working from home

I’ve been working from home since last Monday, trying not to leave the house as much as possible. Only leaving to go and help at the barn or going grocery shopping. So really right now is a perfect time to be editing that novel i’ve been so excited about, but i’ve been trying to avoid it like the plague. I don’t know what i’ll do when i’ve finished editing it. The thought of reaching out to that first literary agent is daunting and reaching out to the possible hundreds after that, just as daunting — so with that in mind i’m trying to keep myself in limbo so i wont have to deal with all those rejections on top of being made to feel like shite during my work day. It just wont do — and i know that. Now i truly my force myself to look at it face to face and finish the damn thing, the last leg.
I’d been hoping that i’d be able to spend my lunches taking a quick run around the block and then sitting down with my manuscript before going back to work, however since working from home — i haven’t even had time to take lunches during the day or any kind of a break for that matter.
Everyone is busy losing their minds and piling their work onto me because they dont know what to do themselves. I really hope it all will settle down soon so i can at least get a break.

As for COVID-19. Im not that concerned, i’m not panicking or bulk buying. It wont do any good. I’m just staying home and doing my thing, getting the projects done that need doing, finishing this and that. Jack and i take a walk in the evenings in places that people are very sparse. We’re quite enjoying not being surrounded by people constantly. Its surprising how even this town in the middle of Wyoming can feel so damn   cramped.  This pandemic has solidified that Laramie isn’t long term, just a week or so ago i thought i wanted to stay — with a new job it’d be fine. No, it wont and i was probably kidding myself. I love Medicine Bow and the amazing landscapes surrounding us, but everything else is a battle. It’s time for us to return home, and whilst i will probably never live in Denmark again — Texas will be the closest i’ll ever have to home for the rest of my life. I’m already considering packed boxes and getting rid of our clutter and this COVID business helps make Texas seem like some sanctuary in all the madness.

The manuscript

Having said, all that, my personal life is pretty good. I’ve started playing and learning a new instrument. One that is completely different from the ones i’ve played all my life, so its very exciting and weird to be a “beginner” again. Im enjoying the process. I have also been trying to practice writing at home more — its just about creating the habit and keeping it going. Last night i woke up in the butt crack of night to write down notes for a new piece; whether its a poem, a short story or a novella i don’t quite know but its a brand new idea and those are always something to be proud of. You never know when those ideas might start drying up. I’m glad that even now, all these years later, im still able to fill notebooks and writing books with ideas and dreams and stories and lies. It’s good for the soul.

Lately i’ve been debating how to make the house we live in more “ours,” i suppose thats always unavoidable when you just want to buy your own place with acres and change it all up to fit your way — i’ve never owned a place before. But i want somewhere that i can convert into a Scandinavian haven with wooden floors, white walls, walls of books and wooden panels and fire places with reindeer blankets. It doesn’t need to be a big place, and i’d love a porch around the place to boot. Somewhere in North Texas so i can still get some snow, that’d be grand. Maybe with a lake or river near by so i can still get some boating in. With enough land for all those senior horses i’ve mentioned before.
I’m not much of a decorator, but i do have the inner minimalistic Danish streak when it comes to apartments and homes — and i do my best with what i have. I’d love for my place to look like a Danish Summer house. Cozy, hyggelig and quiet. I’m not willing to put money into a place that isn’t mine though of course, but i’d love to change a few things about the house just the same. So i’m considering a few ideas. Who knows what i’ll come up with? Do you own your own place? Do you have a knack for decorating and making places into safe havens?

Anyway, i’ll steal back to my manuscript and do some editing whilst we watch the Shining. Im sitting with my favourite blanket in front of the nordic looking space heater and leaning against Jack. This is what living is. No one to bother us none, and nothing we need to leave the house for.

I hope you’re all well and that you’re safe. Stay upbeat, and take the staying home as a gift. I sure am.

i’ve been gone from home a long damn time now


I’ve been gone from home a long damn time now. I don’t remember it much, the memories escape me and are beginning to seem like nightmares, some of the good dreams appearing like golden stones amongst all the broken rocks on all those beaches i once watched stretch far as the eye could see — while i sailed around the South West Coast of England. For many years i blamed England for a lot of things, my hardest living was on those shores and it gave me that cynical shell i so like to stew in but lately i’ve been missing home. The good house on Sand Road that now stands ruined by modern greed, the bay where i’d run into the sea in the middle of winter and wave the pirates by — waiting till i was old enough to go with them. Where i was soft hearted, and i was truly. I’d go and see the fine commodore, my dearest friend, and talk about all the things he’d seen and he’d tell me of the writer he knew i’d be. When all was deaftly quiet i would tell him..
“If something happens while i’m gone,” i’d say all choked up and taking a long look at my once only friend. “You come and you tell me yourself, no matter how you go. You find a way to tell me — and you promise to visit me.”
“Oh Izzie, i will. I’ll sit in a dark corner with a bottle of good chardonnay and boo at you as much as you like.
It’s a tough life living on wheels and wings and strange intentions. But thats me, whether i asked for it or not. Honestly, i think i always knew that i would never live any place forever and thats why i still to this day am very dubious about letting folks in. Whats the point when i wont be around long enough for anything to matter?


