I Like Horses!

Like I promised, I will now describe my awesome adventures on a horse. A horse you say? Yes a horse! Like this horse in fact!

Horse!

Horse!

The reason we all decided to embark on this horsey adventure was because I freaking love riding horses. I used to ride pretty seriously as a kid. How seriously you ask? Well I herded cows, cut cows from the herd, did a little jumping (in a western saddle mind you), and some trail riding. I even got to learn to rope a little bit and wrestle calves. So if you ever need to know how to subdue a calf in order to get it ready for branding, I’m your girl.

So yeah, I rode a lot, for like 6 or 7 years. Granted, I haven’t ridden a horse in almost ten years, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Originally the owners of the riding place put me on Ginger, because I was the most experienced of the group. She was a nice enough horse, a little stubborn, and a little lazy, but we got along. My boyfriend on the other hand, well, originally they put him on Big Boy, who was fine. But then they changed him over to another horse and that was not okay. The horse really, really didn’t want to be told what to do, and Danny is not the best rider. When Danny was telling the horse “Woah” I could definitely hear a note of panic in his voice. Thankfully, they swapped him back to Big Boy quickly, so  no big deal.

Amazingly, as I was riding, I found that pretty much everything came back to me! I was firmly in control of my horse, which probably startled all of the horses. They seemed like a bunch that was very used to bad riders, meaning the horses were able to do whatever they wanted. What didn’t come back was my complete understanding of balance. Sometimes when we were coming out of a canter back into a trot, I definitely got off balance and a little far forward. But hey, at least I could still completely control my horse, so that was a plus!

After riding in the woods and fields for about two hours (during which my knees were starting to scream at me in protest), we stopped and had a picnic! And boy was it a feast! We had honey goat cheese, two other kinds of cheese, salami, hummus, snap peas, carrots, apple slices, strawberries, peanut butter, and sammies.

We stuffed our faces, then laid down for a few minutes, you know, for the digestion. After a suitable time had elapsed, we hauled our slightly broken bodies up and headed back to the barn to grab our horses again.

When we got to the barn, there was a bit of a kerfuffle happening. A mother daughter duo was riding, and both obviously had no idea what they were doing. The mother was on a horse named Mocha, who was having none of it. That horse was annoyed with life and literally ran the woman into the barn.

So the owner, a gizzled looking older man, gets up from the picnic bench and yells at the hostlers to get the woman off that horse. Then he promptly swings up into the saddle and starts telling Mocha what’s what.

See the thing about these horses is they know where they’re fed. And they know where it is that their work day ends. So when they catch sight of the barn, they take off for it. As a rider, you should be able to control them and make sure they don’t do that. But as I said, this woman was not a good rider.

The man takes this horse and makes it run off away from the barn. Then he only allows Mocha to walk back toward the barn. The whole while, Mocha is throwing its head, and even rearing a bit. He finally gets the horse to do what he wants, and as he dismounts and walks Mocha back to the barn, he shouts out for one of us on the ground to take it and handle it.

Being the crazy person I am, I immediately step forward, whilst another of the men cheer me on. I felt like a hero in that moment.

And we rode out into the sunset.

Riding into the Sunset

Riding into the Sunset

Well not really. We only rode for another two hours, and I had to fight my horse most of the time. But I still loved every minute of it!

Aaaand then later that night, the next, day, and every day for a week I was incredibly sore. My friend Christa and I had bruised in places that I swear have never had bruises before. Awful. Those first couple of days, sitting down was a problem. But to be able to feel like I was flying, to smell horses and hay, it was allllll worth it.

Well that’s that readers! Until next time!

-Caylie

Here’s another picture of horsey butts, as a bonus:

Horse Butts

Horse Butts

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Love it, Hate it, Love it? Now I’m Confused…

Hey all,

So after almost two weeks of not editing anything, I started editing again, finally. It’s been my own fault. I’ve mostly just been putting it off to futz around on the interwebs or hanging out with people. Or for my birthday, which I’ll give myself a pass on, because, well, you know… birthday.

