09 April 2014

Of Nanos and Bad Dreams and too much Hazelnut Latte


Yep, I'm at it again.  I can't turn down a NaNoWriMo challenge, hard as I (and the universe this time, apparently) try.  One week before it was due to start (Camp Nano this time), the monitor in my beloved little laptop died.  Thankfully all my manuscripts are on Google Drive and most of my photos and other important things are stored here and there online, but it took us until the following Wednesday to secure a new laptop for me.

Got that done and dusted and started in on what would be a departure for me...a mystery novel.  Suspense!  Corpses!  Police Tape!  I was off and running and did about 500 words at the end of what was really day two.  I was on FIRE.

That fire burned out faster than a charcoal grill with the top up.  By day four I was hating my characters and where I was heading, so I didn't write anything at all on days 5 and 6, hoping that a new idea would magically appear in my mind.  It did not.

But after some soul searching and some time spent with Bryn's paws in my mouth, her claws in my hair, and her face snuggled up to mine, wet beard dripping down my neck (all of you that have met her and said "I've always wanted a wolfhound!" - that was for you)...an idea started brewing, and it was right back in the wheelhouse where I've hung curtains and made myself at home: fantasy.  Werewolves this time, I think.  I say I think because I'm not sure yet...my process (much to the annoyance of EVERYONE else I know that writes) is that the characters have to tell me where they are going and what they are doing.  I start with a general idea of what I want the story to be but if someone gets killed off I'm just as surprised as the characters and the readers! Seriously. I know, it's probably some sort of mental illness.

Along those lines, I had dreams last night that I couldn't keep hold of that would have been fantastic filler for the Nano, but those all devolved into what is a pattern for me...the anxiety dream.  This time the whateveritis that is causing me stress was masquerading as aliens and the thingImustdothatIcan't was rescue my loved ones from being taken.  The only two I managed to save were my sister and my niece, but we ended up with a long time friend of mine, Robby (from Ramblings From the Tide) who was all "It's cool man," in his best impression of The Dude (which I'm not sure is really an impression, sometimes, as much as it is really him?) and these two alien skinjobs (yeah, I watch Battlestar Galactica, so?) who were holding us hostage.

Now I don't mean they were of the Lucy Lawless or Michael Trucco variety skinjob.  No, these are my geeky dreams...they looked more like Breckin Meyer from Clueless.  I think one was actually named Travis, now that I think about it.  Anyway, moving on...

I don't know if we saved the earth from aliens.  My alarm went off just as Robby was whispering his Great Plan to us, whispering because the aliens and my niece Joy had fallen asleep and my sister was threatening us with death if we woke her up.  Why all the anxiety?  Well, that brings me to the third point of my post... hazelnut latte.

I don't really have all that much to say about it other than I've had too much lately, it's caffeinated, and I had to have a third point because I am the daughter, sister, sister-in-law, and niece of United Methodist ministers and that sort of structure wears off.

So now that I've wasted all this time not noveling, it's time to grab my lunch and crack open the other laptop and get that word count up.  Or just play bubble safari.  Who knows.

07 April 2014

Sandy Paws Wrap Up or "I told you I'd blog that!"

Screaming at the beach is gnome-much fun!
Photo Courtesy of K. Lazenby
In its own unique way, Sandy Paws time has come and gone again.  We spend weeks on Facebook and in text messages and emails planning and laughing and looking forward to seeing each other.  We despair that we only see each other once a year.  We arrive, and from that moment on there is hugging and laughing and screaming and cheering and spending money and all the exciting things we've looked forward to for the past 364 days.

And it is gone, it is over, in the blink of tearful eyes.  Even though this year my time at Sandy Paws was infinitely more challenging due to the addition of one big furry puppy who only has manners when she pleases, it was still gone and over too fast, and we were heading back up I-95 to our lives and jobs.  How does that happen?  Why can't the enjoyment last as long as the anticipation?  I find myself now back in those 364 days, waiting for Sandy Paws 2015 when I can see my FTH family again...hopefully with a much better behaved Bryn next year.

