Friday, May 16, 2008

Stuff My Agent Made Me Take Out For Very Good Reasons #1

I love this prayer I wrote for my novel Act of Grace, but my agent said it was to much, and she's right, but I still love it. My Buddhist friend, who I thought would be really offended, loved it so much she asked for a copy.

My sister says this is how we pray when we know we have to forgive but we are still too angry to do it the right way. She says God understands but the expectation is that we have to do better in the future. That was my thought about the charater Grace when I wrote the prayer. At this point in the novel she knows she's suppose to forgive, but she's still too angry to do it right.

A Prayer for Our Enemy

Forgive all our enemies, those who can still be helped as well as all the abominable and evil ones who still be hating on us and wishing evil on us and just being dumb and ignorant by lying and deceiving and judging and damnming us. Holy One be as honey to my enemies. Holy One be as the moon and the sun and the stars to them that hate us. Holy One please take from me my desire to beat my enemies’ lying, deceitful and judgmental asses.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

To My Mother Dorothy Jean Vancatledge Simpson

My mother is a poem I'll never be able to write, though everything I write is a poem to my mother.
~Sharon Doubiago

Thanks mom for everything. You died too young but all your little birds are doing well.

Love Karen

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Memories of Race Horses Past

Paparouna also known as Poppy

I love horses and horse racing. When I was young I read nothing but horse novels and dreamed of learning to ride. Horse love got me into quilting but that's a story for another time. I use to be more addicted to the sport of racing than I am now. Once upon another lifetime I could spout off racing stats and quote pedigrees like scripture. I was the only African American teenager I knew who could read and use the Daily Racing Form.

About eleven years ago I was involved in a group called Virtual Owner Partnership where for 500.00 ( yes 500.00 ) a person could participate in the ownership of a racehorse. We were a group of folks who came from all walks of life to indulge in our obsession via the Internet. It was one of the most interesting thing I've ever done.

The first horse I was a part of was a wonderful filly named Papaprouna. Paparouna was a beautiful flaming red daughter of the great Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, a grand daughter of the immortal Secretariat. The only reason our cash poor group got her was because during the auction a bird pooped on the head of the other high bidder and by the time he came back from washing the poop out his hair our group had her. There was almost a fist fight in the parking lot about that.

Paparouna was big ( 17 hands), strong and freakishly fast. Fillies and colts from the Unbridled bloodlines tend to come that way, they also tend to be rather unsound. During her racing career Paparouna was constantly sore or coming up lame. As a three year old she was on track to be nominated for the Kentucky Oaks (the filly's version of the Kentucky Derby) . Unfortunately she came up sore before the big race. As bad as we wanted to go to Kentucky- I mean it is the dream of a lifetime for any owner- our group had enough sense and horsemanship to send our baby back to the farm to rest and recover. Other horses in racing aren't so lucky. Horse racing in America tends to be about money and speed even it hurts the horse.

We raced Poppy for a while and then sold her to become a broodmare. While we received a lot of money for Poppy, several of the small time partners, including me, couldn't help but think that we were helping to past those unsound genes to the next generation.

Perhaps you have heard by now of the filly Eight Belles who shattered both front legs after finishing second in this years Kentucky Derby. It was a blessing that the camera was on the winner Big Brown when it happened. Eight Belles was huge, strong and freakishly fast and it didn't surprise me when I checked her pedigree that she was out of those fragil Unbridled's Although the winner of the Kentucky Derby is a great story, I'm still heartsick over Eight Belles. May she rest in peace in the great lush pastures of the sky.
Horse racing needs to do some deep soul searching. Information about this year's Kentucky Derby and the Eight Belles tragedy is available on NPR.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My First Meme - How Quirky Am I ?

Carleen over at the Pajama Gardener tagged me for my first meme.

Here are the rules:

Link the person who tagged you.

Mention the rules in your blog.

Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.

Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.

Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs
letting them know they've been tagged

My problem is that most of my friends don’t blog so I’m just going to link to the one that does. So, Stehanie Feldstein you and your lovely pitbulls come on down.

My quirks :

have a terrible sense of direction meaning I couldn’t find my way around a small paper bag. I am the last person in the world you would want to ask for directions to anywhere. I navigate around my home town almost solely by landmarks. Don’t ever ask me what street something is on because I probably couldn't tell you. Thank God for Map Quest and cars with GPS units .

I’ve been to Ghana, Nova Scotia and Ireland but I have never traveled to the Upper Peninsula of my home state of Michigan, which is pretty strange

I’m very picky about the kind of yellow pads and mechanical pencils I use to write my first drafts of fiction on. I didn’t use to be like this. The first draft chapter of Act of Grace was written on small post it notes because the story just felt too big and scary to write on larger sheets of paper. ( My sister says that writers are just so damn weird)

Nobody and I do mean nobody uses my large quilting scissors,especially the ones I use to cut fabric with. I have found that a lot of quilters are like this about their personal sewing equipment.

Like Carleen I too have to keep everything I use within eyesight, especially for the book I’m writing ,or any quilt I’m working on. It leads to piles of stuff on all my tables and my desk.

One of my favorite foods in the world is chocolate covered matzo. I don’t like to use salad size forks to eat with. I truly believe that okra is a disgusting, useless vegetable. An added extra bonus quirk - I leave the Television on to keep my dog Nyla company while I'm at work.( Yes I know it's wasteful but I worry that she gets lonely.)