Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I just wrote three paragraphs and deleted everything. Writing is rewriting.
You know what this debacle comes down to for me? Women respecting other women. We need to take of each other, ladies. We need to consider how our actions will affect the other woman/women invovled. I believe many attached men (not all, but many, and none who read my blog) will have sex with another woman should the opportunity present itself, and it's up to us women to not hurt other women. Before a woman gets together with a man who's attached to someone else she needs to stop and think: this may hurt another woman, a sister of mine. I watched one of Tiger's "girlfriends" on TV. She said he pursued her. So what? That makes it ok? That makes it right? That absolves her from any wrongdoing? Then I saw a sound byte from the "porn star": "Yeah, I saw a picture of his wife. I do look like her. I guess he likes blondes." Oy vey.
My parents told me something when I was growing up and beginning to date. It's good advice, and has stuck with me through the years. It is something I plan to say to my own daughters and it's this: the female sets the standard. I still believe this. If I say it's ok for a boy to do certain things when I'm in the back seat of his car, he'll go as far as he can (come on, guys, you know it's true). Women have the power to say yes or no (in normal circumstances). If all these women had said no to Tiger he wouldn't be where he is today. Who knows? Maybe there are some upstanding women out there who did say no to Tiger. I wish they'd come forward and reinforce my belief in humanity.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's been the bane of my existence these past couple of months. I'm sure many of you can say the same thing. We're all in this together, right? I've been submitting this story I believe has some merit, is worth readers' valuable time. But alas, I've no takers. Yet.
Usually rejections get me down. I hate to say that out loud, but I can't help it. I'm working on that chink in my so-called armor. My skin is getting thicker, I swear, and I owe my understanding of the issue to some of the writer's journals to which I subscribe. Fortunately, The Writer arrived in my mailbox a few days ago, and within its pages I discovered two helpful pieces that address this age-old writing impediment.
The first, a short essay from Joseph Sestito, encourages the Buddhist approach to rejection. See it not as a negative, but as something positive. He also suggests I "take one on the chin" for all mankind. I will suffer rejection so others don't have to. Ok. I'm a fairly altruistic individual. I can do that.
I found the second piece of encouragement on p.25 in an article by the late Donald M. Murray, first published in 1992. He discusses the 10 habits of successful writers and his last habit--the habit of completion--struck a chord. "A piece of writing is not finished until it is submitted for publication as many times as is necessary for it to appear in print." I like this. I believe him. At least, I want to. Keep on keepin' on. Don't give up. Don't accept "no."
I also found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyJsYZHUrmg on You Tube offered by a writer from PA named Jackie. I appreciate her take on rejection as well.
I'm really trying to change/improve my way of thinking when it comes to rejection. And here's how I see things now: at least I'm being rejected. Seeing those business-size envelopes addressed to me in my own handwriting when I open my mailbox means I'm doing. I'm writing. I'm creating. I'm trying. What's your take?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Haven't posted in a while because I've been caring for sick kids, helping in my daughter's classroom and getting ready for the Scholastic book fair, and getting away for the weekend to Niagara Falls, ON with my family. Here are some pictures from our trip:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Also, for anyone who's interested, my handy husband is hard at work on the other side of my office. He's framed in the fireplace and the guy came last week to run the gas line. Here's what it looks like so far. I'm eager for him to complete the work, but I'm a little concerned about how warm the room will be once I turn on the fireplace. I may have to open a window in the dead of winter--and remember, I live just outside of Cleveland!
As for writing, I'm busy sending out a short story that, thanks to my writer's group, is getting a second chance. Seems I didn't have enough faith and give it a real shot during the first round of submissions. It's going everywhere. I hope it finds a home!!
Also went to see Julie & Julia--with my husband, this time--and really enjoyed the movie. The first time I tried to see it I was too stressed out, worrying about what was coming around the bend to assault my daughters' eyes and ears. The movie is definitely light fare, but what cracked us up was when Julie receives 65 phone messages--all from agents and publishers--wanting to talk to her about her blog and possible book deal. I found it funny that my husband laughed so hard at that one. I turned to him and said, "Yeah...we're livin' that dream aren't we, honey?"
