When love isn’t enough

Today, we put down our nine-year-old dog.

Yesterday, my sister told me she’s “two words from crying.” She said it with a watery voice, and I had to choose my next words carefully so they weren’t the two she hoped not to hear.

Two words from crying. Not me. I’ve heard two certain words so many times in the last few weeks, they lost meaning. No, “I’m sorry,” didn’t do it for me. For me, it took three words:

“He loved you.”

My crewmember meant the best, but it didn’t stop the tears from spilling down my cheeks. I fled past the exit row, past perplexed passengers, took a moment’s refuge in the aft galley. I crushed tissues against my eyes and hid behind the emergency equipment, bawled in shaking silence while passengers chose their seats like nothing was wrong. To them, nothing was.

He loved us. I know he did. It was apparent every time he greeted me at the door, tail wagging. Every time he scratched the wall and boofed for his dinner. Every time he curled between our legs on the couch.

Such a womanizer; he always got between our legs.

He loved us. He was my dog. I found him in a real newspaper ad, if you can believe it. My mom and I piled in the car and drove an hour to dusty Peoria, “just to look.” And then we held him and he was so tiny and lovable and we didn’t even have to talk to agree he was ours. I shoved $100 into the woman’s hand, and we smuggled him into our car.

His name was Cloud. We’d stricken that from his record before our tires left her driveway.

He loved us. But wow, Kaylee didn’t. She was seven at the time, and overnight he turned her into a crotchety old lady. He spent his days following her like the lovesick puppy he was. We brainstormed a name. He wasn’t cool enough to pull off “Shadow.” But Tagalong… that had a nice ring to it.

He loved us. Right up until the end, I know he did. We watched the decline, clinging to the thin hope that “acute liver failure” wasn’t as horrifying as it sounded.

It was. It just took a few weeks.

He loved us. Right up until we walked him into the animal hospital. He was lethargic, short of breath, but wagged his tail like he was fine. We knew he wasn’t. He loved us, and trusted us, and we held him as he went.

He loved us.

And god damn it, we loved him back.

Why wasn’t that enough?


RIP Tagalong

December 2008 – February 2018


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Pursuing Your Writing Dreams


Joke’s on them! 😛

When I was seventeen, I declared that I wanted to be a published, professional author. Books in Barnes and Noble, movie deals, country-wide tours. The works. I dreamed of writing all day, every day, of owning a house on some lake with big windows and a comfy fireplace and an expensive laptop.

And then my parents heard about it.

They meant well, don’t get me wrong. They just, you know, didn’t want me to be a starving artist. So they steered me in a different direction, which is how I wound up with a bachelors in criminal justice and a career as a flight attendant.

Having a job is important. But here’s the thing: society dictates that work must take the place of your passions.
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How to Succeed in 2018


My dogs are waiting to see what you’ll accomplish next year. 😀

Heya, folks!

So, way back when Novelarnia was first getting started, I did a post on New Years Resolutions. I mean, it happened four weeks into January, but hey. Who’s counting?

But this year, I’m not divulging my resolutions. This year, I want to talk about yours!

A dear friend told me in the early months of 2017:

“Don’t base your resolutions on the actions of someone else. Pick things YOU can achieve on your own. That way, the only person who decides your success is you.”

Read that again. You cannot control other people. You can’t decide if an agent signs you. You can’t decide if an editor loves your book. You can’t decide if a Big Five publisher offers a six-figure deal.

But you CAN decide to work harder than ever on your novels. You CAN attend writers conferences, read a hundred books, write for an hour every day. You CAN set quantitative goals that will better you as a writer and a person, so you’re more attractive to those agents and editors and publishers.

So, this year, don’t say: “I’m going to get a literary agent in 2018.”

Instead, say: “I’m going to write three original novels in 2018, and submit them to at least 60 agents each.”

Don’t say: “I’m going to find that long-lasting relationship.”

Say: “I’m going to spend an hour at the gym four times a week, change my eating habits, and take up underwater basket weaving. I’m going to make a solid effort to look and feel my best every day.”

Don’t say: “I’m going to get more followers on Twitter.”

Say: “I’m going to focus on posting one quality thought per day on my social media accounts.”

YOU make your life amazing. Not an agent in New York. Not the boyfriend who never calls. Not social media. If you want 2018 to be The Year, MAKE IT THE YEAR. Reframe your mind so everything you desire can be accomplished.

There’s no question you’ll be great!!

What are your New Years resolutions? Let me know in the comments below, or by emailing me here!

This little puppy says, GET TO WORK! 😀


Let’s Create a NaNoWriMo Cover!

Afternoon, folks!

Just because I’m a social media pariah these days doesn’t mean I won’t update Novelarnia! And wouldn’t you know it, WordPress has a cool option to advertise new blog posts without me ever needing to log into Twitter or facebook. Pretty swanky stuff. 😀

So, National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner! Are you participating?

For those who said yes, did you know that, according to the NaNo peeps themselves, having a novel cover for NaNo increases your chances of winning by 60%?
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