Rescue Me

It’s that time of year when Facebook explodes with posts about a pet being a lifelong commitment and exhorting people to rescue their next pet from the local shelter.

To that I say, “Yes and maybe.”

Yes, a pet is a lifelong commitment. A pet is hard work. Don’t be the idiot who gets a cute, fuzzy-wuzzy puppy for Christmas, only to neglect it when the fun wears off. Don’t be the dope who runs back to the shelter in dismay when the puppy you never took the time to train chews up all your furniture. Just. Don’t.

Sure, consider adopting from a shelter. Dogs and cats die daily because no one takes them home. So, go. Take a look around. Maybe fall in love.

BUT… know that a shelter dog might come with issues you aren’t prepared to handle. You can’t always know what you’re getting or how the pet will gel with your family, friends, and neighbors. You may find that after a legitimately troubled dog or two, you’ll forget about doing your part to save the strays of the world and look for a reputable breeder to ensure good health and proper early socialization. You might find you’re willing to pay a little extra to start from scratch with a puppy whose parentage you know and whom you can train to be an integral part of your family. You might find your purebred puppy’s propensity to chew shoes isn’t nearly as frustrating as your shelter dog’s propensity to eat cats or your adopted dog’s propensity to urinate every time you pet him as foul juice oozes from inadequately expressed anal glands.

I’m not a huge proponent of breeders, even if we clarify that to mean “ethical breeders,” but this past year, after the loss of our sweet boxer, our family went through two grown dogs, one from a shelter and one from a friend. Neither situation ended well. Each of the grown dogs, as hinted to above, came with issues beyond our family’s ability to address. I firmly believe a dog should be a part of the family, and so I hated – HATED – returning the dogs to a no-kill shelter and our friend’s family. Even the dog who peed all over my house, stank so bad I couldn’t stop crying, and bit my daughter with his gummy mouth… Yeah, I hated taking him away from my son and husband. Talk about feeling like a total failure as a wife, mother, and pet owner.

The point is, whether you decide to adopt from a shelter or purchase from an ethical breeder, do it wisely, and do it without guilt. Don’t expect either to be easy. Pets are hard work. You have to do what’s best for your family, and sometimes the right dog isn’t in a shelter.

So if you do opt for the ethical breeder route, don’t feel ashamed when you see those heartstring-tugging Facebook posts. Instead, look at your sweet purebred and smile. She’s just what you needed.


Friday Fictioneers: MY SILENT SIGHT

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright = Douglas M. MacIlroy

My Silent Sight

She sees things I never will. She holds the whole world, every human soul, under some invisible microscope. The impotence of the strong, the power of the weak. She sees it all.

Silent as a butterfly, she flits among us, only touching down at her will. Her delicate feet tickle my skin. She’s gone before my finger feels the flutter of her gentle wing.

I’d fly with her, but my feet stick to earth. I inch forward, burdened by all I cannot see.

In my blindness, I see her clearly, the girl who sees beyond my fear. I’ll follow on earth wherever she flies.

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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I Had It All Figured Out

Eleven years ago, I had it all figured out. I sat in my recliner, bulging belly occasionally tensing, and all was well. I’d sit and chat with my mother-in-law, taking the occasional moment to glance at the clock and assess the strength of a contraction.

Not too close, not too strong. Plenty of time.

Maybe later, we’d go to the mall, just in case that baby had any notion of staying put. The husband had an exam at four. He could meet us at the hospital, because surely, all that mall-walking would convince our second born to make his appearance. We’d have a lovely evening in the maternity ward, pushing and crying and laughing and striving to meet our baby face to face. I called the obstetrician.

Wait. Wait till the contractions are stronger and five minutes apart.

But children have their own ideas of time. At last count, the contractions were seven minutes apart. But I was puking, and so it was time to go.

And he came, quickly and beautifully, into this world and into our arms. He’d long been in our hearts.

Still he comes quickly and beautifully, sometimes with such powerful emotions that neither he nor I know quite what to do with ourselves. He’s shown me strengths and weaknesses I didn’t know I had. He stood by my side, persuaded that I do indeed have the power to persevere through youtube tutorials on origami elephants, and then he filled his dresser with an entire army of origami rabbits. Day by day, he’s teaching me I don’t have it all figured out, never did, and that’s okay because parenting is an act of faith, and sometimes, wonderful things come when we least expect them.