Now that I’ve jumped back into the saddle, I’m confused. I keep waffling back and forth between being excited about my book, and not being sure if it sucks or not. I keep second guessing myself and wondering if it’s something I should be working on.

I think what gets me the most, is when I can’t figure out whether or not I should go through with an edit. Minor word and sentence changes are no big deal, but major, global edits scare me. I’m not sure if the book will be better for those planned edits. So after editing another whole chapter tonight (I’m through chapter 9! Almost half way there!) I’ve decided that I need to just make another document, to which I can make sweeping edits. Then I can compare the two and see which is better.

Now to actually do that. I think though that I need to get through the whole thing and edit it a little first, mostly just to re-familiarize myself with my novel. So full steam ahead on that! Then the painstaking process of major edits before then going back through with a fine tooth comb for more word and sentence edits. But one day at a time.

In my next post I’ll share a bit about my awesome birthday adventure riding horses! Woo!

Laters,

Caylie


Excerpt: Chapter Three

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Hello rad readers! Here is the next chapter in my book! (Chapter One, Chapter Two)

CHAPTER THREE

        One of the two big blue front doors creaked open, interrupting her scrying. Razi’s eyes sharpened and focused on her surroundings. Straightening, she turned toward the door and saw Kala walking in. Razi’s eyebrows raised sharply and came down just as suddenly, her brow creasing in fury. The thing wearing Kala’s appearance sauntered to the counter.

        “So uh, you’re Razi right? You have money for me right,” it asked in an overly high and girly voice, sounding like a bow screeching across violin strings.

        So they had skimmed some of her memories too. Great. Her vision wavered back and forth between the seeming of Kala and the thing usurping her appearance. She could see the weirdly elongated outline of the goblin through her friend’s skin, it’s usually squat fingers stretched into skinny claw like appendages to fill the form of her fingers, its neck pulled so thin like taffy left hanging that Razi was surprised the weight of its head didn’t snap its neck.  Forcing her face from a grimace of disgust into a smile, she replied curtly, “Yeah. A little late tonight aren’t you.”

        “Oh well, you know, something came up,” it said dismissively.

        “Let’s go outside and I’ll give you your share,” Razi replied.

        Razi locked the register’s drawer, pocketing the key. She flipped up the counter divider, grabbed the thing’s spindly arm, and pulled it out the front door, away from everyone.

        Curious, Hadrian lurked behind them, following them out to the side of the building, his Laaah-Tae reverently held in his left hand. Maybe this was the fairy’s fetch. But if that were true, why would she still be here with the changeling? Wouldn’t she have taken the stolen human woman back to Faerie? Something was off, and he wanted to know what it was.

        Spinning around, Razi grabbed the goblin wearing Kala’s semblance roughly by its bony shoulders. If Kala was in Faerie, Razi only had three days to get her back to the human world before Kala was lost, forever changed and chained to whatever fairy had taken her. Noticing the strange Fae lurking behind the goblin, she shot a warning glare at him to stay the hell out of it. Seeing him shrug his assent, she focused her attention back on the goblin. “Where is she?”

        Assessing Razi, the goblin could see she was a fairy. Dripping venom with every word, the goblin drawled, “Why do you care fairy? What is this mortal to you?”

        Razi’s face went blank. Thinking quickly she tried to remember what an acceptable response would be to a creature from Faerie. Even though she had spent time in the Fae Realm learning about the Fae half of herself from her father, their kinds’ reasoning still seemed alien to her.  What do they value, she thought. She remembered that they all revere music, poetry, and artists of all kinds. The fair folk do uncharacteristic things for art. It was, after all, the reason her father had fallen for her mother, the reason he broke the stricture against having a child with a human, the reason he would fight to keep her and her mother safe. In the end there was nothing he could have done to save her mom. How could you fight an aneurism? Well Razi could fight the Fae, and she was sure as hell going to fight to get Kala back.  

        Focusing back on the fetch, Razi snarled into the goblin’s face “She’s. My. Artist,” punctuating each word by sharply shaking the goblin like a cat shakes a mouse to snap its neck. “Tell me where she is and why they took her.”    