Saturday, September 5, 2009
First, the book. I just finished reading Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Olive Kitteridge. Loved it. Olive is the main character of the novel but sometimes only appears as someone passing through a room in this set of linked stories. I also appreciate the format--a whole book of linked stories about the people in Crosby, Maine. I highly recommend this read and we writers can definitely learn from Ms. Strout's storytelling ability. Her book, Amy and Isabelle, is another favorite of mine from a few years back.
Second, the blog. I just happened upon this one that focuses on rejection--sharing of rejection letters, etc.--handled with (what I think is) a great sense of humor. Laughing along with other writers as we experience opening the dreaded SASE we mailed out with our ms just makes me feel better. Go check it out at: http://www.literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/ and have a great Labor Day!!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
No one out in the blogosphere really knows me, so I have to tell you up front: I'm usually one of the strictest, most likely to say "no" moms around. So why I decided to take both of my daughters (ages 11 and 8) to see Julie & Julia last night is beyond me. Brain cramp? Invasion of the body snatchers?? Temporary loss of consciousness??? I read the reviews prior to going, and the movie web site I checked said the PG-13 rating was due to, "One F-word, some strong and brief crude language, sexual references and non-explicit situations." In the past, before we've allowed them to see a PG-13 movie, (there have been 2 others) they get the "big speech" which goes something like this: "Remember, we don't use this language at home, the filmmakers use these words for emphasis, this isn't the real world..." you get the idea.
When we first sat down, I looked around and noticed my girls were the only two kids in the entire place. That was the first knot I felt form in my stomach. Then the movie started and the older couple sitting behind us said, (loudly) "Kids should not be here." Second knot. I felt okay for the first 45 minutes. There were moments the couples in the movie were shown kissing in bed (I shielded my 8-year old's eyes) and some language that made me cringe, but I know much of this went over their heads. But at the one-hour mark I couldn't take it anymore. Nothing in the movie was too over the top or gratuitous. It just didn't feel right sitting there with my two young girls. I could hardly enjoy the movie I was so caught up in my own angst. And who really knows what's sinking in and what isn't? I think things fly over their heads, but how can I be sure? I don't know what I was thinking. that the movie would focus mostly on the cooking?? Anyway...we left. I hope the older couple who sat behind us approved of that decision. ;o) Now, if I could just find that nomination form...the one for Mother of the Year...
On a happier note...to counteract that poor decision, I was rewarded this past week with my daughter announcing her decision to abandon the Twilight series. I posted a few months ago about finally allowing her to read Twilight (all of her friends had read the entire series at the beginning of 5th grade--a point in time I'd said, emphatically, NO! to my daughter's request to read it). She just finished the third book in the series, Eclipse, and came to me and said she'd had enough--enough of the teen romance/girl giving up her life for the guy nonsense. She likes the fantasy/vampire thing but was turned off by the romance between Edward and Bella. She'd heard from friends that the characters consummate their relationship in Book 4 and she said, "I'm afraid to read that. I think I'm done." She handed me Breaking Dawn and told me to "put it away somewhere." Thank you, God!! I think a lot of the themes in the books are too heavy for many of these young girls. I'm glad "dawn broke" for my daughter. Thankfully good sense prevailed and my daughter realized her limitations.
I guess I haven't totally screwed up...yet.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My writing group is a tight-knit group of three. We began as a large and loose group that met monthly at our local library. Then four of us split off and met biweekly for a year until one woman moved away and left the three of us: another woman, one brave man and I.
It occurred to us a few months ago that we might need some new blood in the group. We'd all read and worked on each others' WIP's, and while we felt we'd made headway on these projects, we believed fresh eyes and opinions could be helpful. Change is good, right? I believe it is even though I find it challenging and frightening at times. Two people approached the other woman in the group and expressed interest in joining us. I knew we needed more members, but still felt squeamish at allowing them in--and one, a woman--has some pretty impressive credentials. Who was I to balk at her joining??
I couldn't help it. I expressed my reluctance to my group who, (I believe) understood my angst. I still hate sharing my work with others--an issue with which I continually wrestle.
Well...long story short...I'm glad these folks have joined us, and I've grown more comfortable with the idea of change and being open to others in general. It's always good to have fresh eyes read your work. This new woman discovered a split infinitive at the very beginning of my novel that we've read countless times. How did we miss that glaring offense??
