In honor of No More Excuses Month, I have to say I’ve done myself pretty proud!

Yesterday, in looking over my writing projects, I reviewed some notes I took at the recent SCBWI conference. (Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators).  In the notes were a few random ideas for children’s stories that had popped in to my head at various times, like driving in the car, laying in bed with the pups for “snuggle time” in the morning, and while enjoying a nice long soak in the tub. I realized during the conference that I was investing too much time and energy in this one story that is going to make me a break-out phenomenon.

For one thing, while a story is sitting in an editor or agents slush pile, it is common courtesy not to send it elsewhere. That is called a simultaneous submission, and by most accounts, it is a no-no. So I figured it’s time to get off my ass and start writing another one of my great story lines. Well, I sat down at about 10:00am, and other than a 1 1/2 hour appointment with my physical therapist (shoulder rehab), I had completed my rough draft by 5:00 pm.   And this one is pretty damn good, if I may say so myself.  I’ve read it aloud several times (using my “voices”)  to the dogs, and Chance and Kismet think it’s pretty great.  Chance especially likes it because he is the main character, and Kismet likes it because, well, he just likes me to talk silly to him.  Roxie… not so much. If there is not food or a Frisbee involved, she pretty much hangs out under the bed.

Anyway, sometimes we just need a prod to move us along that path that lies directly in front of us. We often find ourselves just standing there, staring, knowing that that is the ultimate direction that we will need to take to get from point A to point B, but there is often that little something that diverts us. Some little detour in the road. A nice blade of grass? A new facebook message?  The decision to have a cup of tea followed by a glance at your email only to see that one of your favorite bloggers has posted a new entry and you have to comment on it which leads you to reading 7 other comments from bloggers you don’t know and adding them to your RSS feed and then seeing that you have 3 more emails…..

God, it’s no wonder I can’t find the time to write.

Well, peeps, after fostering this latest little guy for 2 months and falling head over heels, I’ve decided to keep Chance. I was determined to find his perfect “forever home”, but that just never happened. Every time I got a request for more info about him, or received an application, my heart would speed up and I’d start sweating. (OK, there are for sure some hot flashes mixed in there, but, you know what I’m sayin’…)

I did take him to a Petsmart adoption event, held on behalf of the awesome rescue group I volunteer with-Animal Action Rescue-check them out!–but every time I put him in the crate, he cried and barked and became just a big distraction. Then, on the few occasions that anybody actually picked him up, I just wanted to tell them what an awful little dog he was. He’s not, of course, but surely that would turn them away.

So after countless hours of discussions with self, I realized that continuing to bring strange, temporary dogs into my household was not emotionally healthy for my 12-year old dog Kismet. Nothing to do with me, Nope.  Nada.  (yeah, right).

So I started “grooming” him to be our dog. I took him to the lake, where he promptly fell in twice and nearly drowned.  HK had to jump in in his clothes once to fish him out from under the dock.  So he got this little orange life jacket, and now, 2 weeks later, we can’t keep him OUT of the lake! Hope you enjoy his little video, along w/ Kismet and Roxie-his new siblings.

I’ll continue to be active in animal rescue. I have volunteered to transport dogs (see pup my ride ) and make donations as well as pet food drives, but now I know that I am just not cut out for fostering. (At least not right now).

Oh, did I mention that “Good Dogs Doing Good”, the book that I have a story published in, is doing very well? Check it out! WOOF!

As most of you know, I am a dyed-in-the-wool sucker for dogs.  I am also an advocate for pet adoption (all of mine have been adopted) . Well, I am on a couple of rescue groups email lists and saw a notice about this little scruff-ball of a dog that had been a stray and turned in to a kill-shelter. It needed a foster home quickly, and not wanting to think about this little guy not getting a fair shake, I stepped-up to the plate and volunteered.


A skittish little guy, jojo (he just looks like a jojo) was extremely timid. He was very thin, quiet and reserved. He sat in my lap on the entire drive home, staring at me with these big, brown eyes.  I was smitten.

After an initial introduction to Kismet and Roxie, I let him out of his kennel. Within 2 hours, this little 10-lb ball of energy had every toy in our house scattered everywhere.  I watched him as he ran in circles around the rugs, skidded on the hardwoods, and jumped on my lap.  That,  my first foray into this whole rescue thing, was deeming me a “foster failure” (when you keep the dog instead of adopting it out).

I posted his picture on facebook, and all who know me told me in so many words that I was toast. Except HK. Always the sensible one, he reminded me of our frequent travel, as well as the cost of boarding our other 2 dogs, much less the added $$ of another.

Fortunately, within a couple of hours, an old friend, (who i trust), called me on the phone and said that she wanted to meet and probably adopt jojo. In all honesty, I was saddened, but relieved to know that he would go to a home where I knew he could flourish. We did a skype call, and she “met” him, fell in love, and will pick him up next week, once all the adoption papers are in order. So I get a few more days with the little guy, then my home opens up to save the life of another dog in need.

Have you ever fostered a pet? What was the outcome? Are you a ” foster failure”? I’d love to hear your stories.




From my family to yours, have a Doggone Wonderful Christmas and a Pupalicious New Year!

As promised, I have completed a video of a day in the life of my (very spoiled) dog Kismet.  Since he is the subject of my story that is published in a book to be released in December, he felt that he deserved to star in his own movie.

So enjoy, and please leave comments for him below.  He loves to hear from his fanbase. Woof!

Good Dogs Doing Good

Good Dogs Doing Good

Ohhhhh! I’m so excited!! It’s official, and this adorable, poignant, and touching book contains a story that I wrote about my dog, Kismet.

As you know, I am an extermely proud Dog-Mom. Kismet and Roxie have their own series of blogs, called Kismet and Roxie’s Xcellent Adventures, and are, in general, spoiled rotten.  Oh, sorry, I got off the subject at hand.  Anyway…

According to LaChance Publishing, the book Good Dogs Doing Good is packed with inspiring, moving and amusing true stories of dogs that have given hope to people with none, helped teach valuable lessons both large and small about the human condition and brightened the darkest night. From the largest breeds to the tiniest pups, the canine stars of Good Dogs Doing Good amply demonstrate how the humble dog continues to earn its nickname “man’s best friend.”
As for my true story, several years ago, following the horrific death


Mommy and Daddy really had a great time playing in the mountains of British Columbia. it seems like every day when Daddy got off work (at 2:00, since he was working on Eastern Time), they’d head off on another adventure.

One day while their friends Stef and Glenn were visiting, they went kayaking on the Indian Arm at Deep Cove.  Being a self-proclaimed cheapskate, mommy called all around to find us the cheapest guided trip. She finally found one, but when they got to the outfitters “office”, it was a little trailer in a run-down neighborhood. Two young (but cute) guys were waiting outside for them.

“Nice one, Jules. Real professionals”, Daddy and Glenn teased her.It only got worse when they told them to follow them down a long, windy, remote road. “This is straight out of one of those Kill the Tourist movies,” Daddy said, and that really pissed mommy off.  Finally they got to the put-in spot, and the 2 guides turned out to be very professional.

Mommy couldn’t stop talking about the scenery-here’s her favorite shot…

check out the scenery!

check out the scenery!

hahahahaha! that was their guide- a real “hottie”, according to Mommy and Stef.  Here are some more pictures from their 4-hour kayak trip

Beer break

Beer break

an abandoned hydro power plant

an abandoned hydro power plant

Meanwhile, (click on more to continue the story) (more…)