        Flashing very sharp and very pointy teeth, the goblin savagely replied, “No.”  

        Bearing down with her sight, she could see echoes, impressions of the spell’s caster. She saw a dense, dark wood, shadows of animals twining beneath the gnarled branches. She could hear the faint baying of hounds and the sound of horns. Overlaying everything was the outline of a large, wolf-like Fae. “Who is he? Who is your master?” At this point Razi was nearly shouting. Remembering her surroundings, she struggled to keep her voice down.

        “You mean you seriously don’t know,” Hadrian scoffed.”How can you not know him?”

        Startled, Razi shifted her gaze to Hadrian, and the goblin swiveled his head, seeking the one who had spoken. Her face settling back into a look of deadly determination, she demanded, “Tell me who he is. Tell me where he is.”

        Hadrian smiled. Oh this seemed like fun. Whoever this crazy fairy was, she had a fire burning inside her. No languid strolling through life for her, oh no. She seem liked she was going to turn the realm upside down if need be looking for this artist. This could be exactly what he was looking for. Something fun. “On one condition.”

        “What?”

        “Let me come with you.”

        Taken aback, Razi’s mouth popped open and she burst out with “Why?”

        Smiling slyly, Hadrian replied “Why not?”

        She paused, evaluating his demand. If she needed to she felt like she could get the necessary information out of this goblin. But how long would that take? Every moment she spent wringing information out of the fetch was a moment she’d lose to rescue Kala. But on the other hand, if she let this ridiculous looking fairy tag along with her he might slow her down. Making a quick decision and hoping that under his ridiculous glamour he was a more hardy, competent companion, she responded “Fine.”

        He grinned rakishly at her. “Good. The fairy you’re looking for is called Herne. He organizes The Hunt. I’m sure he took your artist to be one of his prey. Though why let a goblin wear her face, I do not know. Did he owe you goblin?”

        Faced with two Fae, the goblin squirmed, attempting to break Razi’s vice-like grip on his shoulders.

        “Whatever mischief you might have been up to, you’ll have none of it tonight.” Concentrating, Razi brought her will to bear on Herne’s spell. Going for quickness instead of finesse, she slammed down, shattering the enchantment. The goblin squealed in dismay as all of its limbs retracted sharply to their normal length. Razi could hear the creature’s bones pop and crunch back into place. It went limp in her hands. Shaking it one last time for good measure, she hissed “Now go back from whence you came. Cause mischief among your own kind.” She stepped back, releasing it to run, limping all the while, for the riverfront, back to the hidden entrance to Faerie in all of his wrinkly, hunched glory.

        Beginning to walk towards the river, she called over her shoulder “Hurry up if you’re coming.” He regarded her for a moment before sadly looking at his Laaah-Tae. Regretfully, he downed it and dropped the empty mug on the ground, smiling as it shattered at his feet. Lengthening his stride, he caught up to her and asked, “So are we following that goblin to see if it goes scurrying back to Herne?”

        “Nope. Gotta go to my apartment first. I’m Razi by the way.”

        “Hadrian.”

 What do you all think? More specifically what do you think about the fact that I switch between Razi’s and Hadrian’s perspective in the same chapter? Is that confusing, annoying or perfectly okay? Do you think it would be better to just be from Razi’s point of view?

Thanks everyone for reading and please let me know what you think! Either about the questions I posed or about anything else that caught your eye!

Thanks again and I hope everyone has a great weekend,

-Caylie

P.S. I wrote this. It is mine. Do not steal it. You are welcome to link back to my blog though!


Respect and Empathy for Our Fellow Human Beings

Okay, so this is a big departure from the point of my blog, which is all about me writing and editing and such. But after days of hearing about everything that is happening around the Steubenville rape case, I can no longer just sit silent.

