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Notes to start a writer's week: Grist for the Mill

Cheryl's Musings: Notes to start a writer's week: Grist for the Mill

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Notes to start a writer's week: Grist for the Mill

You know that old saying, all the events in a writer's life are grist for the mill? I wonder about that sometimes. I mean, take this morning, when we got up to the amazingly disgusting smell. It turns out that Beau, the boxer pup, had not been feeling well. (Note: ginormous understatement.) Apparently, everything he'd eaten or drunk in the past hours had to be forcibly expunged from his little boxer body using whatever orifice was available.

Yes, large words help me deal with the immense gross-osity.

An hour after the discovery, we had removed clothing, sheets, blankets, and bedspread to the washer; scraped, scrubbed, and steam-cleaned the carpet; opened the window; installed a fan and sage-scented candle; and hand-washed and decontaminated every other item that needed it. (Did I mention he was really not feeling well?) It was the kind of disastrous morning that makes you laugh, it's so ridiculously bad.

When it was time to wake up my son--who slept through both the event and the hour of cleaning, except for a brief eye-flutter when we moved him to another room--he was very grumpy. Beau, he said, had kept him awake for THREE HOURS. He'd hardly slept ALL NIGHT. We asked if it had occurred to him that maybe Beau wanted something. Maybe he needed, for instance, to go outside.

No, that hadn't occurred to him.

But--this is what I mean. Is this event really something that I can use in my writing? Should my children's stories include poop-related disasters?

Hmm. On second thought, maybe Trenton Lee Stuart has a digestively-challenged boxer of his own, because this morning certainly could have inspired the terrible smell faced by his heroes in The Mysterious Benedict Society. Or maybe I'll write a memoir using this event.

Or a blog post. :) Hah. I made use of it, that stinky hour of death-defying cleaning. It IS grist for the mill!

Not that I'm volunteering for more of the same. No, I think that I'm sufficiently inspired in this particular area. Now, if anyone wants to provide me with the opportunity to be inspired by Peru, that's another story....

:) Cheryl

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At March 9, 2009 at 10:45 AM , Blogger Yat-Yee said...

Oh, I remember the days with puppy in the house. (Our Pepper stayed a perpetual puppy his whole life.) You should make use of such experiences, since you've had to live 'em!

At March 27, 2009 at 6:15 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi there! Sorry to take so long to reply--I missed your comment somehow! But yes, you're right. I have to catch these life experiences for the writing side of my life. :)


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