Monday, May 25, 2009


Lois Greiman

I’m an obsessive compulsive personality. I know that because I’m generally consumed by something. I call it my default topic. If my mind isn’t absolutely needed elsewhere, it automatically pops over to my current fixation.

There was a time all I could think about was having babies. I wanted a child something desperate. Even though it really didn’t take me that long to become pregnant, it seemed like a lifetime.

Then there were years…quite a lot of them, actually, when I thought about writing constantly. Plots, phraseology, characters--all cycling wildly around in my mind like manic circus performers.

If I remember correctly, there was even a time when I was rather focused on boys. But that’s so long ago it hardly bears discussion.

Now, however, I have a new obsession. Her name is Bey Silhouett. Let me tell you about her….please!! Here’s a picture of her grandsire, Bey Shah.

And more of her antecedents.

For several years now I’ve been considering adopting a horse from Minnesota Hooved Rescue. It’s kind of like a humane society for horses. Then the economy took a nose dive and people began turning their horses loose and neglecting to feed them etc. so I decided there’s no time like the present. I called the director of the organization and told her that Arabs have always been my favorites. Even though they’re flighty and unpredictable and tend to be overly dramatic about every little scrap of paper that blows through their pasture, they’re also gorgeous and generous and the best endurance horse in the world. So three weeks after calling Rescue I came home with a bay Arab mare.

Little Silly, as she’s called, is not a young horse. Thirteen actually, completely untrained and skittish as a firefly. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be the death of me, but looking at her gives me goosebumps, and as a friend of mine said, every equestrian knows that goosebumps trump training any day of the week.

I was determined to give Silly a month to acclimate to her new environment, but I can’t seem to leave her alone; I have too many plans for her. Here are a few things I’d like to do with her.

Native costume classes. Did I mention that Arabs are all about drama?!

Endurance rides--long distance races--25-100 miles.

Dressage--the elite equestrian sport.

I’m aiming high with this little mare. But if I’m going to dream…

So how about you? Surely you have an obsession or two. Do share.


Betina Krahn said...

Wow, Lois, when you dream, you dream big! What a pedigree for your newest baby! Photos, please!

And as to obsessions. . . I'm not usually obsessed. But toward the end of a book, I get that way. Can't think of anything but the story and getting it done.

Am close to that right now. Deadline approacheth. Swiftly. Forsooth.

Wait-- this isn't a historical! It's my first contemporary. Then the deadline is smackin' down on me. Fast, baby. Dang.dischyp

lois greiman said...

Betina, I think we almost have to become obsessed to get a book finished, don't you? Sometimes it seems to be the only way to get things done. Good luck with your latest and greatest.

Cindy Gerard said...

Congrats on your new passion, Lois. She's a lucky mare to have found such a wonderful home. Just be careful, okay?
Obsessions: Hum. I'm thinking my obsession with Franco on RESCUE ME probably doesn't count. Otherwise, I think I'm going through my birds and blooms obsession phase right now. And all I have to do to feed it is sit at my desk and write - oh, and look out the window at will. :o)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Lois, I want pictures of Silly. (What a handy handle for an Arab--except you can't say, "Don't be Silly.")

I agree with Betina. Novelists have to be obsessive. It's a long haul, and you're traveling in aworld of your own making. You have to keep your head in it because that's the only place it exists.

One of my favorite lines from one of my all-time favorite TV shows (M*A*S*H*) from Winchester, the obsessive perfectionist: "I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then I move on."

ForestJane said...

I'll confess I have a cutting obsession, and so does Debra D. It's no secret, we both attend support groups for it, and in fact, I hope to see her at one tonight. :)

We both go out and buy things to cut, new things. Sometimes we'll spend in excess of $50, $100 even though we both already have closets and boxes full of things to cut. We don't cut with abandon, but are obsessed enough to take rulers and measure and cut precise squares. I've personally cut over a thousand 1½ inch squares, all different colors. Sometimes I even cut squares, piles of them, then go through and cut all my squares into right triangles.

Then we take these squares and triangles and arrange them into patterns and sew them back together.

Us quilters are weird, huh?

lois greiman said...

:) ForestJane, I think you understand my problem completely. I, too, could use an anonymous group.

Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- Jane has it right. We are sooo obsessed about cutting fabric. (g)


Lois, Lois, Lois...isn't 13 a little LATE to be starting dressage? But maybe not. I have a friend who rides dressage and I think she started her filly at 3. Before that she bought an old schoolmaster so she (the human) could be "trained" on how to ride dressage.

