I am pleased to feature, Heidi Thomas author of Follow the Dream today.
Cowgirl is a State of Mind
Dale Evans Rogers defined it well: "Cowgirl is an attitude, really. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands. They speak up. They defend the things they hold dear. A cowgirl might be a rancher, or a barrel racer, or a bull rider, or an actress. But she's just as likely to be a checker at the local Winn Dixie, a full-time mother, a banker, an attorney, or an astronaut."
“Cowgirl up” is an expression that means to rise to the occasion, not to give up, and to do it all without whining or complaining. It is easy to say “Cowgirl Up,” however it takes a true cowgirl at heart to live up to the true meaning.
Another quote from Dale Evans:” The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights and makes no excuses.
Although I grew up on a ranch in eastern Montana and I rode horses, gathered cattle with my dad and helped with branding, I never really thought of myself as a “Cowgirl.” But through my years of reading and researching for my books, I’ve come to realized that I am—maybe an “urban cowgirl” by strict definition, but a cowgirl by attitude.
My grandmother was a cowgirl—a real one, one who not only rode horses, but also rode bucking stock in rodeos in the ’20s & ’30s.
The 1920s was the heyday of rodeo for women. They grew up riding out of necessity alongside their fathers, brothers & husbands and naturally they were just as competitive in trying to see who could stay on the back of a bucking bronc or steer or roping calves as the men.
Rodeos started out as impromptu events—cowboys betting each other who was going to get bucked off the quickest. Annie Oakley paved the way for women when she gained fame in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show as a sharpshooter. Lucille Mulhall, when she was 18 years old, lassoed and tied three steers in 3 minutes, 30 seconds—faster than the best cowboys—won a gold medal and a $10,000 prize for a world record!
This “cowgirl attitude” is the way my grandmother lived. And I modeled my character, Nettie, on my grandmother, and that cowgirl attitude.
Nettie has a dream to become a rodeo star and the tenaciousness to follow that dream. In Cowgirl Dreams, during the 1920s, she faces family and social barriers to that dream. The sequel, Follow the Dream, finds her still holding on to her dream. But the drought and depression of the 1930s forces her to make some tough choices and rethink how her dream works in with her family and life in Montana.
Both books are available through my website http://www.heidimthomas.com/, from my publisher http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidiThomas.html. Follow the Dream is also available on Kindle.
Heidi M. Thomas grew up on a ranch in eastern Montana and now lives in western Washington where she writes, edits for other authors, teaches community writing classes and blogs http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/ She is a member of Women Writing the West (http://www.womenwritingthewest.org/, Skagit Valley Writers League (http://www.skagitwriters.org/) , Northwest Independent Editors Guild (http://www.edsguild.org/) and VBT—Writers on the Move (http://www.vbt-writersonthemove.blogspot.com/) .
• Daily Oats: food for the horse lover’s soul
Remember, a Cowgirl’s heart always has a heart full of hope and a life full of laughter.
From Embracing Your Inner Cowboy at http://culturemap.com/newsdetail/03-02-10-a-life-in-red-cowgirl-boots/
To me, the spirit a horse leaves behind compared to a human’s is the difference between au de toilet and perfume.
Spirit and Simple is what being a cowboy is all about. You don’t have to ride a horse, wear boots or listen to country western music to be one. It’s an inside job first. The rest is all outdoors.
She quotes Robb Kendrick: “common threads that pull these people together and used to be a common thread in America before the techno world came into play. It crossed all fields, lawyers, writers, farmers, welders, photographers, nurses, etc. It’s the simple stuff you know? Good manners, helping a brother or sister out, basic human qualities that reflect the team spirit while keeping your individual priorities in tact. Being a team when needed and an individual the rest of the time without sacrificing your own values.”
When I asked Robb to describe what he thought “inner cowboy” meant, he nailed it. “Basically the inner cowboy is doing it till it's done right.”
Bonnie Hunt~ “Don’t let praise go to your head, and don’t allow criticism to affect your heart.”
Vicki Frederick http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000148383828
Cowgirl Rule: If we cannot find the road to success, we will make one.
Follow along on the April VBT Writers On the Move as Shelby Patrick hosts Dallas Woodburn at http://writershotspot.blogspot.com/
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.