Sunday, 25 June 2017

An Easy Way To Find The Premise of Your Story

The premise of your story is the back bone of the novel and helps keep you focused while writing. It's also helpful when you have an idea and want to flesh it out.

Plus, it gives you a quick answer to that dreaded question;

"So what's your book about?"

But before you write a knock out premise, you need to identify the major story elements, which are:
  • Character
  • Situation
  • Objective
  • Opponent
  • Disaster

1. Character: pretty straight forward here, it's your protagonist.

2. Situation: This includes setting and external forces, ie: what kind of life does your MC have? Do they live in a futuristic version of New York or a stately English manor in the late 1800's.

3. Objective: What does your MC want?

4. Opponent: CONFLICT! What is preventing your MC from getting what they want.

5. Disaster: Identify the worst thing that can happen to your characters. It can't be rosy on the road to their goal. There should be something hanging over their heads as they navigate their way through the story.

Now that we're all on the same page, let's CREATE THAT PREMISE!

Basically, you're going to bind all those elements together in one sentence, and that my friends, is the premise of your story.

This is very handy for when people ask you what your story is about, you'll have a quick answer that makes you sound like bourbon and evening jackets.

As an example I'm going to use an idea that's been kicking around in my head for a new YA mystery. Let's start with the 5 major elements.

Character: Drusilla Timmons, 19, fake medium
Objective: restore reputation and get rich
Situation: England mid 1800s
Opponent: Murderer
Disaster: ghosts 

Now, let's put it together using this formula:

Situation > Character > Goal > Opponent > Disaster

When her fake séance is raided, con-artist Drusilla Timmons loses credibility and desperately accepts the task of helping a handsome widower find his bride's murderer, but when she visits the reclusive manor the wife's ghost is suddenly real and the bloody finger is pointing at the husband.

Or you can frame it as a question:


In a reclusive English manor, fake medium Drusilla Timmons needs to pull off the séance of her career to help bring a killer to light, but when the ghosts are suddenly real can Drusilla keep her wits and solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim?

I hope this helps! Have fun writing your premise!




Thursday, 15 June 2017

3 Traits Your Villain and Hero Should Share






A great way to show this in your story is to showcase the following elements that both your hero and villain should share.

1. Personality

We all have unique personalities. Some days we're awesome and some days we're quick to temper and kind of miserable.

When writing your villain, you're actually using the personality of the hero, but spotlighting all less desirable traits, thereby showing what your hero could become if he makes the wrong choices and vice versa.  


In the Harry Potter series, Malfoy is basically the snobbish rich kid, but deep down he's insecure and wishes to be the best wizard. He tries to accomplish this by cheating and buying his way through school, but Harry has to rely on skill and hard work.

2. Values

Heroes and villains can have the same value systems, in fact stories are richer for it as opposed to having a soulless bad guy. The reader will have a greater connection with the villain if his motives feel rational. When both the villain and the hero fight for what they believe in the drama is two fold.



Consider, Anne of Green Gables, Anne perceives Gilbert her main competition in the classroom, however even though they both work hard for their grades, Gilbert takes a more cheeky approach to Anne's more serious attitude. This results in making her infuriated, creating perfect drama in their shared scenes.

3. Goals

This is probably the most dramatic trait you can create between your protagonist and antagonist. A shared goal is what creates conflict and provides a reason why these two characters keep crossing paths.



In the comedy, Pitch Perfect, our heroine's choir is up against two other groups (one cheating and the other is unworthy) for the illustrious grand prize.

Why is this important?

Because the easiest way to get to know your characters is to find out what they want and why. In order to create worthy opponents start making a list of the things they have in common. You'll discover this provides a framework for adding depth to your characters and the plot.


Who are some of your favourite hero and villain pairings?



Thursday, 1 June 2017

Five Favourite Things I Just Discovered


Here are five things I recently discovered that are amazing and might make your life more fun too!

1. Audiobook SYNC

Listening to a good story on the commute to work fuels me for the day. Free audiobooks for teens (or anyone else who wants to read/listen to really good books) all summer long. Check them out here!



2. Cabbage Patch Kimchi

Seriously, I love this stuff, especially with rice and chicken or even on buttered bread. It's good for sore joints (yes, I have sore joints) and makes you super healthy or something like that. I get mine from the Farmer's Market. Here's the website.



image by Katie Power

3. Fresh flowers

Okay, I know this isn't a new thing, but it's been a long winter.

