musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

animals of The Write Spot 2

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:

Meet Trooper 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!)

Brenda 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.

Mystery 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.

This 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.

Meet Nixon, 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.

Romance 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.

Mystery 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.

Kathye 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.

"I 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.

Meet Sugar 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."

Readers, 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 write.

stillpoint is the blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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At 10:38 am, Blogger Heidi said...

Love it! Thank you!

At 11:19 am, Blogger Sandy Cody said...

Absolutely love this. You're right. The connection people and their pets share is special - and so is the connection we share as fellow authors.

At 11:26 am, Blogger Kathye Quick said...

That's my Webster. It was fun reading about all the other dog owner. Maybe I got a mark on he good side of "the Book" after all.

Thanks for the opportunity

At 12:55 pm, Blogger Sheila Seabrook said...

Loved reading about everyone's relationship with their pets.

And now I have some exciting news to share. This week, I'm going to be a grandma! We have a Boston Terrier joining the family ranks. I can't wait to meet her! :)

At 4:19 pm, Blogger Joanne Guidoccio said...

Excellent series! Loved reading all these heartwarming pet stories. :)

At 4:54 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Thank you all for reading and taking part in Animals of The Write Spot! Sheila, congrats on your pending grand-dogger! ;-)

At 4:46 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

Enjoying this series so much Cheryl. I love Louise Trager's comment about how her pet's presence has almost become part of the creative process. That is how I feel about my cat Jay. Their presence gives us so much.

At 5:00 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

I couldn't agree more, Susan. We are truly blessed by the animals in our lives.


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