Friday Fun #1

Writing For Fun

I’ve been working hard all week, and now my brain is feeling a little weary and fried. So, I decided to change things up a bit and just have some fun.

I think I’ll start with a little insight into my personal life.

One of my top favorite things to do in life is laugh, and sharing that laughter with others. In my youth I discovered storytelling as a way to inspire such cheeriness, though being labeled a class clown in school earned me no favor with my teachers.

It was in fact, that very same type of storytelling that started me on the path to being a writer 20 years ago.

It all started in an online chat room with me sharing something that one of my kids had done that made me laugh. Several folks gave smiley faces and “liked” it, and then someone asked me a question about kids. That sparked another story which also included one of our pets. From there, the stories and conversations grew and I began receiving quite a few suggestions to consider writing as a career.

So, that’s how I got started. Now onto the good stuff…

I Love Animals!

Currently there are 5 cats and a German Shepherd living in my cabin. (Actually it would be more accurate to say they own the place and just allow me to live here because I feed them and buy them toys.)

Allow me to introduce the crazy critters:

I’ll start with the German Shepherd, since there’s one in the photo above.

His name is Frodo Buggins (and for Lord of the Rings fans, no, that is not a misspelling). It is “Buggins” because he “bugs” everyone.

Frodo is a gorgeous (though slightly chunky) 5 year old. He is totally OCD about playing fetch or catch. It’s what he lives for!

He has the longest tongue I’ve ever seen in a dog, and it doesn’t seem to really fit into his mouth. Quite often his tongue just hangs loosely out of his mouth and sort of jiggles while he pants, flinging spit everywhere, especially right after he’s had a big drink of water. (I know, it’s one of the gross things about dogs.)

Typical of the German Shepherd breed, Frodo is exceptionally intelligent though he often exhibits a stubborn mentality that earned him the nick-name of “Jackass”, which he also now answers to.

Frodo and Spot

One of Frodo’s all-time favorite games to play is chasing the laser light. (The cats are pretty crazy about it as well, but not as zealously as Frodo!) It is absolutely hilarious watching an 80 pound ball of furry fury, bowling over anything in his path as he tries to catch the elusive little red dot. But because of his OCD nature and never wanting to quit, I had to set some boundaries, incorporated as part of the game.

First of all, I named the dot “Spot”. Frodo knows that Spot sleeps in the little pen in the drawer next to my chair, and he will stand there staring at the drawer, waiting for Spot to come out to play.

When I pull the laser pen out, Frodo becomes so tense and focused that at times I worry he will pop-a-gasket in his head and explode! In order to teach him some patience, I make him wait as I release Spot from the pen into my hand (and yes, I talk to it and say, “Hi Spot. Are you ready to play with Frodo?”) Then I “toss” Spot out onto the floor and the chaos and laughter begins.

Though Frodo is quite agile, it is still amazing to watch him try to make a full 90 degree angle turn at full speed. Such attempts have wrecked furniture (or anything else he plows into), and left a few bumps and bruises I’m sure, on his backside from the wipeouts. I’ve also had a few bruises from some of his less-than-graceful attempts at victory.

Once he has created or sustained enough damage, usually in about 10 – 15 minutes, I tell Frodo, “Okay, it’s time for Spot to go night-night”. He immediately stops and watches, as I put my hand down to the floor and Spot returns, and disappears back into his little pen. Frodo gives it a sniff and then rolls his eyes at me in discontent as I put the pen back in the drawer.

In addition to his intelligence and agility, Frodo has achieved mastery over the art of eye-rolling, head-tilts, and facial expressions. While he may not have the power of the human language, he still speaks to me. Sometimes it’s in the way of slinging insults or half-hearted threats at me, such as he is right now, sitting at the door of my office with a toy in his mouth and glaring at me. He is clearly telling me that it is time for our morning romp, and if I don’t go play with him, he will inflict some punishment on me, such as knocking over his water bowl or using one of the cats for a squeaky toy.

Since one of my many masters has spoken, I guess that will be it for today.

I hope the peek into my private world brought a little smile, and didn’t scare you off. Next week I’ll introduce the feline members of the clan. Perhaps I will dedicate Fridays to some light hearted humor if that would be okay. Let me know what you think in the comments, and please feel free to share your own stories too. I’d love to hear from you!

Have a happy, fun-filled, and blessed weekend! – Amber

P.S. To give credit where credit is due…the photo at the beginning of the post was shared by I Love German Shepherds page on Facebook.

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