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Saturday, June 11, 2016

stops and starts, puppies and books

Sometimes it feels like writing flows like a river. My current book idea is not like that.

Two days ago I was writing (trying to catch up on my JuNoWriMo goals) and I realized I'd made a huge mistake with my character's motivation. And it was both exhausting and exhilarating -- exhausting because I had to go back and fix what I thought was settled, but exhilarating because I finally realized why I couldn't get over that 20,000 word hump.

When I finish this book, it will be the fifth one I've written. And yet somehow, it is different and no easier than those other four.

I think that's the funny thing about creative pursuits versus other pursuits. Every year so far in my legal career, I become a slightly better lawyer. My drafting gets better, my research gets more efficient, my confidence grows.

But every creative projects is like a whole new animal, something that has to be tamed in a different way.

I'm not sure I've ever blogged about this, but recently Gentleman Caller and I got a second dog--Scout. (For pictures of Scout, check me out on Instagram @cleverpseudonymgirl.) And not to make everything in my life relate to everything else, but the difference between Spencer and Scout could not be more stark.

Spencer was a naughty puppy, of course. All puppies are naughty. But Spencer, in his soul, is a snuggler. When he was little and needed to be walked at 5 AM, as soon as he did his business, we would fall back asleep for another two hours, resting on the hammock on the porch when it was warm, or with him curled up on the pillow next to my head if it was cold.

He loves going on runs with me. He loves riding in the car with me. He loves watching TV with me. Basically, whatever I want to do? Spencer wants to do.

Scout is not that way at all. In her heart, she's a ferocious hunter. When Scout needs to be walked at 5 AM, she is go-go-go-going after that. She wants to run and play, and if I try to put her back in her crate so I can sleep some more, she will wail like this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her.

Scout likes to run. And find sticks and rocks and hide them in her cheeks. And then run some more. And also run? And jump.

But even though she and Spencer couldn't be more different, I am so happy they are both my dogs.

In a way, I'm glad I am wrestling my new WIP into submission at the same time we are trying to train Scout. Because she reminds me that some little beasts just need more patience than others.

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