Robert and I take our three rescue dogs to the Shelby Farms Dog Park often. Every time they go, it is the best day of their lives. As if they have never scurried after rabbits, splashed in lakes, or played with other mammals similar to themselves. Every time we go, it’s a whole new world. The excitement builds from the moment they see me putting on my walking shoes. They hear the squeak of the chair, and that’s it. When Robert picks up a leash, they sit and fidget until he attaches leashes to their collars. They rush the door and around to the back of the Jeep, so anxious to go. We drive with all windows down, and three heads with lips and ears flapping are seen in our review mirrors. They are together in a wad, metaphors for ecstasy.
On arrival at the dog park they don’t even wait for the hatchback to open, noses are at the ready. Down from the Jeep they bound, then off to the lake. Only one dog, the Golden Retriever, is a swimmer. The other two are waders, but they want to be swimmers. They waggle their bodies as if they are going in, then turn around and watch Buddy swim toward a tennis ball. He snatches it in his muzzle, and swims back, snorting out water with each breath. On shore he drops the ball and runs off in search of a dog trotting down the dirt path. This, my friends, is doggie bliss. It seems there are no boundaries, and plenty of lakes, butterflies and small animals, humans who all love dogs, petting hands at the end of every arm.
After about two hours, this is all they can take of bliss. They are panting and tired. They know the Jeep and run back there and wait to get in and lie down. This has been fun, and now it’s time to go home and rest. Until next time.
This is how it is with me and writing. I know, it’s a stretch, but stay with me here. The anticipation, the build up to the process, the journey through the terrain of the story, the lovable characters (though many are odd), the appreciation of the opportunity, then okay, it’s time to get back on the road. Then rest. Then I do it all over again, and it is always brand new. Writers are those who write. And I am one.
Over the past ten years or so, I have completed 3 novels, 35 short stories, about a dozen essays, and I want to add “so far”. Some writers say writing is cheap therapy. Others say writing satisfies some inner urging, or that they believe they were one of Dickens’ characters in a previous life, or they believe their story is so unique people will line up for it, or they have a need to be famous, or rich, or whatever the reason may be. I don’t know about those latter reasons; however, the inner urging I do understand. And of course the cheap therapy. But for me, that’s not the only reason I write. Truth is, writing makes me feel good. Simple as that.
Like those dogs running free, my mind runs free with words.
So what if I get a rejection now and then? (And believe me, I’ve received plenty.) One rejection does not stop the flow of process or passion for the craft. Ellen Ann Fentress says, “You’re just statistically closer to a “yes” now, Emma”. I believe her. She would know.