Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Discipline Issue and Publishing Doubts...

It's over halfway through the week and I don't know about you but I'm exhausted!

It hasn't been a bad week though. Work is slower than it has been for the past couple of weeks but I'm still finding ways to keep myself occupied. The only danger in being less busy is that you notice things that usually prickle in your mind as annoyances during a busy day but, in a more relaxed day, really start to bother you.

Still, what is work when things in life are going so interestingly? While I'm experiencing a slight case of puppy frustration- one of my little girls will NOT listen to me, even when I raise my voice (as the reading materials suggest). Even though I take them out regularly, they still like to 'have accidents' inside. I bought them puppy pads, just so they had somewhere to go that was easy to clean. They've decided they're chew toys instead. Never mind that they have a ton of chew toys scattered around the dog-proofed area. Anything they can sink their teeth into is fair game.

I know, I know, they're puppies. That's part of their charm. It's just hard. Sookie is very willful and stubborn. One of my coworkers was generous enough to give me a 'puppy shower' gift- a magazine all about Dachshunds. There are tips in there for everything including housebreaking. It says that Dachshunds, by nature, are willful and stubborn. I'm seeing that first hand. Yet the problem is I'm trying everything they're suggesting and still Sookie ignores me. Rory is more manageable. She's a sweet soul with a mischievious streak but she does listen and she does know when she's done wrong. Sookie, on the other hand, glares at me when I firmly tell her 'No' and slinks off. I love them both, equally but I'm not sure how to handle the differences in personality. While I'm glad I have them both for the sake of them being able to keep each other company, I also worry that they won't need me so much. That I'm just a third party to their little puppy world.

I think part of it is that they're both a little afraid to go outside, thanks to the beasts that live next door(s). This morning, I was trying to encourage them to relieve themselves so I could go to work and just as I feared, my neighbour let his three noisy dogs out into their yard. Pandemonium ensued. In the darkness of Daylight Savings Time, my girls were terrified. They didn't relieve themselves because they were too worried by the barking. I was angry. While I know my neighbours have every right to let their dogs out, it would be nice if they would be slightly more thoughtful and at least look to see if we're out there. I only put my back yard, outside light on when we're out there. It wouldn't take much to be thoughtful.

But I've lived here since August. Thoughtfulness is not in their reportoire. Before I got the puppies, I'd be out in my yard, working. I could hear the neighbour's dogs bark at me from inside. Clearly, the neighbours got fed up of the barking and so they let them outside. Never mind that I was enjoying my peace. Never mind that they don't control the annoying creatures. They just didn't want to hear the barking.

I think my only solution is to build a privacy fence. I've done the estimates and if I get the materials myself and build it, I can afford it. It should be my responsibility but, in truth, I do want the privacy and so I think it's our only option. I don't expect it to eliminate the problem entirely but at least I'll be able to set foot in my own garden without being besieged by a platoon of yapping dogs.

Puppy/dog woes aside, this is a big week for me. My book is published. It's for sale. I'm now in that stage where I'm wondering if it was the right thing to do. I published because I had a ton of people say they'd buy my book, mostly on Facebook. So far....there's not much follow-through. I know, again, it's a question of the impatience of Captain Monkeypants. I want instant results. People don't give instant results. They'll buy it if and when they're ready. If they don't, well, I gave it a shot. I'm going to try self-promotion next. I have some ideas. I have some support in good friends who either have already bought my book or have pledged to buy it. Other than that, I'm in a scary stage where I've put myself out there. Readers will either like it or politely abstain from giving feedback.
In my heart, I know it's a good read. I won't say it's a good 'book' because, let's face it, I don't intend to win a Pulitzer with it. But I think if people gave it a shot, they might like it. The worst part now is that I'm reliant on those sales, on that feedback. And, as a self-professed control-freak, I'm not sure I like having that reliance.

The thing is, I do now have that reliance and I have to accept it, even if I don't like it. It's part of the writing process, for better or for worse.

And, if it gets to me, I still have two puppies that keep me entertained. For example, I have one of those small animatronic "Fur Real" pets that's a pig. If you press its back, it grunts and snorts and wiggles. The puppies are fascinated and...slightly worried. If an animatronic pig can get their attention, there's hope for me yet.

Happy Thursday!

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