Now, on to the part of the weekend that made me put my "I'm Gonna Blog That" face on:

I will admit that in the past I have been one of those greyhound owners that I'm about to talk about...and I will extend my heartfelt apologies to anyone that owns a little dog or a big dog or any other kind of non-greyhound or non-sighthound dog that has come to a greyhound event and gotten the Hairy Eyeball from me.  I found out on this trip just how unpleasant even the most well-meaning people can be when they identify your dog as Other or NotAGreyhound and make a point of either looking at you like you've got four heads or telling you how to manage your dog in the sea of apparently ravenous high prey drive greyhounds ahead.  I mean really...I think if we did a survey of the dogs that attended Sandy Paws this year you would find that a great many of them live...are you ready? WITH OTHER BREEDS or even...gasp...CATS AND OTHER SPECIES.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have known, loved, and lived with some real Cat-Zappers.  I saw a foster dog catch my cat in his front paws in mid-air.  I know the possibilities.  But for crying out loud...the reception that Anne and I got when we entered the conference center with Millie (Boston terrier who lives with a greyhound and a bloodhound and was NOT on a flexi-lead, thankyouverymuch) and Bryn (wild-eyed Irish Wolfhound puppy of a mere 9 months who is still not sure about everyone and everything she meets) was less than welcoming.  Granted, not all of the almost 200 people that attended know me personally and/or know that I have a greyhound as well as the Big Hairy Beastie that came with me to Sandy Paws, but it's a good guess that I do IF I AM THERE.

Here are just a few things to chew on if you happened to be in the vicinity of the traveling circus that is me, Anne, and our Nons at the Jekyll Island conference center over the Sandy Paws weekend.

1. The fact that Bryn pulls me around is not funny, really.  It happens when you have a puppy brain in a 97lb body attached to an owner with the upper body strength of a Keebler Elf (to borrow from Sheldon Cooper).  It is a little embarrassing, to be honest, because I've never owned a dog like her before and am still learning the best way for both of us to be able to walk calmly and pleasantly.

2. My wolfhound is not going to eat your (fill in name of other breed here) as long as I am still attached to her and/or am conscious.  There is no need to glare at me or pull your greyhound around on the other side of you to protect your precious greyhound from Bryn.  In fact, you may be called out on your Death Glare if we happen to see you do it.

3. I understand that not everyone likes big dogs.  But for heaven's sake, y'all...this is a sighthound gathering and the hound in question is not an Italian Greyhound!  I'm assuming that most of the people there have at least a passing familiarity with sighthounds that are at least 50lbs and some much more than that (not always because they are big boys, either, but that's another blog for another day).

4. If I tell you that Bryn needs some space then she needs some space.  It doesn't matter how many whatevers you have raised/bred/raced/whatever in your day, I know my dog better than you do.  End of.  I appreciate all the offers for help over the weekend from everyone (including my friend Brian who asked me to let Bryn come running at him...which I did) and the compliments were fab for her and me.  It's hard to believe she has only been in my life for just under 5 months...feels like 5 years some days.

5. A Boston Terrier on a stationary leash that is being held by her owner is probably owned by someone savvy about the prey drives of greyhounds and other sighthounds and will NOT be putting her dog or anyone else's in a dangerous position, at least not consciously.  A person who brings a small breed into a sighthound event on a flexi lead is a different matter, but that, again, is a blog for another day.

Overall we had so much fun...Bryn slept most of the way home when she wasn't trying to chew on her Auntsie's ears or get in the front with Millie.  My FTH family is more precious to me than I can express and even now, as I sit here typing, the thought of THEM...the thought of US...it brings tears to my eyes at how important we all are to each other.

Metrognomes of the world, unite.  Onward and upward...to Mountain Hounds if not before!  (You can see pictures of Bryn at SP14 on her blog, Our Daily Bryn, beginning with the entry for 26 March.)

#metoo

#nofilter #goodhairday Yep, that hashtag in the title means what you think it means. But that's not what I want to talk about today....