Pug Corner – Frankie’s Sunday

Frankie does not understand about Sundays. Her human, a writer and educator, seems off and is still snoozing past 6 AM. Best do something about that.

Ever since I rescued my Frankie from a life on the streets, I have not been allowed to sleep in. I wouldn’t change it for anything. There is nothing quite like being gently awakened by a pug.

She is always surprised when I stick around after our walk and breakfast. She wishes everyday could be Sunday. Sometimes I do too.

Week 14 2016 – Frankie’s Spring Break

IMG_0433This was a splendid week devoted to nothing but writing and editing, and then more editing. A wonderful respite from the drudgery that comes with a day job, but now it is over. Tomorrow I return to the real world. My pug will be most sad. She has been terribly spoiled this week, getting to spend practically every moment within my reach. Still, it’s good to have the day job as I like being able to support myself, but still, what a thing it would be if my writing alone could pay my bills.

This week was the first full week of the A to Z blog challenge. My theme is beer, sort of – I wanted to see if I know enough beers for each letter. Also, there were lots of previews of my book because I am editing. I combined proofreading my book revisions with my blog challenge.  I must cross Query Lake, turn in my full requests and my partial requests so that one of these weeks, I can write my “How I Got My Agent” post.

IMG_0496The best part of this week is that I got to spend the whole week with my dog at my feet. Frankie is the perfect research partner for finding all these beers. There are a couple of pubs close by that allow me to take Frankie with me. I love that.

I do not actually drink alcohol at all when I am writing. It may have worked for Hemingway, but my poison is coffee and tea for the early and late hours when I am chewing over my latest manuscript. Beer is a social thing for reconnecting with people, getting caught up with my now grown daughter, a way to draw stories out of friends and strangers, a way to leave the real world behind, and travel deep into my imagination.

Week 6 2016 – The Divinity of Ants

 

IMG_0433There’s an old saying here in the south, “if you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans.” I make God laugh all the damn time. It’s not a divine giggle, not a holy snort, but deep, side-splitting laughter that has been known to disrupt the space-time continuum. .

I made God laugh so hard once that the Dark Ages kissed this millennia, dropping off a few of its barbarians, a couple of tyrants, and diseases. I am telling you, Einstein’s theory of relativity is nothing but the scientific explanation for what happens when the mighty universal creative force laughs at us insignificant ants.

 

gravitationalwavesBe happy I don’t tend to plan a whole lot or the momentary tear in the space-time continuum would pull velociraptors out of the Jurassic period. They would end up running about eating politicians and energy efficient cars. Not that this would be an entirely bad thing. Just saying.

velociraptor

In order to have a more coherent blog, I jot down possible themes for each week. So far, not one of those ideas have become an actual blog. Which is why so much of this is gibberish. I should stop making plans before someone really gets hurt or disco makes a come back. I’d much rather deal with the velociraptors than go another round with Saturday Night Fever.

 

The plan this weekend was to have the blog done by 3:00 PM Sunday. That didn’t happen. I meant to revise my query and synopsis and organize my next round of queries in case my other requests and this R&R go belly up. That’s not what happened.

 

I ended going to see Deadpool with my brother and nephew. The best things in life are always unplanned. They just are. My daughter, my pug, and going to see this movie today. All happy accidents. A movie hasn’t made me laugh this hard in well, never. Funniest movie ever. If you have a strong stomach and are not easily offended, screw your plans and go see this film. You could use the laugh.

That is not to say, nothing should be planned.  A strategy is necessary to accomplish anything. I am on course to become a fully functioning, successful writer, but it’s not the course I originally set out on. Don’t be too upset when life blows your plans up. Yes, we are all ants in the eyes of Eternity, but each of us, in those unplanned little moments, where we are forced to abandon a plan and react, when we just let go, there’s a bit of something divine in each of us. And it’s that little bit of divine spontaneity in us that makes us create, change, learn, evolve. So let God laugh. Velociraptors and disco are small enough prices to pay.

 

 

Week 5 2016 -Frankie’s Bookshelf

FrankieBookshelfIt’s not been what you would call an organized week. Or life. It’s mostly been like Frankie’s bookshelf. This is the shelf next to the back door with the basket with all of Frankie’s junk; her leash, her collar, her treats, spare toys, and what have you. It’s also one of several bookshelves in the house.

Aside from Frankie’s basket which has earned its place due to convenience, nothing else on my bookshelves are guaranteed their spots. I have never organized books or knick knacks, not by genre, author, or anything else. Not even by series. Books wander about the house freely so they are able to explore various positions on shelves, in the pile next to the bed, in boxes, in bags, in closets, and other dimensions that transect with my living quarters. I really should get more bookshelves.

