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  • February 24th, 2010 | 9:53 PM
Of Dogs and Writing - Finding Your Pack


 
Although Cassie has overcome a lot of her separation anxiety that she had when she first came to live with us, bits of it linger. When the pack is together, Cassie, my husband, and myself, all is right in her world. She plays, she naps, she keeps guard at the front and back windows. She's a happy dog.

When one of us is gone she becomes somewhat unbalanced. She might play, but not with the same enthusiasm. She might check out the front window but she won't settle. She paces, she nudges whomever is home for attention and then when she gets the attention she still isn't happy. Yet as soon as the missing pack member comes back home it's as though she takes a huge, deep breath and relaxes. She is surrounded by family and all is right in her world.

This past weekend I went to our local SCBWI conference at Asilomar in Pacific Grove. It was, as it often is, a lovely conference filled with wonderful nuggets of information from the talented speakers. It was a time to huddle together in the small rooms and talk after hours about craft and publishers and life in general. It was a time to be surrounded with creative energy hoping that some of it would seep into our souls.

And it did.

I work so much in solitude or, as I have for the past few months, with incarcerated youth which is a tough job. All that aloneness, away from my pack, puts me off balance. I do what I'm supposed to do but I often stutter-step around. But a few days immersed with other writers and illustrators, sharing my words and, for the first time, sharing my art, and I was able to take a deep breath, one of those huge, giant, soul-filling breaths and I felt my heart swell and expand and then I smiled, from the inside out.

I was surrounded by family, my writing family, and all was right in my world.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.



Comments

( 2 comments — Leave comment )
(Anonymous)
February 25th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
Susan, you are so right we need to be in touch with people with the same focus. It is the magic medicine we need that provides the strength to continue. Mary Nida Smith
(Deleted comment)
( 2 comments — Leave comment )
WHO AM I?



Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.






Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice

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