Tag Archives: Do It

Twenty One…and Older. MUCH Older

When I Was One-and-Twenty

By A. E. Housman

When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
       But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
       But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
       No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
       I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
       Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
       And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
       And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

I was managing a stable when I was twenty one. I cleaned stalls, groomed horses, helped prepare horses for training or lessons. When you’re the only person who sticks it out, you become by attrition the manager, it’s not always about being the most qualified.

One of the students was the son of a veterinarian who admired something about the way I did my work. He tried to encourage me to go to vet school, and be more than a stall cleaner.

“But…but…I’m over twenty. By the time I finish vet school, I’ll be thirty or more.”

And he pointed out, not so gently: “By that time you’ll be thirty or more whether you go to vet school or not.”



Yeah, he was right.

I didn’t go to vet school. For one thing it wasn’t exactly my path especially since I am so not a people person. Plus my journey led to a different destination…though I was not sure at that time what that destination might be. However, I took that wisdom with me wherever I did go.

You say you can’t write a book since it’s going to take six to nine months and you just don’t have that time? Or maybe you can’t write a series since OMG it will be several years and you’ll be so old?

Well, MONA, you’ll be that old anyway.

So pull up your BIG girl panties (the purple ones with lace) and DO IT.

Don’t come to the end of days with a bucket load of “wish I hads”


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The Science of Suckology…with thanks to Kristen Lamb

While I was putting this post together in between laundry and cleaning and dog rotations (the first two only seem critical when I’m writing, the third is ongoing) Kristen Lamb’s new blog showed up It’s well worth the read…I’ll get a cup of hot water while you check it out.

There. I find hot water is as comforting as coffee, and if you have good water, almost as tasty. The concept for Science of Suckology came about during that great LERA meeting I talked about in January: Time To Grow Up. A panel of multi published best selling authors sat at the front of the room, and admitted their writing sucked. At least the first iteration and sometimes after several rounds of edits.

If they thought their writing sucked, what right did I  have to think my writing sucked? How dare I put myself at their level? Wait, that’s kind of downer language isn’t it? Why do we so readily claim failure? Do we want people to deny our words, and build us up with their protests? Is it part of our upbringing? “Ladies don’t put themselves forward, dear.” Well, bollocks to that, if not for bold women our world would be in even worse shape…and isn’t that a great theme for a future blog?

We begin as we mean to go on. Check out my first paragraph. At one time I would have written “trying to write.” But as Yoda (the ultimate authority) pointed out


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