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Kasane, bath


Y Ceffyl Du 2

Mischevious Mares -- Leviter vehi

Where has Ceffyl been?
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It's been a heck of a wild ride since August. Here's the summary:

  • Did house search and bought a lovely townhouse about 12 miles from work. House sold as-is, with minor problems. Mostly fixed now.

  • Moved into house in October. Broke lease on apartment and paid them two months' rent for the privilege of leaving. Apartment itself wasn't that bad, but the management company was very uptight.

  • Unpacked in November and fixed lots of small things around the house.

  • Major car accident in early December. Neck sprain and totaled my car. First ambulance ride! Whee! Blech. Red Fiat rental car was like driving a tin box.

  • Mid-December I bought a new blue Hyundai Veloster. Looked at bank balance and choked. (Never planned on buying a car and a house in one quarter.)

  • December and January were spent frantically researching and writing a journal article on Epona. Done. Published! Awesome!

  • Early January my last kitty Kiesha was diagnosed with cancer.

  • January and February were spent doing exercises from the physical therapist for neck injury.

  • March 4, Kiesha died.

  • March 6-8, massive rain storm provided evidence that my roof was leaking and the drainage under the crawl space was ineffective. (Yay standing water! NOT.)

  • March 10, physical therapist pronounced my neck injury healed. Riding can resume. Yay!

  • March 11, pulled my left shoulder while yawning and stretching. Serious pain ensued.

  • March 13, doctor says recover will take weeks or longer. Gave me pain killers and muscle relaxers and sent me home.

I can has ride now?

Signal Boost for @dancinghorse: Winter Feed-a-Pony Sale: Bigger, Better, and Even Cooler
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Originally posted by dancinghorse at Winter Feed-a-Pony Sale: Bigger, Better, and Even Cooler
The Winter Feed-a-Pony Sale has been extended a week--what the hey, let's make it Lucky March 13th.

And because we love you, and we love our hay almost as much, we've added a few things.

Ebooks for your reading pleasure

Here and here only, for this sale only, I'm offering the following ebooks directly. You can place your order in email, in comments, or through Paypal to capriole at gmail dot com. Let me know which books and which format (epub or mobi), and we'll take it from there.

For the full list of books available, check out my author page at Book View Cafe.

Single titles $4. 2 for $7.50. 3 for $10.

A few of the titles on offer:

Living in Threes: YA fantasy and science fiction and historical. New, never before published. From Book View Cafe.

His Majesty's Elephant: YA/upper Middle Grade historical fantasy. Magic, intrigue, and an elephant at the court of Charlemagne.

The Hound and the Falcon Trilogy: Three books, three magical adventures in an alternate Middle Ages.

Don't have an ereader? Not to worry. There are free apps/utilities that you can download, which allow you to read ebooks on your computer. I use these.Collapse )

Editing and Writing Mentoring

I do lots of things in this line, from copyedits and line edits and substantive edits of completed mss. all the way down to R&D--plotting, brainstorming, and basics of novel and story construction. The rate is the same regardless--$50/hour.


The Writing Mentor is IN

One hour ($50) of online or (if you're local to or visiting Tucson) in-person consult on any subject related to your writing. Plotting, characterization, setting, horses and riding, medievalia--you ask, I'll do my best to answer within the time allotted. May double this offer ($100). If you triple it--that's the "Starter Package" below ($125).

And of course, the previous options still apply.Collapse )

Camp Lipizzan

The one, the only writing retreat with Lipizzans (including horse language, equine bodywork, and White Horse Herd Yoga). Can be as horsey or as writer-y as you like. We do one of these a month (3 persons absolute max), and they fill up fast. Base rate is 3 days/2 nights/$375. Add $75 for night 3, and $50/night thereafter. Includes all meals, room with shared bath, and hot and cold running Lipizzans. Lessons and yoga extra. The most popular option is 5 days/4 nights, and for the sale, we're offering that option for $500. We have openings in April, May, and September through November.

Interested? Questions? Email me at capriole at that gmail thing. We take Paypal at that address, or if you're in the US, check or money order.

Pinky says Check It Out (and Boost The Signal, too, if you'd be so kind--Pinky likes his groceries).


Question for writery friends
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How do you deal with stress and still keep on writing? I know how to do that as a technical writer, but when I get stressed my fiction-brain goes *poof* and all that comes out sounds very technical. What do you do to keep writing when you have a blocking factor like stress or other things?

