It is my turn to post and it happens to be Mother's Day. I would be remiss if I ignored the opportunity to say something about the influence of mothers on this, their day. I'm posting a picture of my mother that I especially like because it was a time when she was young and happy and had all the promise of life in front of her...also, because she is sitting on a horse.
My mother was not an accomplished horsewoman, but she had a love of horses, especially in her youth. I hope I've passed that on to my own daughter, whose first horseback riding experience was "in utero" (perhaps not such a smart idea) and who later spent years in pony club, junior equestrian teams, and eventing. By high school she traded in her ratcatcher and boots for a rugby shirt and cleats, but I believe her years of riding, training, and showing horses gave her a certain mental toughness that is hard to duplicate. More than that, competing in a sport with a horse--another living thing as your partner--teaches you that you are not the center of the universe. This is often a critical lesson to learn during certain teenaged years. Thank-you to the horses. Here's a picture of me and my daughter from years ago, at a time when we were both able to enjoy riding together. (Yes, I know my hair should be tied up under the helmet. I had taken it off, and just popped it back on to mount and pose for the picture.)
Horses have figured in the mother-daughter relationship in our family for two generations now, so it is no happenstance, I suppose, that it figures prominently in my novel, False Gods. Relations between mothers and daughters have been endlessly explored, examined, picked and pulled apart under the microscope of the novelist as well as the movie producer. It has provided rich, fertile ground to till for stories...and yet, there always seems to be more to say about the myriad and diverse relationships between these two female family members. The mother in False Gods has difficulty with her two daughters, but instead of it being the teenagers who are the troubled ones, it is instead the mother who suffers from emotional problems to the extent that she doesn't even notice the damage she's inflicting until it is almost too late. I won't give anything more away, except... speaking of giveaways (warning: this is where the self-promotion comes in), a contest is now running on Goodreads until May 13th to win one of seven copies of False Gods for free. I'd love to hear what other people have to say about their mothers, their relationships, and whether horses were a part of it.