A Dog on a Dark and Stormy Night

Every writer should have a dog, don’t you think? A faithful companion gazing into the hearth while the writer sits at a desk, hammering out beautiful prose on that old red, Remington typewriter that has served without a breakdown since God invented the space bar. Clackity-Clack. Tappity-Tap. Ting!

Every now and then, the writer can look over at the dog who’s now struck a pose worthy of a Norman Rockwell portrait. Our writer … let’s call him Jeoffrey … plucks out a single, crisp sheet of 24 lb. fine linen paper and places it into the roller of his Remington. Ticka-ticka-ticka. He rolls the paper in until it rests at the properly-prescribed margin. Our Jeoffrey smiles then as he recalls another dog in another time. He takes a breath and sets down his first sentence …

The spaniel glanced at his master– who felt a sudden inspiration not unlike that night in Singapore when the rickshaw broke down in front of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, just as that mysterious woman in the red mandarin dress walked by, oranges dropping from a hole in her grocery bag like a trail of breadcrumbs he was compelled to follow; that is, after first knocking back several Singapore Slings while the rickshaw was repaired, and both the tsunami warning and the ensuing hangover passed–just before lifting his leg on the corner of the couch.

Ah, so much for my impression of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s writing from the novel, Paul Clifford, which began with those grand words, “It was a dark and stormy night”. (It’s quite fun to write those, by the way. Try it some time yourself then send them to me, or even better, enter them in the Dark and Stormy Night contest. So much fun!) But back to the dog. The dog? That I’m quite serious about. You see, I’m buying a puppy. A Puppy! Here’s his picture:


This now six-week old Labradoodle will be coming in two weeks to grace our home and probably piddle our carpet. The gracing of the home will be a welcome addition, and if we’re careful, the piddling will be minimal, as will be the chewing on the leg of grandma’s priceless table. In a year’s time, I expect to have a perfectly-trained dog … and my next great American novel completed.

Do wish me luck with both endeavors.

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