Monday, May 31, 2010

This Memorial Day....

Thank a soldier for the everyday freedom we here at home get to enjoy. It's no lie when people call them heroes, no exaggeration.
 So thank you Grandpapa M., Grandpa K., Cousin Monte, my great-uncles, both my neighbors, new recruit Brian, from my church, and recently deployed in Iraq, all the army chaplains, and all those have served and those continuing to serve.
 Freedom doesn't come free.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cilla or Gwyn? Cilla or Gwyn? Cilla or... Arrrrrgh! Help! and Goats??

Fellow people with opinions, I need your help!
For a little while now, I've been debating on whether or not to change my main character{from my main novel: The Legend of Skyrian} from Gwyn to Cilla. Can you help?
  Here are the Pros and Cons
Gwyn{short for Gwyniver}
  • Has a Medieval ring to it
  • Is suited for her era
  • Full name is unique to my story 
  • Looks too similar to "Gwinivier"
  • "Gwyn" has been used in other medieval fantasy books
  • I'm not positive it suits her character perfectly
Cilla{can be short for Percilla}
  • Has rarely been used at all
  • Suits her character maybe a little better than "Gwyn"
  • I like it's slightly musical sound and how naturally comes to me when I think about her character
  • "Percilla" is a period name from the 18th and 19th centuries
  • It can come off as sounding "prissy" - which my character is not in the least!
Well, there it is. Can you help me out? Please leave a comment and vote!

Other news.....

The weather has been gorgeous around here{at last}! In the 70's and 80's! Can you believe it?
 I have been riding and photographing like there's no tomorrow. I want to stick all my pictures up on Wandering Stills, but the computer with the pictures, the iMac, needs a brain transplant aka new hardrive, so that's out until Da can find enough time to install it. :/

 Some more May news:
A few day's ago, while I was feeding the horses, I found that my brother's rabbit "Madam Miffy Fluffypaws" had died. And that it was probably my fault. *guilty look* You see, the day before I'd given her some fresh grass - and it might have been to much. Rabbits have extremely delicate digestive systems... I might have kicked her bucket, so to speak. Well, that's the only reason I can find anyway. I could have been something else I don't know of but...*shrugs*  She was young, bouncy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed until I found her stone dead.
So that's it for the rabbits around here. It couldn't have happened at a worse time, either, when I'm trying to convince my Da to let my get a couple pygmy goats. I cacn do goats, by the way. I've had them before for years and we got on splendidly! But Da doesn't think we need them, Mum says if I can care for them and keep them off her lilacs it's okay.
  So really all I need is a purpose for them other than "pets" in Da's eyes. I don't fancy raising them for meat. And I don't think you can milk pygmies, can you? People with goats, please throw in your advice!

Thank you!!! Gwyn/Cilla :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

My *new* BEST horse drawing :)

Very pleased with it :D

It took me four hours and 20 different colored pencils -- but it was soooo worth it!

Thunderstorms have been ripping through the area{And a few tornado warnings O.o}, so I can't really post - :/ But anyway.

 Comments welcome! And till later! ~Gwyn

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The long awaited Part 2 of Captivating

  To read part one go here
{Note: Not everything is historically correct - I've changed a few things for story purposes ;)}  Copyright Gwyniver@Celtic Cowgirl

