the horses are back in town (and a small bit from THE HEART IS NOT A SIZE)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Those who have followed this blog for at least a year know that, come the end of May, I begin to spend at least a few hours most days at the Devon Horse Show, prowling around behind the scenes with my camera in hand.  My long-time love for this show (I first began to visit as a child) inspired many passages in THE HEART IS NOT A SIZE, a book about two teens whose best friendship is tested when they make their way to Juarez.  Before they get there, however, they head on down to the horse show.  I conveniently gave my protagonist, Georgia, a version of my house in which to live.  I transcribed my personal experience into Georgia's tale:

The next day I woke to the quadruple clopping of hooves, the slamming and latching of a pick-up truck.  Boots on asphalt.  I grabbed my glasses, sat up.  From my bedroom window I could see them best—the long line of trailers that had arrived overnight, from California, Connecticut, New Jersey, from every state that claimed a horse with the heart or brawn to win.  The trailers were nose to rear up and down my street—some of them posh as limousines, some with room to spare for the polished carriages and sulkies that would be paraded later that week at the fairgrounds two blocks north. 
The horses were like kindergartners being let out of school—shuddering and tossing their tails as they reverse-walked down the grated ramps.  Their eyes were big as purple summer plums, and all I wanted to do right then was breathe the horses in, press my cheek against their cheeks.  It was early, a Sunday; I called Riley nonetheless.  The horse show came to town only once each year, in May, and the show was a Georgia-Riley tradition.
            “Riley.” I whispered, so that my brothers couldn’t hear.  “They’ve come.”


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