As I was knocking the mud off my critters the other day (oh, Winter, why couldn't you dump a little more of that clean snow before you leave?), I could not help but notice the difference between the two. As always at this time of year, Pilot is hog fat and round. As always, Nellie bears a remarkable resemblance to a slat. This is not for want of food, mind you. It is because she is a hard keeper and Pilot is an easy keeper. What is the difference you ask? Heh.
Easy keepers put on weight if they breathe on food. Hard keepers can chow down on acres of alfalfa and still look like candidates for the glue factory. The only time Nellie looks good is in the summer when she has unlimited access to grass. In the winter, no matter what I feed her, she loses weight and finally achieves an equilibrium where you can't see or feel ribs but she just looks thinner than she should. She just doesn't process hay as well (and believe me, they're getting the good stuff). This is partly because Pilot is a bully and it is difficult the way my barn and corral are configured to separate them. Mostly it is just her. When she's alone, she frets off the weight. When she is with him, he chases her around and steals the best stuff. On summer pasture, there's 20 acres and he couldn't hog it all if he tried.
Some horses, even alone in their stalls, don't keep well unless you pour the super-high protein food into them, a product mostly of the 20th century. Before that, they were just "hard keepers."
So there's your trivia bit for the day.
Now, about Radcon. Come on down to the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco, Washington this weekend if you want to catch up to me. I'll be on various panels over the weekend and reading from The Heart of God on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Reading Room 2211. The full schedule looks like this:
|Sat Feb 13 10:00:am||Evaluating Writing Critiques|
|Room 2203||So you've had a manuscript critiqued and you're trying to decipher the feedback. Some people say one thing. Some people have "rules." How do you tell the good advice from the bad? This panel will discuss how to keep the advice that benefits your writing while ignoring the bad.|
|Sat Feb 13 3:30:pm||S. A. Bolich Reading from The Heart of God|
|Sat Feb 13 4:15:pm||Resisting Rewrite-itis|
|Room 2209||Many promising manuscripts succumb to author anxiety that it's "not good enough yet" or "I need to fix this one thing" that proceeds to unravel the entire book. How do you resist the urge to polish and polish the first few chapters without writing the rest, or stuffing it in the drawer until it's perfect? Our pros provide tips on how to tell when your work is good enough and when to kick it out the door.|
|Sun Feb 14 10:00:am||The Hollywood Effect|
|Room 2209||Since its beginnings, film has had an enormous impact on culture, from feeding iconic phrases like "The Force be with you" to raising awareness and perpetuating or even creating stereotypes. What are the positive and negative trends in current film making? How does it impact our genre?|