So there's this dog up the street; a menacing, bothersome dog. It came at me on Sunday, full bark. It was one more run-in with a dog that reminded me of another run-in, so I decided to write about it.
After getting it all down, it was too long, so I edited what I'd written. And edited some more. But there was still one bit that wasn't right.
Does that happen with your writing?
You have too many (or too few) words, but still struggle to find the right ones? Well, I kept at it until I found the one word that would fix it all: dumbfounded.
Here's the story. I'm sharing it because it's ridiculous and good for a laugh if you need one.
Years ago I was walking with Agatha, my long-earred, droopy-eyed, red-and-white basset hound. It was early morning and I decided to mix things up and walk through a neighborhood across the avenue.
We were two blocks in when a German shepherd bolted from the side of a one-story house on the corner.
Now Agatha was a sweet, easy-going dog and she merely raised her head, looked at the German shepherd, and continued on her way. I should have followed her lead, but that dog just kept barking and circling, getting closer and closer, and it was making me nervous.
And then I heard a voice.
A woman's voice coming from inside the house. It was hard to make sense of it all, but there she was, peering out from a six-inch gap at the bottom of an open window. With her head tilted to the side and wedged in the opening, she spoke again.
"Ask him if he wants a bath," she said.
"What?" I asked (though I was fairly certain I heard what she said).
"Ask him if he wants a bath," she said again. Dumbfounded, but feeling a bit desperate, I did what she said.
Turning to the circling German shepherd I said, "Do you want a bath?"
That dog stopped barking, dropped his head, tucked his tail, and turned back toward the house. The gap in the window closed.
Dumbfounded. Until I found that one word, I was struggling with the story. I tried writing about how confused I was, how I wasn't sure about what I was hearing ... blah, blah, blah.
So I kept at it. Walked away a few times. Rewrote what I had written. And did it all again. Writing is hard for all of us because writing is hard.
Do you sometimes struggle with writing?
I can help. Especially with things like ...