Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Patience Is A Virtue, Day #2-- Because You Love It

This is my Tally. I have one of those writer-things to do with her and patience week today-- you know, that thing where you compare two things that aren't alike?

Anyway, Tally tests my patience. I've had her for almost three years, and when I got her she was (prepare yourself for some jargon, here) pretty green (= untrained), spooky (=untrained), and barn sour (=untrained, and didn't like anything beyond the stall she had hardly been out of in five years). But I'd secretly been in love with her for that same five years, and when she came up for sale, I could hardly contain myself to buy her. In the year that followed, she grew before my eyes and patient hands into a calm, sweet, brave horse that I got quite a few compliments on.

Until we moved ranches. Moving Tally out of her only recently-expanded comfort zone was a death sentence to the progress we'd made. It's been over a year and a half, and I'm still struggling to get her back where she was. We just recently started riding again, and even now, last Saturday, I was all by myself out at the ranch with her, and had the bright idea to try and ride. No go. She wouldn't let me on. I've been struggling with this for months, and I feel, at times, like giving up because I don't know what else to do, and I don't feel like it's fair to either of us to be so frustrated.

But I keep trying, and I will keep trying, as long as it takes. With Tally, I have infinite long-term patience, even though my short-term fuse is tempted to blow almost weekly. Why? Because I love her. For those of you who aren't close to animals, or are indifferent, I hope this analogy still makes sense. Tally is like a child to me. You don't give up on your human kids, I'm not giving up on my four-hoofed one. (Besides, I use the term "ho" as my stopping command-- easier to say than "whoa." And it's a lot of fun to say, "Tally, ho!" A hahaha.)

Tally is also the last piece I have of Gypsy (the horse I lost at the beginning of September, for those of you who weren't here for that). She's Gypsy's foal (though not a foal anymore by a long shot-- she's almost nine). Every time I look at her I see a spark of her mother, even down to the little fits of attitude she throws. To me, Tally is worth it because she's family. I don't have any big plans of winning national championships with her, just spending time with her when I can, and keeping us both fit, healthy, and entertained. I'm content just being with her, and riding is the icing on the cake. I have all the time in the world to get her back to where she was, but I'm not going to give either of us a coronary pushing us to get there.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, it has everything to do with writing. If you love it, don't give it up, whether the manuscript will let you on for the ride or not. Keep going, keep spending time with it, even when it feels impossible to continue-- because if it really means enough to you, it's worth it, whether you're taking home ribbons or just spending your nights grooming your words, bonding with your characters and feeding your mind. (Did I just go too far? I may have. Sorry.)

I know this is probably a silly question to ask all of you, but it begs a response, even if you don't share:

Do you have long-term patience with your writing?


  1. I love Tally-Ho! that's so awesome!! I'd have to say that I have long term patience with my writing...maybe too much at times. I worry that I might not push myself as hard as I should.

  2. Tally-Ho reminds me of The Silverhawks :) --

    Patience, or lack thereof, is one of the reasons I'm a bit scared of having children. My sister has been a real nightmare for my parents, who have shown extreme patience... I'm fairly blunt (and can be fairly brutal) and might not be able to deal w/ the more tender/reclusive souls.

  3. Deb--I wish I had your patience, then, haha. But I can see how having too much would be bad too.

    Bane-- I totally get you there. Perhaps it's something you learn in the trenches, as it were? I don't know. Not a parent yet and won't be for years, but I, too, am worried about learning patience the hard way. However, having said that, I think that my patience with my animal "kids" is indicative of the patience I'll have with my own human kids. I hope. Anyone else have particular experience here?

  4. None whatsoever. And all the patience in the world, all at the same time and mixed together in a frenzy.

  5. Suzyhayze-- aren't we writers crazy... :) Welcome, and your blog is really cool!

  6. I don't know about the patience thing.

    As for Tally, have you been to the Chronicle of the Horse forums? They might have some good advice for new things to try with Tally.

    What breed is she? (We have 3 paints.)

  7. Stephanie-- Yeah, I'm a member of a horse forum. Tally's story is really long and kind of complicated, though, and it's hard to get advice over the internet because what works for their horses doesn't necessarily work for mine (or me). I'm still trying to find that sweet spot again, but there have been a lot of stalls in her training over the last year and a half for various reasons, and it's just the last couple months that I've been really buckling down and working with her. It's a long road, and I don't expect it to get shorter any time soon, but I won't give up either, as long as she's healthy.

    She's a quarter horse-- what color are your paints? I love paints.

  8. Two are bay tobianos and the other is a light brown and white. I don't know if he's overo or tobiano.

  9. Very cool :) Always nice to meet other horsey people!

  10. I'm a dog person myself.

    Yeah, nothing to offer to the horse discussions. Just wanted to add my two cents. :)

  11. Matt-- no worries. Dog people are welcome here :)

  12. Tally Ho is great- made me chuckle. And I love the analogy. I find I'm learning patience with writing just like I learned patience with my daughter. It's little steps every day.

    Of course, when it's on submission to agents and I'm checking my email every five minutes I'm going to have to come back and look at your posts, L.T.

  13. Stephanie-- Aha! So there is hope when you're a parent. Thanks for that :)

    And yes, I'm hoping that blogging about patience will help me with my own when I need it!

  14. As with Deb, I love the phrase "Tally, ho!"

    I love horses, but I don't have any of my own. Sniff, sniff. They'd be too hard to drag around the country with me and the hubby. But I am a cat person - are we welcome here, too?

    As for patience, well, I also fear having kids someday. Like you and Bane, I worry that I won't have the requisite dose of grace, but I'm fairly patient with my cat... even when she bites me on the arse... so maybe there's hope for me, too.

    Re: my writing, I have plenty of patience. Too much, it seems. I've been working on this same novel for years - years, I tell you! It's my hubby's patience I worry about. He wants my revision to have been done... yesterday.

  15. Laura-- absotively. I have two kittens myself. Or rather, they have me. And I love your kitty's name. Ruby Azazel-- so cute! (Did I spell that right?)

    It's good to know there are others who wonder about having kids, and even better to know patience with writing can go both ways!

  16. Yup. You spelled it right. Seems to suit her, I must admit. Gives me hope that I'll be able to name my kids just as well someday.

    And, yes, it's always nice to find like-minded souls... even on the Internet. :-)