I consider this blog a window on my world, a way of letting people know that writers lives in general and this writer’s life in particular don’t amount to toiling away in an attic in utter solitude and silence. So here are some of the things I’ve learned this week, in outline form. I am NOT using Roman Numerals because I have a terminal fear of Roman Numerals which accounts for why I don’t outline my books.
1. It is almost impossible to get out of a chair with a sleeping puppy in your lap. This is true for two reasons.
a. Holding sleeping puppies is NICE.
b. Standing up with a flailing puppy in one hand is a lot like trying to get up when you’re very pregnant. (By the way, when I used the term “very pregnant” in a book, a number of people wrote to say that there’s no such thing as “very pregnant.” You either are or you aren’t. All the people who made that comment were men.)
2. Things puppies learn in a hurry.
a. How to operate the doggy door.
b. How to win your heart.
c. How to dribble kibble into their water dishes no matter how far away the food dish is placed from the water dish.
d. How to grab the orange pull tabs on the PetsMart pee pads and turn them into toys, thus making them utterly useless for their intended purpose.
3. Things puppies do NOT learn in a hurry.
a. Not to bite the hand that feeds them.
b. Where they should “get busy” and where they shouldn’t.
c. That it’s a very bad idea to try to steal the senior dog’s food. Bella, the senior dog in question, a rescue of indeterminate age, has had more than a few teeth removed, but she still has enough to deliver a corrective nip when the occasion requires it.
4. Things I have learned about Dachshund puppies.
a. They are very low to the ground.
b. They are very quick and hard to catch, a lot like the rodents they’re bred to eliminate.
c. The have minds of their own.
5. Things I have learned about PADD—Puppy Attention Deficit Disorder and things that make it impossible for Jojo to “get busy” where she’s supposed to.
c. Pile driving equipment pounding pilings.
f. Any loud noise, especially Bella barking.
g. Wearing a collar.
6. Why Bella and Jojo are not allowed out in the yard on their own and why I carry a 5 pound rock when I’m walking my 10,000 steps. By the way, this photo was taken at high noon on the patio of the house next door, which is just across our driveway. The bobcat wasn’t the least bit scared, either.
7. What I’ve seen and learned in the yard this year while walking my 10,000 steps. My daily average for two months is 9273, so getting a puppy dropped my score for a couple of days.
a. I now love Ceanothus. When I saw those wonderful blue flowers I had to learn the name of the plant.
b. I loved watching the lavender Wisteria come on and then seeing the blossoms drift away only to be replaced by bright green leaves.
c. I loved watching the little Hosta sprouts, standing clumped together like so many little green and white tin soldiers, gradually grow into magnificent clumps of green and white leaves.
d. I’ve loved seeing how sun-light shines through new growth Photinia leaves creating one of the most intense reds I’ve ever encountered.
e. I loved watching the fish gradually come out of hibernation in the pond.
8. What I’ve learned about herons.
a. The nerf gun I received for Mother’s Day is capable of firing sponge bullets from our back porch all the way to the fish pond. If I aim over the pool house, the bullets land on the same patch of grass as the heron. The bullets whistle in the air. The heron was surprised and hasn’t been back.
b. According to KIRO News some people in Ballard, people WITHOUT fish ponds, were celebrating the “birthday” of seventy heron hatchlings. I have it on good authority that herons are HATCHED not BORN. I wonder if any of my “very pregnant” commenters above notified KIRO News about this error. No doubt some of those hatchlings will turn up in our yard next year, looking for a handout.
9. What I’ve learned about walking 10,000 steps every day.
a. It takes time
b. If I use pennies or pebbles to count the laps, I can think about something else rather than compulsively counting.
c. When I walk and don’t count laps, I can think about writing. If I can’t think about what to put in the next chapter, (In this case Chapter 7 of the next Ali book) I think about writing the blog. Which is what I’ve just done. (Yes, grammar checker, I am well aware that is a sentence fragment. I did it that way for emphasis.) Tomorrow it’s back to Chapter 7.
Have a great weekend!