The maidservant soon over came her fear and scrubbed Gwyn pink. Despite her skin being scraped and scratched, she was thankful to be clean again.
  Later, standing in a towel and shivering in the damp castle draft, Gwyn was given a green gown.
  “Put this on.” The maid said, handing it to Gwyn. Then haltingly, “It was his sister’s.”
Gwyn paused as she pulled the gown over her head, her boundless curiosity piqued despite her situation.
   “What happened to her?” Gwyn gasped as the maid tightened the gown’s lacings.
  “Skinny as a broom.” Was all the maid grumbled, avoiding Gwyn’s further questions.
The maid finished Gwyn off with what seemed to her a ridiculous braid that looped over her head like a sort of tiara. On another girl, Gwyn thought it would look lovely, but on her own scalp it made her look ladylike and prim. Maybe that was the idea. She felt sick.
The maid lead her along the passageway they had first come and then down another that lead deeper into the keep, towards what Gwyn could only assume was the great hall. Panic slowly sapped her determination. She should break for it now, she thought as they passed the last door leading to the courtyard. But at the same time knew she hadn’t a chance. Especially when she thought of her brothers, undoubtedly locked away in some corner of the castle until labor was assigned to them. No, she couldn’t even try running.
  The maid halted before the doors at the end of the passage and turned to Gwyn. “You are to dine with the master,”
  “Does this “master” have a name?” Asked Gwyn scornfully, inwardly trying to quell her mounting nerves. The maid only glared and continued: “You are to behave yourself and call him ‘my lord’,” Gwyn rolled her eyes. Why not ‘my liege’, or  ‘most high’?
  “None of that funny business you were toss’n round before, ya hear. He’s done more for you than you know.”
  “Done for me?” Gwyn exploded. “The only thing he’s done for me is dump me an’ my countrymen on this - this rock - to be slaves for you English dogs! As if Richard’s taxes weren't enough..!” She would have gone on but the maid shoved her through the doors. Angrily Gwyn gave them a sharp kick. “What?” she demanded from the guards posted on either side of the oaken doors.  They said nothing, only exchanged glances after Gwyn’s back was turned.
  There was no one else in the hall, Gwyn saw. Only a long table, a few benches,  a fireplace along the far wall. Gwyn had never been inside a castle before - once she had been in the bailiff's courtyard by accident when a goat had run away - but she was surprised how bare this one was and guessed that the lord, for all his cheek, was a poor one.
  Somewhat relieved her captor hadn’t arrived yet, Gwyn immediately pulled out the pins that held her hair and shook it out again. Feeling its familiar weight  on her back gave her some courage. Come what may, she was still Gwyn.

