The Write Spot began in July of 2015 with a simple question: Where do writers write? Since then, I've had the pleasure of
meeting two dozen talented authors who've generously invited us into their
personal writing spaces and shared their stories. It's been great fun getting
to know the women behind the books.
Beyond our mutual
love of reading and writing, I've discovered we also share a deep love and
respect for animals. Some of us share our homes with companion pets, others
bring animals to life as story characters, while still others take inspiration
from animal encounters in the wild. I've invited all twenty-four authors back
to celebrate this common thread in our lives with a three-part anniversary series called Animals of The Write Spot. Part one
featured a splendid batch of dogs, cats, and even a few pelicans! Click through if you missed it. But first, please enjoy Animals of The Write Spot, Part Two:
and George, handsome grand-dogs of Canadian mystery author Brenda Chapman. (If
there's an award for cutest ears ever, my vote goes to Trooper!)
says, "While I do not have a dog myself, I’m lucky to have two daughters
who do. I’ve become the puppy-sitter, happily helping out now and then in my
daughters’ busy lives. Lisa’s pup Trooper is a four-month old Corgi and I
currently mind him two days a week. Julia’s dog George is mainly Maltese but I
don’t see him as often since they both moved to Toronto last year. The two dogs
have not had a chance to meet yet and I’m looking forward to the day!"
Check out Brenda's lovely Write Spot.
author Sandra Carey Cody gets a bit misty-eyed when remembering the many pets
her family has loved over the years. "They’re all special in their own
way," she says, "and they’ve all added something special to our
lives." Now that Sandy and her husband are empty nesters, this fierce beauty is the love of their lives. Missy is a rescued road-drop cat, who obviously
considers herself a mighty hunter. (She's really a sweetie, not fierce at all!) Visit Sandra's Write Spot.
gorgeous boy with the heart-melting eyes is Monty, who makes his home with
author Louisa Treger. She says, "Monty lies on the floor of my study while
I write, or under my desk; he is the sweetest and most undemanding of
companions. Through his constant presence, he has become almost part of my
creative process." See Monty in glorious colour and check out the awesome
South African view from Louisa's Write Spot.
a sweet girl who's very lucky indeed to have mystery author Anne Cleeland as
her grandma. Just look at that doggy birthday treat! Anne tells me Nixon was a
very small puppy in a Mexican pet shop when her daughter Aidan rescued her,
many years ago. Since Aidan was living in a dorm at the time, the doggie-grandma
had to step up and take her in, and now that Aidan has her own family, they
share custody. "Nixon is named after the surf wear company, not the former
president," says Anne. "It’s a generational thing." Apparently Nixon
never takes a good picture, because she always views the camera with extreme
misgiving. (I know how you feel, Nixon.) Visit Anne's Write Spot.
author Sheila Seabrook shares her spacious backyard in Alberta, Canada with an
assortment of ducks, bunnies, moose, deer, and a cute wee chipmunk that races
around the yard. Moose have been known to wander right up to her veranda and
several deer show up (mostly at night) to munch on the cedars. This mama duck came
to visit in the spring and stayed to build her nest. She seemed to enjoy
peeking through the family room window – keeping an eye on her humans, I guess…
or maybe wondering where writers write! Once mama's eight ducklings hatched,
the little family paddled around Sheila's pond for a few days before moving on.
"We have another duck that we think is sitting on a batch of eggs,"
says Sheila, "so hopefully we'll see more ducklings soon." Sheila was my first guest at The Write Spot.
author Vicki Delany travels a lot and doesn't have a pet right now – her
beloved dog, Shenzi, passed away a few years ago. But Vicki's love for animals shines
through in her writing. Whether it's Charles the opinionated library cat in the
Lighthouse Library series (written as Eva Gates); Norman the hard-working RCMP
tracker dog in the Constable Molly Smith mysteries; or Matty, the loveable St.
Bernard puppy in the new Year-Round Christmas cozy series, Vicki writes about
dogs with humor and compassion – and readers fall in love. That's Mattie, up
to his puppy-style mischief under the Christmas tree on the cover of We Wish You a Murderous Christmas. Visit Vicki's Write Spot.
Quick sent me this photo of a handsome trio, named Webster, Duffy, and Peggy.
The only trouble? Kathye is not an
animal person. Don't worry, though, Webster is on the job.
certainly don't wish any ill will," says Kathye. "I'm just not
willing to take care of any animals. Selfish, I know, but you have to give me
points for honesty. As the gods would have it, all of my sons love animals and
have several. I would politely pat each one on the head and go into another
room when visiting. Then came Webster. He's the biggest dog in the picture. He
followed me everywhere and slobbered on everything I owned, but for some reason
I didn't mind. For some reason l could not resist his tongue-hanging-out
greeting, folded ear, and doofy walk. Don't know why, but I like him. Maybe
there is hope for me yet. Now, as the sign on my car proudly proclaims – I Love My Grand Dogs! Visit Kathye's Write Spot.
the Bichon Frise and her sidekick Vanilla the Cockapoo. Heidi Ashworth tells me
these two sweeties are an integral part of her family. "Sugar keeps all of
us on schedule, waking us up each morning with a shake of her collar. She comes
to me when I am writing at my computer and nudges me in the thigh when it is
time to pick up kids from school. She seems to know how everyone is feeling and
is always on hand to lick tears from your face or to crawl into your lap.
Vanilla's human is Sugar, which irritates Sugar to no end. Vanilla's job is to
sleep by the side of my disabled son each night and to accompany me when I
bring him his medicine each morning. She is a drama queen with big, floppy ears
which she comically flings from side to side when she is nervous or excited.
The two of them are much more fun than the sum of their parts and we are so
lucky to be their humans."
did you spot the violin in that photo of Sugar? Talk about a talented dog! True,
it only has one string, but Heidi says we ought to cut Sugar some slack because
she's just a beginner. ;-) Visit Heidi's Regency-romantic Write Spot.
Oh, and my
own dear Sam the Cat says you should be sure to come back for Animals
of The Write Spot, Part Three… Watch for it here on August 17th.
About The Write Spot:
I've always been
fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. Whether it's backstage photos
from my favourite play, a peek into the kitchen where a chef is working her
culinary magic, or simply a glimpse through an uncurtained window into a
stranger's private world, there's an undeniable thrill of discovery, a sense of
secrets shared. It's no surprise, then, that I'm immensely curious about where
other writers do their work. I've blogged about it before in this post about my own 'write spot' and so enjoyed the comments, I was inspired to launch a
regular feature here at stillpoint. Watch for The Write Spot every other
Wednesday and join me as I discover the many and varied places where writers
is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington
Labels: Animals, Anne Cleeland, author spotlight, Brenda Chapman, cats, Cheryl Cooke Harrington, dogs, Heidi Ashworth, Kathye Quick, Louisa Treger, pets, Sandra Carey Cody, Sheila Seabrook, The Write Spot, Vicki Delany