Things I learned from my dog
_My dog, Ruby, died yesterday. I miss her like crazy already. And I've been thinking about some of the things Ruby taught me, like:
1. Enjoy your food. Every morsel of every meal is to be delighted in.
2. You CAN learn empathy, even if it doesn't come naturally to you, and even if you've had a rotten child(puppy)hood.
3. You can be smart, and behave, and learn a lot of tricks, but you should never ignore your core instincts.
4. Let yourself mellow with age. It's all good.
5. You can be bad-ass and super sweet in the same package.
6. Protect the things you love. A big bark and a flash of teeth, used judiciously, can go a long way.
_ Writing novels is a team sport. I am super lucky to be part of a critique group with three fantastic writers: John Claude Bemis, Jennifer Harrod, and Stephen Messer. We have a great respect and love for each other, and we agree on just about everything, except plot points, spoilers, use of -ly adverbs, characterization, book recommendations, or a name for our group. Anyhoo... did I mention how close we are? We've been meeting regularly since before any of us were published. Now, six years later, our group has more than 9 books published or under contract.
But don't take my word for it. Get the scoop from John on Smack Dab in the Middle.