So now I'm wondering...how many of you out there have had similar experiences? Do you welcome or rebel against change? And your take on writing groups? We either love 'em or hate 'em. Mine has become invaluable to my writing process. People are drawn together in this world for a reason. We're here to learn from one another. I feel that way about my family and friends, and definitely my writer's group. Even the newer members, from whom I've already learned. I'm glad I put my petty issues aside and opened myself up to the possibility of new relationships and new experiences. Hopefully, my writing will be better for it.
Oh, and before I sign off, Happy Birthday to my baby who turned 11 at exactly 2:53 p.m. this afternoon. While I'm thankful she's happy and healthy, I'm crying with each growth spurt and development toward adulthood. Sob, sob, boo, hoo. Don't all you mothers feel sorry for me?? ;o)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The song by B.J. Thomas was one of my favorites as a child. I even had a music box that played the tune. It's what ran through my head when I first saw this amazing video. Many of you have probably seen it, but for those who haven't it's worth a look and listen. Thanks, Mom, for sending it our way. I wish I was as creative as the person who conceptualized this idea. I have no idea who this group is, or where they come from, but I love this creation. Enjoy!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I was traveling all day last Thursday. A news hound at heart, I felt a little displaced not being able to check in on CNN or MSNBC as often as I normally do to track the days' events. Imagine my shock when my sister-in-law's husband said late that night, "How 'bout my boy, Michael?"
To say I was stunned upon hearing of his death is beyond putting it mildly. I refused to believe what I'd heard. Since I was born in 1967, Michael Jackson and his family have been a constant presence in my life. I loved the cartoon of The Jackson Five and like so many others I, too, watched that Motown special 26years ago. I was 16 years old and I remember sitting on the family room floor, mesmerized as Michael moonwalked and gyrated all over that stage. Billie Jean is probably my most favorite of his songs. And while I never saw him live, and I didn't purchase every one of his albums, I still considered myself a fan. I did appreciate his talent and his music, which dominates the soundtrack of my teenage years. Unfortunately, as it so often happens, I took for granted his existence on this earth. He was always out there somewhere, to reappear occasionally on TV or pop up on newsstands. At least I knew he was out there creating, trying to make this world a more enjoyable place.
I realize everyone has their opinion about Michael and the accusations made of him with the children at Neverland Ranch. I will keep mine to myself; but I do believe, deep down, that Michael Jackson was a kind, caring person who longed for the childhood he never had; who worked to make others' lives happy; who was a loving son, brother, uncle and father; a compassionate soul who was probably too tender for the harsh environment of this world. I think many creative people are sensitive in ways that make survival on earth impossible. Many of these folks take their own lives. Many of them descend into drugs and alcohol in order to sooth psychological cuts and scrapes inflicted by society. I think Michael fell into the latter of these categories. He'd been too caring, too sensitive and he got hurt. He sought relief and, apparently, found it in bottles of painkillers. I am saddened to think he took pills to kill pain he endured.
And while I hope he's at peace somewhere, I'm still self-centered and greedy. I wasn't done hearing what he had to say. I wasn't done watching him moonwalk across the stages of the world.
I want him back.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
These past several days have been strange. I really miss my girls and although I'm happy to get their phone calls every night and hear them squealing with happiness on the other end, I sort of wish they were missing me a little more than they seem to be!! :o(
On the other hand...I've had a lot of time alone and I'm happy to report I've gotten some good work done on my novel. Thanks to those who've offered advice in my last post. It helps knowing there are so many of you out there who understand and feel my pain! I've done some substantial revising and I think, made some significant progress.
I'm holding off on the book doctor option for now because my writing group is considering inviting a new writer into our midst--someone with some impressive credentials and editing experience. If she joins us I'll share with her some of my book and go from there. So at least I'm back to writing and making headway. I leave on Thursday to bring my girlies back home and then we jump right back into the fire of their activities/camps, etc. And who knows when I'll have this kind of time again.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
So with the Twilight book in the house I thought about my own "twilight" experience. I awakened this morning and just before I became fully awake, when I was in what I call my "twilight" sleep, several new ideas popped into my head for some characters in my book. I feel refreshed and energized--ready to work hard and forge ahead on my book.
