Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Dog's Notes on the Creative Process

By Simon Hirsch

I’m pleased to welcome my dog Simon as a guest blogger this week. He has some thoughts on writing and the creative process that he would like to share, in the form of an open letter to me.

First of all, I hate it when you refer to me as “your dog.” I’m a Brussels Gryphon, and no one owns me, man.

As you know, I’ve been there at each stage of the writing process. Curled up on the rug in the office while you’re at the computer. On those long walks where we’ve solved plot points. I'm not asking for a co-author credit, but I wouldn't turn one down if it was offered, if you know what I'm saying. Anyway, I think we’ve established a good working relationship, so I hope that you’ll take these observations in the spirit in which they are offered.

* I think it was Flaubert who once said -- Wait a second. Did you see that? There’s a squirrel in the backyard. DID YOU HEAR ME? THE PERIMETER HAS BEEN BREACHED! A SQUIRREL! IN THE FREAKING YARD‼ You’ve gotta let me out of here. NOW!

* Okay ... I'm good now ... where was I? I’ve munched a couple of pages of the new manuscript and I find them far superior to the last one. Nice texture, delicate bouquet, and smoky undernotes of ... what's that? ... toner, I think ...

* I hate to say it, but your last chase scene lacked a certain intensity. Here's a writing exercise: try to capture the intensity that I bring to chasing that squirrel in the backyard. Then think of me carrying a gun.

* I've been spitballing some marketing ideas and, I have to say, this one's genius. Forget bookmarks, I'm talking branded bags of doggie treats. Bacon flavored ... no liver ... no, I should never question my instincts, definitely bacon.

* I know I’m cute, but don’t pimp me out for your book promotional efforts. That’s such a desperate move, man. I see that you’re using me as your Facebook profile photo these days. You’re a lawyer -- you know that I didn’t consent to the use of my likeness for commercial purposes. If this doesn’t stop, I’m going to retain my own counsel.

* And, this doesn't really have anything to do with the writing but -- the holiday-themed doggie outfits. Is that really who you are? Is that who we are? No one's laughing.

* You know, sometimes I think you don’t respect my taste. I admit that I do occasionally eat my own poop, but that doesn’t mean that my opinions aren’t valid.


Rebecca Cantrell said...

Simon, you sound very much like my cat. Except for the squirrel part.

Best of luck with Reece!

Reece said...

Thanks for stopping by, Becky! I hate to break it to you, but cats know nothing about writing. And they lie, like ... rugs. Best, Simon

Chip Owens said...

Loved it, Reece. Still laughing!

Reece said...

Thanks, Chip! I'm guessing you're a dog person.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I have two cats that will take you on, Simon. They've been in the trenches with me through 10 novels and 5 short stories. Raffi hissed and ranted like a weird uncle at Thanksgiving over your "cats know nothing about writing" remark. B, the silent type who weighs in at 20 lbs, is sharpening her claws on the scratch box. Just saying ... good thing you live up north.

lil Gluckstern said...

Hey, I'm not messing with Simon, he sounds like a tough character, and my owner says he is way too cute, whatever that means.

Molly the Cat (Scaredy)

Reece said...

Sue Ann and Lil -- I'll let you (and your cats) in on a secret. Simon is not as tough as he lets on.

Raffi and B, however, sound formidable ...