I wrote this article, about the purchase of a paint horse named Pete, approximately a year and half ago. I originally titled it Riding into Old Age, and I sold it to the magazine last year, and they just now published it.
It has been said (gee, I don't know who originally said it - sportswriter Red Smith? or someone else) that to write the truth you just open a vein and bleed onto the page. And that's what I attempted to do in this article.
You know how we all hold onto fantasies of who we really are? We are cool, we are fit, we are awesome writers, mothers, lovers, or in my case, cowgirls. I always imagined myself a true western cowgirl, although I grew up on a prune ranch and didn't get my first horse until I was fifteen. But from that moment on, I imagined I was tough, and could ride any horse, and I wore tight Wrangler ProRodeos, and a western belt with a silver buckle.
Even through motherhood, and many occupations, and an aging body, this self image of myself as a cowgirl remained. But the reality is that I have changed over the years, although I still love and enjoy my horses.
So this article just published in Equus is a good piece of writing for me, because I opened my vein and let it all hang out: the fact that I'm not so tough anymore and I'm even occasionally chicken (although I didn't actually mention the fact that I don't fit into my tight jeans so well any more). I'll save that for another bout of honesty.
I'm working on finding that honesty in all of my writing, so that my words ring true and say something that matters, and people can read them and say "oh yeah, that's the way is really is". Even if it's "just" a children's novel. Because hey, if we're going to be honest, when you are writing for kids isn't it even more important to write honestly? Age appropriately, yes, but honestly.
So there ya go. Honest Writing. Go find the Feb/2010 issue of Equus and read my article. You'll love it.