Horse Rescue: Inspiring Stories, published 27 August, 2014

cover high resHorses are powerful beyond their physical measures. Through their unique bond to people, horses have the ability to heal, teach, and change lives. A person might rescue a horse, but so often it ends up being the other way around. And sometimes the deepest transformations come when we least expect them.

Meet Sue Spence, who rescued little Larry, a pony that helped her through the stages of breast cancer. There’s Rebel Morrow, whose journey to the Athens Olympics with her rescued horse, Groover, is nothing short of miraculous. And there’s Michael Williams, in and out of prison for twelve years and finally seeing some light through the Horses for Hope program.

These and a dozen other rescuers celebrate the special bonds they’ve formed, and share what they have learned from their amazing equine companions.

‘What brings me joy are the inspiring, goose-bumping, enlightening rescue stories of exhilarating triumph, quiet meditative wisdom, life-changing moments and powerful self-healing.’

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Memoir Shortlisted

It was only two blog posts ago that I wrote about how I’d picked up a memoir that had been sitting unattended in a drawer for two years, dusted it off and sent it off for a competition.

So I was thrilled to find an email in my inbox yesterday morning informing me that my memoir manuscript, Webs of Light, had been shortlisted for the Finch Publishing Memoir Prize. The prize was open to any unpublished memoir manuscript, across the nation, and the winner receives a publishing contract as well as $10,000 advance against future royalties.

Webs of Light is about the sixteen years I spent with my horse, Hercules and the way he changed my life. The timing of this email was particularly poignant, as the night before I had just lost the first of our rescue horses to come into Charlie’s Angels Horse Rescue Inc. (the horse welfare charity I began last year). As Webs of Light highlights the importance of caring for, loving, and commiting to animals, it seemed a lovely pat on the shoulder from the Universe, a gentle hug to say, it’s okay.

I am honoured to be part of the finalists in this competition. Thank you Finch!

The Art of Procrastinating

I’m having one of those days. It’s now past four o’clock in the afternoon, and while I have been busy at home all day, I have not been busy doing what I (thought I) wanted to do. While my latest YA novel is resting, waiting for me to return to edit it for draft two, I have picked up an older manuscript to start again. It is a chick lit/women’s fiction manuscript, and one for which I have created the most charming world in which my characters roam. (In my mind, anyway.) So why am I procrastinating?

I just haven’t been able to pick myself up today. I feel dopey and depressed and desperate to catch up on some sleep, but it’s too hot to do that. So I’m stuck in the lounge room with the air conditioner, trying to convince myself to start work on my chick lit/women’s fic manuscript.

It’s nothing new. All writers suffer from bouts of procrastination. And I’ve never quite been able to work out why. I feel better when I write, and writing inevitably begs me to write some more. (It’s a lot like exercise or, ahem, other sweaty activities.) So, I’ve washed the dishes, folded clothes, found my passport for an upcoming trip to New Zealand, found tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner, written a long list of everything that needs to be done before said trip to NZ, designed and ordered marketing materials for Charlie’s Angels Horse Rescue, fluffed around on Facebook and YouTube, and wrangled cats, dogs and horses.

And now I’m blogging…

I know that I am not constructively procrastinating. And that’s the real key. I believe that procrastination can be good–indeed, necessary–but only if we do it constructively. Over the years, I’ve worked out some good and bad procrastination activities.

Good procrastination activities (i.e. that actually move and develop me as a writer) include: reading books, reading writing magazines, editing my writing (because it seems easier to deconstruct things than it does to construct them, but it inevitably leads to me wanting to construct once more), going on an ‘artist’s date’ (to the theatre, dance class, festival, delicatessen… anywhere that feeds the senses), riding my horse (the combination of exercise and joy gives me a real boost), critiquing other writers’ work, and meeting other writers for fun/work purposes.

Bad procrastination activities include: housework, going to the post office, emailing, updating websites (such as blogging…), going grocery shopping, paying bills, bookkeeping, researching new appliances/computers/cars/food dehydraters, ebaying, ordering stuff online, organising, filing, and feeling guilty.

All of those ‘bad’ procrastination activities are all useful and worthwhile and need to be done. But not at the expense of writing.

So, here I am, signing off from my current ‘bad’ procrastination exercise to go onto some ‘good’ procrastinating.

Then again, it’s nearly time for Bold and the Beautiful….