For the rest of my life my heart will always be a little broken and lost, with no real place thats mine and as the years go by i’m beginning to get real square with it. Lately i’ve found everything hard and i don’t mean that to seem bad, its not necessarily. I’m still here to ride through it, right? I don’t really understand what i’m meant for. To move from place to place like my traveller ancestors? To sail out in the venturous sea like my forefathers and gods or if i am simply bred to exist and talk about whatever my hearts dreaming of?  I could be dead before i find that out, which tells me thats not that important.
England, old girl and sailors haven, how i miss you today. And i suppose it’ll always been on the heart of my sleeve, but i forgive her now. I’ve hit the age that i can forgive her and i hope she forgives me, perhaps now we may both have peace. It took me moving to the western world where the sand is red like blood, the wind is a bitch and where i see possibilities where there are only stray mustangs and jagged cliffs — for me to realise that England made me hardy girl.
Summers beginning to loom in, teasing us with her random warm days full of sunshine from here to China. I’ve never wished for Summer more than i am lately. Winter in Wyoming wasn’t as bad as we’d been told it would be, but it feels like we’ve been living in the cold for 5 years and seen very little of good sunshine. Suppose we’re missing our Texas sunrises and hot afternoons with bees buzzing about us like poverty ridden men with no water.

Wyoming was one of my favourite places when we first moved here, i loved it before i started working. It was a free place where i could see Calamity Jane in the street and hear her drunken cussing as she rode into the dark. Since then, i’ve started to realise — as much as i like it here and enjoy the landscape, theres too much willing us onwards a final time, or southwards i guess. Perhaps if my situation was different and i was living like a western author i could see about living here for years to come, but Its not Texas. Its not a place we can run to when shit hits the fan, theres no Matt Le Blanc to talk through life’s troubles with and love til the day we all die, no Van Roekel or Madeley to laugh and live with. Texas, why the thought of her now sends tears to my eyes and sends my heart into absolutely frustration. The home where i fell in love with a Texas boy, and the little dog at his feet who loved me through all my faults.


While i sat on this rock and waited for the camera to click, my life flew by like a stone through a window. I never dreamed i’d be where i was. I never would’ve believed that that person sat right there — would be me. But it is. Im tough, i’m honest and getting there. I pretty rough around the edges after all these years and a lot of scars richer than before. Wyoming inspired me and gave me the push i needed to finish my novel, something i never believed i’d achieve. I have finished it and while the rest of the world is crying in a pandemic, all i can think about is my novel and the new venture i’m about to embark on. I’ll always be who i was, and i’ll always keep changing.

I wanted to go out to take pictures on Saturday, i had this feeling that i needed to get out out out. So we took a walk by the outskirts of town. We found new places to explore when the summer finally shows up. I sat down and played my flute a while as i listened to the wind, Jack holding my camera up so the wind wouldn’t knock it over and thats were this little bleeding notion hit me, and thats what i’m doing here. Sharing it with you.

where the wild horses go

A few Sundays ago i went out with Sarah. We took a trip out to the bottom of Sheep Mountain and sat amongst the wild horses that live there. We pointed and picked out the ones we thought were prettiest, we talked and we took picture after picture. It was supposed to snow and at the lull of that mountain we saw it brewing like an ugly pot of tea with too much old milk.
Suddenly we found ourselves in a curdled barrel of wind and sleet and snow.

I think i did pretty well considering i didn’t actually own a Zoom lens then, so had to make do with the equipment i did have. The zoom lens i want is around $1200, however — i had my eye on a cheap one to use until i can afford to spend a random $1200 from a single paycheck. Well — last week Jack jsut went ahead and surprised me with a little zoom lens and it works great! It does the job it needs too even though its not “top of the range” so to speak, not that that matters of course.


I’m looking forward to giving it a try out there one of these days. Photographing these animals is genuinely a dream come true for me, and i can’t really believe i get to do it on weekends now, and go to the barn and ride during week — working with good folks and learning to train horses. I feel pretty lucky.


It gives me the same feeling when i go sailing, this great surge of passionate inspiration rushing through me, desperately wondering if i wrote it all down and if i remember.
And i do. I always always always remember.
Anyway, It’s Sunday night now — i’m ready to go to bed soon and wake up to do the whole spiel of a work week all over again. I hope you enjoyed some of my wild horse photos from my first trip out to see them in Laramie. Over time i’m hoping to share a little more about my life at home with writing and whatever else. Its something i don’t really do much of because my house doesn’t look how i want it to, so i prefer not to take pictures inside. If that makes any sense? Bad lighting and dark corners and a lot of  wooden boards that whole deal. Also, when i’m home i don’t really do much. I’ll knit a sweater or work on a logo for the rescue — maybe take a quick 30 minute yoga session, but nothing really worth pulling out the camera for and snapping a picture of. I thought of perhaps taking pictures of my work station where i do my editing, videos and write. I guess if i fixed it up some it might be worth seeing.