This "twilight" sleep has always been helpful to me and my writing. I often get (what I feel are) my best ideas during these first few, hazy moments of the new day. The entire premise for this current WIP came during twilight sleep. I used to dismiss this time and the thoughts that arose during it. Now I find I become more conscious of my thoughts/feelings/ideas and I try, best as I can, to let go and let my mind wander. It's a wonderful experience and one I've learned to embrace as a writer.
What about you other writers out there--do you experience anything like my "twilight sleep"? And if so, what's it like for you?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Mallards, unlike Canadian geese, do not necessarily mate for life. If the same ducks gather back at the same breeding grounds, they most likely hook up with the same partner they've mated with in the past, but it's not a given.
The female mallard lays an egg a day until she has her "clutch" of 8 to 12 eggs. Then she sits on the nest around the clock, maybe leaving to eat for a short period of time, but returning to the nest quickly.
Mallards do return to their usual nesting grounds, so it's likely some of these ducks are the same ones who've been coming to our yard these past three years.
Once he's "done his job", the male is not really needed by the female. She sits on the nest and then takes care of the babies once they're born.
Who knew female mallards were some of nature's single moms?
Friday, April 24, 2009
Those are the doors sitting on the floor in front of where they'll eventually hang.
We spent the girls' spring break back east with family in New Jersey. Scott and I left the girls with family and jetted down to Sarasota, Florida for a few days of
sleep fun, couple's time. It was our first trip to Sarasota and a beautiful one at that. Here in Ohio and New Jersey it was cold, wet and rainy--blech! What a treat to sit in the sun, play golf and drink like fish sip Cokes by the pool.
Unfortunately, our spring break ended on a sad note as we had to put our beloved Westie, Molly, down upon our return. She lived a good, long 13 1/2 years. She was our first "baby" and we will miss her dearly. My mom shared an old photo of her watching TV with my dad. And she did watch TV. People don't often believe me when I tell them this, but here's proof:
She loved TV, especially animal shows. We've been sad this week, but are grateful for our other dog, Divot, and for the time God allowed Molly into our lives.
As far as writing news...my Six Sentences were published this month in Six Sentences Vol. 2. I'll try to link up to Amazon.com where the book can be purchased. I have a short story out there trying to find a home and I'm still working on the 3rd revision of my book. Now that the sun has reappeared here in northeast Ohio I'm afraid of being distracted from writing. We are so happy to see the sun here!
I hope everyone else is doing well and I look forward to hearing from you all again and visiting your blogs as well!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
This will be my last blog posting. You all know I've struggled from the outset with this whole blog thing. And while I've met some nice folks along the way, I just can't maintain my blog. I'll post then forget I even have a blog. A week will pass and I'll think, "What can I write about that will be interesting to others?" This takes a lot of time for me, and I know how I appreciate seeing new and frequently updated posts on other blogs. I just don't have it in me right now. I'm really trying to rework my WIP at the moment, and thinking about my blog zaps energy that should go into my actual writing. For me, blogging is not a passion; it's an energy killer and attention diverter. I read somewhere that you should only blog if you love it and have a lot to say about a particular subject. If you blog to add it to your writing resume or to impress agents and publishers then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. I fall into this category. The only reason I started blogging was to gain a "web presence." If/when I get published I'll rethink the web site/blog issue, but until that happens I need to focus my attention on my novel and short stories.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me and my blog attempt, and thanks to all who have stopped by to introduce themselves and comment. I appreciate your time!! I'll still troll around and comment on blogs I've discovered every so often. There are many good ones out there.
Maybe the next time you "see" me in the blogosphere I will have fully emerged from the "writer's closet."
It's been a fun few months!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
This week I'm planning to completely re-outline my WIP. I remind myself that Arthur Golden rewrote Memoirs of a Geisha after 800 pages, so I guess I can rethink my little 'ol novel. What's everyone else doing this week?
