Ideas? Write About What You Know.

I’m fortunate as I never run out of ideas. However, framing one or more into an entertaining story may take some time.  Before I get into that, welcome. I hope you’ve coped well and safely with the summer’s heat, humidity, rain, drought, and/or wind. I scheduled two outdoor projects which are eighty percent done. Just waiting for the cooler weather… whenever it comes. I’ve used this time to develop my sixth novel, Transition. More about this in upcoming newsletters.

Good news! At the end of August 2023, the second book in my Seduction Thriller ebook #2, PERCEPTION: Love. Loss. Leverage. Murder. is FREE on Amazon. In this book, Rachel adopts Zeus, a dog that becomes her service dog. This chapter is based on one of my real-life experiences. It may help answer the question: Where do writers get their ideas?

In 2006, my mother’s human companion died, and she suffered two strokes. Miraculously, she survived both and came back eighty-five to ninety percent, although her COPD sapped much of her energy. Still, she lived alone across the street from me. One morning at breakfast, she decided she wanted a dog.

I began the search immediately. On a snowy day in March, we drove to a rescue in New Paltz, NY to see a twenty-five-pound white poodle. When we arrived, we walked into the “meet the dog” room and sat while small dogs played on the floor.

“Do you see any you like?”

My mother shook her head. “Where’s the poodle?”

Cindy, who ran the rescue, said, “She upstairs. She doesn’t mix with people, and she ignores all the dogs. She just stays in a corner and watches.”

I said, “Please bring her down. My mother’s heart is set on a poodle.”

Cindy left and returned carrying the dog. She put the dog on the ground and said, “This is Shiloh.”

The poodle made a beeline for my mother and jumped onto her lap. Shiloh snuggled and kissed her, and affectionately poked her nose at me. She growled at any dog that came too close. When I picked up a tee-cup poodle, Shiloh walked onto my lap and growled until I put the other dog down. She had made up her mind. Shiloh was determined to come home with us, more specifically, my mother. We were all teary-eyed.

Then Cindy told us this story. She had a beautiful aloof Bernese Mountain Dog mixed breed at her rescue. He was so striking that people clamored to adopt him. He was still at the rescue after six months because he wasn’t interested. He’d take one look and run away. Cindy had made up her mind to make him a permanent resident.

One day, a couple and their eleven-year-old daughter came to the rescue. They stood in the “meet the dog” room. As Cindy greeted them, the Bernese walked over to the family, sat next to the daughter, and licked her hand. He’d chosen his family.

It turned out that the daughter had epilepsy and the dog had sensed it. He must have been waiting for someone who needed him… just as Shiloh had waited for my mother.

Of course, Shiloh, renamed Sugar, came home with us and cared for my mother. When Mom became too frail to have Sugar on her lap, the dog slept under her chair. Wherever Mom went, Sugar was right next to her or part of the parade behind her. She was with Mom, lying on the bed by her side when Mom died in 2008.  I welcomed Sugar into my home and she lived a pampered life until she crossed the rainbow bridge.

I loved writing PERCEPTION. It had all the trappings of a complicated puzzle. How did one piece from long ago affect what’s happening in the moment? It’s like picking up an antique and hoping you will divine its history from the day it was made to your hand. Then, there is the question of nature or nurture, which you, the reader, will have to decide. Enjoy the read.


Photo by Sascha Bosshard on Unsplash

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