Monday, November 30, 2015

And So The Season Starts...

Last week the break in temperature and humidity brought a sense that the season really is changing. We've turned a corner from our long summer to the cool, coveted shorter fall and winter - Florida winter. With the lower mercury reading comes the glory and glamour of the equestrian world.

Colliding with 'Season'  is Christmas making for the most wonderful time of the year. We'll wrap our palm trees with twinkle lights, hang our icicle strands on the roofline and try to wear neck scarves without sweating. Our Starbucks beverages will most likely be cold, but the spice and peppermint flavors and smells will suffice to enhance the holiday.

Here's a repost of this seasonal change put to poetry:

   Wellington Calls!
Jumpers while the sun is setting
Turf is tossed where hooves are treading
Palms and pines stand straight and tall
Hopefuls for the cup, they traveled
Roads of air and sea and gravel
Wellington Calls!

Morning glow on fields and ranches
Fog lays low on green expanses
Softly shrouding barns and stalls
Trainers from the mist emerging
Reins and horses gently urging
Wellington Calls!

Polo's afternoon attraction
Crowds erupt with loud reaction
Cantering roars like cannonballs
Riders, ponies bump and pivot
While we race to stomp the divots
Wellington Calls!

Regal Dressage elegances
Hunters clear the rails and fences
Embrace the speed, renounce the falls
Audiences line arenas
Straw hats, boots complete the scene as
Wellington Calls!

Hopeful hearts for purse and prizes
Pain rewarded, dreams realizing
Chance to grace museum walls
The equine captivates and courts us
Both spectator and skilled sportsman
Wellington Calls!
by Angela Shaw

Monday, November 9, 2015

Writing the Rodeo

Great writers have good word control; something beginner writers lack terribly.

Skilled writers' thoughts line up like orange trees in a Florida grove. The rows and columns are orderly and understandable. My thoughts burst like wild bulls through the gate, words flying everywhere in the dust of dangling participles, the chaos of inconsistent tenses, the gore of disagreeing pronouns.  (I blame my sub-level, 1970's California High School non-education).

Furiously,  I wind up my rope and heave a lasso to try to contain them; those unwieldy words, snorting, slobbering and bucking in mad resistance. After a fierce battle, they finally lay on their side, panting in rebellious defeat, until at last I have a paragraph someone can read.

Successful authors like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Marjory Stoneman Douglas seem to have it all together. They too have had their war of the words, but vetted at an early age have emerged the victors of verbiage. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings of (The Yearling) was published at age 11, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, (River of Grass) worked at her father's Miami newspaper.

For me, and unfortunately for you poor readers, my vetting ground is this blog. I apologize for dragging you through the muddy mess of my writing arena, for choking you with my excessive alliteration and making you endure the milieu of mixed metaphors. All writers must pay their dues and learn their craft. I'm sorry I must subject innocent readers to the bloody violence of taming my wily words. Thank you for being valiant and loyal spectators in this painful process.

Someday perhaps this venue will be more like playground than a bull ring. A happy place where phrases are playthings. Homonyms are tossed like bouncy balls, figures of speech delight like dolls. Then we'll play on words in a kinder, gentler read.

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