Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blog Block

I was sitting in my office yesterday with my chin in my hand, my elbow on my desk, when my husband Fred came in. He said I looked like I was thinking. Which I was. I always try to write my Wednesday blog post a day ahead, and I hadn’t come up with a topic.

He had a suggestion. We’d take the dogs for a walk to get my mind moving.

I’m in the middle of finishing my fourth Pet Rescue Mystery manuscript, OODLES OF POODLES, but I knew I’d not get into it as deeply as I should until I figured out what I’d be blogging about. So, we got the dogs ready to take a walk.

Which is fun, but a bit of an ordeal. Lexie and Mystie, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, love walks, and they also love telling us exactly what they want. We just had to clip a leash onto Lexie’s collar, but Mystie is small and daring so we always put a harness on her. With her excited wriggling, that always takes a while.

Eventually, we were ready. Since both dogs are lap size, we were able to carry them past our next door neighbor’s home to prevent their spending a lot of time conversing loudly with the two dogs who live there and bark when anyone goes by. Not that I object, since our two also talk a lot when anyone passes our place and our front door is open. They stand behind our closed front gate and defend their turf.

As we continued on our walk, we saw and heard other dogs out protecting their property. We saw which homes had “For Sale” and “For Lease” signs outside them. We kept our little dogs far from the path of cars on our narrow, winding streets.

And, we got to enjoy the signs of spring! That’s not always viable in Los Angeles, but we passed a lovely street-side garden full of tulips. We heard birds chirping excitedly all around us.

One of our neighbors always stops and gives our pups treats if they happen to be on our porch while she’s walking her larger dog. We ran into her, and Lexie and Mystie were treated royally.

Now I’m home writing about my dogs and relishing the walk all over again. On Monday night, I was on a chat night on Writerspace for Berkley Prime Crime authors. Only two authors were present--Dorothy St. James and me. We both chatted about our books and our themes, and I noted that some of the readers who were there chatting mentioned that they were cat lovers, or they weren’t wild about pets. Others also loved dogs. It’s fascinating to me to recognize the diversity of all people, even those who share an interest in something like cozy mysteries.

Me? Well, it’ll be interesting to see whether I have blog block next week. I’m sure that Lexie and Mystie hope I do. They definitely seemed to enjoy my remedial walk!

How do you get your mind in gear if it’s temporarily blocked?


Janie Emaus said...

Walking always does it for me. And driving. But with the cost of gas these days, I can't just go crusing along.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm not always eager to drive anyway, Janie, but sometimes a delayed trip to the grocery store is enough driving to change my mind's gears.

Betty Hechtman said...

I find handwriting something on a yellow legal pad helps me break through all kinds of blocks. Also, just stepping away from it for awhile helps. The worst is to sit staring at the blank screen, knowing time is running out and you can't think of anything now and wonder if you ever will.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I agree that stepping away helps, Betty--and my dogs like it if that stepping away also involves stepping out for a walk! I also agree that blank screens and blank minds are awful.