Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bertie and the Headless Chicken

This week has been kind of crazy.  I'm not whining. It was all  my fault.  He took me by surprise just outside the mall entrance.  I had just run in to grab a gift and had no plans other than to head home.  That's when I saw him.  His dark eyes were sleepy and sweet. He wore a satiny tuxedo coat of black and white that gleamed in the sun, but it was the wrinkles that endeared me to him.  His coat was too big for him.  So were his feet. He barely made a sound, just a whimper, and I knew my life would not be the same. I brought home a 2 month-old puppy. 

It was bad timing to say the least, but my husband said he was on board.  That was until the first sleepless night.  Bertie, a lab-pitbull mix did not want to sleep in a crate.  He missed his litter mates and needed a warm body to snuggle up against. Lily our Golden Retriever did not volunteer. The surest way to a night's sleep was Bertie in bed tucked up in my armpit, his head resting on my shoulder.  The surest way for him to sleep, anyway. 

I forgot how all consuming a puppy is.  An endless cycle of eat, pee, play, sleep, eat, poop, play sleep. Thank heavens for the sleep part.  If anyone out there has advice on how to get a 2 month-old puppy to sleep by himself, please let me know, 'cause I have work to do before I leave tomorrow for the
SCBWI New England conference!

I have been the proverbial chicken with its head cut off, running around making sure all my work is done or accounted for.  The article I am writing on regional publishers is not going well, so I asked for an extension, which is not like me normally, but what do you do when of the 15 editors you queried only 4 respond?  I sent out reminders, offered to do the interview over the phone, queried a few other editors just in case.  So, extension time - I hope when I get back there will be lots of responses waiting for me. 

But I have to say that the editors I have interviewed have been wonderful.  It makes me wish that I had a project about the Tex-Mex border lands, the Pacific Northwest, Hawai'i, or the Catskill Mountains, that I could send to them. The editors at Cinco Puntos Press, Sasquatch, Bess Press, and Black Dome (respectively) are devoted to their books, their geographical regions, and their authors. You can read more about them in the 2012 Writer's Guide.

Then yesterday I get a barrage of questions about a book I thought was finished and ready to come out in the Fall.  I don't mind the work, but the timing. I dragged out my box of research and answered all the questions like a good kid. I wasn't snarky at all. Still haven't googled the agents and editors who will be at the conference, or really checked out the books written by some of the presenters.  And of course I haven't packed yet either.  I know one pair of pants that won't be going with me - the brown chinos that Bertie ripped. Did I mention Bertie's diarrhea? Anyway, if I time this sleep break correctly, I can finish this blog, toss in some wash, and... Uh no. He's awake!

Bertie - 6 lbs of crazy

Bertie with Lily's skinned soccer ball

A sleeping angel!

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