Begin the Day the Bella Way
- Bella out for morning pee...check.
- Bella fed...check.
- Bella out for poo...check.
- Begin self-caffeination...check.
- Play fetch with Bella...check.
- Begin morning social networking...check.
- Convince Bella to leave my slippered foot the hell alone...check.
- Laptop booted, heater engaged and moved close to my writing chair, and second cuppa joe on the ready...check.
- Bella contentedly ripping the stuffing out of her favorite, soon-to-be-unstuffed animal...check.
- Activate disengaging procedure from morning social networking...check.
- Bella begins morning mellow...check.
- Begin communing with characters...check.
It used to be that NOTHING stood in the way of me and my morning coffee. Anything that attempted such a dastardly act would surely suffer the consequences, and the penalties were extreme. All that changed when a willful little puff-ball named Bella arrived on the scene. In looking at my list, I am astonished to find that my first cuppa joe has dropped to fourth place. FOURTH place!
What a difference a dog makes.
A joyful difference, indeed. I'm convinced that all writers should have a critter of their liking on hand during those otherwise isolated writerly days spent deep inside their own private Idahoes. Preferably one that is cuddle-worthy with a whole lot of character. Among myriad reasons why this can be so beneficial - including the generic need for companionship, affection, etc. - is that these little creatures tug us out of ourselves and our comfort zones in small doses. Not enough to drive us to irreparable distraction, like many relationships can, but enough to give our minds a brief sabbatical as we meet the laconic demands of another.
Writers are very much control freaks, if you really think about it. We live in worlds of our own creation, manipulate locales and people according to our will, and can create and destroy anything that strikes our fancy. This power-lust can become insatiable, sometimes extending far beyond the confines of the page. We can be such princesses regarding our environment, as well as the situations and conditions surrounding us as we delve deep within our psyches, pluck out what we find, and decide whether it's worth writing about. Yep...we take ourselves very seriously.
Enter the critter with a mind of her own. Our carefully constructed domain is turned on its ear as we fall achingly in love with - or at the very least develop a guarded affection for - something other than ourselves, our lovers and our work. (The aforementioned three are far more submissive than a puppy on a mission.) We clamor to find a new normal as we adjust to this voluntary commitment to the care and feeding of another. This is a whole new realm for most of us because, in reality, we are only peripherally concerned with the care and feeding of ourselves.
We become soft around the edges when our new-found companions cast their dewy eyes our way. Suddenly, without warning, the tables are turned. Master becomes servant as we bend to the will of another. For a moment, anyway.