Romily Bernard, a member of Georgia Romance Writers, is our guest blogger today. She's new at this, so be kind to her. Hey, girl, go for it!

Real life in our books?


Maybe it’s because my manuscript has been sitting on an editor’s desk without comment for the better part of two months, but everything is starting to parallel the writing process for me. Can’t get my dishwasher to work? Neither did my last hero. Husband recently set himself on fire? Yeah, well, who hasn’t envisioned torching an entire manuscript? Incapable of selling my latest project horse? Well, that one isn’t much of a stretch. Except it is, because we’re talking about Lucero here. Or Lucifer as we are prone to calling him when his owner is out of earshot.

It’s Saturday afternoon and Simon is using one half-finished cigarette to light another. “Now listen to me,” he announces. “I want you to sit in that saddle like your butt crack itches.”

The directive makes me pause as I tighten Lucero’s girth. Simon is especially evocative when nervous and half-lit and most people would object, but we’ve known each other for so long I only hear the prayer in his command. (Please, dear God, just don’t let the damned horse buck you off.)

I nod, because there really isn’t anything else to say. My prayers happen to be circling the same theme. It isn’t that Lucero is evil, but he is a problem horse. High-strung and opinionated, he kicks like the storied mule and missed my head by inches last week during a particularly expressive temper tantrum.

That being said, I like him. Very much. But it remains to see if the waiting couple will. The waiting couple has the checkbook and the ability to put another financial wall between Simon and a retirement spent eating Fancy Feast.

I hang back to adjust Lucero’s leg protection and Simon strides out of the barn with a wide grin plastered across his face. I recognize the look. Used it at my last editor appointment, actually. It’s the only shield you have when you’re about to present something you’ve made for someone else’s approval.

But for all of our worries, Lucifer did well. He trotted and jumped and cantered and made it all look effortless. Except for the corner where he did, in fact, buck, but Simon and I smiled it away. The couple passed anyway though, and the disappointment teethes on both of us as we walk our problem child back to the barn.

Their excuse was that Lucero “just wasn’t what they were looking for.” Put that on a form letter and any writer will recognize it. The implication is that there’s nothing wrong with Lucero. He’s quite lovely, but he still isn’t right. There is something fundamentally lacking in him.

Writing can be the same way. You can be lovely and still not right. You can do all the revisions in the world and still not be what they want because our fundamentals, our bones, our selves just aren’t “what they were looking for” and that is what scares me the most. We cannot change who we are and we certainly cannot change who we are on the page. The words can shift and morph, but the bones stay put. And what if that isn’t good enough? What if it will never be good enough?

But we soldier on if only because the alternative is to give up. After all, I have that new idea that just won’t leave me alone and Lucero’s younger brother is coming up for training. His name is Soleil, but his groom calls him Satan.

We have horse folks and writers here, so make your comments or ask Romily questions. And give her a hand! I hear applause and cheering!

24 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // March 7, 2009 at 12:34 AM  

    Excellent blog! I can so relate with the feelings and frustrations. I have tons of rejections, but I keep writing more and trying.

  2. Judy // March 7, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

    Hi, Romily! Great to have you here. I thought your blog was great. While I don't raise horses I've ridden the writing horse for quite a while! Good luck with your writing! Job well done!

  3. apkingmom // March 7, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

    Like what I read. We all can relate doing something while we wait for what we really want...that book published.

  4. avidreader // March 7, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

    Liked what I read. Keep at it and you will get what you want.

  5. CB350four // March 7, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

    The description of Simon is right on...hilarious! I think Fancy Feast would be a step up for him. ha ha I doubt Fancy Feast comes in a cheap Scotch flavor.
    Well, I'm glad to see you are posting on a blog, instead on posting on Lucero today. I didn't realize how many similarities there were between writing and riding, I enjoyed the post. I hope they ask you back.

  6. Edie // March 7, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

    Romily, I enjoyed this! I thought at first you were posting an excerpt of one of your books. LOL I was thinking that I want to read it, and then I realized it was about the R word. A word that's more nasty than the F word.

  7. Arkansas Cyndi // March 7, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

    Loved it! Interesting comparing raising horses to writing.

    What a great voice you have!

  8. Mona Risk // March 7, 2009 at 11:03 AM  

    Hi Romily, welcome to the PFS. I am not a horse person. Actually I am afraid of horses after a black stallion smacked me with his head. I was only eight and developed a respectful fear of horses but your Simon looks a good guy.

