Meet My Pet

 

Max

This handsome fella is Max, my rescue dog. He is a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix and will be two years old in July.
His favorite activities are chasing his tail and shredding paper. Max has one amber colored eye and one that is blue, and he has his own Twitter account. Another interesting fact about Max is this: he chose his name the day we brought him home! As a family, we couldn’t agree on a name, so we left the decision to him.

Max is also loved more than I can say.

I can, however, say this with absolute confidence: Max is the craziest dog I have ever known. In less than two years, I already have so many little anecdotes and stories I could tell, and they’re all hysterical. But I don’t have all day to type them up here! And who knows, maybe down the road I will get inspired again to write another book, and I may need those stories then.

Oops, I got ahead of myself there.

You see, Max was the real-life inspiration for my book, A Puppy Bucket List. Within a week of adopting him, the idea for the book popped into my head, and I started jotting things down in a notebook. When I was ready to start the actual writing, I had those handy notes to look back on, even if I couldn’t read most of my own handwriting!

The book is based on a real dog. Some things in the book did really happen, and some are made up. Max is a dog and will never know there is a book inspired by him, but I know. I also know now that inspiration can come from anywhere. When I set out to adopt a rescue dog, I didn’t think a book would come out of that experience. In fact, I never thought that anything in my real life would inspire a book. From now on, I will keep my eyes and my mind open to more of those possibilities!

 

My Writing Process

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I am starting a new WIP, so I thought I’d share my writing process.

In the early stages, I start out with a Moleskine notebook, a good pen, character and setting worksheets, and some celebrity inspiration.

I write down anything that comes to mind about the WIP – plot points, “what if” questions, thoughts about characters and setting that I don’t want to forget, plus any scenes that I’ve already thought of. One thing I also like to do is make a word list. I just list any words or phrases that describe or could describe my WIP. This is just a brainstorm really, so most likely some of those elements won’t be used. It just frees my mind of random words or phrases, plus I can always look back at the list!

Then I use character and setting worksheets to more hone in on the details and flesh them out. I’ve also find that it helps me to have some celebrity inspiration for my characters. It helps me to keep a clear picture in my mind of not only what my characters look like, but also with any flaws or habits they could potentially have.

I keep the Moleskine beside my laptop when I write, so that I can refer to it if I need to. I use Scrivener to write, and yes, I could put all this info in there. But I have found that I like having a tangible notebook to hold in my hands, and to be able to flip through the pages. Plus, whenever I think of something to add, I don’t have to fire up my laptop, I just simply grab my notebook!

And I always add to the notebook. Editing notes, title ideas, changes that have come to mind, inspiring quotes, and anything else that has to do with my WIP, or could possibly have to do with it, goes into the notebook.

It took trial and error to figure out what works best for me, but I can honestly say that I truly enjoy my process!

 

Facing My Inner Shadow

Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash

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A writer wants to get their stories out there so others can read them. A large part of being a writer is letting people read your work. Whether it’s a friend or family member, a critique group, or blog followers, eventually, people will read a writer’s work.

And just like that, the aforementioned writer is out there, vulnerable, to the opinions of whoever bothers to comment on their work. The writer I’m talking about is me.

As of today, my first book is out there in the universe, and that terrifies me.

I knew that publishing my book meant opening myself up to others, the kind and the not so kind. But knowing something beforehand doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. People can be nasty and cruel, and my skin isn’t as thick as it should be if I’m going to be a writer. Maybe that will come in time.

I also knew before publishing my book that it’s impossible to please everybody. Of course, some people will like my book and some won’t. People have different tastes and like different things. People are walking the earth who don’t like Pride and Prejudice, for goodness sake! If there are some who don’t appreciate the work of one of the most prolific and groundbreaking authors ever, then what hope do I have?

And here’s the thing: it’s okay if there are people who don’t like my work. In the case of this book, I wrote it for me. Well, me and my dog, Max. Last year, as a small puppy and our newest family member, he inspired the book. It’s nothing life-changing, it’s just a sweet story about a precocious puppy accomplishing his bucket list.

I wrote what was in my heart. As a writer, that’s all I can do.

The book should have been published months ago. Maybe it would have been if I could have gotten out of my own way. I was too scared to publish the book, afraid of what others would think of it. I can’t control the thoughts, words, or actions of other people. I can only control my own thoughts, words, and actions.

So, with this post and with the release of the book, I officially face my inner shadow. I have now accomplished a life dream by not only writing this book but also by publishing it. No matter what happens with the book, I am proud of me!

I will not try to make others like my work, and I won’t even defend it. What I will do is keep writing the stories that are in my heart.