It's not all about writing, but this is a bit of me as a woman, wife and mother. Oh, and an author.
Recommendation - Get a dog
I had always been a cat lover, and I still love the sleek, independent, furry creatures. When I met my now-husband, my home was shared with a female, feisty, demanding Siamese seal point and a loving, put-up-with-anything ginger tom. The other love of my life shared his home with a four-legged tortie and white, and a three-legged tortie and white. With these two irresistible females in his life, I had to fight for his attention.
Twenty-six years, and a wedding and a son later, I received the nag nag nag for a dog. My response was automatic, having been rehearsed for about three years, during which time everyone in our village got a dog.
“I don’t want a dog. I haven’t got time to walk a dog, I'm a busy writer. I don’t want claws on my wooden floor. I don’t want dog hairs on my clothes…” There were a lot of “I”s, I know.
Then I stopped to think. I had given up work to raise our little boy. My choice to be an author was a by-product of that decision. So why was I saying “no” to our only son.
Needless to say, six months later eight-week-old Pepper came to live with us. For the first few weeks I asked myself, “What the hell have you done?”
In the decision-making progress to have a dog, I evaluated being an author working in the kitchen would fit right in with keeping an eye on a puppy. I was wrong. I could only have eyes for the puppy. The times she slept were not long enough for me to get into the zone for my writing. There was no continuity, which is so important to make scenes work. And I felt quite low at times, as a prisoner of my own house, mostly the kitchen. On top of that my hands were scarred with bite marks from scissor like baby teeth, and sore from being in and out of water to clean up numerous poohs and wees—rubber gloves were not an option and hand cream became my new best friend. Although Pepper was a very good sleeper at night—we have not had one bad night with her—we couldn’t put her to bed until about 10.30 and had to be up with her before 6.30 in the morning. That left me and my husband exhausted.
BUT I absolutely love her. Pepper is ten months old now. She slobbers. She loves mud. She’s happy going out in any weather. She is a leaf and twig magnet, and she adores shredding cardboard and paper.
And guess what one of my favourite things is? Taking our gorgeous, strong (!) Newfoundland for a walk.
All the hard work in those early months has paid off. Now she is well behaved, clean in the house, has a loving temperament, and I can write again. So go on, get a dog.
Reservations – Something referred to as smart
Today we have smart cars, smart phones, smart TV, smart meters…
I don’t want “smart” things taking over the world. Or at least not mine.
Yes, I am all for making life easier – I wouldn’t want to be without a dishwasher and I value the parking sensors on my car.
But I hate it when the likes of Google, or Facebook, or Amazon make assumptions about me. If I put in a search for something—which as an author I frequently do—I will find the information or product I need and use it for research, buy it or ignore it – my choice. That’s it. Done. Time to move on. I don’t want to be inundated with alternatives, duplicates or, even worse, tenuous substitutes for the next few weeks.
My reservation is that we will stop thinking for ourselves. We won’t look beyond a screen that has been programmed to give us what IT wants. Our views will become narrow, our diversity will become uniform, our creativity cramped. We mustn’t lose our humanity – it’s what makes us.
Remarkables – Having your story published.
It is every author's dream to have their work in "print," be it electronic or paper. To start with an idea in your head, and then create a world of fictitious people doing made-up things, requires imagination and hard work. Skills in language, grammar, word count, characterisation and continuity, are all necessary to complete your manuscript. Then there are the cover and the blurb, and at last you have your book. That is remarkable. Of course the next step is selling your story. But as they say, that in itself is another story!
What would your three "R"s be?