Remembering Your Dead

Alex Terrgi here. My huoncouchman tells me today is the right day for thinking about those you loved who are no longer here. So I am spending today thinking about my beloved sister Goody Beagle. She lived with my human before I came to live here, and after that we lived together — until Goody died. It was a sad day. Dogs don’t cry like humans do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t grieve.

I grieved for Goody and even today, three human years later, I miss her smell and the feel of her body next to mine on the couch. I miss the fun we had together in the back yard, burying our toys and then digging them up again. I miss ganging up on The Cat, one of the most annoying creatures living on the earth. I miss howling together at the squirrel in our fir tree who chittered at us in response. I miss going for walks and letting Goody teach me the secrets of smells that only beagles know.

In honor of my sister Goody Beagle, today I will smell everything twice.

Night Sounds

AnimalsToday my haiku is from October 28th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Animals, Birds, Insects and Other Creatures, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Night Sounds”:

skitter sounds at night
mice inside the kitchen walls
better them than rats

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.

Ideal Readers

Woman read book seat on the plaid near windowWhen I ghostwrite a book, the first question I ask is nearly always, “Who is your ideal reader? Who do you want to read this book?”

This is often a hard question for my clients to answer, especially if he or she is a newbie author. They have not thought about it. Most of them will say something like, “My book will appeal to just about everyone,” and they act puzzled that I am even asking this stupid question.

So I explain to my client that no, not everyone will want to read their book, and that an exercise in defining their ideal readers is well worth their time. It is true that no one can definitively know who will be reading any book, but an author can know two things: they can know who is most likely to read a book like theirs, and they can know who they want to read the book. Will the readers be mostly men, or women? Are they over sixty or under thirty? Are they Americans only? Are they sports fanatics or fans of reality TV?  Knowing who the target readers are is important to me as the ghostwriter because this will clue me as to how to tailor the writing to appeal to particular types of people, by varying my use of metaphors, slang, industry jargon, and so on. Writing for grandmothers is different than writing for teenagers. Writing for financially savvy people is different than writing for people who can’t figure out how to read their bank statement.

Writing is an exercise in communication with the reader. Effective communication is always two-way.

Haiku Friday: Family

AnimalsToday my haiku is from October 21st of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Animals, Birds, Insects and Other Creatures, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Family”:

two cats and a dog
curled in the crook of your knees
the family bed

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.

 

A Psychic Dog

alex-in-carAlex Terrgi here. My human says I am “psychic” and have “ESP” because I always know what she is thinking, even before she acts. I know when she thinks she should feed me, and when she decides to take me on a walk, even though she is still sitting in front of that damn computer of hers. I also know when friends or family are coming to visit us, even before their cars come down our street. I go to the front window overlooking our empty street, and I make some noise and wiggle my butt for a few minutes, and that’s how she knows company is on the way.

Well, so what? Of course I know these things. It’s part of being a dog. I guess she’s so impressed because Psychic ESP is not always part of being a human.

Yet again, dogs rule.

Haiku Friday: Rodents

AnimalsToday my haiku is from October 14th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Animals, Birds, Insects and Other Creatures, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Rodents”:

don’t be a rodent
hollow eyes and scrabbling paws
squeaking more more more

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.

Dreaming the Ridiculous

Closeup Face Headshot of Pug Dog Crying with Tear in Right Eye, studio shot over white background

Recently I had a vivid dream, one of those dreams you think are real when you wake up, until your rational mind kicks in and lets you know you are ridiculous. But what if I wrote down my ridiculous dream and made it into a story? Then it would be real – a real story with real letters and real words, printed by a real printer onto real paper. So here is my now real and ridiculous dream:

I went to a cannabis store, which is legal in my state. (In real life I have never been to one, but this is a dream.) The store was staffed by officious bureaucrats whose mission in life was to keep a stick stuck firmly in their ass. In order to even get into the store, I had to pass through a series of doors that led to anterooms where I had to fill out paperwork and show my ID and explain to a miniony bureaucrat why I wanted to buy some cannabis. I went through at least ten of these anterooms, and at the last one (I knew it was the last because through a glass door I saw a profusion of green leafy plants) the dream took an even stranger turn.

The bureaucrat guarding the plant room told me I could not take my dog into this room, and instead I had to stash him in their doggie day care room, handily located through a small side door. I was reluctant to do so, because I loved my dog and didn’t trust the bureaucrats to care for him. (Why I had my dog with me the dream did not explain.) My dog was a Pug puppy whose name was Pepe. (In my waking life I do not own a Pug dog; my “real” dog is a terrier mix, and his name is Alex, not Pepe. If I did have a Pug, which is unlikely, I would certainly never name him Pepe. But I digress.) Anyway, the bureaucratic minion did not care about my love for my dog and insisted. So against my better judgment, I let her lead Pepe away to the doggie day care.

I went into the plant room and after filling out yet more paperwork, watching minions scrutinize my identification, and answering more questions, I was allowed to buy an ounce of cannabis. I then made my way back to the anteroom where the doggie day care was, and asked for my dog. The minion let me into the dog room – but Pepe was not there!

I frantically ran around the room, calling Pepe’s name, but there was no pug in the room. The doggie guard just shrugged when I screeched insults and breathed fire into his face, and then he called the police to come and get me.

I woke up crying, and for a brief moment I was sure I had lost Pepe forever. I even sat up in bed to look for him. Luckily Alex was there and brought me back to real life.

Could you make a story out of this dream? I’m not sure I can, but I’m going to try.

Fly

AnimalsToday my haiku is from October 7th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Animals, Birds, Insects and Other Creatures, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Fly”:

there’s always something
the fly on the windowsill
living its brief life

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.

Books!

Alex Terrgi here. Multi-colored book stack My human likes books. If she is not writing books, she is reading them. This means her attention is too often on a book and not on me. Grr!

I don’t see the attraction of books myself. You can’t eat them, chase them, roll on them, or even smell them. Well, you can smell them (if you’re a dog), but they don’t smell good. They smell boring.

I suppose I could bury her books in the back yard, or chew books into little tiny bits, but if I did I’m afraid my human might make a fuss. Besides, she has so many of the damn things it would probably take me the rest of my life to get rid of all the books in our house. Not to mention our back yard is not big enough.

My human is not perfect. Sigh.