Today we have a guest post, by author Jenna Burtenshaw..
The Importance Of Creative Assistants
When it comes to writing any kind of story there is one thing I would not be without.
I could live without my laptop; I’d just go back to writing with a pen. I could even manage without the regular cups of tea that often gather and multiply upon my desk, but my writing life would not be the same without my creative assistants. And by ‘assistants’, I am of course talking about the furry kind.
The wet-nosed, crazy, canine kind.
My doggy assistants listen patiently when I decide to read tricky chapters out aloud. They are among the first to find out where a story is going and what the ending will be. Sometimes they give a sniff of approval. If it is an exciting chapter, they may even bestow upon it the honour of a tag wag, and if they really like something they will usually fall asleep. Yes, I take all of these as ‘good signs’. If any of them wander off with their tails down in disgust, that’s when I know I need to rethink my strategy.
Maisie, my big, curly-haired scottie dog, is definitely the hardest to please. She is a born critic who has far better things to do in her day than listen to a human chattering away. She would much rather be outside snuffling her nose into a mud heap in the name of scientific doggy research, and when she does decide to listen, she demands a chewy snack for her trouble.
Nella, my Yorkshire terrier, is much easier to please. Give her a tummy rub and she will happily pretend to be interested in anything you have to say. She can be content for hours on a cosy cushion by the fire while I’m typing, only occasionally waking up to cause trouble, stir up the other dogs or chase birds.
Belle is another matter. Belle is a pointer who jumps at every noise, hoping that she may one day get a chance to pounce upon her mortal enemy, the postman. Her concentration span depends upon how many cats wander past the window or how many vans drive up to the house, and once she starts barking, she never wants to stop.
Between them, my creative assistants leap on my keyboard, drop soggy tennis balls on my books and knock piles of papers over whenever they take a liking to something on my desk. They can be little demons when they are feeling rambunctious and little angels when they are in the mood for a cuddle. They cheer me up when things aren’t going very well and somehow manage to distract me whenever I am on a typing hot streak. They run through the house like whirlwinds, leaving trouble and muddy paw prints in their wake, but I would never be without any of them. They certainly make things interesting!
If you are ever looking for a writing buddy, I say always ask a dog. They are cuddlesome, fun, and guaranteed to keep you on your toes.
Which animal would you choose as your perfect creative assistant?
Thanks, Jenna, and good question! Do let us know, Bookbabblers. Jenna’s debut novel, Wintercraft can be bought here now, and her second book, Wintercraft: Blackwatch can be pre-ordered below, too. You can check out Jenna’s blog here.