This is another wonderful submission from another person being a goofball at Monkey Pickles.
My fingers froze above the keyboard and stayed that way. I tried to push them down but they wouldn’t budge. It was late morning. I had 2 pages written and needed 8 more, but writer’s block had swept in with a vengeance. My evil criminal mastermind stood waiting for me to inject some shred of humanity into his unfailingly dark past. The hero was looking for a flaw or two, anything to make him a bit more interesting.
“Focus,” I shouted to no one but myself, “stay focused.”
Smokey, my 90-pound shepherd/mastiff mix whimpered and covered his eyes with his paws.
I growled at my hands, at the computer, at everything. Writer’s block wasn’t going to get me, not this time. My characters waited. They eyed me suspiciously. They grimaced. They cackled. They called me names. Nothing helped. Still, I would not be distracted by this problem. No, I would not be distracted. I was going to conquer this problem through brute force.
A wet nose slopped against my left arm. Smokey looked up at me with those baby browns, leash dangling from his mouth. A large paw pushed against my thigh. He whimpered softly. His tail wagged twice.
“Go on,” my characters jeered, “you’re useless here. At least you can walk the dog.”
Smokey and I stepped out into the sunshine. Okay, I could stay focused on my story and get this job done at the same time. After three measured steps, he jerked me sideways. His nose just avoided a scraping as he ran this way and that, tail waving high and fast while he tracked some scent or other. I scolded the dog for getting distracted.
We took two more measured steps. He sniffed a bush, evidently enjoying whatever it told him about those who had gone before. Then he lifted a leg and left a message of his own. I sighed. What a bubble brain my dog was! Once that nose of his engaged, he didn’t know the meaning of discipline or focus.
Our heads turned at the sounds of scuffling feet and a ball smacking the ground nearby. The neighborhood kids yelled and waved and continued their basketball game. Smokey strained toward them. I pulled him back. His tail waved once before he turned back to our walk.
We continued together, a few steps ahead, then a tug to one side or the other. The criminal and the hero watched me being tossed in the ocean of my dog’s distractions. They grinned.
I forgot them and just enjoyed a cool breeze filled with the promise of spring. Birds, tiny ones from the sound of their calls, carried out a conversation nearby. Smokey continued his sniffing. We both jumped when the flock suddenly rose from the tree and flew away with all the appearance of a puffy dark cloud.
Back at my desk, my characters waited.
“You’re too serious;” I said, “you need a few distractions.”
My fingers danced across the keyboard. Within minutes they were far too busy to worry about their previous lives or character flaws. I laughed. I cried. I took care of all of that for them. Writer’s block was gone. The world was full of humor and surprise and possibilities.
Smokey’s fur tickled my arm. He leaned up against me angling for some petting. My characters relaxed and waited as we enjoyed another distraction.
Author: Judy Downing