Kasane, bath
October and November always seem to explode for me.

Last year, Isis died on October 11 and well that kinda exploded most of anything I wanted to do for several months. I had to deal with her not being at the barn. It's still hard and I still have to deal with it, but it's easier. Not much, but I can at least think about her without crying.

Except for October 11 and 12 this year. At 9:00 on October 11, I started crying uncontrollably. I had to stop and think about why -- and then it hit me. Exactly one year: Isis' medical journal has noted 8:57 PM Put Isis down. And that was that. I had taken the next day off, because I knew I'd be a basket case. And I was. For the morning at least, until I had to leave to drive to my mom's to visit family (my sister was in town). (I'm mostly okay now.)

I got through to mid-October and made plans to do NaNoWriMo. I knew I was ready to write because I could only remember a book title in Latin and not in their English translations. I was going to re-do Lady in the Tree. It had been baking enough from the previous NaNo experience. Besides, I wanted to see if this time around art_ungulate would think the writing was fiction composed with a tech writer voice. (Favorite critique ever.)

Early morning on Sunday, October 21st, my uncle and aunt were in a motorcycle accident. He must have known something was wrong because he slowed down to about 30-35 MPH. The bike flipped or something and my aunt and uncle were thrown from the bike. My aunt has a fractured vertebrae in her neck and my uncle would have walked away with a broken nose. The accident was caused by an aneurism -- he effectively had a stroke while riding the motorcycle. Very good thing he and my aunt are very safety conscious.

It is a strange thing to realize that if I had gone out dancing on Saturday night, I might have been the first person on the scene of the accident. The club I go to closes at 1:00 AM and is out route 64. The accident happened right at the intersection where I turn from from 64 onto the road to head home at 1:30. Right about the time I'd be getting to that intersection.

As of today, he is recovering well. He's getting movement back on his right side. His speech is back to about 75% normal. He has great dexterity on his left side. Everyone is very optimistic, especially my aunt who has been amazing through all of this. She is at his side every day joking with him about the blond nurses he isn't allowed to take home.

Things like this kinda suck up my extra energy to write.

Signal boost: Equinoctial Sale
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If you need help with that story, would like some mentoring, or have always dreamed about attending Horse Camp for Writers with all kinds of awesome Fat White Ponies(tm), contact dancinghorse.

Originally posted by dancinghorse at Equinoctial Sale
It's been a while since I had a Sale, and there are openings and free dates (and a hay bill and a shoer bill and a herd of kamikaze horses), so here we are. Please feel free to boost the signal far and wide. Sale begins now and continues through September 22nd. Query here or send email to capriole at that gmail thing. And yes, I take Paypal.

Mentoring and Writing Teaching, Editing, and Various and Sundry Services

I have a number of openings for freelance editing, which includes everything from proofreading to copyediting to full-on line editing, and also for writer clients. I'm a full-service mentor, from brainstorming a new project to developing outline and synopsis to critting your ms. to working with you on your submission package. I'm particularly experienced in working with individual style and process, and plotting and brainstorming, including worldbuilding, is a specialty. I can also help you with the equestrian parts of your novel or story.

I have had to raise my rates to $50/hour, but for the duration of the sale, I'm offering a package of five hours for $200 (that's one hour free). This is enough time for review and discussion of a standard submission package (query, synopsis, chapters), a nice amount of worldbuilding and plotting, a chunk of proofing, editing, or critting--the options are numerous and very flexible. I will bank hours if you would like to start later on--say, after NaNo.

Offer open, as always, to current as well as new mentees.

Camp Lipizzan

This is the famous Horse Camp for Writers, located in southern Arizona--just outside of Tucson (25 minutes from Tucson Airport). I do one a month, and Campers often book the next one while they're at the current Camp. Limited to two Campers per session--three if they're good friends and one doesn't mind sharing a room. House has cats, but guest rooms are cat-free. Cost includes room with double bed and shared bath in farmhouse accommodations, library with comfy chairs and Supervisory Writers' Cat(tm), meals tailored to individual needs and diets, free wi-fi, and of course hot and cold running Lipizzans. Riding lessons and yoga classes additional--we work with Desert Horse Equestrian Services (riding, equine sports massage, bodywork and energy work) and Desert Horse Yoga. We highly recommend the White Horse Herd Yoga, and if you don't ride but want to learn how horses move and communicate and think, we have an option for that.

