The Dog Days…

- by Dianne Drake

The Dog Days…

OK, to some, this means the hot days of summer. To me, it’s just having survived a week babysitting some dogs. I have three, we added two and let me tell you, five dogs under one roof is a lot, especially when the three I own are large dogs. It was interesting watching the dog dynamics, though. Milhouse, the little Boston Terrier, was totally overwhelmed by the shar-pei rottweiler mix, the shar-pei German shepherd mix, the Welsh springer spaniel and the Welsh springer spaniel black lab mix. Poor Milhouse. He was used to being the top dog, but for the last week his status was reduced to something the others merely stepped over and, occasionally, knocked out of the way. He was last to the food, last to the water, last to the door, last to the kitchen for treats.

I think that if Milhouse were human, he’d be a writer. Why? Because he knows how to take the lumps, probably better than most. And that’s not to say that writing is a lumpy profession, because it’s not. But where else would a person choose to work when their efforts are, so often,  rejected, rebuffed, stepped over or knocked out of the way? OK, so it sounds like a pity party going on. Pity the poor writer. But it’s not! Quite the opposite, in fact. Applaud Milhouse for never giving up. He didn’t starve, he didn’t get dehydrated every time one of the big dogs pushed him aside. He simply kept going back until he got what he needed , or wanted.

The whole writing thing is changing these days. As writers, we might find that the easiest route is to get shoved aside, and I’m sure there are days every last one of us thinks that’s what we’ll do. But the fact is, as writers, we all have a little bit of Milhouse in us. We have to or we won’t ever get near the thing we need the most – our next page, our next chapter, our next book.

It’s an interesting time out there in the writing world, and nobody can really predict what’s going to happen. Publishers are adjusting, writers are adjusting, the poor people vested with the responsibility of teaching writing workshops are going around in circles, trying to figure out what to teach. But every day, I get up at 5 A.M. and pick up my laptop. Then begins what I need most to do in this life, regardless of how or when the big dogs are stepping on me. It’s as simple as that. Writers write. That’s what we do. Who we are. So my blog today is more of an editorial comment than anything else. It’s in praise of Milhouse. In praise of the writers. They rock our world. They make a difference, even when it’s hard to get near the food bowl.

Until next time, wishing you health, happiness and your turn at the food bowl!

Dianne Drake

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