is the first step toward changing their circumstances.

I hail from the east coast, where many have no idea what’s happening to the wild horses of the west. And those who do, often feel the outrage I feel.

How can 1.7 million acres only support 500 to 900 wild horses? How is it not considered inhumane to stampede these animals, both the young, old and pregnant, for miles in the baking, desert heat, using low-flying helicopters to herd the terrified equines into overcrowded government holding pens, with some of these majestic animals later ending up at slaughter — sliced into steak for foreign dinner plates?

What about the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act? How can a law passed for these animals’ protection end up disregarded at every turn?

Finally, some good news for the horses. Off I go to hug my own wild mustang, saved from slaughter, with gratitude to the horse lovers and activists toiling on the front lines.

Thanks for all you do. 

Breaking News: Federal Appeals Judge Halts NV Obama's Wild Horse Roundup Second Chance for the Wild Horses? RENO, Nev. — A federal appeals judge on Friday night granted a temporary injunction to halt a government roundup of about 1,700 wild horses from the range in Nevada. Judge Richard Paez of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the order after U.S. District Judge Howard McKibb … Read More

via Straight from the Horse’s Heart

The Perfectionism Monster.
July 8, 2011

Perfectionism. I’d say it’s normal writer stuff.

Of course we want to write the best words, the best passages, the best ideas. And, of course we may sometimes find ourselves intimidated by the pressure of wanting/trying/hoping we’ll write just that. On the first draft, of course. God forbid we aspire to less.

Perfectionism is like a so-ugly-it’s-back-to-cute monster we feed with a pound of our writing flesh. Daily. Hourly. Perfect sentence by perfect sentence.

How to handle this monstrosity? Embrace it. Celebrate its existence. Make it your pet, give it a pat on its hairy head, then get to work: butt in chair. Churning out words. Let it snore and drool and twitch its plate-sized paws in your lap. After awhile, it’ll grow on you. You won’t be able to imagine writing without it.

Perfectionism can be a savior: saving you from submitting half-baked garbage, keeping you on your perfect toes and goading you to aim higher than you ever thought possible.

Perfectionism likes literary company. Read in your genre, read for pleasure, read to learn how other writers harness craft, read for an idea of what the market supports. This blog post came from just that; reading of another writer’s struggle with perfectionism. So, also read to discover you’re not alone.

And then, get writing. You’re a writer, after all, and you have mouths a monster to feed.

Monster art by Tom Friedman, from his Monsters And Stuff exhibition.

~*~ Word Garden ~*~
July 1, 2011

Sometimes a person can’t help but love a book for the words alone — for meandering passages that may not advance the plot; for descriptions that shimmer on the page, even if they slow the narrative from an eyelash blink to the laziness of caramel malingering on the tongue; for details that season the reading experience, the lines chewy when recited out loud.

“The Barry garden was a bowery wilderness of flowers which would have delighted Anne’s heart at any time less fraught with destiny. It was encircled by huge old willows and tall firs, beneath which flourished flowers that loved the shade. Prim, right-angled paths neatly bordered with clamshells, intersected it like moist red ribbons and in the beds between, old-fashioned flowers ran riot. There were rosy bleeding-hearts and great splendid crimson peonies; white, fragrant narcissi and thorny, sweet Scotch roses; pink and blue and white columbines and lilac-tinted Bouncing Bets; clumps of southernwood and ribbon grass and mint; purple Adam-and-Eve, daffodils, and masses of sweet clover white with its delicate, fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its fiery lances over prim white musk-flowers; a garden it was where sunshine lingered and bees hummed, and winds, beguiled into loitering, purred and rustled.”

Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery

In this fast-paced day and age, the loss of words for words’ sake saddens me. If only, from time to time, we could slow down our lightning-fast plots and forsake brevity … to languish in the word garden … to hug the blooms as close as bosom-friends and breathe in their wordy perfume.