I love writing and sharing that experience with other people. And I love creating and receiving secret tributes from fellow writers when they publish. Unlike dedications, only the writer and the person being mentioned know about these gifts of gratitude.
So what am I talking about?
In my book, Not Guilty, I had a lot of favorite characters, but there was one named Buddy that was special. He was special because not only was he a fabulous dog, but a real one. Buddy had his own website with tales about his adventures with his favorite human, Mike. Mike posted from Buddy’s point of view a lot of the time, and his take on the world was heartwarming and funny.
I was so sad when Buddy died. I felt as if he and Mike were good friends of mine. I asked Mike if he would mind if I paid my own tribute to his beloved Canine Couch Potato, and he not only didn’t mind, he loved the idea.
Here’s a scene about Buddy from Not Guilty.
By nature, Buddy was a people-loving retriever-mix who had come to him by some unknown chain of dog owners. He had a long history of being in and out of the pound. On their first day at the beach together, Devon found out why. Buddy hated water. He even hated wet sand under his paws. It took a lot of convincing to get Buddy on the sand that first day. Then they’d no sooner settled on the blanket when Buddy let out a yelp and hightailed it back to the asphalt. His leash whipped behind. People jumped out of the frantic dog’s way. Devon didn’t catch him until they’d run the length of Sugar Cove. Over the next few years, Buddy finally agreed to walk on the dry sand, but he never became the beach buddy Devon had imagined. And Frisbees could sail overhead all day without a single blink. He was a failed retriever, but he wasn’t a failed friend.
As every writer knows, books come into the world in different ways, but one thing is for sure, they need early readers with keen editorial talent to help get through those drafts. I’ve been so lucky to have great critique partners over the years. A few have been with me since before publication. They’ve suffered through a lot of my bad writing. They’ve pushed me to do better each time I’ve crafted something, and they’ve always been there for me when I finally launched a book. They’ve also said “Thank You” by tucking me into their stories.
In Black Flowers White Lies, by Yvonne Ventresca, I’m Lee, the flower seller. I loved this walk-on role, and I loved the secrecy–kind of a Members Only exclusivity. Yvonne and I have been writing friends for years. I’ve always valued her help with my manuscripts.
Weekly Quote: “I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” Jon Katz, Author