Laughter Lifts the Heart
Several years into it, and this blog still refuses to be categorized. It's eclectic and includes everything from writing posts to snippets from my ordinary life.
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"Now, may the Lord of peace give you peace always, in every way."
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Give the Lady a Ride
The Final Ride
Ride to the Altar
Circle Bar Ranch Coloring Book
Coming Home: a Tiny House Collection
Skydiving to Love: a Novella
The Cat Lady’s Secret
Writing in Obedience
This month, the CW blog chain is writing about inspiration–where we get ideas for our books. I wish I could claim some lofty and impressive vision, but truth be told, I got my idea for Give the Lady a Ride from TV.
Several years ago, Country Music Television (CMT) had a show called Cowboy U in which city-bred contestants shunned the bright lights for life on a ranch. Upon arrival, their duds were confiscated in exchange for jeans, cotton shirts, boots and cowboy hats. That meant all the cutsie outfits the women had brought were stored away–along with their blowdryers, nail polish, facial goop, and whatever other city trappings they’d hauled along with them. Funny how the men were barely affected by this change in wardrobe. But when a ranch hand entered the bunkhouse before sunrise the next day clanging a tin pot with a metal spoon, the men groaned the loudest.
Each contestant had to participate in a variety of ranch-related activities. They had to learn how to saddle and ride the horses that were assigned to them for the duration of their stay. To me, that would be a dream come true, but for some of these folks who’d apparently never seen anything bigger than a lap dog, the task was daunting. Many of the women couldn’t lift their saddles, much less sling them over the backs of their mounts, or if they could, quite often they couldn’t lift themselves into the saddle. No one could advance to the next task until they had conquered this one, so quitting wasn’t an option, and soliciting help was cheating (unless the boss took pity on them).
Every chore that needed doing on the ranch, they did–mucked stalls, fed critters, roped and rode day in and day out. They learned to drive cattle and separate a calf from the herd. They also learned to palpate pregnant cows, a task that evoked a series of ews from the women–until they felt the calf move (I loved this so much, I included it in my book).
The ultimate task, though, had nothing to do with ranching. They had to ride a bull. Well, more appropriately, a steer. After each busy day on the ranch, rhinestone cowboys and cowgirls alike would line up for their chance on the barrel. This was suspended by ropes and yanked around by one of the hands until the rider either fell off or eight seconds were up. An eight second ride is a successful ride, and making the time on the back of a barrel is a whole lot different from surviving the back of a steer. But they must ride the steer, must strive for the eight, to graduate from Cowboy U.
By the end of the series, the contestants who hadn’t been injured or quit looked good in their Wranglers and Stetsons and wore ’em with pride. They’d succeeded at something few of their friends had even attempted and learned a way of life most folks like me can only daydream about.
This is the world I dropped my New York socialite into. I gave her the ego of a Senator’s daughter and a handsome cowboy to knock her down a peg or two–and a faith lesson learned on the back of a bull.
(Next up in the chain is Kat Connolly in Kat’s Musings. Hers is bound to be special!)