  The doors creaked again and the Master strode in. Gwyn noted with satisfaction that he had had to wash and put on new clothes as well. But her small triumph was dashed when he sent her another of his annoying smiles. “Ah, you cleaned up rather nicely after your ducking, didn’t you?” Gwyn only scowled. He shook his head. “Come sit,” he said motioning to the bench beside his own chair. Gwyn crossed her arms. “Won’t.”
  “That’s seems a bit ungrateful after my halls have offered you nothing but hospitality.”
  “Oh, does it? Well, excuuuse me! I am as yet unfamiliar will English hospitality. Where I come from stealing someone from their home, dumping them in some bucket barely fit for sailing, and then drowning them in court ponds isn’t really considered the ideal of kindliness. And beside that I don’t even know your name, let alone the name of this -” she motioned at the castle in general. “- this horrid place.”
   The lord donned a thoughtful expression. In the glow of the fire Gwyn realized how young he was; hardly more than three years older than herself, she guessed, which startled her. To her, lords and their vassals had always been mid-thirties or more; fat and in love with their tankards and purses.
   “Very well. I will enlighten you if you eat and behave well.”
 Gwyn moved to the opposite end of the table. “Aht.” He patted the bench next to him. The guards at the door were enjoying this, Gwyn was sure. Face aflame she stalked to the bench and sat stiffly.
  “Good girl.”
Servants entered the hall bearing trays and bowls of food, placing portions in trenchers before the two seated. As they ate - one of them anyway - the lord answered Gwyn: “My name is Nolen Azure, knight of the King of England and lord of Ilairha, this fine manor in which you find yourself. Pray tell what your name is.” Grudgingly but mindful of their agreement spoke, “Gwyniveir O’Hera, daughter of James the wheel wright.” Nolen burst out laughing. “I knew it! I knew it!” Still laughing he called to one of his guards, “Ranulf! Pay up! You heard it from her own mouth!” The older looking guard grinned good naturedly and tossed the young lord a gold piece.
  “You see,” Nolen explained when he recovered. “We heard about your little encounter with the bailiff of Riely last summer. And when they hauled you off that boat I knew at once I’d met the wheel wright of Riely’s daughter.”
  Gwyn was speechless. “I - I only -,” she struggled.
   “Only beat him off with a milk bucket.” Nolen finished. For the first time Gwyn almost smiled. But talk of her home town reminded her of her family. Suddenly her throat felt tight. “Where are my brothers?”
  Nolen quieted when he saw how Gwyn had changed. He cleared his throat. “I think it’s time I make clear that I am not the enemy. Neither I nor any of my people are responsible for you and your countrymen's capture and intended slavery.” He held up a hand when Gwyn began to interrupt. “I am in the pay of King Richard who is fervently against the ransacking and pillaging of the Irish coast that continues even though we are under the same rule. When such pirates enter my port I “purchase” their captives and soon after order my soldiers to take the ship and crew and send them on to London, where they will be given trials and sentences. Meanwhile those taken from their homes are returned with a few extra coins in their purses.”
  Gwyn was silent for a long moment, pondering everything Nolen had told her. Could it really be true that they would be sent home? Just like that? ‘Thank you for helping us catch these outlaws. You can go home now. Oh, and here, have a few coins!’  It seemed unreal. At the same time hope’s warm blossom unfolded in her heart.
“But you still haven’t answered my question: Where are my brothers?” she asked again. If he was telling the truth he wouldn’t hesitate to prove otherwise now.
  “There is a ship leaving for Ireland tomorrow at dawn for them and the others.”
  She swallowed. “ ‘Them’? ‘ The others’? Do I take that to mean I am not leaving with them?”
  Nolen paused, uncertain. “Well... I had hoped you would stay. To tutor my niece.”
  This was too much. Feeling the tears come, Gwyn shut her eyes and bit her lip.
   “Eleanor has done nothing but talk of you since your little rebellion.” Nolan continued speaking faster as if it would make it less painful. “She’s nine now. I think she see you as her matriarch. She won’t take orders from anyone, saying that you certainly wouldn’t.
    “Please, Gwyn,”  She jerked as if struck when he used her name. “Six months. Six months is all I’m asking. And then - and then if you wish you can return to Ireland far richer than any bailiff ever was. Will you consider?”
  Gwyn stared levelly at the dark haired young man before her, with a slight shake in her voice she answered bitterly, “How could I refuse?”

Hope you enjoyed! Constructive comments welcome! Oh, and I am going to write and third and fourth part :) I've got ideas flowing!! ~Gwyn
(copyright Gwyniver @ Celtic Cowgirl)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robin Hood, Prekness, Round up, Farrier, and a Farewell

What do all these things have in common? They all happened between Saturday and today!

{I've might be a little brief because there's a thunderstorm on its way}

I'll start with the Prekness Stakes: Congrats to Lookin' at Lucky, the Derby favorite! What a great run! I was hoping that Super Saver would win again and have a chance at the Triple Crown, but oh well. It was still great.
  I'm sooo glad that nobody's gotten hurt so far this year. I think for the past three years there's been at least one "casualty". I'm keepin' my fingers crossed! On to the Belmont Stakes in a few weeks!

That same evening my eldest sister took me and my older brother to Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. I love his movies! They are all brilliantly made and just wonderful! However, he could lay off the gore.
  This Robin Hood is a whole new take on the classic tale. And, as was promised in the trailers, it went above and beyond my expectations. I mean, the cavalry charges were magnifico!!!!!! I saw Andalusians, Friesians, New Forest Ponies(!), Barbs, and many more beautiful and unique horses! And the wolf hounds were cool too :)
  Story: ***********+!!!!
  Costumes: ***** Five stars!
  Weapons: ****/* Four & 1/2 stars! Brilliant! Though, I did see one weapon that didn't exactly fit the era{turn of the 12th century}. I can't remember what it was, but I know a saw something :P
  Rated PG-13
As a whole, I would highly recommend this film to peoples ages 15+, because, as I mentioned before, the violence, and a few inappropriate scenes towards the beginning.
  But still, an amazing movie. Adding it to my list of favorites.

