FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS
I have always had two burning ambitions – to own a horse and to write and publish a novel.
I’ve been crazy about all animals, especially horses, for as long as I can remember. My family was not particularly horsey and we didn’t have land or money. Growing up in Wales, I had a dog, a Cardiganshire Corgi, who I loved very much, but I longed to ride a horse. My friends and I used to sneak along to a field nearby where the beach donkeys grazed, and ride them bareback with no saddle or bridle, and all my pocket money went on carrots for them. When my father realised how horse mad I was, he arranged for me have riding lessons, where I not only learned how to ride, but how to feed and care for horses and ponies. We were not particularly well off, and having a horse of my own still seemed like a distant pipedream. I worked at the stables during the summer holidays for rides and a little pocket money, but it was still not enough to enable me to buy my own horse.
Eventually I left school, got a full-time job and saved for five years, until I was at last able to purchase my first horse, a mare called Flikka. I kept her at a friend’s farm and bred a foal from her which I broke in myself and I have had horses ever since, although I still don’t have land of my own and have to rent pasture and buildings, so most of my money goes on that and we don’t often have holidays or meals out – but in this life one has to prioritise and for me, my animals are my priority. I also have a little rescued terrier. There is nothing to equal the feeling of freedom that comes from riding out in the hills, with beautiful scenery all around and the companionship of a horse, or going for long walks with my dog.
I was always a dreamer, and made up stories from a young age. When out in the Welsh hills, with no-one but my horse, and the occasional sheep or red kite for company, I was able to give my writing free rein, if you’ll pardon the pun. I started writing down some of those stories and eventually wrote a Science Fiction romance which I called ‘Starquest’. Then real life got in the way, I had two sudden family bereavements, and then for several years I was too involved with horses and endurance riding to think about writing. Then one summer I took out the long abandoned manuscript, and decided it was time to do something about it. I completely re-wrote it, re-discovering along the way, my love of writing. After several rounds with crit partners I sent it off to The Wild Rose Press and was lucky enough to have it accepted. It was followed by a sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’ as well as a novella for the TWRP fantasy series ‘Song Of The Muses’. The third book in what has now become the ‘Destiny Trilogy’ entitled ‘Beloved Enemy’ is currently at the galley stage and will hopefully be published by The Wild Rose Press early next year.
I would say to anyone with a dream – go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, although, as in my case, it might take a long time to achieve, it’s worth waiting for.
Thanks you for such a great post, Hywela. As you can see, my website is all about following your dreams.The greatest thing about dreams is they don’t expire. They can lay dormant for years and when you pull them out and dust them off, they shine like new.
Thanks again for having me, Casi, your blog is so inspiring and it is so generous of you to run this feature.
So happy you pursued both dreams. I always wanted a horse too, and for my 13th birthday, my grandmother bought me an Indian paint pony. His name was Stockings and he was a stallion. Because I neighbors had mares, Stockings was impossible to ride whenever the mares were in heat, and I was a terrible, untrained, horse owner. I only cared for Stockings when it was fun or convenient to do so, leaving him to my grandparents’ care the rest of the time. When no mares were around, I could ride Stockings bareback with just a rope bridle, but I never had lessons or proper training on how to care for a horse.When I turned 16 in the spring of 1976, I abandoned Stockings for several months. Then one fall day, I showed up at my grandmother’s house to ride him and learned that my grandfather had sold him that summer. I was heartbroken, but I learned a valuable lesson. Nothing is free. Even a free pony requires work, and anything worth having is worth the care and commitment required to nourish and keep it.
Hi Lilly, thanks so much for relating your story – Stockings sounds lovely, although I have to say a stallion wouldn’t be the best choice for a thirteen year old girl! Horses are a huge commitment though, both in time and money, but for me they’re worth the sacrifice. I was lucky in having a father who insisted I learnt to ride and care for a horse before I even thought of owning one, so I was prepared for the work and time involved. I’m sorry you lost your lovely pony, paints are lovely and my mare is a paint. Still, as you say, the experience did teach you a valuable life lesson, but it was a hard way to learn it.
You were so very lucky to have parents who recognised the importance of your dream to you and helped you reach your goal, but I admire most your stick-to-it-iveness (?!) Dream on!
Hi Andrea, sorry not to have replied before – the internet was a bit patchy in the mountains in Wales and I had a few problems but I’m back now and really appreciate your comments and those of everyone who stopped by. Yes I agree, if I hadn’t had the support of my parents it would have been so much harder and taken much longer to achieve my dreams, but I truly believe if you want something badly enough you’ll eventually find a way!
Hi Ashantay, apologies to you and everyone for only just replying to your kind comments, as I said to Casi, I’ve been out all day and am rushing around like a mad thing trying to get everything done before our trip, but I really appreciate your comment and thank you so much for the kind wishes!
Hi Peggy, thank you so much – as you say, it’s never too late, just be sure to follow that dream!
Hi Joanne, thanks so much for your kind comment, glad you enjoyed the post.
You’re right, I am very lucky – not everyone is fortunate enough to realise their dreams – I can only say keep trying, when it happens it’s worth all the sacrifice and effort! I am blessed to have a lovely supportive family and friends – and to have had at least some of my prayers answered!
Yes – I agree about the priorities. Animals have always been my great passion, lovely to meet other animal lovers here!
Hi Mary, thanks so much for your kind commen!
Hello Tena – you’re right, animals are so deserving and rescues give us so much back in return. The TWRP ‘garden’ is great isn’t it!
Hi Nicci, thank you so much!
Oops – can’t even spell! Sorry Casi! 🙂
Hi Casoi – thank you so much for having me here today! I’m so sorry not to have come by before but we have an unexpected trip to Wales tomorrow and I’ve been out all day – but I do appreciate it – and all the lovely comments!
I think that’s great how you pursued your dream. You really show how being focused on your dream and having that determination can lead to living your dream. Congratulations on your new release. And keep enjoying your animals!
Wow, way to make your dreams come true, girl! I too am an animal lover. Worked with rescues and took in all kinda of animals over the years. Working at making my dreams come too also. TWRP as been wonderful, I look forward to my third book with them in 2016.
Truly enjoyed your post!!! You’re so right. It’s never never too late to follow your dreams!
Wonderful story! I’m so happy you were able to realize your dreams.
You’re so right, Hywela, Life is all about priorities. And I agree there’s no higher priority than our animals! What’s dinner out or a vacation when you can have the companionship of another spirit in your life? So glad you were eventually able to attain both the dreams that followed you through the Welsh hills. Best of luck!
That’s a very sweet story. You’ve been incredibly fortunate. I hope your dreams continue to come true, Hywela.
Congrats on all your successes! Thanks for sharing your inspirational post. 🙂
Hywela – you have iht the proverbial nail on the head: it is never -NEVER – too late to realise a dream. God put them in our hearts for a reason and I truthfully believe it is our responsibility to see them come to fruition. How wonderful that both your dreams have done so. Well done!
First, congratulations on your latest release! I love to read about authors who never gave up and are not multi-published. Best wishes for many sales and five star reviews!