by Pat Miller
Who is a writer’s very best friend?
Not an agent, though they can be very helpful. Not a critique group, though they provide much support. For any of us, a writer’ best friend is their pet(s).
I checked with the Nonfiction Ninjas to see if any of them count on a dog or cat to help them with their writing. Here are the animals they depend on.
SUSIE KRALOVANSKY has a three-pet team. Maddie, a standard poodle, tested one of the toys for We Really, Really Want a Dog. Maddie gave it 4-paws up, so the toy went into the book. Sox is an artist at heart. Here she is preparing to inspect the illustrations for one of Susie’s books. Finally, Lynx claims the keyboard when she feels Susie needs a break.
Two cats have befriended MICHELLE MEDLOCK ADAMS. Theirs is a well-organized tag team. Mia has taken on the job of watching over Michelle, making sure she is hydrated and gets enough computer breaks. Michelle doesn’t need spellcheck when she has the sharp eyes of Motley, her personal catcheck. Both stay within petting distance to help Michelle focus or relax.
NANCY CHURNIN also has a feline who watches over both her and her writing with sphinxlike concentration. Aptly named, Gloria Swanson is a star in her own mind who thinks it is a CATastrophe that Nancy hasn’t written about her yet. But she’s also a kind cat. In the most frustrating of writing situations, Gloria reminds Nancy about what really matters—cuddles and treats!
PEGGY THOMAS’s pets report that she requires a lot of assistance. So they have divided up her care. Grace is an over-the-shoulder editor who not only supplies inspiration, but her body warmth is like a shoulder massage, keeping Peggy relaxed. Her comrade in orange fur was more of a paws-on kind of pet. No keystroke went unnoticed by Leo, who died last year. He felt like furry handcuffs, but kept Peggy on task. Peggy mentioned that Lily is a golden retriever and Bertie is an All-American knucklehead. Both remind her that there is more to life than writing. They break up her writing time by taking her outside to play.
PAT MILLER’s rescue dachshund-mixes team up to do two important jobs in her writing process. Pat writes next to a bay window that faces the front sidewalk, so Pepper and Jack are always alert for any distractions which may take her away from her writing. Second, they keep an eye on Pat in case she needs a warm lap dog, or some sloppy face licks to kickstart her thoughts. Pepper and Jack love to hear Pat read her drafts aloud.
Check back next week to meet Lisa Amstutz's 3-month old Great Pyrenees puppy, Linda Skeers' photo-bombing cat Jack, and more furry writing assistants. And share a photo of your pet. Who keeps you on "the writing track?"
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The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas and a strong belief in The First Amendment. The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.