No Easy Keepers

I opened my printer the other day to scan some new author contracts only to find that an old paper plastered to the glass. With dog pee. The urine had not only glued the form to the glass but managed to find its way into the inner workings of the machine.  The desk and printer sit next to my bed and it all clicked. No wonder I smelled urine but couldn’t find anything to clean up.

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Miraculously, the machine worked and continues to do so.

I had Buster, our latest foster dog, to thank for the lovely aroma and the clean up. I love you Buster!

Thinking over all the foster dogs my husband and I had these last few years, I realized that there are no easy keepers, but I cherished my time with all of them and every little disaster was worth it for the lessons learned.

Buster wasn’t planned. I hadn’t wanted another foster in April of 2019. I worked full time as a teacher, adjuncted at Norwalk Community College and attempted to find time to write. But every time I checked the Save One Soul website and saw Buster’s picture, I felt the pull to do something.

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Buster was nine years old and spent his entire life in a shelter after being found next to his mother who had been hit by a car. His sister had been adopted the year before. I couldn’t let him spend another day in the shelter. I took a leap of faith. We brought Buster to Connecticut to foster and within a month he was adopted by a wonderful retired couple who had a lot of time to dote on him.

There are times in our lives we all need to take that leap of faith, whether it is writing something out of our comfort zone, taking on a personal challenge, or submitting a book to a publisher even with the dread of rejection looming. Buster has taught me the importance of taking the leap. You might get peed upon, but you might also end up doing something great.

 

Sensational Saturday!

What an excellent way to wake up. Despite the fact the dog jumped on me at 4:30 am and demanded I get up, it’s already been a great day!

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It’s an amazing Saturday. because Twelve Months of Awkward Moments is now in print on Amazon @ https://amzn.to/2BZef2Q

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And “Carnivorous” in Carnival of Nightmares is now available for #99c presale @ https://amzn.to/2BWF8Em

You know you want to be scared! And sorry for any typos but it’s just 6 am. I guess I can also say it’s a great day because I’m being productive. Thanks Mia for the early wake up call.

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The Pen or the Pup: What’s Harder?

27629507_10213253886639681_2297835058664040093_oBoth fostering a dog and writing a book are complicated tasks, but which is hardest?

When writing a book, you are up all hours of the night. The characters swim like minnows through your mind, making you crazy. Plot points that don’t pan out wake you up in a panic.  Watching television at midnight? Not for enjoyment you tell yourself, but to examine character body language and dialogue. Even wine doesn’t help.

You are up all hours of the night with a foster dog. The first few days the poor pup is settling in and that means he’s pacing the floors or whining in a crate. Once your furry friend has adjusted, you are up all night because he’s taken over the bed. The pupster allows you under the duvet only if you promise to provide cuddles. Dog treats help.

When writing a book, you’re extremely tired.  With every line penned, there’s at least three rounds of early revision. After a page, even though you know not to stop, you can’t help but go back and examine each word, reread each sentence. When you scrutinize it a day later, you’re astonished at the banality of the draft and how many mistakes you made. Time for a rewrite and a huge mug of coffee.

And you are extremely tired when fostering a dog. With a new foster dog, the focus is routine. That means walks, long walks at the same time every day. First in the morning before work, then in the afternoon, and once again in the evening. Five inches of snow can’t stop you. The dog doesn’t know how to walk straight? No problem, you were planning on booking that appointment with the chiropractor anyway.

When writing a book, you have no nice clothes. You roll out of bed in your pajamas and start writing. As the day speeds by, you change into yoga pants and a sweatshirt to walk the dog and later grab a slice a pizza from the fridge only to watch it end up in your lap when the dog begs for a crust. Otherwise it’s easy to ignore the dishes in the sink and the laundry in the hamper. It’s not like you have any upcoming book signing events.

You avoid wearing nice clothes when you have a foster dog. Not knowing the new pup, it’s always hard to tell if she’s a chewer, drooler, or a hugger, leaving dirty paw prints on every clean item of clothing after digging up the back yard.  As feathers fly around the house, you realize you didn’t need that down coat anymore, it’s almost spring. You do need to look somewhat presentable for work, so you travel with a Pet Plus Extreme lint roller. Of course, you’re always on the last sheet with no refills in sight.

In both cases, writers and fosters are constantly out of breath. Whether running after a pup who has stolen a single Ugg to chew on or separating dogs in the middle of a heated tug of war, with a new canine friend, fosters are constantly on the run.  And while most people think writing is a stationary activity, many author’s say that their best ideas come when they exercise so there is a lot of jogging and hiking the trails, hoping for inspiration.

Whether tired, covered with dog hair, or suffering from wrist strain thanks to long hours at the computer, I highly recommend both activities.  The few drawbacks are minimal and easily overcome with abundant pizza, coffee, and alcohol.