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October 20, 2018: The Writing Life, etc.

I’d promised Alaska Icelandic Horse Association newsletter editor Susan Tilly that I’d provide her with a write-up, placements, and photos of the 2018 Knik River Ramble competitive trail ride. This was a few days before my New York trip. I said I’d get her the article by October 20th.

I figured that when I got back home that I’d send her a list of the placings and call it good because I did not think that I’d have the time to do much else. I had horses to tend to and exercise and produce to harvest. I also needed to resume working on my Forks book.

Alys and Raudi starting off on the CTR

I have known since the conclusion of the CTR that I had a story that needed to be told. And I know from past experience that when I feel this way, the story will eventually be told, meaning that I will write about it. There are no exceptions to this truism. And, I knew that, as in the past, as busy as I might be, I’d find the time to tell this story.

I wrote the first draft of my CTR story in my small sketchbook, which has been doubling as a journal. I was between flights, in the Charlotte airport C terminal. And I began working on my second draft the following day, shortly after I got home. I subsequently did several drafts, printing each one up and revising it. Today, Saturday, I copy edited it one more time and sent it on to Susan, along with photos and the CTR results. Pete pulled up the photos and came up with the placing information.

I have repeatedly said that every piece of good writing presents a problem that in revision has been solved, and there was no exception in this particular instance. The problem with this essay centered on the introduction. I began it by saying how I did and what I won. The alternative would have been to have this information at the end. I usually (as did M.M. Montaigne) show the readers the path of my thinking, but this time I took what some would say was a more conventional approach. Yes, my thesis was up front. However, I was tempted to move it to the end because it seemed like it might fit better there.

After considerable agonizing, I decided to continue by having the initial setting be the Saddle Up Arena, and how I felt at the onset of the awards ceremony. I also decided to note how I and those who I wrote about, my fellow competitors, actually did, at the end. Amazingly, this made perfect sense in terms of my chronology.

The problem that I both posed and solved was one that only an experienced writer would come up with and attempt to solve. The down side is that I wrote this for a freebee publication that few are going to read. The up side is that my having figured out how to construct and carry out a split narrative is going to serve me in good stead when I do write for a publication that pays and has a larger readership.

Next: 294. 10/21/18: Redefining What One Percent Means

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