    Rejections and frustration come with the job of being a writer. They may lessen with time, I hope.

  9. Carol Burnside // March 7, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

    Nice parallel and so right! Enjoyed the post.

  10. Sia // March 7, 2009 at 12:22 PM  

    Love your post, Romily and your voice. It's so appropriate to compare a big, scary horse named Lucero with an editor. We want them to like us and cooperate with our dreams. Yet they really have all the power. The only thing you can do is keep smiling and put yourself out there. The right editor / horse owner will find you at the right time.

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 7, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

    Romily,
    Welcome to the fuzzies! We're please to have you blog with us! I can so relate to you analogy! Just a few days ago I mailed my baby to NYC (11 to be exact, but who's counting?) It took me months and months to write, polish, rewrite, polish, take apart, demolish, reconstruct, toss 200 pages, rewrite, polish, rewrite and polish and polish, get the idea? But the moment it left my hands I realized there were still things I could have done to make it stronger, better, clearer, get my drift? Writing certainly is like trying to sale your favorite horse! You love him inspite of his short comings, unfortunately sometimes others can't see past his few little flaws! So there we are.

    Wonderful thought evoking post! Thanks for blogging with the fuzzies!

    Scarlet

  12. Anonymous // March 7, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

    How creative! Writing and riding. We'll be reading more of you if this is any indication of your skills.

  13. Mary Ricksen // March 7, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

    There is just something about girls and horses.
    I love horses and I have loved them ever since I can remember. My aunt used to love the smell of the barn. Called it perfume.
    Welcome I really enjoyed the post!

  14. Romily Bernard // March 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

    Hi everyone! Thank you for the kind words. I really didn't know what to write about so I'm glad you guys enjoyed hearing about my problem child. Don't act too interested though or I will obsess on and on about what obnoxious thing Lucero has recently done. Seriously. Just ask my c.p. partner who is probably reading this and wanting to gouge her eyes out. =)

    Anyhow, I'm at the Breaking into Fiction class this weekend and if anyone is interested in going next year, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. Best. Christmas. Present. Ever. Write me if you want more info.

    Okay, thanks again to Mary and Pam for taking a chance on me and thank all the rest of you for reading!

  15. Arkansas Cyndi // March 7, 2009 at 6:18 PM  

    Very interested in the Breaking into Fiction workshop. Maybe you could blog on it here. I know I would LOVE it.

  16. Pamela Varnado // March 7, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

    Romily,
    Loved the blog. I'll use it to keep believing in myself when the rejections start to pour in like rainwater.

  17. Justabit2 // March 7, 2009 at 7:44 PM  

    Very funny and very true!!! You have a wonderful voice and a great sense of the humorous! Keep trying and both the horse and the book will find a forever home.

  18. Nightingale // March 7, 2009 at 8:05 PM  

    Entertaining post. And one that every writer can relate to in a big way.

  19. D // March 8, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

    Fantastic! Regardless of being a writer or riding, when you write "but the bones stay put. And what if that isn’t good enough? What if it will never be good enough?" simply resonates in every aspect of life. Funny and I would say...'write to the point'. Soldier on Romily!

  20. Anonymous // March 8, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

    wow! first time i have actually responded to a blog opn this site. good work. i have ridden horses my whole life, and i write on occasion. I loved reading your blog. Hope to read more soon.
    Nadya Balentine

  21. S. Purcell // March 8, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

    I enjoyed reading your blog. i have also had many rejection letters, but also a few acceptance letters. i keep it up. i like your style, wish you luck.
    Stephanie Purcell

  22. Donnell // March 8, 2009 at 10:11 PM  

    I'm always late, late, late! I just had to say Romily has the key to my heart. Romily wrote: "You can be lovely and still not right. You can do all the revisions in the world and still not be what they want because our fundamentals, our bones, our selves just aren’t “what they were looking for”

    Very well said and so true. Great post.

  23. Joanne // March 9, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

    Hi Romily,
    Welcome to the Pink Fuzzies. Your blog is witty and right on. I can definitely relate to the trials and tribulations of trying to break in and become a published author.

  24. Anonymous // March 9, 2009 at 3:23 PM  

    Hi Romily,
    Love your blog! I would read any books you get published. Good luck!