A Collective Effort

That's my name in an ebook! And Mira's hairy couch blanket.

That's my name in an ebook! And Mira's hairy couch blanket.

It's Day of the Dark launch day! It's been a special day in so many respects. This was my first fiction publication and the first time my name made it onto a book cover.

It was also made extra special because I got to hand deliver copies of the book to my mom and grandma, two of my biggest cheerleaders. For me, sharing it with my 87-year-old grandma was doubly so because when I asked her months and months ago if she would be comfortable with me using part of my grandpa's name as my pen name, she readily agreed and said she thought my grandpa would have liked that. We're hoping the Blaine storytelling continues on.

My mom and grandma with their copies. Speedy recoveries for grandma who just had back surgery.

My mom and grandma with their copies. Speedy recoveries for grandma who just had back surgery.

 

We often think of "art" as a solitary thing. The artist goes off to create and produces something. The reality, though, is that art is always collective. Whatever art we produce is always influenced by our experiences, culture, and the people around us. Since there's no acknowledgement page for a short story, here's what it would be.

This story, The Devil's Standtable, owes much to so many of you. For the friends and family that have encouraged me, tweeted, re-tweeted, liked, commented, shared, and entered, THANK YOU!!! I so appreciate every little bit of it. For Kaye George, the wonderful editor of the anthology, and Wildside Press thank you for taking a chance on me and including me in the anthology. To my SinC-Guppy short story critique group, thank you for all of your suggestions on this and other work. You are unfailingly honest and wonderfully constructive will all of your comments. 

Now I'll stop being all mushy and head back to the launch party!

The Case of the Dog in the Invisibility Cloak

I started renting an office a few weeks ago for my day (paying) job. It's the first time in *cough* years that I've had an office outside my house to go to, which means that Mira, my dog, has always had a working-at-home mama. 

Now, over the years, it has been suggested that Mira and I are possibly a little overly attached and this new office thing is a bit of a change for both of us. I wasn't sure how she'd do for hours alone and I kept have visions of her jumping wrong off the couch and breaking a leg or getting scared by a loud noise and shaking/panting all afternoon. 

 

 

 

 

This *is* Mira, probably plotting to nap with her butt on my pillow.

This *is* Mira, probably plotting to nap with her butt on my pillow.

 
Not Mira. Just a cute dog in a blanket because Mira might kill me in my sleep if I wrapped her in a blanket.

Not Mira. Just a cute dog in a blanket because Mira might kill me in my sleep if I wrapped her in a blanket.

My neighbor (probably jokingly) said "You should get a webcam so you can check on her." I made it about five minutes before one was in my online shopping cart. Brilliant idea, I thought. I could check on her and make sure she was doing fine without me and in a few days, I'd probably feel secure enough leaving her to unplug the camera. Right?

Today, I get to the office, wait a while (3 minutes), and fire up the app on my camera to see what she's up to. Has she settled down since I left? Is she whining uncontrollably? Is she doing the sad, sad Basset howl as she wanders the house?

And, I see the couch, the living room floor, the steamer trunk she sits on to watch out the front window, the guest bed, the nice foam dog bed that I bought her that she refuses to touch, and her bedroom floor. No Mira. Not even a tip of the tail. I had positioned the camera to catch all of her usual napping spots so I'm mildly confused. This continues all afternoon. Not a whiff or a whisker of Mira. I even turned the sound on to make sure she wasn't crying somewhere in the dark. Nothing.

Now I'm left with a whole new set of questions: Does she have a secret invisibility cloak? Did aliens abduct her? Did she have an accident with the shrink ray gun and now she's the size of an ant? Is she laying in my bed with her butt on my pillow?

Finally, after about four hours (and 3000 checks with the app), I find she has reappeared and is laying in her favorite window seat, watching out the window. What she was up to, I may never know (until I buy more webcams), but I'm still washing my pillow tonight.