I had a big crash depression episode last night.
For several weeks I have known what I was writing for Nanowrimo 2017 - because I was pissed and afraid and pretty sure I was right. The BLM intends to zero out ALL wild mustangs on public land. They got permission to sell them for slaughter in this fucking budget and it passed. Then they got permission to shoot them from helicopters instead of rounding them up (who didn't see that coming). And last night the BLM abruptly without warning ended a volunteer manned, non-taxpayer, cooperative program with citizens of Nevada that was using PZP as a humane range management. Yeah. They intend to kill every last one of them, regardless of what the public wants.
It's part of this administrations policy to sell all public land to the highest bidder whether they want to mine, frack, drill, chop down trees, or graze cattle. Mustangs and the people who come to see and photograph them will only be in the way. So the horses have got to go.
Growing up I read "Smokey" by Will James, about a cowboy who captures and gentles a wild mustang. In time they become trusting, loving partners. I read "Mustang" by Marguerite Henry - and then all of her books. I have gone through my entire life knowing that there would come a day when I had the time, and the facilities and resources, to adopt and gentle my own Mustang. Always. It was one steadfast dream.
Then came the TIP program and I thought what a wonderful way to contribute. I could gentle my Mustang, and others. Making them more adoptable for people who don't happen to have "taming wild horses" in their skill set. I fully intended for that day to come for me.
I spent some time living near the Caballo Mountains and for some reason, don't ask me why, they're my favorite mountains ever. Yes, they are named the Horse Mountains - because of the wild horses that used to live there. I have this dream vision of wild horses running free there again because I own a big hunk of land on the mountains and adopt a whole band to run free.
All those horses are gone now. So far as I know, there are no wild horses running free anywhere in New Mexico. Although...I was told that there are a few. That the ranchers whose land/lease they live on keep their mouth shut about them - so they will not be rounded up and killed by the BLM. Because some cowboys actually LIKE horses - even and maybe even especially the wild ones.
So for years I've had this idea rattling around in my head to write a story about a wild mustang stallion and his band, and the old rancher who hides and protects them as they live wild and free on his ranch. That was going to be my Nanowrimo 2017 novel - so I could rant about the extermination while I was at it. Only the extreme, end days things I had planned to fictionalize in the book, have actually come true in the last few weeks.
Last night I felt all those dreams shatter like the china horse figurines I used to collect. And my crazy mind took over and said, if they'll do this, what's next? End Medicare/medicaid and SSD? They'll kill horses outright. They've already figured out how many people they can kill and how much they can save in one of their health plans. Why not introduce the anti-Medicare expansion bill - the end Medicare bill. They have two more votes than the Dems. They can do it. Kill all these "useless" people.
Like my husband.
I'm pretty sure the only reason it hasn't been done already is because the big medical companies like Fresenius and DaVita don't want that to happen. They make billions off Medicare keeping people like my husband alive. The Congress we have now - they seem quite willing to cut off their nose to spite their face. To lose those corporate sponsors just to spit on the liberals and socialized health care.
And...I spiraled into paralysis. Nothing got written. I thought maybe I'd do something different but everything I could think of came back to the horrors of this current administration and the destruction of what I thought was the country I lived in. And I know I'd start strong and rant and get too depressed and agonized and have to quit. Because I've done that. What to do?
Watch four hours of anime and fall into bed was my eventual solution.
I got up this morning to discover my hubby was going to join us in Nanowrimo! Then he brought in from the mail a photography magazine he had subscribed us to. On the back was a photo of wild horses. Inside was an ad for photo taking tours of wild horses. I got online and went down the rabbit hole and came up with a prize. Several refuges for Mustangs - on owned land without any BLM involvement. (Some working with BLM but I'm sure that will end soon). The very thing I believed would save our Mustangs. The same thing that saved our buffalo. Private people who chose to make a difference, to save an endangered animal, to devote their own lives to the cause.
There is hope.
Before you ask, no, I haven't considered doing a crowdfunding and trying to start my own refuge in the Caballos. No, that's wrong. I have considered it - and discarded it. Too cynical. Too experienced, in my mind. I can't believe in people, so it would never work. My husband is the center of my universe and his care and feeding takes up too much of my time and mental space for me to have enough left over to tackle this project. In this case, I cannot be the change I want to see in the world.
But I can help fund it.
And on that note, here is my plan. I will post my Nanowrimo novel, as it is written, on my Patreon account as Patron only posts. If you join during the month of November to read this as it goes, whatever your pledge is, when it shows up in my account December 1st, I will gather them up and send them to one of the Mustang refuges I mentioned. After that, hell, quit for all I care. I know it isn't for me, it's for the horses.
If/when the book is published, 50% or more of the profits from it will go to Mustang refuges continuously as long as I and Mustangs are around.
Because writing - I can do that.
And maybe, just maybe, you can spend one dollar to be part of it.