We made Dog Face Pie today.

While waiting for my illusive muse to show up, I’m making a concerted effort to stay gentle with myself and my writing goals.

So, I’ve decided to include a quick story about this wonderful pie and the dog who loved it.

When Shadow, our flat coated retriever, was alive,  he was a brave boy.580799592_2063855751_562072303_1288220133127[1] His coat was so thick he had hot flashes. Often, we’d see him laying in a snow bank, happy as a menopausal woman with her face in front of an open freezer.  He had many aliments including a stroke from which he recovered 90% and diabetes that ultimately contributed to his death. My husband gave our furry pal insulin shots twice a day for over a year. One night Rick said, grinning as he rubbed Shadow’s neck after an injection, “Well my Navy ABC school finally came in handy. You know –  atomic, biological and chemical warfare? We had to learn to give ourselves shots.” He was putting this harrowing knowledge to good use.

Shadow, always  the most well-mannered of dogs, never stole food from the table, begged, or disrupted our meals. His boring dog food was occasionally augmented with gravy or meat scraps. No sugar – ever. However, one day I heard the sound from the kitchen that only means one thing. Animal eating  something he shouldn’t. I raced in, astounded to find Shadow with his front paws on the counter and his face buried in a cooled apple pie. I couldn’t believe it, but it was such a funny sight I couldn’t be angry. (Besides, we had another pie.) From then on, the delicious dessert was christened Dog Face Pie. Any pie that makes a good dog break his leash (so to speak) needs a special name.

So: Prepare crust, fill with sliced apples, press a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon over all. Cook for 1 hour. Remove and drizzle caramel sauce and top with pecans. Good enough for anyone, canine or human.

Yummy. This one’s for you my buddy.

What’s your favorite animal companion memory?


Word Wizards


W – People who write are always looking for a way to be heard. When did you begin longing for an audience? It took me about a year of pounding the keys before I realized I was on my own. For a while, I felt terrible. How would I know if my writing was any good? Why write if no one read my stuff? The old if a tree falls in the forest thing. I hadn’t started reading chapters to my husband at that point, so I was completely isolated.

Unlike painting, music, or dance, writing isn’t a social expression of art. For the most part, writers work alone. But, at some point, they need feedback. I always swore I would never join a writer’s group  but, out of the blue, through a series of coincidences, I found out about a newly forming group at a local independent bookstore. yes-would-you-like-to-buy-a-book_lAfter one meeting, I decided it wasn’t for me but, again, another coincidence brought me back to the fold. It was the best thing that could have happened for my writing.

One of the great things about a good writer’s group is everyone gets it. Each member has doubts, setbacks, and triumphs. And, as I got to know my fellow writers, I learned so much from reading and critiquing their work. I read genres I would never have touched a year before, I poured over non-fiction, and I even read poetry. Forming a kinship of compassion and honesty with other writers is priceless.

So, thankyou, my Word Wizards. Our group has accomplished so much. In the last year, four of us finished our books. One of us is selling her non-fiction book and increasing  sales every month. WIPs are still evolving. Memoirs are being refined.

Next time someone tells you about a writer’s group, consider joining up. It might be just the thing you and your writing need!


Photo credit: ALL CHROME / / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: 0olong / / CC BY-NC-SA

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