Are you getting too big for your boots, cowboy?

February 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm (Uncategorized)

I have a thing for cowboys.

I’m not sure where it began, but I know it’s been honed by years of dating musicians with sideburns, banjos and more than a touch of swagger in their step. Once, on a long haul flight I was so entranced by the brooding charisma and cowboy boots of Llewellyn Moss in ‘No Country for Old Men’ that at the movie’s end I had to be comforted by a Finn Air flight attendant and a double whiskey.

But it took me a while to notice all the horses I’ve been beckoning into my life lately.

rodeo pencil skirt

It started with a beautiful pencil skirt with smoky blue saddles and rearing horses. Then, asked to choose between half a dozen holiday houses for an Australia Day beach trip, I chose the Venus Bay house purely on the basis of its horse prancing majestically across the lounge room wall.

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Earrings in the form of equine galloping followed. And I’m now the proud – if somewhat bemused – owner of a miniature porcelain foal no bigger than the nail of my pinky finger, which I carry around in my purse.

I stroke his mane when I’m waiting for a tram. It’s actually quite comforting – you should get one.

It was at this point that a friend told me ‘You’re taking the Year of the Horse pretty seriously, hey?’

Ah. I hadn’t even made the connection – my cowboy obsession seemed just as logical, but there you go. So I began doing some research, and I like what I’ve found.

The Year of the Horse can be one of great progress: jump on that beast, dig your heels in, and hold on for dear life. I adored the regenerative nature of 2013’s Year of the Snake, my token animal. After all, there’s a reason I have Medusa and her thirteen serpents tattooed along my left arm: both myself and my characters are pretty adept at shedding skins these days.

But I am more than ready to canter forward into 2014, and the journey seems to have begun. One month in and I’ve had four stories accepted for publication, and three pending with editors. I have my heart set on a writing residency in a fishing village in the Arctic Circle in Iceland, and am ankle deep in application forms, projects plans, and teach yourself Icelandic books. I’ve arranged a meet and greet with literary agents where I get to ‘pitch my project’, and have ordered a hundred new business cards in preparation.

i no longer...

And I have collaborations both planned and underway, with fabulous artists whose work I’ve always admired (details soon). For now, have a listen to  this slice of radio theatre, in which New York musicians and audio editors have used part of my ABC Radio National story, ‘The Street of the Candlesticks.’

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a pair of knee high riding boots that have caught my eye…

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