I am not by nature, nor inclination, a Multi-tasker. That title has been nailed to my forehead, an unwelcome and annoying presence producing nothing but wailing and gnashing of teeth. Granted, I’ve brought it on myself. The fact that I seem to be riddled with literary ADD, is the major causative. “Hey! I have a great idea for another Blogsite!” Or, “The NCK9SA book needs a chapter on…”, or “Wow, this is a really cool pedigree…I need to add this to the Omorrow pedigree history”, or “Hey! Squirrel!!!”, or one of 5 other projects I have in development for either online or print sources.
Adding to that log jam is the fact that I have these projects on three separate computers, and now this blessed I-Pad has come along…I’ve resisted writing on the I-phone, thank God, because it would only add to my frustration. And thats the situation. I don’t get Writers Block, I get “Writers Chimpanzee Sanctuary. ” Ideas jumping around, swinging from my brain stem, picking nits off my cerebellum, and just generally doing what brain-chimps do when they’re all sugared up.
Thats one of the many reasons that my German Shepherd is such a refreshing respite in my life. Things are so simple and organized to Hans, absolutely dedicated to routine joy. Everyday, starting at 6:30 AM, wake up. Yawn. Give Mom and Dad the Good Morning whine. Jump on their bed, wake them up. Go outside with Dad and answer nature’s call. Get a drink of water from my outside bowl. Go back into my bed until 7:30. You get the idea…Hans’ thoughts and plans are simple, no actual plan is needed, and there are really no distractions. A model I would emulate without exception were it remotely possible.
Training and handling Hans returns me to a simplicity of purpose that I cherish daily. And yet those simple activities have given the Brain-chimps job security. Because of Hans, I am writing again on a regular basis. About something I love. Thanks Hans, for taking me back where I started 30 years ago, with the same enthusiasm, but a better command of syntax. I’ve always written…it’s been a daily oasis since I was in high school. But having a purpose for writing makes it all the more enjoyable, and writing about these marvelous canines and their people…well, it’s a singular joy. My Mother would be very happy to know that writing is SO important to me. She pushed me to write as a youngster, and she did her best to teach me. She had the inbred ability of brevity of thought, something I’m still looking for, but her admonition to “Keep it Simple, and Original”, has stayed with me. I think she was worried that I’d end up in a Mountain Shack filled with canned goods, typing out a Manifesto. A not altogether implausible scenario since I was voted “Most Likely to end up in a Mountain Shack with canned goods, writing a Manifesto” in school. Fortunately, my German Shepherd is keeping THOSE inner drives at bay in me…he, and all of my Canine friends that read my ramblings, (Thats ALL of you!) have kept my “Brain-Monkeys” hopping in more positive directions.
The other part of the Log-Jam is the technology of today’s writer. Yes, I’m old enough to have used and wore out an IBM Selectric typewriter. (Prized by antique dealers everywhere these days). That machine made me focus on ONE project at a time, writing carefully so as to avoid excessive editing. The “rat-a-tat-tat, @^^%$*!” of writing a story then, was a singular exercise in FOCUS! Now, I work on 15 stories at once, use the computer to edit, and e-mail the whole mess to multiple people without so much as a gram of ink being used. It’s an efficient way to work, but hardly as esoterically satisfying.
This is why, moving forward, I will strive to follow my dogs example and keep things simple, direct, and laser focused on finding joy in everything. But I’ll also let the Monkeys have a few minutes everyday, because they do keep the ideas flowing… Thanks for reading, and I promise to get back to German Shepherd stuff next time!