This week’s Plum Point “Saddling Up Again” describes my response to a writing prompt posted on Plum Point‘s page Pull the Trigger. As many writers will attest to, writing prompts are a good way to break through writer’s block, and get into the habit of writing, and awaken the muse. A good prompt can reveal obsessions and trigger subjects.
Writing Prompt #1
Pull the Trigger: Take a walk through your town, carry a camera, and take pictures of objects, buildings, people, animals and other subjects which attracts your attention. A week later, look over the photos you shot, choose one photo, and start writing. Do not censor yourself. Set a timer for ten minutes and write without stopping. Look back over your writing. What obsessions have your discovered? What subject is triggered? Choose a form – poem, story, or essay and write for another ten minutes, but this time focus in on the obsession or triggering subject.
I knew exactly the place I wanted to walk and take pictures, and that was at the new Ford’s Well Recreation Center on
the south side of Enid Lake to hike part of the fifteen mile multipurpose Spyglass Hill Trail. The trail is for both hikers and horse back riders. The Ford’s Well area includes a wrangler campground where trail riders can actually camp with their horses. I had never visited a wrangler campground, so it definitely got my attention, and I took out my camera. At every Ford’s Well campsite, there are hitching rails for the horses. For trail riders visiting for the day, there is also an ample parking area for trucks with horsing trailers. Horses were everywhere, and I was definitely not going to pass up the opportunity, so before venturing off on the Spyglass Hill Trail, I took several photos.
The Selected Photo
Out of the many shots I captured that day at the wrangler camp and on the hike along Spyglass Hill Trail, this picture stood out because the horses reminded me of two horses, Trigger and Black Diamond, from my childhood. The first timed writing explored my memory of those two horses and how my fear of riding horses today originated from my experience with them. I chose the essay form. The second focused timed writing took me back forty years ago to the age of eight to to the specific details about those experiences with Trigger and Black Diamond, and then a return to the present to the discovery of a simultaneous fear of horses and a desire to get back in the saddle again.
The draft of this essay is written but it is incomplete. I have to get back in the saddle again in order to finish it. I want to connect my past experiences with horse more concretely to my present experiences with horses to finish the ending of the essay. I have always wanted to ride a horse on the beach at sunset but earlier experiences with Trigger and Black Diamond have made me hesitant to get back in the saddle. Okay, let’s be honest — fearful and trembling in my cowboy boots. So, a few weeks ago, I asked my neighbor and friend, Fred, a horse owner and experienced rider, if she would take me riding on our beach here at Enid Lake, and she said yes. As a matter of fact, she was downright insistent. So, now we just have to set a date.
Today, Fred and her daughter came trotting by on their horses past my place this morning, I was again reminded that I still needed to coordinate the riding with Fred. Again, fear is leading to procrastination.
I will get back on the saddle again because the essay needs an ending, and facing my fears is the only to do it. It’s like writing. The only way through your fear is to write. The only way through my fear is to ride.
Updates to follow….Does she get back in the saddle again?