Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 >Daily Dispatch #289

October 29, 2014: The Writing Life: Evading Quality Control

I arrived to work late today. Amazingly, no one handed me a pink slip. This would have been the consequence for my having gotten to my desk at 7:30 p.m. I did not get the pink slip because I am self-employed. I’m a good employee – I write nearly every day, mostly in the mornings. I produce my best work in the mornings because I’m fresh and still in a dream-like torpor. Ideas then come real easy to me. Also, its more likely that then that I’ll have a big block of time in which to spread out, examine, and reassemble my mental thoughts.

Then there are days like today, days in which I reprioritize time-wise. Pete had to go to work at midmorning, so rather than immediately head for my writing desk, I instead went on a horse-related jaunt with him. I rode Raudi and ponied Hrimmi. Pete and I decided a few days ago to chunk things down some, and work with her on ponying around the loop. This is because she has been

getting uppity on the trail, that is jumping and bucking and having herself a really good time. Both horses did really well, but clearly Raudi was ready for this activity to be over with.

After, I took Raudi and Ryder for a trail ride. We three had a very good time. After, I went to Mat-Su College and talked with Felicia, the art coordinator, about my possibly giving her an assist with the June Machetanz Art Festival. Very exciting – it appears as though I going to get to help out with the design and implementation of the newly established writing component. I may get to do an all day workshop on my area of expertise – memory, memoir, and memorabilia. And, additionally, be a member of a writing-based panel presentation. This will be good for me in that it will give me much needed exposure in the local writing community.

I feel very confident about my being able to help out because all this is something that I’ve either done before or know something about. So, yeah, this meeting could be considered to be a part of my workday. And too, it will be a part of my upcoming workday.

Came home, got Tinni out and went for a long, slow, relaxed ride. He needed to get out and for once not have to deal with the likes of Hrimmi. Lately, when Pete’s been riding Tinni, he’s been frothing at the mouth and moving with a very high head. Not today. It was an amble. I also brought Ryder along, so as to keep us both company. Having a dog along on a trail ride is good for horses because they, in watching him or her, know all is okay or not okay. Ryder stuck close on the trail and did well on the road when I ponied her.

I finished the ride then did evening animal chores. After, I got the fire going, fed the dogs (all ate their food) and then ate. I began working on the above at 7:30 p.m. I will finish typing it up shortly, then resume work on what I’m now calling “Lessons Twice Learned: Recollections of a Returning Horseback Rider.”

I’m on the home stretch of the first full draft. I have three more short chapters to write. I’ll then begin work on the sidebars. I decided that these sidebars are going to be central to my premise that returning riders bring a wealth of information to the riding arena. I’m going to make the connection between my experiences and these sidepieces by taking sentences from my narrative accounts and using them to start sidepieces. For instance, I might, in the chapter on fear, take a sentence like “I as a returning rider was more afraid of hurting myself than I used to be,” and then continue by providing information on this very subject, information that comes from other sources. In this instance I might say “according to such and such, I am not alone.”

So, all ‘n all, I’m glad to say that I do not have a 9 to 5 job and an overseer. If I did, I would not now be at my desk (It’s now 8:42 p.m.) and thinking about the big picture in regards to Lessons Twice Learned. The tough little picture part is still ahead of me tonight. I have to finish the three chapters prior to the end chapter, which is the one about the dressage schooling show.

The one in charge (me) is okay with the way things worked out today. She also knows that I’m disciplined and will get the job done. I guess she has more faith in me than I do. Back to work. Can now cross doing today’s dispatch off my list.

290. 10/30/14: A Conversation with Little Ryder Sunshine