December 10, 2012

Belea T. Keeney on Something in Their Eyes

Guest post by Belea T. Keeney ...

Something in Their Eyes was originally written for editor Maggie Estep's anthology, Bloodlines, released in 2006. I'd met her when taking an artists' residency class with her at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was a fabulous opportunity to work one-on-one with accomplished editors and writers; I can highly recommend this if you're looking for an intensive workshop. Bloodlines was a mixed anthology of fiction and non-fiction focused on the horse-racing world.

I knew a little about horse racing then (and know a little bit more now, ahem), and a group of us visited an off-track betting (OTB) parlor in Daytona so Maggie could get her racing fix in. The last race we watched, I don't remember exactly, but there were only three horses running, and I picked Rock Hard Ten to win. And he did.

But I hadn't betted. Damn!

So, for the story, I made a pleasant trek out to Tampa Bay Downs, and watched an afternoon's races just to get the vibe. I'd recently explored the Florida prison system and its program to rehabilitate both inmates and horses. It all came together in my story, Something in Their Eyes.

The idea of rehabbing both animals and humans in a corrections environment makes good sense to me. The Wild Horse Redemption is a good documentary about one program based out West. Many corrections systems are using dogs as they're easier to manage, but there are lots of opportunities to help horses as well. In fact, I just made contact with a corrections staffer to talk about this very idea. Maybe we'll be able to get a program going here in North Carolina!

Something in Their Eyes is free today only from JMS Books! Grab a copy!

Belea T. Keeney

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