Bringing an armful of lilacs or a few sprigs of lily of the valley into my house not only freshens the air but instantly soothes the atmosphere. It's impossible to be grumpy around fresh flowers.

Studies show that people who smell fresh flowers in the morning have a 43% higher chance of falling in love that day or winning the lottery.




4. Meditation

Even if you're only doing ten minutes a day, take the time to clear your head of every thought except, breath in, breath out. You'll discover this daily exercise heightens your awareness and improves fatigue. Plus, you'll most likely come up with a solution to that pesky issue you've been stressing about.

5. Departures

This series on Netflix has become a favourite with me and my son. Psst...we're only on Season 1 so no spoilers in the comments... ;)



This is a travel show like no other. Scott and Justin travel the world for a year, staying mostly with friends living abroad or camping. It's the opposite of glamour, but is rich with unique excursions that only locals would know giving you, the viewer, an authentic experience as if you've ventured along with them.
Learn more here.






Sunday, 28 May 2017

Book Launch DIADEM OF DEATH

It's been over a month since DIADEM OF DEATH was launched so I guess it's time to post a few photos...

I had the lucky fortune to share the launch with my Blue Moon Publishing sibling, Mark Burley!



The staff at Halifax Chapters were exceptionally enthusiastic and helped Mark and I launch our books in style!




This is me reading with my eyes closed, which is a talent not many people have.




Mark and I signing copies and feeling like real author people.




Mark doesn't have the ability to read with his eyes closed (like me) and not only that, he also needs glasses ;)




But enough about us, here are the real stars, the books themselves...

                   



"Eric - Mom and Dad are gone. I don't know what happened, but I'm going to find out."Eric might not be getting along with his family - or anyone else, for that matter - but he's pretty sure a boarding school in another country isn't the answer. Skilled in parkour, running helps him deal. So be it, he decides. Do the time and get out. Flow like water. But when he gets a cryptic message from his brother telling him their parents have been abducted, and then his brother disappears, he realises they weren't punishing him, they were hiding him. To find them, Eric has to discover the secrets of his parents' research, but the conspiracy he uncovers threatens more than just his family. With help from unlikely new friends, a hack-first-ask-questions-later approach to computers, and a dangerous plan, he soon learns that some secrets don't want to be found, and others have a way of revealing themselves at all the wrong times.


(A NEFERTARI HUGHES MYSTERY #2)




Nefertari "Terry" Hughes is looking forward to spending the school break with her boyfriend, but when her archaeologist father announces he?s working on a project that will take him to Egypt, all hopes of having a romantic summer are buried.Terry accompanies her father to Alexandria where she?s reunited with her first crush, Awad-all grown up and an expert in translating hieroglyphics. He confides that the team is in a race to find Cleopatra?s lost tomb before a secret band of rebels steals Egypt?s last Pharaoh and her diadem.But sabotage and a deadly accident put everyone on high alert, and Terry isn?t sure whom to trust. As the line between ally and enemy begins to blur, Terry has to keep her wits about her and figure out who wants the diadem badly enough to kill.







Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received


Writing can be a solitary adventure— which is exactly the way we writers like it!
pinterest.com

By nature, most writers are introverts and enjoy the company of being alone with their characters. But every once in a while we need a little wisdom to help us along this winding path to the bookstore shelves.

I’ve been writing for ten years and have published seven novels. Over this time I’ve collected a few tidbits of advice. Some I’ve found through others and some are from my own experience. I hope one of these resonate with you.

1. Try to write every day even if it’s only one page. All those pages add up and it helps foster the habit of getting words on paper in a timely fashion.

2. Write the book of your heart and take as long as you need.

3. Ignore trends. Write what you love, what you want to read.

4. Don’t edit while you’re writing. This is the most free your writing will be, let it flow. Even misspelled words, leave them there. It’s all about moving forward.

5. You are writing for your characters. You are the only one who knows their story.

6. Be grateful for the gift of imagination.

7. Writing is hard. Respect it as such.

8. Even though it may appear differently, there is no such thing as an easy success, no matter how famous the writer. Remember that we’re all in the same industry and we want it to be thriving.

    9. Don’t forget about the weather.

10. When in doubt, add a food scene.

pinterest.com

Do you have any writing advice to share?


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Cover and Trailer Reveal for DIADEM OF DEATH



On April 25th DIADEM OF DEATH, the second installment of the Nefertari Hughes Mystery series, will be released into the wild! The wonderfully talented Emma Dolan who designed ASP OF ASCENSION, once again exceeded my expectations for the cover.