 

i finished my book!

Ok, so it’s not totally print-worthy finished. Nevertheless every chapter has been written, every note and comment and character well rounded and a part of the ride of its life, of my little novel. I can’t quite believe that I made it here, to this mountain I’m standing on and wondering whether to turn back whilst I still can or keep on keeping on to the top of the summit like a spider to the fly.
Whether this book makes it, with me in tow, isn’t the point. It’s that I reached this high completely myself by my own head and hands. If I died tomorrow – this is one of the true few things I can be proud of. It was something I didn’t plan. I never sat down and thought, “hey I think I’ll ruin my damn mind and sit down and write a book.” Never came to me. I knew I wanted to write but the thought of writing a book and living with yourself throughout, and working full time, was not on my cards — until it was.

For years I’ve filled notebooks with phrases, ideas and little people I thought it would be good to meet and learn a thing or two from. Those hundreds of notebooks are not in a single binding. 
The first novel of me. 
Now I’ll need to back it all up – once, twice & thrice! After that I’ll see about getting it printed somewhere so I can sit down and hold it in my hands. When I’m done staring at the title and being in awe of the actual fact that I FINISHED DAMN NOVEL. Then I’ll pour myself a tall cool glass of Dr. Pepper and start reading. As I go I’ll be making notes, see what does and doesn’t work and then make changes like it was the entire intension from the beginning.
It’s a rare feeling I have in my heart today. I could make an audience scream with laughter, I could be a good person and I could write a book. I’ve done all these things now. No idea where I’m going with that train of thought or where I’ve been, but so and so. 
 Much like myself, I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell my next step is. I haven’t a fucking clue.Right now I’ll drown myself in the euphoria of having finished the novel. Allow me that, and join me if you wish. The novel that I seem to have been unconsciously meaning to write since nowhere.

No, thats not the title of my book. Forgive me if i don’t share it with you, but its a title im very proud of and until the book is published — i’d prefer to keep it to myself. This is only the first five chapters of my story, but its better than nothing. Hopefully tomorrow i can go somewhere and print a full draft, stupid how excited that really makes me!

I have a few literary agents that I get good vibes from that happen to accept western submissions, something that is surprisingly rare nowadays – but I’m bringing this genre back from the dead. I’m hoping it won’t be too troublesome to find someone I can see myself working with long term, but they’ll have to enjoy my random nonsensical blutterings and made up words – and then also be able to deal with my company. We’ll see. Wish me luck.

riding and the bone clinic

Saturday i spent the afternoon at a Bone Clinic with some friends. A lot of the stuff went well over my head but i was glad to be there anyway and got a little leaflet i could take notes in. I was even lucky to meet the local Barefoot trimmer there, whom i’ve hoping to get some trimming experience from in the near future, i hadn’t met her personally yet so over i waltzed and introduced myself. I’m pretty excited as to what possibilities that might have for me — maybe the farrier course wasn’t meant to be because barefoot trimming sounds more my type of deal. In future i’d still love to do some blacksmithing and forging, but that’ll come with time. With any luck.

The hoof

Since i started volunteering at the Equine Revival i’ve really been thrown into the horse industry head first, something i don’t quite dare to believe… ever. There are many times i’d wished to be doing what i am now, and now im too scared to think about it incase it gets taken away from me. I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. I’ve been to an Expo, a clinic and been out riding a time or two; not particularly well but i’ll get there. And i only contacted them & gave in my application a little over two or three weeks ago.

This is Sarah’s horse. Her name is Inca and she’s lead mare. She is one of the most beautiful horses i’ve ever seen — im pretty excited to see her without her winter coat — which probably wont be too long now. All the horses are shedding like crazy. Its a privilege to get to ride her though and she’s a good egg for putting up with me — letting me figure everything out. I get it wrong a lot but i’ll find my way. Sarah was kind enough to take a few pictures of me riding her the other night.
My serious concentration faces are not sexy. Big glasses and a double chin doesn’t exactly work with the whole “Western” vibe i have going on… so instead i made myself into some of my TV heros. Gus McCrae and the Stranger from the Big Lebowski.

Transitioning into REAL western riding on a real western horse, with folks who know what they’re talking about and have done it forever, is pretty daunting for me. I come away every time feeling a bit of a fool, but thanks to their support i keep trying. I’m kinda good  with the fact that i can share the journey of learning the cowboy way on my blog this time.
Last time i rode without a saddle as Annie the quarter horse uses the same saddle as Inca, and even that i’m out of practice with. It was a lovely ride though even though i dont neccesarily do a good job — just being able to be horseback makes me happy. When Inca was done riding for the day, away she walked with me — right into Sarahs lap, while she was trying to help someone else. Hahaha. This business is giving me a lot of funny stories and fond memories. Should’ve seen me trying get up on Inca this time, with Sarah giving me a leg up, i must have looked like a little monkey clingy for dear life on a branch unable to jump. Hahahahahaha. As long as they’ll put up with me — i’ll keep trying.