For days I’ve been walking around in a quiet rage about the horrible obviousness of rape culture, not just in America, but in the world. When I say rape culture, I mean the idea that it is the victim’s fault that he or she was raped or molested. It was their fault for wearing such provocative clothes. It was their fault for getting too drunk and not having their guard up. It was their fault for walking down a dark street at night. The sheer audacity that someone would just expect to not be raped or assaulted at any moment in their life is just too much.

Because it can’t be the rapist’s fault for CHOOSING to rape someone. Oh no. These poor boys who had promising futures, poor them. Now their lives will be ruined forever. Look at what happened to them. It makes me sick. And it makes me angry that so many people will feel sorry for them. Feel sorry for a person that viciously rapes another human being while they are unconscious  Who then brags to the world about how much they raped her. Yes, those are the people that definitely deserve my sympathy, not the girl who has been physically assaulted and violated.

Tonight my anger has turned to despair. Because I saw a tweet from one of my friends. She was tweeting about how a woman who went to a programming conference has had her life threatened on Twitter. A man posted her address, a threat, and a picture of a murdered woman. The reason her life has been threatened is because she stood up and “That’s not cool” about sexual jokes that men were making. I won’t go into the whole story, but you can read her blog about it here.

My despair comes from the insanity that the people that disagreed with her actions, instead of having a conversation with her, have threatened to kill her, like an rabid animal that needs to be put down.

How do we overcome that? How can we break through hate like this? And it’s not just men spewing hate at women, I’m talking about all hate everywhere. The teen girls who have now threatened the life of the victim of rape in Steubenville for speaking up. All people who just comment “fag” or “whore” or “slut” or “you’re just angry about the whole Steubenville thing because you’re a dog and you wish someone would have sex with you.” How can we break through to them and get them to understand that we are all humans and that we all deserve respect? How can we teach them empathy?

As I sit here, torn between rage and tears I wonder what I have done myself to perpetrate any kind of hate towards my fellow humans. I wonder what I can do to effect change in myself, others, and society. I’ve started here on my blog and in my life, talking to all of my friends about this, about the idea that hate and violence towards women, hate and violence towards any person is unacceptable.

I challenge you to start your own conversations. To talk to your friends and family about this. To talk to your loose acquaintances. Because even just planting the seed of thought might be enough to have them at least pause and think about the effect their words and actions might have on another human being.


Edit like the wind!

Woo! I edited a long chapter today! All thanks to being able to sit in the same room with Christa and work diligently side by side. And now I’m through Chapter Seven! I’m sure that once my beta readers make it through Chapter Seven, I will have to go back through and fix things, but I have at least (hopefully) made editing a little easier for them! And maybe, if I’m lucky, there will be very few things I’ll have to go back and change!

Numerically, I’ve edited 50 pages out of 157 pages! So I’m pretty much a third of the way through my book! On the first edit pass through at least. Woo! That’s so exciting for me! I’m excited to see what my beta readers will say about Chapter Seven!

On a completely different note, There are even more things I’m excited about! Namely, my boyfriend, fiance thing (who my friends now call my Beyonce, which cracks me up) have been gardening a lot lately! We planted two Japanese Magnolia trees in the front yard, and just sodded the whole area with St. Aug grass. Even though it was a lot of work, tilling, raking, cutting up the pieces to make them fit perfectly, it was so worth it. I can tell my very weak muscles will protest quietly tomorrow, but I don’t care. I’m so happy!

Sodded Yard

Yard Sodded!

In the backyard, we planted sugar snap peas, strawberries, mint, and sweet basil. We also planted a satsuma tree and a peach tree! And the satsuma tree is exploding!! It has these adorable little white buds all over it and tons of new leaves and new branch growth! Ah! I think we’re going to have like a hundred satsumas this year!

Satsuma Blooms!

Satsuma Blooms!

Oh and we also have two blueberry bushes! And one of them also has a ton of flowers all over it! I freaking love blueberries, so if we get a ton of them, I’m going to freak out and eat like all of them. My lips and teeth might be blue for like weeks. Though I’m not sure which I’ll eat more of, the strawberries or the blueberries…

Herb Garden

Strawberries, Mint, and Sweet Basil!