Psst...at the end of this post is the spectacular book trailer made by the multitalented and all around cool guy, Tom Ryan.




What would you do for immortality?




Terry Hughes is looking forward to spending the summer with her boyfriend Zach before he goes to college in the fall, but when her archaeologist father announces he’s working on a project that will take him back to Egypt, all hopes of a romantic vacation are buried.

With her friend Maude’s company for consolation, Terry accompanies her father as they join his colleagues in Alexandria, where she’s reunited with her first crush, Awad — all grown up and an expert in translating hieroglyphics. He confides that the team is in a race to find Cleopatra’s lost tomb before a secret band of rebels steals Egypt’s last pharaoh and her diadem, a golden crown believed to possess powers of immortality.

But sabotage puts everyone on high alert, and Terry isn’t sure who to trust. As the line between ally and enemy begins to blur, Terry has to keep her wits about her and figure out who wants the diadem badly enough to kill — because one wrong step could mean the difference between discovering a tomb or being buried in one.


Available to pre-order from Chapters/Indigo.

Check out the Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

And now enjoy the official book trailer!






Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Most Common Characterization Mistake Writers Make and How To Fix It


pinterest.com



self-a·ware·ness
ˈˌself əˈwernəs/
noun
  1. conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
    "the process can be painful but it leads to greater self-awareness"


One of the most common characterization mistakes writers are guilty of is making their characters too self-aware. Inner monologue is a great tool, it lets the reader in on secrets, gives the character dimension, but it can also be the biggest stumbling block to the story.

There's nothing less satisfying than a character who analyses every decision, weighs the pros and cons, and keeps coming back to the same inner struggle over and over again. The reader gets it, there's a theme, but repetition kills the tension.

The good news is that this can be easily fixed!

Beware of using inner dialogue to provide an ongoing narration rather than what it really is, a response to immediate events. Keep it authentic!

And just like over analysing the decision, your character should be a little clueless about their faults, strengths, dreams/goals. These are qualities the character is supposed to discover through their struggle as the story progresses. By the end these traits will come to the surface and that's when the wonderful self-awareness happens in the hero's journey.

Okay, so how can you fix this?

Here are things your character should NOT do:

1. While in the middle of a crisis, they shouldn't be providing a narration as if they're an outside source watching with an emotional detachment.

2. They shouldn't label their emotions. Instead of your character thinking, "I'm so angry!" The anger should manifest itself in your character's actions and choices (without them realizing it).

3. The shouldn't analyse all the possible reasons behind all their emotions. "I'm angry because my boyfriend doesn't love me anymore." No, look at reason number 2. The analysing shouldn't come until they've made choices that lead to disaster. No one in real life figures it out that quickly so why should your character?

4. When your character is in a highly emotional scene, their self-awareness should be negligible. This is why when you're angry you shouldn't send that email right away. You wait until you're less emotional and thinking more clearly. Your character shouldn't use calm logic when they're being dumped by their lover. The place for this growth can begin during the following scene to provide a few subtle sparks of self-awareness (this hints at the coming revelation and is more enticing to the reader). 

Remember it's not just their flaws, their strengths should be waiting to be discovered as well.


Now go make your character clueless!




Saturday, 1 April 2017

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Weather Blues in Halifax

In all, the winter hasn't been that bad in Eastern Canada...and then March came along and ruined everything. Although, if we didn't have the weather I don't know what would talk about.

"Isn't this awful, I'm ready to move."
"Why did our ancestors settle so early?"
"I think I've got scurvy."
"Did you hear the forecast? We're getting more snow!"

March has finally left, but yes, there is another snow storm coming. I don't know about you, but storm chips aren't the happy cure they used to be (probably because I've eaten my weight in storm chips this year and my cholesterol is in the red zone.)

Anyway, since the only way to get to summer is to keep slogging through this weather, here's a list of substitutes for storm chips that will help ease the winter blues—or at least distract you from it.

10 Ways To Beat The Unending Winter Weather Blues

1. Grab yourself a cinnamon roll from The Old Apothecary Bakery.

2. Stroll through the Central Library, then grab a coffee from Pavia and settle into one of the spacious seating areas bathed in sunlight ont he top floor.

