2019…And A Resolution

Posted: January 1st, 2019 under Life beyond writing.

Like many people, I make resolutions with a real-life lifespan of weeks to months, rarely a year.  I’ve made a few that lasted for multiple years, but those things…take time, and none of us have more than 24 hours/day.  However, this past year was particularly rough on resolutions (except to stick with the dental work and the eye surgery and its results) so I’m trying again.   And one of the new list is to be more regular in posting here and on the Universes blog.  How “regular” that will be I don’t yet know.  I now have some hard limitations on computer time, especially keyboarding, so posts are likely to be shorter, replies to comments shorter, as I save “keystrokes” for writing stuff that might end up published if I can finish it.  But I have neglected the blogs and apologize to the regular denizens of Paksworld.

My newest horse, Kallie, is now home, and we’re stymied by weather on the riding side, though I’ve had plenty of refresher work in mucking out, cleaning hooves, moving things around, grooming, and changing horseware from one sheet or blanket to another.  I’d rather be doing that than have to drive 50 miles one way just to see her.  Here’s a picture of my last ride at the trainer’s place, on December 17.

We were just completing a down transition from trot to walk, and in the next step I gave her more rein and she stretched her neck.   She hadn’t wanted to slow.

A few days later, she came here, backed out of the trailer, and immediately put her head down to graze:

She has lost some of the muscle she’d built up from swimming and regular work to stall rest necessitated by back to back hoof abscesses, especially on her hindquarter.  This will come back when we can start riding the gentle rises and falls here.  But right now it’s too wet.

In the barn pen before the past week’s rains started:

It didn’t take long for her to eat all the grass in this 30 x 40 foot pen…and then it rained, and it rained, and it rained, and it rained.  And it’s raining today.  The south side of the barn is open to this pen, so there’s no way to keep her out of the churned mud without locking her in her stall, which she hates.  And stall confinement has its own risks to a horse’s health, esp. a horse like this.  She needs to move around.  Eventually the rain will stop…



  • Comment by Jim DeWitt — January 1, 2019 @ 7:22 pm


    Happy New Year to you and yours. Feel free to send some of that rain to the drought-stricken West; at least in Idaho, mountain snow levels are still well below normal.

    That is a beautiful horse. Hope she heals speedily and completely.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 9:09 pm


    Thanks. If I had rain magic, I’d definitely redistribute some. Unfortunately…I don’t. Until the very unseasonable fall/winter rains this year, we were headed for another really bad drought, watching our soil moisture levels slid down week by week, so you have my sympathy…I just don’t have the ability to move rainfall where it’s most needed.

  • Comment by cgbookcat1 — January 6, 2019 @ 8:23 pm


    Not sure if you saw this:


    Hope all is well and that you and Kallie are riding on dryer ground.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 8, 2019 @ 7:56 am


    Yes, I did. Our son uses a computer but does not appear to have any ability at coding.

  • Comment by Fred — January 12, 2019 @ 8:20 pm


    Welcome back – we’ve missed you!

    So maybe this is my chance to ask a question about one of the snippets you posted for us while the second round of Paks books was in process. It was winter, and the female protagonist was riding at night across a snow-covered field near a house, whose resident awoke to see the trail. I just *assumed* that she was Paks – but after the last book, it’s a possibility that it was Dorrin.

    Would it be “telling” to say which?

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 12, 2019 @ 9:09 pm


    Fred: Good question and good surmise. It was Dorrin and the house she rode past was Verrakai’s, in the Verrakai domain. I’m not sure how long that is after the end of _Crown_, maybe a year, maybe several. She chooses not to reveal herself, and again I’m not sure why. Nor do I think I’ll get more of her story. She had decided not to remain part of *that* story…to let her heir and the rest make their own way, and the same with Tsaia as a whole. But someday she may pass by Arcolin’s domain, just to see how he’s doing. She may reveal herself to Kieri and Arian, if no one from Tsaia is there, once she gets to Lyonya.

    I also don’t know if she *is* recognizable. She has been, after all, in the dragon’s mouth and then touched by dragon’s fire, which is always a transformative. She’s been told her hair is now gray, but not whether it will be always, or that otherwise she looks different. Would Beclan recognize her? Arcolin? Kieri? (I think Kieri would, but can’t say why. I think Beclan probably wouldn’t, at least until she spoke. Arcolin…just don’t know.)

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — January 18, 2019 @ 11:49 am


    For a bit of good news. Someone in one of the FB groups I am in was looking for a fantasy series to read. I mentioned Paksworld had grown to 10 books and this individual turned out to be a fan of Deed, but somehow hadn’t heard more had been written (not even Gird/Luap). So, anyway, it sounded like you’ll have seven sales out of the exchange.