I rode Roanie all day Sunday. What a wonderful time I had :)

Yesterday I spent a total of 6 hours on my feet helping the farrier trim all our horses' hooves. Talk about a long and smelly day. Bleck. The horses didn't feel like cooperating either.
That evening our neighbor asked my Da and I to round up his two year olds{horses} and stick them in the barnyard for him. So I pop on Shyanne and Da grabs Wilber and we head out into the neighbors' South pasture. Well, I hadn't ridden Shyanne all Spring so she was real fresh, and by the time we got to the TYOs we were both pretty worn out. Then the TYO's capered around us really close as we headed them slowly back the way we'd come{over a mile}, making Shyanne a nervous wreck and permenetly bruising my rear with her stiff legged prancing and hopping.
  We had just come within sight of the barn when Diamond, the ex-stud horse, came charging over the hill. Great. Da had to beat him off and all his mares wile I had to push and bunch the TYOs myself. We made it back - barely - by the time it was dark.

This morning i said good-bye to my eldest sister as she and my aunt set off across the country - my sister to grad school, and my aunt back to her family in the same state. A sad moment. I honestly don't know when I will see her again. Could be in a month - could be Christmas! Who knows. *sigh*
  Life is changing so fast suddenly. My grandmum's passing; my brother's graduation; me getting my driver's permit; planning on possibly flying to see my cousins - on my own(!); My{other} sister's old friend moving in to become her new "house-mate"{It's funny. The girl has the same name as my eldest sister that's moving! :P}; and of course my sister's leaving. I guess we three girls won't be having that crazy summer together on the lake after all. :(

Ouch. I am sore too. 've been weed-whacking all afternoon. Makes your arms go numb after awhile :/
Well... Later. If I'm still alive :) ~Gwyn

P.S. New speed record for me: 78mph!!!!! Weeee-oooo!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My average day

Just a post to show you what goes on in my average day{While I'm waiting to go to Track & Field} :)

7:30 - 8:00am{I can sleep in now that the water tanks aren't freezing!}
  My morning begins. Get out of bed after laying in it an extra five minutes. Dress and brush hair and teeth. Head out to do the usual chores - feeding horses and letting them out to pasture; letting dogs out, etc. Come back, eat breakfast, grab school books.

8:00 - 11:30am
  Do school, beginning with Bible and devotional readings; then writing/copywork/penmanship; 2 or 3 lessons of algebra; history readings; Psycology lecture{dvd}; latin; maybe get in a few Classic book readings{extremely dull. Avoid when possible}

11:30am - 12:00pm
Free time, spent outside mostly.

12:00 -12:30pm

12:30 - 1:30pm
More free time spent outside or on the computer.

1:30 - 4:00pm
  Work. Doing the odd and ever present jobs that comes with being a farmer and sculptor's daughter. Cleaning/filling out water tanks, currying horses, plastering{part of the molding process in sculpture making}, mowing, straightening the house, picking up all the odd sticks and bones the dogs bring back and leave on the lawn. All sorts of things like that.

4:00 - 6:00pm
  Time I usually spend reading, blogging, going on adventures through the pastures and so on.

6:00 - 6:30pm

6:30 - 8:00pm
  My time to ride! Work with the horses and, later as the sun goes down, feed them.

8:00 -10:30pm
  Maybe watch a movie or play a game with the family.  Write, write, write!{I write best at night, for some reason} Draw, paint, or read.

