Writing – Keeping it Alive

For as long as I remember, I have loved cowboys and horses.  Growing up on a farm in the middle of nowhere – my choice of leisure was to ride my horse and pretend I was a cowboy.  I wasn’t interested in housework and I wasn’t interested in farming.

When I was older and reality stuck me in a city (at least my choice was good – Calgary – cow-town – did offer much to keep my thoughts alive when trying to capture the illusive nature of a cowboy). As a child I wrote stories of cowboys and delved into the concept of combining cowboys and romance when I was a teen.  I listened to music and I played one song ‘Momma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys’ by Waylon Jennings in particular.  Why not?  I wanted my babies to be cowboys – they were so fascinating and so perfect – that is a real cowboy – not a cocoa cowboy (there is a song for that too). But I needed to study their flaws too to make them right.

I found horses fascinating as well and I started painstakingly drawing – until I could say I was drawing a perfect horse. (Never happened – yet).

As I listened to George Strait or Alan Jackson the concept of a cowboy nature took hold.  I was ready to develop my characters.

Seraphim by Mary M. Forbes

My nearly perfect horse I drew and am using on the cover of my new story – Seraphim.

One Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. Forbes

My inspiration – George Strait and Alan Jackson for my hero Wade Hart in One Dance with a Stranger. One reader described Wade as hotter than hot. That’s a cowboy for you.



My newest model in my explorations to discover the elusive cowboy nature. Based on a true story – Frank Hopkins (played by Viggo Mortensen.

Now to keep my love alive I have a new cowboy in my life.  Viggo Mortensen in Hidalgo is my new study. I love that show.   I have written two stories using a Metis as my hero (Indians make wonderful cowboys).  Mortensen’s character is a Metis (If Americans called them Metis – which they don’t – Canadians do though).  He is half native and half white in the story.  Perfect for my ideas and I can only admire the man and cowboy in this show.(not to mention Hidalgo).


Words that Fascinate

Ever since I was young there were words I found fascinating.  Growing up in a rural, isolated area the first word I recall studying was ‘sophisticated‘.  I decided – thinking this was an awesome thing to be – I would be sophisticated when I grew up.  At the time it meant – knowing everything in a classy style.  I would know how to dress, eat, behave and which places be.  Now, I find it amusing and realize being yourself isn’t something that can be taught.   But I haven’t lost my fascination with words or phrases.

Lately I find myself concentrating on words and phrases more and more.  A few that have caught my attention and made me concentrate are: –

like Aloe Vera on a wound...   what a wonderful way to say so much in a few words.

finding my inner cowboy… well, why not?  I write about cowboys and  I have been trying to capture that ‘inner cowboy’ personality for quite some time. I know it’s different and some might think too old-fashioned to strive for.  But I, personally,  admire the cowboy nature. Now I understand what I am searching for a little more.

...could start an argument in an empty room…   again what a unique way of saying something without ambling.

…excessive…    as I was brought up Roman Catholic – it seemed that many ‘sins’ involved ‘excessive’. It was okay to eat whatever you wanted – but a sin to be obese – excessive.  It is okay to ‘gamble’ but not to be addicted – excessive.  The list goes on and on.  And as I get older I am seeing that not being ‘excessive’ – but enjoying – is a healthy lifestyle.  One simple word might give you a healthier lifestyle.  How fascinating is that?

I find this type of exercise helps me immensely in my writing endeavors.  I hope others might see the value in words and a way to make yourself a better writer – something most strive for.


From the time I was a child I loved country living, country life and especially cowboys and horses.  Even as a teen I was upset when my mother moved into a small town after my father passed away.  I longed for the freedom of roaming outdoors in spaces only imagined to some – but a  definitive reality to keep me focused and sane.

I was forced to move to cities in order to work.  I continued to dream of the freedom I knew when I was young.  I married an ‘asphalt’ cowboy (a long-haul truck driver) and often I remained at home raising our children.  But sometimes I went with him and travelling became a form of freedom again.

When I lived in Calgary I discovered many ways to escape –  from going to Fish Creek Park to visiting  forts in the near regions of the city.  There were many options to listen to and enjoy my lovely country music as well.  The Calgary Stampede, although crowded, offered me the thrill of watching cowboys, bucking bronco’s and races.  In all my travels Calgary became my city of choice – followed by San Antonio in Texas.

As I dreamed I discovered another fascinating concept.  I could write my dreams down – and escape into that world I loved so much.  I was often at home and my children were now in school.  So my writing career began. I took courses, joined groups, attended conventions and edited/critiqued other works.  Now, I can escape into my perfect world, regardless of where I am.  I can create an atmosphere and relieve stress by becoming involved with my characters.

Forever an optimist with hope in my heart, I love creating stories with happy endings and overcoming severe conflicts to obtain that end.  I have written three historical romances, set in the colorful, little known Canadian West which makes Hawk’s Gift, (Canada’s Civil War) Alberta Wild Rose (fabled Lost Lemon Gold Mine in Crowsnest Pass)  and Paradise on the Horizon (homesteading in the wilderness) true romance stories, using a unique setting. My latest published romance is a contemporary romance and set in the cowboy atmosphere of Calgary, Alberta. They are all available in Soft Cover as well as e-books at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca Kindle and other bookstores on the internet.

I am presently working on a romance suspense “Angels Among Us” which I hope to have available in the fall of 2012.