Rates begin at $375 per person for two nights/three days. First additional night $75, and $50/night thereafter. For the Sale, I'm offering a free night. Book four nights/five days at $500 per person and get a fifth night free. That's almost a full week in the desert, with horses, being fed and pampered, and writing like a writing thing. If you want a workshop, we'll include that. Also included: transport to and from Tucson Airport or, if you fly into Phoenix, from the Arizona Shuttle depot in eastside Tucson.

Dates are available between October 1st and November 15th, and between January 15th and April 1st. First comer gets to pick the date; if you're willing, we can add another Camper at that date. If you book October, I'll give you an even better deal: $475 per person for 4 or 5 nights.

To book, or if you have questions, comment here or email me at capriole at that gmail thing.


The quality of light in autumn
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The quality of the light is different as summer fades into fall. The humidity haze burns away and is replaced by a golden glow at dusk.

I couldn't wait to get out to the barn on Tuesday. It was perfect riding weather. I would only have enough time to do a little with Kasane besides treating the scratches (rain-rot like scabs) on her legs. Not enough time to ride, but enough time to have some fun. We walked around the perimeter of the farm with one of my friends who was working with her four year old gelding. He was perfectly behaved. Kasane was up and snorting when her pasture mates trotted by. She ignored where I was. We walked, whoa-ed, turned around, repeated. Brought her back to focus on me. And we continued. When we got back to the barn, she walked all over me when I asked her to whoa.

Underneath all of it, I was frustrated. I felt like my relationship with her wasn't as strong, wasn't as focused as it has been in the past. I was frustrated at feeling like she wasn't paying attention and that she was being stupid and doing things she knew better than to do. When she stepped into my space and ignored my usual queue to move away from me (raising my hand next to her neck), I tapped her neck with the back of my hand. No effect. So I had to use some force with my hand and she moved over but still didn't pay attention to me. She was more interested in the horses in the other pasture. I had an impulse to really get after her, and didn't.

I stopped myself and asked what am I doing that is causing this? Was it that my focus wasn't with her? Why was I feeling frustrated with her and why did it seem like she'd rather not be there with me? (Later on, I couldn't blame her for not wanting to be there with me.)

We went into the round pen and worked on getting her to focus on me. I focused myself, tried to let go of the frustration, and focus on her. To be there with her instead of scattered some place else. After a few minutes, she did, and we followed each other around the round pen. Relationship repaired for the evening, but not back to where we should be. That will take more work. More back to basics and giving her fun things to do instead of boring stuff. (That's a topic for another post.)

I cleaned her legs off and treated the scratches with ointment. We walked back out to the field and I stayed with her while she started to graze. A few times she walked away from me and my heart sank. (Yes, I know, applying human emotions onto a situation that didn't warrant it since other horses higher in the herd order came over to see if the human had treats.)

Kasane used to canter up to me when I came out to the field. She used to yell for me. She doesn't now. She doesn't greet me at the gate. Some times she lifts her head when I walk out to the pasture to get her. She at least doesn't walk away. Still. It speaks to me of things to work on so she is interested in what we are doing. It's work, but good work, to be aware of and to correct.

I stood out with her until the sun set and I was the only one left at the barn. The light was so different than it had been even a few weeks ago. I kept thinking about how Kasane was with me now and how we had been together. Mulled it over, tried to figure out what had changed.

I walked back to the barn. The barn aisle was dark except for the light from the tack room. The air smelt of dust, apples, and leather plus a chill crispness. Sitting in the tack room chair, I realized the last time I had felt that chill in the air while taking off my paddock boots was almost a year prior on a night I said goodbye to Isis. I had sat in that exact chair, changing my shoes when her body was pulled by the tractor from the paddock to the front of the barn.

Some times the quality of the light triggers memories that aren't about the time of day or the mare standing next to me. It's the memory of the thousand-pound hole in my life left by Isis who died last year on October 11.

I am trying to remember the good times. Trying to remember how she was back to herself for her last week. Most of the time I'm okay. I get through work, but being out at the barn with Kasane is different. She senses that difference. She isn't with me when we're walking because I'm not really there either. Part of my mind is grieving still.

The sadness is buried underneath the joy of riding, the delight in my favorite time of year to ride... but then I walk outside and see the clear light at sunset. Light best appreciated from the back of a horse. It was the quality of the light reflecting off of a copper bay coat. The yell every time I walked into the barn and Isis poked her head out.