A morning hug. A quiet hour of drawing dragons so vibrant I want to hop on their backs and fly away. A clever, funny children’s book on 8×11 printer paper that he hopes will get published someday. A backyard fort that stands through winter and into spring. Schoolwork done quickly and neatly. (Yes, at this I marvel!) An unloaded dishwasher. (This too!) A rare gentleness with animals. An evening heart-to-heart, snuggled beneath a mountain of fuzzy blankets across the room from the guinea pigs that have survived almost a full year already.

Sometimes I look at this kid who upset all our plans that glorious Wednesday, and I wonder…

How did something so wildly unique and wondrously beautiful come out of me?

But there he sits with messy hair and big green eyes, and a line inspired by my sister that made its way into my first novel comes to mind:

This is love, my girl, beautiful and illogical, wild and free.

Yeah, that’s my kid. Love in tattered gray pants he’ll only change under duress and a shirt so stained it’ll never look clean.

I’m kind of glad I don’t have it – or him – all figured out.

Photo on 10-13-14 at 12.31 PM #2

Friday Fictioneers: The Fine

Today, I’m thankful for a ten-year-old son who pointed out the man lying on the ground beside the bicycle and suggested a storyline. I’m also very thankful for our librarians, who know us by name, are always so patient with out crate of books, and who, from time to time, generously forgive our crimes against due dates. Not all library patrons are as fortunate as we…

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Randy Mazie

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Randy Maize

The Fine

Officer Spade pulled out his notebook. “Ms. Turner, you’ve been at the desk all morning, you say?”

“One never knows when a patron will need to find just the right book.”

“And you never saw what happened outside? Never heard the gun?” He held the image of the deceased out to her. “Never saw this man?”

“He… he was a regular.” Ms. Turner shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “I’m sorry, I just don’t like to see…”

“It’s okay, ma’am. I’ll be going now.

Four dollars, twenty cents. The fine bag laid neatly over Ms. Turner’s pistol.

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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Cover Reveal: GRIT OF BERTH AND STONE by Lisa Dunn (Wait, I know her!)

Today’s the big cover reveal, and truth be told, I’m not sure I can handle all the pretty. Thanks beyond words to the lovely team at Anaiah who put this together.
Seriously, thank you!
Some other day, I may tell you all the little things that make this cover so sweet to me on a personal level, but for now, how about I just, you know, let you take a peek
at my very first ever book cover?

Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa Dunn
Surge, Anaiah Press

Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things.

But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pull Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.

Release Date:
March 17, 2015
Book Links:
Author Bio:
As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security.

Friday Fictioneers: So Long

It’s not that I’ve been staying up too late or getting up too early or that I’ve been tending a sick kid and attempting to homeschool after a weekend of junk food and also training a puppy not to eat and drink from the kitchen sink…

But all of that may have influenced today’s short piece for Friday Fictioneers. Props to anyone who can locate all the items in the photo that made it into the story.

Claire Fuller (7)

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Claire Fuller

So Long

So long. Farewell.

The hambone’s sitting in the middle of the counter, but I don’t care. Someone else can clean up this mess. Throw it all in the trash can, for all I care. I’m so tired, I’m gonna go all nuclear if I don’t get some sleep. So, I’m just gonna pull my puffy down comforter over my head and let my motor recharge.

Auf Wiedersehen. Good night.

For your listening pleasure:

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

Read or Join here:

Trailer Reveal: THE LAST STORED by Sonia Poynter

The Last Stored by Sonia Poynter
Surge, Anaiah Press


After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber Megan Peel. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne. She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy flies through her kitchen window to tell her she’s the Last Stored, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.

Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death, and that’s not an option for Cree – especially since he’s falling in love with her.

The Returning has begun. Now all Amber and Cree have to do is enter Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.

Release Date:
January 6, 2015

…..and now…for THE LAST STORED trailer!


Book Links:
Anaiah Press:

Author Bio:
Sonia Poynter is a homeschooling teacher, an active youth volunteer, and a writer.  She grew up traipsing through the thick woods of Kentucky often getting lost in the magic of the forest. The woods inspired her heart and her father and mother, a Kentucky Colonel, cultivated her love for storytelling. For Sonia every day is an adventure, providing her with an endless parade of eccentric characters and vivid worlds. Currently, she lives in the sleepy community of Pittsboro, Indiana, with the love of her life and God has blessed them both with three amazing kids.

Author Links: