[personal profile] starwatcher_fic
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This story has a tangled background. I wrote it for Sentinel Angst dues. I don't remember where the idea came from; I think there was a list discussion about all the times the boys go camping in stories, and end up hurt. At some point, I thought it would be a hoot to set up a scenario where we expect something to happen, and there is injury -- but not to them. *g* But it was only my fourth story, and was perhaps too ambitious for my level of writing skills. Even after posting, I was insecure about its quality, and begged a beta from a private list. The beta comments from several people were somewhat... strenuous, and I didn't quite know how to fix things. So, I decided to fix it 'later', hid my head in the sand, and let it sit on my hard drive for the next three years.

I later resurrected it, and re-evaluated the beta comments. Some were still valid, but others, now that I had a broader understanding of TS, seemed to be because the commenter had 'issues' with one man or the other. (Like, why was Jim barking commands? At the time, I thought maybe he should be nicer. Now I can say with confidence that Jim does that when he feels he has to take charge and, given his background, he often feels that he has to take charge. *g*)

The horsey bits were a little trickier; my knowledge is not extensive beyond the day-to-day general stuff. But now that I have a friends list, I was able to ask several other people for guidance. My thanks to Gina, Cindershadow, Debra C, and Sallye who gave me the benefit of their knowledge, and even asked horse-loving mates for fuller answers; their comments helped make the horse interaction more natural. However, I've still taken liberties with reality for the sake of the story; the fault is not theirs, but mine. My thanks also to Arianna and Cindershadow for the general beta; their input improved the rest of the story.

So now you have it -- the one story I've written so far that almost qualifies as an "action" story. *g* It took me three years to get this right; I don't think I'll be writing a case story anytime soon.

If you're wondering, the "rubber bootie things" are real. They're called Easyboots, and many riders use them to protect their horse's feet, whether or not the animal is wearing standard shoes. The owner can allow the horse the freedom of going barefoot when he's at home, but prevent foot injury while out riding. At the time of The Sentinel Series, they were fairly new; non-horsey people wouldn't have heard of them. They weren't around during Jim's childhood or teen years; he wouldn't have encountered them when he 'used to ride'.
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