I thought that was funny. But the old horse was still quite good.

And horses live to what? 25-30 years?

Helen Brenna said...

I want pics too, Lois! Let's see her.

The closest thing I have to an obsession is chocolate.

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, how wonderful, Lois! And I love her name, Little Silly.

I don't think I have any obsessions. Well, right now I'm a little obsessed with the amount of work Son 2 has to accomplish before school's end. Yeah, =I'm= obsessed, because he keeps telling me not to worry about it.

Kylie said...

Beautiful horse, Lois! And I envy you and all who have horses and ride so effortlessly. I was born with a complete lack of athleticism, LOL and the horses know it! The last time I was on a horse, I was riding bareback without reins, if I recall and fell off while it was cantering and had the wind knocked out of me. But I bear them no ill will. I still think they're gorgeous, and would love to live on a beautiful ranch near Great Falls with one of those lovely horse farms.

Talk about dreaming big!

Obsessions...not so much. Weight is the only thing I've always obsessed about, not that it's done me much good, LOL!

Anonymous said...

You're a brave woman to take on this untrained and unskilled 13y/o. but it is so kind of you.

PHOTOS! We must have photos.

lois greiman said...

Thanks all for the well wishes. And yes, Deb, 13 is old to start anything, (30 is old for a horse) but it's never too late, right? I've been on her back already and although she's super skittish, she's also super intelligent and wants so badly to please. I love her already, which is good, because I promised the former owner that I would keep her forever unless I absolutely can't afford to eat.

Photos--my dialup system doesn't like to put my personal photos up. But when I get some good ones, I'll share. She's so pretty she makes me want to cry. Is that a good sign?

Michele Hauf said...

I love that you have a default. :-)

I'm hoping to make my latest obsession tango. Got a short story to write about a tangoing vampire, so we'll see.

GunDiva said...

Extreme Cowboy Racing - I'm seriously considering entering into one. The problem is, while I can do all sorts of things out on a trail without thinking about it, the minute I'm in an arena and start to think, I can't do a blessed thing. The last race I saw involved side-passing over rails arranged in a "U" shape. I can side-pass over anything if the need is great enough, but on demand? No way!

Good luck with your new baby; I completely understand. My Estes still gives me goosebumps :)

lois greiman said...

GunDiva, please, please please, explain Extreme Cowboy Racing...and tell us about Estes.

Playground Monitor said...

I know nothing about horses except they have 4 legs and a tail. But those photos are gorgeous. My brother-in-law used to raise Arabians and I remember that long neck. Good luck with Little Silly. She's bound to pick up on the fact you care so much, and I bet you have her trained in no time.

Obsessions -- right now I'm obsessing about not being able to stay focused and write. And I'm obsessing over the plantar fasciitis in my right foot. The ortho doc said it would be better in three months and it's been four and still hurts like he-double hockey sticks. I'm seeing him tomorrow afternoon for another non-surgical suggestion.


ForestJane said...

Lois, if you want to e-mail me a picture, I'll stick it up on a web page for you, then you can link the page here, if you want.

We all want to see your new horsie. :)

GunDiva said...

Here's a link to Craig Cameron's website:

You should be able to cut and paste it into your browser. It's a TV show on RFD, but recently Craig Cameron has taken it on the road to several Horse Expos. It's really phenomenal to watch; YouTube has hundreds of videos. You don't need any special training to compete - just a horse (a willing one is best, as the unwilling ones make for good TV, but lousy rides *g*) and rider.

My Estes is nothing special compared to your pedigreed baby, Lois, but I do love that little mare with all my heart. She's Quarter Horse/Morgan mix and just a spitfire. I can't help but grin just thinking about her.

Can't wait to see pics of your Little Sissy :)

lois greiman said...

Gun Diva, I just saw Craig Cameron at the Horse Expo here in MN a few weeks ago. He was pretty phenomenal. I was inspired enough to go out and get a crazy horse. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Lois ENJOY! We had a 3/4 Arab/Quarterhorse cross for many years. He was a wonderful companion - although he was a bit skittish when he was younger, too. He was rather like a large dog and followed me around everywhere. He could open the backdoor to the house but couldn't figure out how to let go of it AND come in at the same time! Happy riding to you and Silly.
Barbara in Texas

GunDiva said...

Barbara, that's hilarious! Lois, good luck with your crazy Arab. Even if you don't get to do any of the cool things you're dreaming of, she'll be worth it!

lois greiman said...

Barbara, I really love that quarter/Arab cross. But it does take them a while to grow up.