I'm also going to celebrate (?) my 42nd birthday. Aiy. I can't believe I'll be 42. The thing I tell myself about getting older is that with every decade, life has improved. In my 20's, I became a nurse, got married, bought our first home. In my 30's we had the girls and became more financially stable. In my 40's.....I've had my first taste of publication and will---I know I will---have my first novel published. Getting older isn't so bad.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Anyway...on to the Q&A procrastination tool. And thanks to Wendy and Janna for sharing their answers!
Outside my window...it's cold and gray, but I can finally see my grass again.
I am thankful for...my family, my health, my dogs.
From the kitchen...the dishes say, "Clean us up! Put us away!"
I am wearing...blue Adidas sweat pants, my gray and black University of Colorado sweatshirt, Asics running shoes.
I am creating...an excuse for not writing.
I am going...to Pilates class.
I am reading...The Zookeepers' Wife, The Friday Night Knitting Club and Saving Fish From Drowning.
I am hoping...I don't throw up after Pilates today.
I am hearing...the hum of my PC tower.
Around the house...piles need to be de-cluttered and the girls' school papers need to be put away.
One of my favorite things...how my daughters' hair smells when it's freshly washed.
Plans for the weekend...dinner with friends tonight, church on Sunday (I swear we're going this week!).
Thursday, February 12, 2009
So go check out Six Sentences and the hardworking folks at www.thefirstline.com. They've got a neat thing going with their first line series, and they were the first journal to publish one of my short stories, so you know they've got it going on! ;o)
Happy Valentine's Day!!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
When I did get a chance to sit at the computer I tried to check out the blogs I follow and just didn't have the time or energy to come up with a post of my own. Thinking about my own blog and trying to comment on others' takes time away from my own writing and that adds to the already insurmountable frustration I feel because my WIP has hit the wall. I really need to get back to that project, so that's what I'm going to do today. Hopefully it will keep my mind where it needs to be and off the crazy news.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I went to get my hair done today. As I was checking out, three twenty-somethings stood behind the counter and one of them complimented my newly cut and colored coif.
"Thanks." I smiled and tossed my hair back and forth. After all, having my hair done does make me feel like a new woman. "It's bouncin' and behavin'."
The three women suddenly seemed much younger than my original estimation. Perhaps they were in their late teens? They stared at me quizzically. One of them even had the nerve to go slack jawed.
"You don't remember Agree shampoo? It smelled like different kinds of fruit--you know, strawberries, sour apples? And the commercials always had this blond tossing her hair around. She'd say, "I love Agree shampoo. It makes my hair bouncin' and behavin'!"
The three girls exchanged glances and smiled awkwardly. Maybe they weren't even in their late teens. Maybe they'd just purchased their first training bras.
But do you think their embarrassed looks stopped me? No way, Jose! Onward and downward I fell into the death spiral of middle-aged patheticness.
"I guess you don't remember Love's Baby Soft, either?" Then I did the unthinkable: I started singing the commercial's song--you know, to jar their memories. "You can try hard, or you can try soft. Love's will get 'em every ti-i-ime..."
The girls shook their heads. "Love's Baby Soft?"
I took another stab. "Underoos?"
"I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper?" Beads of sweat began to dot my forehead. "Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too? With the guy from An American Werewolf in London swinging on the lamppost like Gene Kelly in--"
That's when I felt the bony finger of reality tap me on the shoulder. I turned and saw Father Time shaking his head in dismay. Stop while you're (sort of) ahead, he seemed to say. If this trio wasn't around for such pop culture phenoms like the ones I'd rattled off they sure as heck weren't going to recognize Gene Kelly and Singin' in the Rain.
They smiled sheepishly once more and one of the shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry, Mrs. Lost in the Way-Back Machine."
I waved my hand and smiled--laughed at myself, really. I guess it's good I provided some laughter for them, too. "That's okay, girls." And as I exited the salon I said under my breath, "Your day will come."
So how many others out there are like me? What commercials/products do you remember from way back when?