IMG_0398 I like the chaos. It suits me. Except when I am looking for that one special book and have no idea where it is. That about describes my life. I have all the stuff I need, but it’s never in a place I can find it when I want it. I am pretty sure this is what happened to the pet Scotsman I have always wanted. He ended up on some shelf and I have no idea which one.

I get the feeling my pug knows where any book (or Scotsman) is at any given time, but she’s not going to tell me. In fact, I suspect she takes books out in the night and moves them. She is a very well-read pug. And she definitely does not want to be usurped by a Scotsman so I fear the poor fellow has been sentenced to some parallel universe where we will never meet.

That’s about the story of my week and my life. I seldom get what I want, but I almost always get what I need. Isn’t that the way the song goes?

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”  – The Rolling Stones

 

Pug in a Pub

PugInPubTwo great things happened for me in 2015. I rescued a pug that my daughter and I named Frankie. And really there’s nothing better than a pug at a pub. And I discovered Janet Reid’s Blog. This is a life line for writers anywhere in their career. If you don’t know about this blog, go there now. The regular blog readers (Reiders) and commentators are a friendly enough bunch and we hardly ever bite.

However, I am dissatisfied by my general life progress. Most of this is due to my own weird inclination to be mostly a hermit. I need to stop spiraling in this endless nothing ever changes rut I am in.

I never do resolutions. The most useless pile of manure to ever infest the planet. Life is too damn unpredictable, and I end up ranting at myself like this at the end of each year. Instead I have goals. Some of them lofty, some of them not so much. You will hear the sagely advice, break your goals down into realistic, achievable small bits. That works great. If you’re dieting. Less so if you’re dying.  And we are all plummeting towards that inevitable eternal dirt nap. Regardless of angels singing (they do have lovely voices, even some of the fallen ones) or pitch fork yielding hell beasts, nobody has any idea what you are doing once you leave this world. Here, time works against you.

So this year, I will strive to kick my ass to do the following…

  1. Write every day. Even if it’s just 100 words to say I had a shitty day or that I am too tired write.
  2. Expand my body of work
  3. Finish the revision on my book and resubmit the damn thing
  4. Write a better query letter
  5. Write a better synopsis
  6. Write better. Keep writing.
  7. Get an agent
  8. Attend at least one writer’s conference (even if agent is attained)
  9. Read more. It helps with the writing.
  10. Query until the pain of it is unbearable. For every rejection, send out another query.
  11. Stop making excuses. Just write.

I am going to use this blog to be my monitor. If it goes silent for weeks at a time as it did at the end of 2015, something is wrong. I am making excuses, avoiding getting things done. Maybe I have a migraine or the flu (both those things happened after November 2015), but unless I am on my actual death bed or the internet collapses (both entirely possible), then I better be writing something and recording that I did so here.

Let’s see where this leads. Shall we?

Introducing Frankie

IMG_0190Meet Frankie, the newest addition to my motley crew of a family.

Two years back, my little Japanese Chin, Seymour passed away. He was twelve and suffered from a heart condition. Since his death, for the first time in my life, I have been without a dog or cat or fish or goat or horse. My daughter went off to college and I was traveling a lot and grieving. I finished my book, took care of some long time goals in my life, but it all felt a bit empty. I can’t stand not having a dog. It had gone on long enough.

My daughter has been obsessed with pugs forever, but we agreed that we should rescue a dog. On an ordinary working Thursday, a bit of a miracle occurred. A pug came into rescue and appeared on my PAWS application (great little app for matching people with pets in need of rescue). And she was at a rescue that is run out of my neighborhood. It was meant to be. We adopted her on Saturday

IMG_0194Frankie was found a few weeks before wandering the streets. Animal control took her in, but failed to locate her owners. They handed her over to a rescue and immediately a couple adopted her. They brought her back two days later because she shed or something. That is when she was picked up by the rescue in my neighborhood and put into the PAWS app. I happened to be looking when she was uploaded. There was not a lot known about her. The vet estimated her to be between 2 and 4 years old, and she had no name.

IMG_0210We toyed with the name Trixie (Beatrix), a prominent character in my WIP. My daughter would not go for it. She worries that any day I will go all George R.R. Martin on my characters. After going through a slew of names, my daughter called her Frankie (I think from the pug in Men in Black).

Having a dog again is so wonderful and calming. Maybe I will rescue a greyhound next. And as a writer, I am told that it is good to have pictures of your pets on your blog.

Check out Janet Reid’s Blog if you don’t believe me. And if you are a writer and don’t read her blog, you are handicapping yourself. Just do it. And go rescue a dog or cat.