Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Perfect Moments

Do you ever have those days when you want to freeze a moment and hold it forever? Maybe you’re having a bad day and everything seems to be going wrong. Maybe you’re tired of rejection and want to give up.

Rather than dwell on disappointment, why not reach into the back of your mind and pluck out one of those perfect moments when all seems right with the world.

Some of my perfect moments:

Sitting back with a cold drink after I’ve mowed the back lawn. As the rapidly melting ice chirps in my glass, I look at the evenly cut blades of grass, inviting a picnic on its temporarily pristine surface. I never get around to the picnic, but the prospect is pleasing.

Late afternoon light when the breeze carries those little fluffy seeds. They look like backlit faeries dancing just for my enjoyment. I don't think of the weedy aftermath.

The beach – laughing children and the keening of gulls mingled with the smell of sunscreen. My toes push under the hot sand, finding a cool spot beneath.

That feeling when a plane accelerates on the tarmac and my head pushes against the back of my seat. The turbine engines roar, then their pitch rises to a “wheeeee,” as they carry me away to some exciting destination.

The warmth of the sun on huge slab of granite at the edge of a clear lake. I gaze at multicoloured lichen radiating from the cracks, and pick blueberries while a loon calls in the distance.

The first gentle snowfall, hopefully before Christmas. Light sparkles on it, reminding me of my childhood for some reason.

Taking out my grandmother’s rosary and watching the light bounce off the facets of its beads.

There. I feel much better now.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Fun Side of Research

Remember a couple of years ago when I told you about a super opening for a polo mystery? Well, I'm about 10K words into my WIP. It's been a slow process, probably because my confidence in my writing has been sagging lately.

But I'm not here to whine. I wanted to share my experience while researching for the setting of my book. I'd been to several charity polo matches nearby (thanks to my employer), but nothing compared to the events of the past year.

You see, my girlfriend met a millionaire, and they soon started dating. He had taken up polo a few years ago and plays in Florida and here in Ontario. After meeting him, I was pulled into the world of the rich - massive estates, horses by the gross and handsome people. You'd think they'd be snobby like in the movies, but they aren't. They're all wonderful and warm.

I attended matches at the polo club, watched my girlfriend taking lessons and went to some really great parties. They weren't wild parties - it seems horse lovers are just like me - lovers of animals, good food, music and conversation.

Recently my girlfriend and the millionaire parted ways (amicably) and are still good friends. I ran into him at this year's charity event (he and my girlfriend both volunteered on the committee) and we exchanged warm greetings. I'll always admire his easygoing openness and generosity. Because of him, my novel has taken on a new level of authenticity.

Here are a few of the events that kept me from blogging (and sometimes writing) the past few months:

Nacho Figueras, six-goaler and Ralph Lauren model, tearing up the pitch at Pace Polo For Heart 2011. I didn't meet him, but he seemed nice.

Me on Maya, a gift to my girlfriend. A sweet pony - I hope I didn't confuse her too much.

Me with Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur. Her husband was on the Royal Jaipur Polo Club team, invited to this year's Polo For Heart.

And finally, my own sister's brush with royalty on Monday. Cathy Elliott is musical director of The Talking Stick, the first all-Aboriginal original musical at this year's Charlottetown Festival. Her troupe performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and got to meet the newlyweds. I'm so proud of my sis!

I hope to "get back on the writing horse" with more regularity this summer. I might no longer be in the inner circles of the rich, but I was sure to take notes!