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Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Here’s another blog in the series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

A few Saturdays ago, I wrote an Owl and Pussy Cat post. This week, I thought I’d give a nod to all the wonderful dogs out there (my beloved Black-Mouthed Cur included). Here are 4 Owl and Dog videos for your enjoyment. Three of them feature the same duo, and the other is a puppy being introduced to an owl.

Enjoy!

Owl & Dog One

Owl & Dog Two

Owl & Dog Three

Owl & Dog Four

And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.

Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

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I was invited to participate in Darkover this past Thanksgiving weekend in Timonium, Maryland. Wow! What a wonderful con. I was part of several panels including substituting at the last moment on the “Animal Sidekicks” panel for a couple of writers who had planes/rides to catch.

I love adding animal sidekicks in my stories. Per the advice of Dr. John Flynn, who taught “Writing Science Fiction” as part of my Masters in Professional Writing Degree Program & served as my advisor for 2 Independent Studies on writing science fiction & fantasy prose, I try my hardest to avoid cats, dogs, and horses. Now, it’s not because I don’t love cats, dogs, and horses — but rather because they’re the most common animals used.

 So what critters have I used as sidekicks or important characters in my stories? In “Assassins,” I use a singing opossum – it’s genetically altered, hence the singing and glow-in-the-dark eyes. In “Birdling,” a robin is an important character. I must admit to using a one-eyed dog and three-legged cat in “Appleheads,” but they’re really a goblin and bogle, so I’m not sure if that counts. In “Toad,” I use a toad. (That was hard to guess, I know!) In “Henkie’s Fiddle,” a calf-shaped buggane is a sidekick. In “Weathermaker,” a Chinese dragon has a starring role. In a novel I’m pecking away at, I use rats and pigeons as sidekicks. I’m also currently at work on several stories where owls are either a sidekick or necessary character. Then, there’s this tale where telepathic beetles bond with the protagonist…

The advice I gave on the Darkover panel (with a nod to Dr. Flynn) is still good — “Think outside the box.” Cats, dogs, and horses make fabulous sidekicks and characters, but so do spiders (EB White’s “Charlotte’s Web”), cockroaches (Suzanne Collins’ “The Underland Chronicles”), beavers (CS Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia”), polar bears (Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass”), snakes (JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter”), and even trees (JRR Tolkien’s Treebeard in “Lord of the Rings”).

I think readers like to read about cats, dogs, and horses — but they probably would like a pinch of emu, lizard, and lion, too.

Till next I blog: Happy reading! Happy writing! And thanks so much to the folks at Darkover for inviting me.

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 My collection of fantasy stories, illustrations, and a few poems, The Greener Forest, is complete. Editor Katie has suggested changes to the fiction (most of which I made) and scanned the manuscript for grammatical no-no’s. This week’s late-night rush to finish an adequate selection of illustrations for layout & design is done. Cold Moon Press must take over the book now. And exhausted, but happy, Sandy the Black-mouthed Cur and I both have bags under our eyes.

Today I woke to a stack of letters to answer piled on my desk and 2 illustrations to complete for a client. I needed to begin work on the cover art for a speculative fiction anthology. This afternoon’s slightly warmer temperatures have stirred up the non-indigenous stinkbug population. At least a dozen of the six-legged invaders have managed to gain access to the house, so I’ve been dutifully grabbing the bugs and flushing them away. Dust and cobwebs are gathering in the corners of several rooms, and there’s a pressing deadline to complete a piece of fiction which I haven’t even started. Yikes!

 But there’s also a recipe I’ve been meaning to try, a novel half-read, and a sewing project calling my name. There’s a movie I’ve been meaning to watch with my husband, and a dog who’d love a walk. I owe several friends phone calls, and my mom wants to read me a letter from long ago she found amongst some of my dad’s papers. The wild birds need to be fed, and Sandy wants to romp in the slowly disappearing snow.

 How should I choose to spend my Saturday? It’s a balancing act. This week, writing & artwork claimed most of my time — so this weekend, I’m going to focus on family, friends, wild birds, and my dog. Will my time-off from working on submissions and promoting The Greener Forest hurt my career? I’m not sure, but I know my soul needs to laugh at a dog eating snow and watch a cheesy romantic comedy with Ernie.

Though relaxing or not, I must still eliminate stinkbugs or they’re sure to take over the house!

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 Beginning a story, a relationship, a quilt, a painting, or a garden is exciting and a bit scary. You start with a blank canvas, an empty plot of ground, a pile of scrap fabric, a character, a smile and “Hello,” or a wag of a tail. Wag of a tail?

Yup, this blog is about my new dog acquired from the local animal shelter. Sandy, (and, yes, I loved Little Orphan Annie’s pup) was a stray who obviously came from less-than-wonderful circumstances. On her first visit to the vet’s office it was determined she had Lyme’s Disease & worms. She was also intact (hadn’t been spayed yet) and wasn’t fully housebroken.

Yikes! There was going to be a big vet bill to get her healthier. Plus, I was going to have to spend lots of hours helping her understand it was wonderful to pee on the grass and not acceptable to pee on the rug. And she was weak and lethargic. But there’s always a price (time, money, sweat, etc.) to be paid to get something in good shape.

We visit the vet again tomorrow for some more shots. The spaying surgery is just a few weeks off. Sandy seems to understand where I want her to pee. She’s eating better and she’s building muscles in her legs. And best of all, she sleeps by my bed at night, can’t wait to see me in the morning, begs for belly-rubs and back-scratches, and looks at me lovingly with her chocolate eyes. Has the time I’ve spent working with Sandy been worth it. You bet!

Now, back to writing, quilting, painting, and gardening! The time you spend in learning the how to’s necessary for these tasks, the mistakes you make and grow from, the small successes, the support of friends and others interested in the same thing, and the finished project are all a part of the creative process. Will we all write a best-seller, stitch a first-prize quilt, paint a masterpiece, or have a garden worthy of a photo feature in a magazine? No, of course not. But each of us can do our best and be proud of our efforts.

Sandy will never be a champion dog (heck, we’re not even sure what breed/breeds she is) — but she brings me joy. And in the end, isn’t happiness, whether from writing, quilting, painting, gardening, or having a pet, what life is all about?

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