  • Comment by Jonathen Schor — January 27, 2019 @ 3:34 pm


    Hi – Happy and healthy new year. Go slow on the typing – your health is important. Concerning rain and horses – wild horses have to live in all kinds of weather. Are there not raincoats and booties for horses so they can go out in the rain? But suppose her feet might suffer a relapse.

    Good luck.

    Jonathan up here in cold New Hampshire

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 27, 2019 @ 6:34 pm


    Jonathen: wild horses do have to survive in all kinds of weather and some of them die every year from cold, starvation, injury, predators. And they don’t have to carry us around or pull our plows. Everything’s a trade-off . There are rain sheets, which protect the body of the horse from rain, but no wellies. A turnout blanket will protect the body (and if you buy a hood extension, the neck as well) from cold rain and wind, but not the legs or head. Horses are inconveniently shaped for easy bundling. Kallie’s feet are supposed to stay out of mud for awhile; the bandage over the dressing over the medicine on her hoof is *kind of* a boot and would be proof against dewy grass, but is too likely to leak if walking in mud (our mud is deep and gooey.)

    Daniel: Thanks for telling someone that there were more Paksworld books.

  • Comment by Derek Smith — February 6, 2019 @ 3:13 am


    I recently started a re-read of all of the Paks novels. A day or so ago I started Oath of Fealty and realized that my knowledge of locations was lacking and found my way to paksworld to look over the maps. I’m ashamed to say that, even though I’ve been a fan for two decades +, I’d never visited before. I read through several different posts after I’d satisfied my map curiosity and came across one that I can’t get out of my head. You mentioned in the Elvenhome section that the Kingsforest may get some more attention at some point. I can’t tell you how much that intrigued me and I just have to ask…is there still the potential of a future work that will include more detail on the Kingsforest? Or are we going to be left with just the few snippets we’ve gotten in the current works to date?

    Can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed all of your works through the years and best of luck with the new horses! As an aside, I live in Austin and an old friend of mine lived on a small ranch in Florence until he died several years ago. His neighbor to the west housed several horses, many of whom were quite friendly and whom I was able to feed the odd carrot or apple to through the fence when I visited…I wonder now if they were yours?!

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 6, 2019 @ 9:23 am


    I’m honestly not sure whether I’ll be able to write more in Paksworld. That concussion last year has done something to my writing that I haven’t sorted out yet. Not completely killed it, but certainly knocked it off balance for awhile. I would like to write more about the Kingsforest, about the breach between different elvenhomes that began long before and continued to fragment their society. That would be a very large and complicated work, which in the past didn’t daunt me, but now I’m not sure and would hate to leave it incomplete, once started. And I have an unfinished long arc sitting around already; Vatta’s Peace needs its completing volume, too.

    Thank you for your appreciation of the works. That’s a nudge toward getting back into serious work on one of the unfinished storylines.

    I’ve never had more than two horses at a time, and usually just one, so if by “several” you meant three or more, they weren’t mine. I haven’t had two for the past 4-5 years. My neighbor to the south owns the land to the west of us as well, but we have just that one acre adjoining their, so I don’t think the horses you fed were mine. (Any of mine would’ve been friendly and happy to have more carrots and apples, though.) On the other hand, if there were two, and one was a tall palomino and the other a shorter, stocky chestnut (or before that, an even shorter bay mare with no white on her) it might’ve been. That landowner has a two-story white wooden house with an L-shaped porch. Their neighbor on the north was an old man who died…but I can’t remember how far back, sorry. But around the edges, Florence turned into ranches large and small in all directions when we moved here. Now the bypass cuts it off on the east.

  • Comment by Derek Smith — February 6, 2019 @ 5:57 pm


    Thanks for the response! The appreciation is long over due and I can’t wait to devour more on Vatta. Certainly understand not wanting to leave something undone and I imagine any writing on the Kingsforest would have to be pretty involved since I can’t really see a character or story arc that would make an easy jumping off point.

    All the best on re-finding that balance after the knock on the head!

    Regarding Florence, this would have been about ten years ago now that Fred Subt passed away. His property had two houses on it, one older two-story brown house and one newer two-story white house, with a few goats, two mules and a batch of sheep roaming the property. I seem to remember three horses that were very friendly and eager to see anyone who came up to the fence; a taller bay gelding, two smaller chestnut mares and then a short (near pony size), very shy grey that would never approach the fence, even with the lure of a carrot or apple 🙂

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