Tag: dogs

dogs

Self-Care is no mystery

 I’ve been focused on taking better care of myself these past couple of months, thanks to tangible evidence from my doctor that my sedentary lifestyle was putting me at risk for some serious health issues. My test results made me become more conscious of the need to take care of me. Now, I’m eating less and I’m making the time to exercise. I asked my fellow Missdemeanors, We spend lots of time writing, marketing, networking, going to conferences and book signings, taking care of family, working day jobs for some of us… How do you take care of yourself? Or do you? SusanI try to walk in the woods every day, and for the most part I succeed, unless it’s really icy. Though I have actually crawled up the slope leading into the woods on occasion.  I usually follow the same route, and there’s always something to see. My mind frees up and I invariably come up with ideas, but I’m not even trying. I always feel restored afterwards. RobinNo matter where I am, at home or traveling, I wake up an hour earlier than I have to in order to have a couple of cups of coffee in bed. It’s something my […]

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I Miss My Dog and Other Laments

  One of the advantages of being a writer is that you can express yourself, ad nauseam. As I sit watching wet snow fall during the fourth storm in 22 days instead of being on a plane to St. John, I plan to play the writer’s card and do just that. No one reads blogs (or newsletters) anyway.Here’s my list of laments: 1.  I miss my dog. Terribly. Cheddar was the last in a line of lovely golden retrievers to join our family. While I loved them all dearly, Cheddar has left a hole in my heart the size of Cleveland. She had the sweetest disposition, gladly joined me on any adventure, and forgave me in a way no human being could ever match. “Want to go for a walk?” got her tail wagging. “Want to go for a ride with Mummy?” made her ecstatic because she knew we were heading for uncharted territory. Maybe a visit to friends who would feed her biscuits without even pretending to consult me. Or a hike through the trail that let to the marsh where she could run wild and flop on her back and scratch against the sea grass in pure dog bliss. As […]

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Of Cockapoos and cars

When I was young, I desperately wanted a Peugeot sports car. I kept talking and talking about it until finally my dear friend said, “You don’t even know what a Peugeot is. You just like the name. “   She was right, and I thought of her when I acquired two cockapoos, for much the same reason. How could you not want something called a cockapoo? Every time I say the word, I laugh. My phone keeps auto-correcting it to cockatoo, which I don’t think is nearly as funny. So I have two of these silly dogs. The oldest, Buster, is very nervous. He’s a very gentle soul, but watchful. He keeps his head still and his eyes just follow me wherever I go. He’s also very flexible, and when he’s tired, he stands like a tripod and slowly sinks to the ground. He also tends to tilt. He always makes think he looks like he’s on the Titanic, sinking. He’s the sort of dog who’s perfect with kids. You can do anything to him, and my son has, and he doesn’t get upset. He just looks forlorn, as though in a perfect world, such things would not happen. My younger dog, Bailey, is much […]

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Medieval dogs

 While doing research on my new mystery, I came across a completely irrelevant bit of information that I found charming. It was in a lecture by historian Toni Mount on medieval nuns. The lecture started off interesting, and then she began talking about wayward nuns. Immediately I was more interested. Then she started talking about wayward nuns and their dogs. I was hooked. Nuns were allowed to keep cats, evidently, because they took care of the mice. But they were not supposed to have dogs, because they served no purpose!!! Of course these medieval nuns led a very difficult life. They prayed and worked constantly, and with little human affection, and so it’s not surprising that they became passionately attached to little dogs, so much so that they would sneak them into church. At one point a bishop had to pass an injunction against bringing dogs and puppies into the choir, Mount points out. For those who were caught, in one particular parish, there was a punishment: the nun had to fast on bread and water on one Saturday. (A small price to pay, I suspect.)  I spend a fair amount of time holed up with my dogs. Being a 21st century writer is […]

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Writer's Best Friend

Writing is a lonely job. Your only friends are the voices in your head and, if you’re a mystery writer, at least half of those voices are not the kind of people you want to encounter on the street. The other half are supremely stressed out about something dramatically awful. As a domestic suspense writer, I often feel that I spend all day sympathizing with someone who is having the worst day/week/month of their lives. It’s exhausting. And, after I’m done spending all day with my main character-in-crisis, I need time to recharge before I deal with people who expect me NOT to act like someone who has been talking to a woman running from, say, human traffickers.  Wine helps me destress. But nothing compares to my dog.  If I am writing an intense scene, my dog seems to know. He’ll come by and put his head on the knee not balancing my laptop, reminding me that no matter where I am in my head, my physical person is safe in my house with a furry companion. Petting him after a marathon writing session brings me back to reality. Walking him gets my muscles moving after sitting for hours, hunched over a laptop. Apparently, moving major muscles helps […]

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