I’ve spent time reflecting lately, specifically on why I started my writing journey. At first it was easy; I remember the instant I decided I wanted to write a novel.
I had just finished another ho-hum young adult novel, uninspired, speculating that the reason my students didn’t like reading is that there aren’t any good books to read. When the idea hit me, why don’t I try my hand at writing for this hard market? It seemed like a good idea at the time. I just needed a great topic.
Writing about Kobi wasn’t my first thought, but once I had the thought it consumed me. I had to share Kobi’s story. But why? Why the drive, the need, the passion to tell about my little mustang? I love the story, but then again, I love the horse too. But why write about it instead of keeping his story to myself?
I realized the ‘why’ just a few days ago. I want the world to know that mustangs matter. They aren’t some unwanted, nuisance breed, who isn’t good for anything more than target practice for ranchers who detest them, or even worse, good only for dog food. I want the world to know that mustangs in general, Kobi in particular, are incredibly smart and talented.
I’ve heard Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was responsible for bringing the plight of the work horse to public attention. What about the plight of the mustang? There are still some people who don’t realize we still have herds of wild mustangs out west. These animals still matter.
But even aside from the mustangs and aside from Kobi, Jake’s story is important too. His abuse didn’t happen a hundred years ago, it happened within the last ten years. Another plight, this time of work horses in our own country. Unfortunately, Jake isn’t with me anymore. I can’t show anyone the notch dug deep into his neck, or the white hairs showing the nerve damage. I can’t let anyone see or even smell the damage in his hooves. But his story matters too.
So that’s it. I want the world to not only know the amazing things mustangs can do, but the brutal things humans do as well.
I know, I know, I hear the words of my mother in my head telling me to get off my soapbox now. So I will. I’ve said my peace, I’ve given my reasons, I’ve found my ‘why’.