Life As A Pet Loving Writer
When it was just Ken and I alone, our three sons all living on their own, I'd get up well before the crack of dawn and start my writing day. I loved the peace and quiet settling over the house.
When Ken rose, we'd each spend some time on our laptops, him checking emails and me battening down the hatches of the writing I had done earlier. I would write for a few hours before my 'working day' started, and then again late in the evening if there wasn't much ticking over family-wise.
Dexter Arrives To Topple The Writing Cart
Then Dexter arrived and my peaceful writing day went to pieces. It look a long time to get into some kind of routine because most nights I was shattered from no sleep due to a crying pup. I'd have to trudge downstairs to shoo him to be quiet or put up with the yelping or go and mother him (bad idea say the pet experts).
Walking Dexter On Salisbury Plain
I would also walk him early, some days before I even had my first coffee (shock, horror to the prior-to-puppy-Paula), but oh, how I loved those walks. Very often Ken and I would do the morning or evening walk together. And we also took turns to execute this twice-thrice-daily task.
During my turn, I would tramp around Perham Down woods on Salisbury Plain enjoying the fresh morning, watching the sun rise or marvelling at different cloud formations across the sky.
Invariably I'd be chewing on a part of my story that needed strenthening. Often talking through some plot issues. Yes, talking. To myself that is. Until a neighbour walking their pooch crossed my path. Then, I'd have to act normal.
After a chat and a waved parting, I'd resume mulling over bits of the story or character development. My favourite part of Perham Down was the woods. Everything in there inspired me. The way the sun shafted through the trees, sometimes giving dappled shade to the forest floor below, other times highlighting circles of debris lying in my path.
The way the gnarled roots rose up to greet me and trip me up. The damp earthy smell. The crunch of pine cones and rotting twigs under my feet.
All around the woods inspired me. So much that I had to take my phone with me, to record all the stuff that came into my head in case I forgot any of it. My next series of novels is going to set in that very same woods. I wrote most of that story (a young adult fantasy thrilogy ~ still to come) while walking around the woods and up the hills and downs of Perham.
Of course, Dexter would be sniffing, chasing rabbits and leaves and anything that moved and ploughing through the mud puddles. I'd get home all fired up for my writing day and he'd get home so filthy ... my writing would be put on hold yet again while Ken shoved Dex in the bath so we could de-muddy him.
Moving To Spain
When we moved to Competa ( into our holiday home while we searched for our new home), it was tough because we lived on a mountain top. And while it was beautiful living on a spnaih mountain, the steep inclines got to me. There weren't any good walks and then Dexter got poisoned a few times - read about how that happened!
Slowly my fitness declined and I yearned for walking on Perham again. Until we found our new home.
Then I couldn't wait to start walking Dexter again. Even though our home has the most incredible views, I still miss the walks Dexter and I took on Perham Down. There was so much diversion in our half hour or hour walk. We could take so many different routes and still see hills, fields and woods in a short distance.
Now, normally my day starts with Dexter nudging me to let him out.
He charges around the garden checking to see if the lizards have started sunning themselves on the rocks before he even thinks of his bladder. Those same lizards don't stand a chance of sun in our garden. I can just imagine them packing their bags and crossing the beautiful Guardalhorce Valley looking for a quieter garden, where they are not sniffed and chased by a freckled nose monster, aka the mad Springer Spaniel.
Then when I finally get him back inside, its time to feed the farmyard (2 cats and Dexter), because the kitten will be meowing at my feet by that time. Eat breakfast with Ken and then ... phew, at last, I can sneak away for a few hours of writing my new conspiracy thriller!
PS: how many dogs will let anyone, let alone a cat, share their food!