10:30 -11:45pm
  Ready self for sleep. Maybe take a shower depending on what kind of day I had. Read Bible, a chapter of Esther and two chapters in Matthew. Read some "Do Hard Things". Read other book that I've read through out the day and can't get enough of. Realize what time it is and that the things I read and thought were hilarious aren't actually all that funny{due to the fact I'm sleep-deprived and a little woozy}. Sleep.

Yeah. It goes something like that :) Though the time deals after 11:30am are just estimates.

Ooo! lunch time now! And I get to drive to Track & Field!!! Yaaaay! Wish me luck! ~Gwyn

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It just not my day*scratch* - week*scratch* - month!

This morning as I went to feed the animals I saw I was missing one, namely Saber, the 30-something old cow horse. Ah, dear, I thought to myself, If he's not here for his breakfast and everyone else is... Well, I figured that maybe he had gone off to die{that's putting it bluntly enough, isn't it?}. My reason for thinking so pessimistically, you ask? Okay, I'll tell you: For the past few months both Saber and Bingo{if you have no idea who I'm talking about, you can visit "My Animals"} have been looking their age. Worse actually. And, in the past week, Saber has been looking even worse than worse, if that's possible. Clumps of hair laying about, bones sticking out no matter how much grass, grain, and hay he gets 24/7. Sad, really. And when horses go to die they go off by themselves, much like when mares foal, and about the only other time they will willingly leave the rest of the herd. So, you can understand why I thought thus at that point. Anyway, after feeding and watering everybody else I went search of him. In my experience dying animals usually head for a gully or some low place with trees, so I went to all those kinds of places he could've reached, but found naught. But then I stumbled on to him in one of the sheds. He wasn't dead I as had assumed, but he was laying down, and it looked as if he had been all night. Then I fear the dreaded colic: bane of the equine world. To test, I proffered a handful of hay and to my relief he ate ravenously - albeit awkwardly on his side. That also confirmed my theory that he had been down all night.{Going about this like a detective, aren't I? :P} Next I tried to get him up. He struggled at first but then sank back exhausted. He must've tried all night. He wasn't sick or dying: he just couldn't get up!  That brighten my mood considerably. I didn't have to stick a tube up his nose after all! And trust me, if that situation can be avoided... happy be me!
  But I still had the problem of getting him up. He was on his side, laying on his shoulder so he couldn't get his leg under him, and on a slant with the support pole in front of him. Yeah. No to mention his big. Huge. {;)} Not an easy project.
  I pulled at his head and pushed at his side; pulled at his leg in an effort to get it under him so he could stand. After about twenty minutes and no avail I was growing quite hot and not a little discouraged and he was exhausted and seemed to decide he didn't want up so bad after all.
  I ended up having to run to my da's studio{he's a sculptor, so you know. The studio is a few hundred yards from our house} and get him. By the time we go back to the shed Saber had miraculously gotten up! But he looked terrible and his legs shook with the effort. I fed him and he seemed happy about that.

  On the way back to the house Da and I had to discuss putting Saber and Bingo down. Not a fun topic but one that could no longer be put off. We had planned to put them down last Fall but ran into several set backs until it became to cold. But now that the ground has thawed, it may be time. It's not that we want to "do away" with them, but they are at the point where it's almost cruel to let them go on. They're not going to get any better, either. *sigh* Da thinks it will be best when the ground dries out. That means possibly next week. *sighs* Ah, well. They've both had really long and happy lives, I'm glad to say.

 Da also has another molding project and that means I get to help with the tedious jobs of measuring, and stirring, and cutting paper cups and fiberglass sheets!! Oh boy!!

Till we meet again{I'll probably be covered in plaster} ~Gwyn

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sooo much better

Thank you all once again for supporting me and my family with your thoughts and prayers! It's a wonderful feeling to know some one{even if you don't know them by their real name} is out there praying for your comfort. And believe me, I felt your prayers. After the funeral this incredible sense of peace came over me, and now, I'm not sad anymore. I mean, yeah, I still get a twinge when I realize I'll never talk to my grandma again in this life. Or hear her laugh or paint with her again; but it's much easier to bear now. So thank you all.

