Day 15

Well, it’s been some day! Dragging from the summer heat, I didn’t even go to my desk this morning. I dropped off my son at the railroad station, came home and ate a leisurely breakfast. Then the book store called. What better way to procrastinate than ‘having’ to pick up a book order at Barnes & Noble? Off my daughter and I went which turned into a visit to two different Old Navy stores to find a t-shirt she ‘had to have’. Then of course I couldn’t get to work because it was after 1pm and I was starving once again. It’s my off week for grocery shopping, and with nothing appealing in the house, we hit the local pizzeria. It was nice change of pace, getting out of the office and having girl fun. Until the squirrel.

I’ve been driving almost thirty years and I have never, never, hit anything with my car (except, of course, another car LOL). This poor little squirrel shot out from the curb and, thinking he had cleared my car, I just kept going. I’ve been known to slow down or stop completely but this time I was so sure he had gone under the car safely to the other side. Thunk! Instinctively I knew I had hit him.

“I hit him!” I gasped. My daughter looked at me like I had two heads “Hit him? No way, mom!” In my rear view mirror there was the little gray body lying in the road. I actually turned around and went back to be sure he was at least out of his misery. I don’t know what I was planning to do if he was still alive. I was just hoping he had gone quickly and without suffering. We stared at his body in the street stunned. With nothing left to do, we headed back home.

“I can’t believe it! I’ve never killed anybody!” I wailed to my daughter. “Mom, he’s a squirrel. And it was an accident,” she comforted me, despite her own eyes looking red.

Well the show must go on, right? I was almost tempted to sit down and veg out in front of the television. Like I said, I’ve never killed anything. I don’t care if it was a squirrel. It’s one of God’s creatures and I’m the one who always saves the injured, the lost. I feed almost a dozen cats in my backyard, often building shelters in the winter and dropping ice cubes into their water dishes during the summer. As upset as I was, I sat down at my keyboard and got to work. Writers write. They write when they have a headache, when their kids are sick, when the kitchen sink backs up and when they hit a squirrel with their car.

I love being so immersed in a story that time just seems to fly. For a little while, I forgot all about that squirrel. I’m pleased to say I wrote 1353 words on my WIP. However, I’m going to put off editing until tomorrow. Not because I am holding a squirrel memorial in the backyard (though we’ve done it for several pets in the past) but because I’m anxious to get started on the book I picked up today.

If you’ve read ‘Writer Mama’ by Christina Katz, you’re familiar with her fun style of presenting how-to information on the writing life. “Get Known before the Book Deal’ goes beyond freelancing and talks about how to use your personal strengths to build an author platform. Being that I am aggressively pursuing a book contract, I felt this was the next book I needed to acquire. If you’re unfamiliar with Christina you can visit her site at http://christinakatz.com/. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend her books and newsletter to build your writing skills (she offers several classes) and keep informed of the business.

Well, stepping away from my podium now. I think tomorrow I’ll just get straight to work. Seems like the best way to stay out of trouble. Remember to brake for squirrels if you can and come back tomorrow!

Chris

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