I wanted to start this post by extending a great big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to comment and email me about my LAST POST, where I was spiraling down into a wordless vacuum. I appreciate all of the insights, thoughts, and varying opinions – each of which was helpful in its own way. For those who mentioned self publishing, I am still determined to have my work published the traditional way, and I also believe that if a story idea is not interesting enough for my readers or an agent, it would be even harder for me to sell on my own. With that in mind, I have decided to leave my personal dog stories in the past, at least for now, while I work on something fresh in the fiction arena, where I am treading on familiar ground.
I’m still uncertain what my next novel will be about, but while I was trying to ignite some new ideas, I sparked one for another short story that I am going to start drafting right after I finish this post.
Before I get to work, I wanted to thank my blogging buddy Jodi Stone for passing on the Blog On Fire award to me a few weeks back.
For some reason I missed her post when it first went up, which is unusual since I’m a regular visitor to her blog, and I only learned of the award last week. But it was probably best that I did not see it right away, because Jodi had some wonderful things to say about my writing in her post, and it was so much better to read it when I was in the midst of a creative crisis. So, Thank You, Jodi, for the award – it came at a time when it was needed most.
Periodically, Jodi also shares her doubts about her own writing, (it goes hand in hand with the trade), and I wanted to point out that her blog is one of the first ones I go to when I’m looking for a blogging fix. Jodi is very creative in finding new ways to plug her blog – including creating WTF Wednesday and Follow Up Friday – and she is an exceptional and talented writer who can always make me laugh. Jodi is also a person who loves her two polar opposite Labs with every ounce of her being, which shines through in her posts about them, even when
Delilah either of them misbehaves. If you haven’t checked out Jodi Stone’s BLOG about Sampson, Delilah, and all things DOG, I urge you to head on over there – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
According to Jodi, the rules that go along with this award are easy – link back to the person who awarded you, (see above), share five things about yourself, and pass it on. I just recently posted a bit about myself for my Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, so I thought I’d bend the rules by sharing five things about my current four-leggers instead.
1. Leah is my soul dog. I fell in love with her from the moment our eyes met, and I returned to the shelter for her the very next day. Since that day she is constantly at my side, and her presence makes me feel safe when I’m home alone in the house. Additionally, we have similar personalities. We are both uncomfortable in large group environments, we’re both terrified of lightning, we are both uneasy around strange children, and neither of us craves exercise.
2. Toby is my teacher. Because of his odd mixture of obsessions, hardheadedness, craftiness, strange anxieties, yet eagerness to learn new things, I have read dozens of dog training books, tried countless training methods, and have gotten my feet wet in therapy work and dog sports. Despite all my hard work, his puzzling behaviors persist and continue to challenge me to this day.
3. Meadow is my inspiration. No matter how scary things get or how dark the night, she greets each morning like it is a new beginning, bounding from her crate in happiness, dancing throughout the house, and ready to face a new day. In the face of fear, she can always find something to wag about, and I hope to one day be as optimistic as my dog.
4. Cinder is my shadow. For a cat who was feral and we could not touch for two months, he is now always at my side, on my lap, or vying for my attention is some way…even if it means trying to imitate the dogs by swarming me at meal times, sitting and begging for treats, or fetching toys.
5. Mew is not mine. That cat loves Nick so much that she will jump on my lap just to get a better vantage point of him, and abandon me the moment he looks in her direction. Considering I took her in as a foster only, and it was Nick who insisted she stay, I guess I had it coming to me.
Last step – pass it along: I always pass my awards on to other dog blogs, so today I’m going to try something new. Since the topic of writing has been on my mind, I’m going to tell you about five great writing related blogs where I have found valuable information about honing my craft. If you are serious about your writing, the following blogs will help feed your fire:
Absolute Write – Everything from new writing books to conference announcements, this is a great place for an aspiring writer to keep up with writing related news. I also highly recommend visiting their FORUMS.
Behler Blog – This blog is written by fiction writer turned small publisher, and she shares a lot of helpful information from writing tips to submission tips with brutal honesty.
JM Tohline – A writer himself, Tohline goes out of his way to blog about topics that are helpful to other aspiring writers while plugging away at his own craft and marketing his novel, The Great Lenore.
Miss Snark – Although this blog is no longer active, the advice found here on how to successfully query agents is timeless.
Writer’s Digest Guide To Literary Agents – Written by Chuck Sambuchino, go here to learn about agents tastes, find out about new agent hires, and discover the best places to pitch your work.
But before you go check them out, I wanted to close this post by thanking everyone who networked for Mary – the dog who had been scheduled to be put down after sitting in the Brookhaven Animal Shelter for three years. You will be happy to know, in lieu of losing her life – she has finally FOUND A HOME.
Have you heard about Simon – a special dog who has also been searching for a home for years? No? Then check out THIS POST and THIS POST and THIS POST - and while you’re there, please give him a share.