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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Dog Story (an explanation)

I am well on my way to the end of The Dog Story and will post another section of it tomorrow, but would like to give you a heads up before I do.

The Dog Story began as a grief-management project--the loss of Solomon was more overwhelming than I even anticipated and the weight of it sometimes kept me from sleeping. When I did, I dreamed about him and often woke up crying. Functioning on a daily basis was difficult. I had a family to care for, responsibilities to keep up with, and classes to attend to. I did it all because that's what you do, but inside I was a mess. It was one thing during the first few weeks to tell people I was depressed over the loss of my dog. It was quite another to tell them the same thing two months later and, trust me, three months later than that earns you funny looks from all but the most hard core animal lovers.This is a hazard of giving part of one's soul to a dog. But I'd do it all again in a New York minute.

Nevertheless, I had to find a purpose in it--a bigger picture--a way to move beyond it. So when I couldn't sleep or focus on anything else (like studying), I wrote and it helped enormously. Most of it was "right brained" with only a very loose plot in mind. If scenes feel a little abrupt at times, and the language a little archaic, this would be why. I guess my subconscious read too much King James inspired literature while it was growing up. At least there are no "thee"s and "thou"s.

Over the last six months as I've written the story, I've sensed that I was missing the mark some how, though I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. After editing another project for a couple of weeks and then returning to this one with my head clearer and I suddenly saw the rest of the picture. The details concerning the boy and the door he sees in his dreams were suddenly very, very clear. So when you read the next section, do not be surprised if it is a little inconsistent with what you've seen so far--and I'm sorry, but it needed fixing. I went back and edited for the change (though it needed surprisingly little as this was where it was intended to go all along--funny how huge subtle changes can be).

However, I think you will approve.




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