Guest blogger Constance See on how her rescue dog taught her to write.
At age fifty-something, I acquired my first pet ever when I asked my husband to look into adopting a dog. He loved Pepper instantly. I was more reticent, but Pepper looked into my eyes (or smelled the coffee I’d accidentally drizzled down my shirt) and decided we were long lost best friends. Learning to take care of a pet when you’re trying to write was a challenge at first, until I realized the Great Goddess in the Universe had sent her to me as a Muse. Pepper makes sure I get up nice and early (5:15 a.m.) every morning by pushing her wet little nose against my helpless feet dangling off the edge of the bed.
No time to waste, there’s writing and peeing to do!
I stumble out into the cold ebony air, eyes half shut, grumbling about my lack of sleep, but she drags me along sniffing for just the right spot to squat. It has to be where some other dog left their sign. I just got that lesson. Years ago I started a great romance novel, but at page 80, I stopped to read a new one and was devastated – her plot was very similar to mine. I locked up my ideas and pouted for over a decade!
Pepper knows all. She knows every square inch of earth has a pee stain, just like plot twists have nearly all been written before. The hero or heroine always gets their man. What she taught me today was to sniff out the competition, but squat anyway making my own unique mark.
Finished with our morning ablutions, we race inside for sustenance. Pepper wolfs down her breakfast, reminding me not to dawdle at minor tasks. Then, she flops on her belly, head held up like the Egyptian Sphinx, watching over me, to keep those pesky distractions at bay. She has a very important job, keeping me focused on what really matters – a tail-wagging ending.