And I have to let her go again by letting the grief go. I have been in tears writing this. I know what I have to do to let go of the grief. It's not something I have wanted to face again. It's like knowing you have a pain that touches so many areas and you can only ignore it for so long. It bubbles to the surface and interfere so I can't run. I have to work through it. And let her truly go so the grief is transformed to happy smile remembering her antics and the joy she brought to my life.

And the clear light this fall can shine on her memory... and on the darker brilliant bay coat of Kasane.
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Vet visit with Prize today
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The good news is that Prize's lameness was much more pronounced this morning on her front left leg. Well, okay, that isn't good news but it does indicate an abscess instead of laminitis. Vet confirmed it too, so yay! Well not yay, but better an abscess than laminitis...

Prize is up for the next few days. Farrier is still coming tomorrow. The vet located the abscess but couldn't get it to come to the top. We're soaking her foot and using ichthamol on it to help draw the abscess out. We'll see what happens...

Poor Prize doesn't feel so good, but you know, it's better than the implications of laminitis.


Prize may have laminitis
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When I got to the barn this evening, I had two surprises: Kasane was covered in hives (happened last year too) and Prize was in her stall. I called the barn manager to ask about Prize and to see about giving Kasane antihistamines for a few days. The barn owner and I had been playing phone tag, with my calls not connecting to hers and her phone giving her issues when she tried to dial out. Prize was up because she was having feet issues: her white line on her front feet looked wider, she was stiff, and was also lame on her front feet. She seemed to be shifting her weight a little too the back too. The barn owner thinks Prize has a mild case of laminitis.

Prize was definitely lame more on her front left when I walked her down the barn aisle tonight. When I asked her to turn around, she was very reluctant to turn and was more willing to back up. She had a strong digital pulse in her front left (stronger than her front right). The temperature for all four feet felt the same to me tonight. She was stocked up in all four feet, so I put some liniment (probably to make me feel better).

First thing tomorrow morning I'll be at the barn and will probably call the vet on the way out. I've been remembering the regimens we did for Isis (luckily they are documented on this blog - go me!).

I had a flashback to Isis when she had laminitis. We were lucky with Isis: she came through with little to no rotation and recovered fully. No one could even tell she'd ever had laminitis. (That was my Miracle Mare!) Hopefully Prize will have the same type of recovery. Prize is 27 so our treatment options may be different.

What might have caused her laminitis? It could be so many things: high sugar levels in the grass from the rain and heat, something she ate, a toxin in her system that is working its way out through her feet, etc.

I started taking notes for Prize in the medical journal at the barn. I'll trace her feet tomorrow like I used to do with Isis. We're also going to switch Prize over to the same set of supplements Isis used to be on (Pre-Ox and Quiessence), just in case this is a sugar-related issue. Farrier comes on Saturday. I'm hoping I can get the vet out tomorrow. It's an expense, but laminitis is an emergency. You do what you have to do for the girls, you know?

I've been reading through Safer Grass (best source for info on laminitis and grass), especially these articles:

That last one is a "worst case scenario." I never want to think about having to make that kind of decision any time soon for Prize, but I want the article printed and in Prize's folder at the barn as a reminder.

Strange days...
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But good. Mostly. Here's the summary from the past few weeks:
  • Sprained ankle, end of May. Reinjured mid-June.
  • Gimpy horse with a windpuff on her back right fetlock. Seemed to be better after a week off.
  • Lots of bareback riding. Finally back in the saddle, early July.
  • Officiated at a friend's wedding. Yay!
  • Weekend after, went to a friend's memorial service. Sadness. (Appropriate bookends, though.)
I'm so far behind on blog posts because I have a lot of things I want to write about I don't know where to start! It's a good place to be. I just need to get started.

ORBIS: Google Maps for Ancient Rome
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The science fiction blog / news aggregate site io9 has an article about ORBIS, a Google Maps for Ancient Rome. Want to know how long it would take to travel between Roma and Londinium and how much it might cost in denarii? ORBIS, developed by Standford University, can tell you all you want to know about travel planning in the Roman empire circa 200 AD.

ORBIS looks like great fun to play with. The subheading for ORBIS is "The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World." I'd love to cross reference some of the artifact locations from Epona.net with roads and see if there was any correlation.

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