An Author's True Best Friend - A Ruff Rebutal
By Jackie Bouchard
Last week Laura posted on Facebook that fun and fabulous author, Libby Mercer, was guest-blogging here at Change the Word with a post titled, "An Author's Best Friend." I headed right over, ready to read all about how a dog is an author's best friend. But what did I find? An homage to cats?!
What? A cat will spill your milk willfully. It might sleep on your keyboard, but cat as author friend? I wasn't buying it...
Libby backed up her argument by posting a series of photos of famous authors with their feline friends. Okay, so Hemingway had a lot of cats. He was really just the muy-macho version of a Crazy Cat Lady. I can easily counter her authors-with-cats photos with an authors-with-dogs montage, and, as the photos below show – Hemingway also had a dog, so who was really his writing pal??
|Top: Charles Dickens, Stephen King and Jack London. Middle: Ernst |
Hemingway, Virginia Woolf (‘natch; hello, Woolf) and Dorothy
Parker. Bottom: Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Patchett and Anna Quindlen.
I can even list a few additional early-chick-lit writers who owned dogs, such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her cocker spaniel "Flush," Emily Dickinson and her Newfoundland "Carlo" and Emily Bronte and her mastiff "Keeper." (Wuthering Heights was early-chick-lit, right?)
Libby further pointed to the large number of author friends she has who post pictures of their own and/or anonymous cats with cute/witty captions. I bet I could match her friend for friend with authors who post pics of their pups. And they would be equally cute, and the captions equally witty!
Finally, Libby argued for cat-as-author-best-friend because a cat won't interrupt when you’re “on a roll” and make you take him/her “down three flights of stairs for a romp in the park.” But maybe that break and a romp in the park is just what you need! I get some of my best ideas while mulling my characters and plot out on long walks with my dog.
In fact, dogs are so in tune to their humans that they probably sensed that you needed a break anyway. Let’s face it, your cat just thinks of you as someone who had just better keep the litter box clean. On the other hand, if you’re a writer with a dog for a BFF (best furry friend), your dog thinks you are William Faulkner, JK Rowling, and Sophie Kinsella all rolled into one. You are a genius in your dog’s eyes. Now, who doesn’t want that kind of affirmation on a day when you’ve gotten a rejection letter or a 2-star review on Goodreads?
There’s one last argument for having a dog as your BFF if you’re a writer – look at all the material they provide you with for books! There’s: Marley & Me, Travels With Charley, Old Yeller, Rex and the City – I could go on and on. Not to mention the fact that both Jon Katz (I know, an ironic last name, right?) and Alison Pace have practically made whole careers out of writing books about dogs. My own book, What the Dog Ate, was inspired by a dog on Emergency Vet, and my current work-in-progress is a fictionalized story of the things my last dog taught me about living life to the fullest.
I’ll just end by saying, dogs rule; cats... seem like really cool pets too, but I’m allergic.
About the Author
www.jackiebouchard.com) was born in Southern California and lived there until she and a friend got the crazy idea to move to Bermuda. It turned out to be not such a crazy idea after all since she met her husband there. After Bermuda, she and her husband moved to Canada, then to the east coast of the US, and ultimately back to San Diego. Jackie used to be trapped in the hamster wheel of corporate America, but she was bitten by the writing bug and ultimately managed to escape. Jackie loves: reading, writing, and, yes, even 'rithmetic (seriously, algebra rocks), professional cycling, margaritas, dogs in general, her crazy rescue pup specifically and her hubby. (Not in that order.) Jackie dislikes: writing about herself in the third person.
About What the Dog Ate
The vet handed Maggie Baxter a plastic specimen bag containing a pair of size-tiny lavender thong panties extracted from her dog; but they were not hers. Or rather, they were hers now since she'd just paid $734 to have Dr. Carter surgically remove them from Kona's gut.
This is how Maggie Baxter, a practical, rule-following accountant, discovers that her husband of seventeen years is cheating on her. All her meticulous life plans are crushed. When he leaves her for the other woman, Maggie and her the-world-is-my-smorgasbord chocolate Lab, Kona, are left to put their lives back together. As Maggie begins to develop a Plan B for her life, she decides to be more like Kona. No, she's not going to sniff crotches and eat everything that isn't nailed down; rather she'll try to approach life with more ball-chasing abandon. Finding herself in situations where she begins to go through her usual over-analysis of the pros and cons, she stops and instead asks herself: What would Kona do? With Kona as her guru, Maggie begins her quest for tail-wagging joy.
What the Dog Ate is a funny, tender story of mending a broken heart and finding love and a new life right under your nose, with woman's best friend at your side.
Read my review of it here. While you're at it, check out my reviews of Libby Mercer's Fashioning a Romance and Unmasking Maya here and here.
For More About Jackie
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