The Writer and the Cowgirl

So it’s the last stretch of NaNoWriMo, with exactly a week left in November! I’m on track with 87,843 words currently, as I’m planning to write around 2000 each remaining day. Today, I almost flipped out when I realized I might have to completely rewrite the second half of my book. In case you don’t remember, my current novel is split into two parts: the first follows the protagonist at 18 years and the second takes place 10 years later. As an infamous “pantser” i.e. someone who does minimal planning before writing, I got myself into a potentially huge hole when I realized that I had gotten some legal processes wrong. I can’t go into too much more detail without giving away spoilers, but basically the trial was taking place in the wrong state. Kind of a problem, wouldn’t you say?! Thankfully, I found a legal loophole that allows the trial to be in the “wrong” state and voilà huge roadblock avoided. For those of you that write realistic fiction, have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? For those of you that read realistic fiction, does it bother you when you know certain events aren’t probable?

As for me, I try to conform to reality as much as possible because the point of my story is that it could happen to any of us. It definitely bothers me when things don’t make sense. Last week, my friends and I went to watch Captain Phillips (highly recommended!) and we couldn’t figure out for the life of us why there wasn’t one gun on the entire ship. Obviously, this is a bad example because the film is based on a true story, but we still wished that they had explained this conundrum.

You guys might remember as well that my agent voiced concerns about the marketability of the novel because of the younger/older voice issue. I finally heard back from her after she’d read the first few chapters of the second part and she loved them. That’s both good and bad news. Good because it’s always nice to hear that she likes my writing and bad because she likes the second part better than the first. Does that mean I should hack up the first part and intersperse it throughout the second as flashbacks? I have no idea at this point and I’m just going to finish up the second part before thinking about it. I’m still partial to my original idea of keeping it in two separate parts, but I’m open to other suggestions.

Well, I’ve talked too much about writing now. Life in general, let’s see…yesterday I went out to Red Hawk with my friends and we ran into my date from last week whom I’d “dumped” over the weekend. A very potentially awkward situation was avoided by the discreet staff who snuck us into the restaurant without being seen. I proceeded to finish maybe 1/5 of my mojito — I think I’m making progress on my alcohol tolerance! Besides that, I’m loving the snow and winter weather. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving break, but not the three papers and honors thesis stuff I have to finish. Yesterday, I wrote six pages of my autobiography in French. I think the hardest part was figuring out how to say “first grade”, “seventh grade”, and “cross-country running”. I ended up with “en cours préparatoire”, “la classe de cinquième”, and “le cross”. Fabrice, help!

And finally…what you’ve all been waiting for, my transformation from writer to cowgirl. Don’t ask me how it happened and I feel very strange looking at these photos. You can see for yourself. It suffices to say that I was the only Asian cowgirl in the entire show and probably in the history of America.

Okay, okay, you can stop laughing now.

As you can see, I’m much more comfortable in my English gear.

I ended up with two third place ribbons!

À la prochaine,



6 thoughts on “The Writer and the Cowgirl

  1. It’s easy, primary school goes from “école maternelle” to CP (“cours préparatoire”), then CE1 & CE2 (“cours élémentaire 1 & 2”) and finally the last two years CM1 & CM2 (“cours moyen”).

    Then middle school start in 6ème up to 3ème included. And high school is only 3 years, 2nd, 1ère and the last one we call Terminale (or just T). And in 1ère you have to choose between science, economy or litterature. For instance I choosed science, so I was in 1ère S. and then in TS.

    Easy 🙂

    Horse riding looks fun btw !

  2. Congrats on the ribbons! And good luck with figuring out your novel. I think it would definitely be interesting rewriting the first part as flashbacks, but it would be more unique leaving it the way you have it. You can do it!!

  3. Pingback: Navigating the Single Waters | Rebecca Cao

  4. 2/8/15 Wrote:
    Don’t feel too uneasy about your western horsewoman photographs. I think you look beautiful in that cowgirl outfit and your horse is gorgeous. I love cowgirls, and I think you don’t have to be a white woman to be a cowgirl; It may seem that white women dominate in western horse shows, but don’t worry; there are plenty of cowgirls who are African-American, Mexican-American, Arabian, Hawiian, and yes, Asian American. You look ravishing in those photos. It just takes a while to get used from being in English rider tack and uniform to Western wear. I just happen to prefer Western over English riders. I hope you enjoyed yourself at that horse show.

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