It's raining torrents here. The pond is flooded and the normally dry creek after which my road is named after is running quite fast. I'll have to take my little brother out when it stops pouring to sail a few bark boats. And of course the dogs will love a good swim. It's a pity none of our horses like water. Besides Corona who I can't ride anyway. I love riding through streams and ponds, and someday I want to ride in the ocean :) That would be awesome.
Since we are taking a sort of break after the emotional and hectic past week{the funeral, my elder brother's graduation, music performances, homeschool group activities, and extended family visits} and because no one{I know} wants to work out in the rain all day, I'm doing my Spring Cleaning today. I've finally finished my walk-in closet and most of my room. And land sakes! I've got a bunch of junk! I also organized all my story notes, pictures, information, maps, drawings, ideas, and references into one huge binder that's zipper hardly, well, zips. :P Going through all that really got me excited to start writing again. Yay! At last I'm feeling happy and creative again.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Yesterday -- Was it only yesterday? -- my dear, dear Grandmother passed away. I was not surprised; she had took a turn for the worse. And since I had an idea it was coming I guess it wasn't so bad for me. After all, I know she's in Heaven for she was always a devout believer in our Savior.
  Yesterday was also a big music day for us and since we couldn't cancel, we went ahead and did the performances{two in all}. It wasn't until after my brother and I played our Calliope House/Cowboy Jig duet and the MC of the Fine Arts Fair stood and said that our Grandma would be proud, that her absence really hit home for me. And the MC telling us that... I couldn't stay in the building anymore. By the time I got out to the truck I was flat out sobbing. I know I have that song on my playlist "Cowgirls Don't Cry", but I guess if that's true, I'm not a cowgirl because I cried like I never had before. This is the first time that someone really close to me has passed away. And I miss her, I miss her so badly! The rush of memories was indescribable as I cried in the truck, at times for lack of a better outlet for my emotions, punching and kicking the seat. Not out of anger, but out of raw grief. I repeated the memories out loud as they came to me. No one was around, and even if they were, what did I care if they heard me?
  The ones that stood out most were the time my brothers and I painted her deck just last summer in the hot sun while she sat in a chair and told us funny stories of when my Dad was a teenager, or when she was teaching me to paint; when I was little and we went to the park and played games and then stopped by the movie store to rent a "horse movie!". She and Grampa came to all my soccer games and we always went to the Purple House {a purple snack shed on the fields} to buy a candy. And Sundays, every Sunday, up till January, we would have a special Sunday dinner.
  There are so many more memories that I hold dear. But... I really wish I had asked her about her life growing up on a farm during WWII. And her Dad: he was a story just waiting to be written, being a stowaway from Ireland on a ship bound for freedom in the United States. And of course her mother who died when she was only three. There's so much I wish I'd asked her, but I wrongly assumed that the chance to learn about her past would come of its own accord. I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask your grandparents about their lives before you no longer have the option. Likely enough, they'll be willing to tell you everything.

My cousins are all flying up tonight for the funeral and vigil tomorrow and Friday. I'm to play Oh, Danny Boy, a song my great-grandpa used to sing to Grandma when she was a child and one she loved dearly. I wonder if I can play it at all.

I am already tired of being on the verge of tears, I want to be happy again. I want everything to go back to normal. I want my Grandma back.
 I told God last night, God, I know your time is perfect, and that Grandma is much better and happier where she is now, but Lord, I already miss her so....
 I really don't know how I'm going to get through both services. I wish there was only one.

 I beg that you pray for my entire family. Especially for my Grandpa. He has not been without Grandma for any long period of time in sixty-five years. I am comforted by my Lord and his wonderful creations, horses. Whom I am sure he granted special, you could say, "powers".

In memory of my dear Grandma 
July 1925 ~ May 4th, 2010
 {these tulips were her favorite}