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I was a big Hillary supporter. I even changed my political affiliation in order to help her win Ohio in the primary. (I was an Independent before). And I'm even more embarrassed to admit that when push came to shove I voted for John McCain in the general election. Truth is I didn't feel passionately about either candidate. I really wanted Hillary to be the Democratic presidential nominee and when those hopes crumbled, I kind of lost interest. I know. Hard to believe, especially if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. How could anyone not have been swept up in the exuberance that was Barack Obama's campaign? It does seem odd, especially now that I feel very hopeful and excited about him being our president. Let's just say I arrived "fashionably late" to the party. ;o)
Before November's election i listed the pros and cons of each candidate. I just didn't feel strongly moved one way or the other. It was disheartening to feel such apathy just hours before I went to vote. I'd never experienced that kind of indifference before. But a number of things bothered me about Mr. Obama, the least of which was his skin color. (I'm not going to belabor those concerns now because that's not what my post is about).
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I got it wrong. I hesitated in the voting booth and made the wrong choice. I am confident the rest of the country got it right, and I am eager to watch tomorrow's events unfold on TV. I'm happy that my children--that all of us--will witness history in action when Mr. Obama is sworn in as our 44th president. Tomorrow at noon will be another one of those, "I remember where I was when" moments. I've had a number of them in my lifetime and unfortunately, they've mostly been sad occasions: when John Lennon was murdered; when President Reagan was shot; the space shuttle disaster; and of course, 9/11. It warms me to know I'll be able to say with pride, "I remember where I was when Barack Obama was sworn into office." I'll be able to tell my grandchildren that I was sitting by myself in my family room when it happened. So Dr. King's dream may not be fully realized just yet as there are still strides to be made when it comes to race relations in the United States, but a large chunk of his reverie will come to fruition in less than 24 hours. Half of me still can't believe it's happening.
As for my office...my husband, talented woodworker and perfectionist that he is (thank God!) is building bookshelves for me in hopes that someday, when my picture is taken to show "the author at work at home" (ha ha) it will look like I have a real literary-style study/office. I'm kidding. I just need more bookshelf room and he likes doing projects that involve cutting wood with a saw. He's even thinking of installing a gas fireplace--even more worthy of a writer's office! I'll never want to leave the room! I know they'll be wonderful once they're finished, but for now this is what will surround me when I write over the next couple of months:
I'll keep you posted on his progress!
Friday, January 16, 2009
It's beyond frigid here in northeast Ohio, like I know it is elsewhere. This is the window in my outside garage door. Beautiful, I think. The kids have off from school today. I'm hoping my daughter's riding lesson is cancelled as well. I don't want to hang out in that barn that's already cold enough. It's -12 and -25 with the wind chill, I believe. A good day to stay in and rent a movie, but first I feel the need to vent.
I'm feeling down this week. Down about my writing and the chances of getting my novel published, down about my weight and dislike of workouts, down about well-meaning friends/acquaintances who think they can comment about said weight and dislike of workouts (you can't, BTW, no one can!) down about agents and publishers who don't even acknowlege my submissions (I know...everyone's busy). (Dan, if you're reading this, don't get mad at me...I'm just venting frustration). Ugh. Sorry. Had to purge that publicly. I waiting to hear if my Six Sentences have made it into their next book and also on short story I submitted for another lit journal. I really hope both of these pieces see the light of day. It's these small victories that keep me going.
Okay. Excuse me while I hoist up my boot straps. I did open my email and receive a positive note--my blog was randomly chosen from the lottery at Query Tracker and I won an upgraded membership for one year! They're also going to post the link to my blog on their blog. Woo hoo!! I never win anything. Maybe this points to brighter things in my future. And if you're someone who's visiting my blog from the link on their web site, welcome! I'm not usually this forlorn. I think the cold's gotten to my brain. Stay warm, everyone!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
This is another thing I deal with when it snows: a dog who loves to dig in the snow and come inside full of snowballs!! Our dog, Divot, is a hound, so his nose goes right into the dirt--snow or no snow. You can sort of see some of the trails he's created with his nose in that top picture. When he starts tracking a scent, there's no getting him back inside. We call his name, (to no avail) and shake the bag of dog treats to grab his attention. We love him dearly, but hounds are something else when they think they're about to nab a bunny or mole or squirrel. There's no breaking that centuries-bred concentration. When he finally agrees to come inside, we have to deal with snowballs caked on his muzzle and paws. We try to get them off with a towel, but they end up melting off and we're left with small puddles in our kitchen, dining room, hallway and family room. I can't imagine my life without dogs, but I can envision a life where I never slip in another snowball puddle!