Moving Forward

NewBook is now over 100 pages.  It was chugging along  fairly well, but then…it was delayed when my horse Tigger, who is a 14.3 hand Arabian with minimal jumping experience, decided to run flat out toward a five foot three inch pipe framed fence and jump it.  Both he and the fence came off worse for the experience.  He broke the top pipe at a weld, was thrown backwards (landed on his back) and then at first could not get up, and when he got up was lame in his right hind…but then took off again until finally stopped in the next field.  He had a through and through gash of his upper lip, gashes in his neck, chest, upper neck, left hind leg near the stifle, both knees…he was a mess, dripping out of nose and mouth, standing shaking on three legs.  Not to worry…he’s now home from two weeks in the horse hospital, and nothing broke.  Not his nasal bone, his jaw, his neck, his back, or a leg.  His right eye had damage to the cornea, but it healed up with treatment.  Everyone who saw him that first day and night was amazed.  He was X-rayed in many places.  He’s still lame in the right hind, but moves better every day so I have hopes of a complete recovery when all the soft tissue damage heals.  I can’t say enough good about Brazos Valley Equine Hospital at Salado, whose vets and staff were incredibly supportive of me and Tigger both.

But that slowed down the writing until he got home, because I was on the road to/from the vet’s a lot, or doing other related-to-Tigger things.  He’s getting six small meals a day and free-choice hay to encourage weight gain without stomach problems, since he’s also locked up in the barn and one small exercise lot so he can’t go fast, and he lost quite a lot of weight the first two weeks.  Here’s how he looked this past Saturday when he’d been home three days.  The injured hind leg is nearest the camera but he’s putting weight on it.

Meanwhile, the book…as I said, over 100 pages.  It got a new opening scene this morning because I wanted to put those characters onstage earlier in the story.  Here’s the snippet:

Location: Vatta house in Port Major

Secrets.  The house was full of secrets; the entire family was full of secrets.  The twins knew most of the secrets, they were sure, but knowing a secret did not necessarily make it not-a-secret where the adults were concerned.


These are Jo’s twins, Justin and Shar, no longer little children but on the brim of adolescence.   Very bright, very curious, but they’ve been overprotected by Stella’s mother Helen, so they don’t have the kind of background both Ky and Stella got from their families.  They are tired of being overlooked, expected to sit and wait for life to come to them.   They’re fun to write.   Also early in the book, Ky as she retires as Commandant (finally, she thinks) and Rafe, about to start life again as civilians, Stella and her mother, who wants Stella to take the twins (Stella is concealing from her mother her new situation, which is having Benny Quindlan in the house with her) and Helen’s birth family the Stamarkos bunch, who are…well, you’ll find out someday, if this book holds together.   And horses have appeared in this book.  they may or may not stay, but there they are, so far background to the twins.   There’s one set of villains.  There’s a reappearance of some people you’ll know from the previous Vatta’s Peace books, and the disappearance of a few I wish were still around but…they aren’t.  The world changes, the actors leave the stage to argue with one another in the celestial green room.  The *real* plot is just beginning to bulge the top of the pool of possibilities, but I can’t see any of it yet.

So in time it will turn into something, though I’m not sure what.  Something Vatta-ish.

11 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. I am a avid reader and a fan so I am happy the new book is coming along. I tend to forget, when I wonder into the bookstore and can’t find anything new to read, that writers have actual lives. 🙂

    I also love horses and will be working with a group that does equine therapy in the spring, so I am especially happy that Trigger is going to be fine.

    Best regards,

  2. Trigger try not to make life so interesting!

    Glad he didn’t break anything, but oof you must have been so worried for him. I hope his recovery to full health goes smoothly.

  3. I hope your own recovery, from all the related-to-Tigger stress, is going well. These things certainly are draining, aren’t they.

    Good news that the story is still alive. 🙂

  4. Oh, Tigger!

    Maybe he thought he was bouncy, bouncy like his namesake?! Gah. If it’s any consolation (probably not), I remember hearing an interview with no less a horseperson than Princess Anne who said something about how even quite sensible horses can do spectacularly stupid things… Which just goes to prove how like us they are!

    Very best wishes for you, Elizabeth, and Tigger and the book. In whatever order makes most sense to you!

  5. Yikes! Makes you wonder about the phrase “horse sense.” But Tigger certainly was named properly. It is great to hear that he is doing better.

  6. Umm… did my comment get lost in awaiting-moderation hell? Is my Akismet accursed? Or did I transgress somehow? If so, I do apologise. It wasn’t intentional.
    Or maybe the internet elves were in a bad mood that day. Who knows?
    Anyway, hope Tigger is wiser and healthier now.

  7. Sheep are born looking for a way to die. Horses are born looking for a way to injure themselves catastrophically. I hope this satisfies Tigger’s lifetime ambition, and you two can now move on to more satisfying adventures.

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