Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mary's Alter Ego

Most of you by now know that I have a puppy-mill rescue dog named Mary. She’s been very slow to reveal herself to me—she has trust issues, as you can well imagine. But sometime around the anniversary of the day she came into my life, something clicked between us, and she’s been allowing me to see more and more of what makes her tick.

A few months ago, I made the transition from writer to author when I signed with Crimson Romance. The following weeks were intense and hectic, between setting up a website and other social media, plus all the rounds of edits. Oh yeah, and then there was that pesky day job. I’d find myself sitting in front of my computer for hours on end. Mary often had to use her outside voice to break through the writer’s fog and make me realize it had been four hours since I’d let her outside.

The other day, I was working on my WIP. Finally able to be creative again, I was eager to work, but a bit rusty, since I’d been doing everything but writing for a couple weeks. I’d write a chapter and print it out, curious to see if it became any less sucky when I looked at it in print rather than on the screen. I read through the work out loud, with Mary as my audience. No, if anything, it sucked even more. I balled up the pages one at a time, and tossed them in the direction of the wastebasket. Finally, I got back in the groove, and the next few hours were blissfully spent with my heroine, whom I love dearly, in 1856 St. Louis.

When I finally came back to the present and went looking for Mary, I found a trail of paper in the living room. While I wasn’t looking, she came into my study and grabbed the sheets of my dismal chapter one by one, and shredded them on my rug. I smiled as I realized Mary had torn my work apart, just like an editor would have done. I decided to experiment with something.

I have pens all over my house, since you never know when inspiration will strike. On an almost daily basis, one or more pens will crash to the floor from an overloaded table. If I’m not quick to pick them up, Mary will grab them and start chewing. This time, I intentionally laid three pens on the floor—two with blue ink and one with red. Without hesitation, Mary picked up the red one triumphantly and returned to her blanket with her prize. Which was all the proof I needed. In a former life, Mary was an editor with a publishing house!

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! Since I'm an editor and owner of three rescue dogs, this resonated with me. My dogs don't shred my rejects, but one time when I left the groceries on the dining room table because the muse struck, my Lab retrieved a can of dog food into my office and dumped it at my feet. I don't think he was an editor, but he's a doggone fine retriever!