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 Photograph via Janine Moden

What To Write About Next     

by Janine Moden 

Well, it’s a dilemma. I’ve written about my family, I’ve written about my experiences in some of the places I’ve lived, I’ve put words down to make poems and to make sense of some of the good things I’ve seen, and some of the bad, and some of the funny. I’ve sorted through the past, and rifled about in the memories like I’m going through a trunk of old clothes, laying them out, and trying them on.

I’ve done all these things, so I figure that’s enough, already. It’s time to move on to a new genre. Less cerebral, more organic, more about something that’s immediate, that makes me look at the face of each morning  and take it as it is right now. Perhaps this something might be William.

There’s nothing like an enormous and enthusiastic puppy to ground me in the present, and to make me forget everything else that’s going on in the world. There’s no time for self-scrutiny when he’s snatching at my attention with his great hairy paws, no time for reminiscing when he’s got my new silk blouse in his fat, wet mouth, no time for sociological appraisal or cultural commentary when he’s swallowing a role of toilet paper he’s just ripped off the wall.

Yes, perhaps I’ll write about William.

This is just an idea for now, not yet a project with clear set goals. Just an idea, a thought to make a story that would document the days in the life of a dog, and perhaps, eventually, to collect the pages together into some kind of little book. One that might make a child laugh, or a grown-up smile. If things don’t work out that way, I’ll just give the book to William. I can offer it to him page by page, so he can shred each one with his fine white teeth, consume the words line by line, and perhaps in the process even learn a thing or two about himself, while I stroke the top of his great broad head and wonder where we’ll go from here.