Anyway, that was my “happy housework” tangent. What’s made all of you excited in the last week or so?

Much love,

-Caylie


Excerpt: Chapter Two


Hey Readers! Here is my chapter two! Tell me what you think! (Need a refresher on Chapter One? Click here to read it!)

CHAPTER TWO

        Hadrian sat, savoring his latte. Laaah-Tae, what a strange thing to call this concoction. This coffee was so much different than the coffee he drank when he visited the human world right before the Great Wars. Everything smacked of new. Living in the virtually unchanging realm of the Fae he forgot how quickly mortals reinvent their world, how industriously they worked to create. Like these Laaah-Taes.

        As he took a tiny taste, savoring it, he studied the woman behind the counter through half-closed eyelash shutters. Why was she pretending to be human? She was so obviously one of the fair folk to his eyes, he was shocked the humans around him didn’t notice her. By the stars, her blue-purple irises changed shapes! You’d think that would be a pretty clear indication of ‘other worldliness.’ Such dim-witted mortals. They only ever see what they expect to see. It was their myopic nature.

        He let her alone though. Seeing as how she’d refrained from acknowledging him, he assumed she wanted to be left alone.  Whatever her unfathomable business here was, it was none of his concern. He was here to find adventure.

        Things had grown dull in Faerie. There are only so many endless revels that one can go to before they get bored. Even watching a hated banshee get torn limb from limb, wailing the whole way through, no longer gave him a thrill.

        No, he wanted something more than entertainment, he wanted an unscripted, reckless escapade. Perhaps for the first time ever, he might just experience fear. Fear…something humans knew well, what with their whole dying thing. He’d watched more than a few humans’ eyes fill with fear before he’d ended their already short lives.

        Being immortal kind of took the excitement out of life. He knew he’d be here forever, barring the insanely unlikely chance that some creature able to wield a cold iron blade could get the best of him. And forever was looking a little colorless right now.

        Maybe that female Fae knew where to find something like that. She did seem to be very comfortable in this mortal business, acting like a shop-keeper. Perhaps she knew a good war to get involved in. His forays onto human killing-fields had always been fun. Hadrian planned on asking her, right after he finished this Laaah-Tae.

Again, this is my property, please don’t use it without my permission. You are welcome to link back to it though! 🙂 And tell me what you think!

-Caylie


Ridiculous Endeavor

Hi all!

Sorry I haven’t written in a few days! I’ve been hanging out with friends, watching movies, drinking wine, etc. Sidenote: I saw Blade Runner for the first time, and it was awesome. Talk about amazing sci-fi and it super held up for being made in ’82. At no time did I think, wow these graphics are horrible, so point for them. And the acting was amazing. Harrison Ford, you’re awesome. And Rutger Hauer I love you so much. If you don’t know who he is, here is his IMDB page.  If you don’t know who Harrison Ford is… I don’t even know what to say. You have a lot to catch up on.

Anyway, back to writing.

I also haven’t edited since I’ve written you last. I plan on doing some more of that tonight. But I did promise you something in my last post, something with smut. So here goes!

Me and three of my friends, Meghan, Christa, and Angela have banded together to work on a book. A horrible, horrible book. And by horrible I mean hysterical.

So one night, Christa, Angela and I were sitting around sipping wine, okay drinking a good deal of wine, when I told them about my idea to write a ridiculous shapeshifter romance novel. They were instantly amused and started throwing out suggestions for the novel. After much cackling, I settled on writing a unicorn shapeshifter novel.

I’ll repeat that. I am going to be writing a romance novel about unicorn shapeshifters.

Aw yeah. Hysterical. Right now the working title is “Galloping Hearts” and as per Angela, I will be throwing in as many ridiculous horse metaphors possible.

So far, the unicorns will be living in a state park and our heroine, a park ranger, will stumble upon them while attempting to escape something sinister. Yep, it’s going to be cheese, hopefully side-achingly funny cheese, with a ton of ridiculous sexy-times thrown in there.

Tell me what you think! And if you have any idea, please please let me know!

Till next time ladies and gents!

-Caylie