3. Go to a movie! Beauty and the Beast will make your heart full enough to melt away any bitter resentment.



4. Read a good murder mystery set in the summer. Okay, any book set in the middle of a sultry summer would be fine.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie






Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs




The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith




A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet




5. Go outside. Yes, I know this flies in the face of distracting you from the weather, but nature and fresh air do wonders.

6. Hot Yoga! Take a drop in class at Halifax Yoga. "I regret going to yoga," said no one ever. 

7. Do something crafty! Pinterest if full of easy DIY guides. Here are some easy peasy projects to do today.

Remake an old t-shirt into an infinity scarf!



Instantly freshen the air!



Spray glitter paint inside your lamp shade!




8. De-clutter your closet! Oh my nerves, it's time to get rid of all the winter clothes you DIDN'T wear this season.

9. Make a lemon meringue pie. It's sunshine for your mouth. Here's a recipe or just buy the speedy quick from a box version.




10. Buy yourself fresh flowers. Nothing puts a smile on your face faster than a bouquet of blooms.





What are your tips for surviving the winter blues?


Sunday, 12 March 2017

3 Essential Scenes That Reveal Character

Character

char·ac·ter
ˈkerəktər/

noun

1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. "running away was not in keeping with her character"
synonyms: personality, temperament, nature, disposition, mentality, makeup

Yes, let's talk about character! In previous posts I've discussed how to make your character jump off the page, and how to create believable villains. But today we're focusing on how to use certain scenes to reveal your character's...well, character.



1. The Monogram Scene
Imagine your novel being played on a stage. In the beginning of your story, give your main characters a scene or two that defines them as individuals; make them interesting enough to entice the reader to follow them through the story. These scenes must show who that character is at their very essence. 
Think of key words that describe your character. How can you show this? 


In NIGHT SHIFT, the protagonist, Daniel Gale could be described as vulnerable and lonely, but he also had a good sense of humour.
To help show this I have Daniel meet one of the clerks right after he gets hired.


Daniel didn’t feel insulted; he knew how scruffy he looked. He grinned, showing off his dimples. Flirting felt awkward, but he couldn’t ignore the lightness in his chest. “Actually,” he said, “I’m doing night security.”
     “Oh.” Her smile dropped. “Nice knowing you.”
     The air had cooled. “Sorry?”
     “The new night guards never stay for long.” She glanced around the area, and then leaned in so close he could see the sparkles in her eye shadow. “It’s like this,” she whispered. “Weird stuff happens at night.”
     “Weird stuff?” Daniel repeated, raising an eyebrow.
     “Unexplained phenomena after hours.” 
     “Like?”
     Her eyes grew wide. “Strange noises, furniture being rearranged, displays messed up, lights going on and off for no reason.”
    “Sweaters unfold themselves?” he said. “Sounds terrifying. I hope I survive.”


Hopefully it shows him for what he is, a lost young man who remains hopeful this last chance might be the one he's been waiting for.






2.  The Momentum Scene 
Build that anticipation! Momentum in your story is created by your character making a decision and acting on that decision. The scope of the decision doesn't matter, it could be big or small. However, it is imperative to use this scene as your character's time to show their nature. And because your character has made a decision, this changes the plot and should create more obstacles for their goal. This is all about creating tension, moving the plot forward, and building momentum.  
In this scene from NIGHT SHIFT, Daniel is doing rounds after hours on his first shift, trying to convince himself the strange occurrences aren't ghost related. However, one moment becomes to real to ignore and he makes a rash decision. 

Daniel’s breathing slowed down. He twirled the keychain around his finger a few times, trying to think clearly. It must be those day-shift jerks, he reasoned. He looked at his digital watch—they only had four hours left to scare him into quitting. Daniel cracked his knuckles and summoned some of his bravado from his hockey days. Bring it on, he challenged.
    Strutting back to the piano, he grabbed the flashlight, trying to guess what their next trick would be. He was halfway to the elevator when the lights went out. He worked the flashlight switch, and then jiggled it up and down, but it didn’t work. “Shit,” he whispered.
Without warning, loud piano music cut through the silence and filled the empty room. Daniel’s heart threatened to explode. Someone or something was playing his mother’s favourite song—the piece he’d tried to play. He tossed the useless flashlight and ran to the elevator straight ahead.
Daniel’s outstretched hands made contact with the iron mesh. His fingers grabbed the edge of the gate as he swung into the blackness. But his feet never landed on the elevator floor. His legs just brushed against the greasy cables where the elevator should have been.



3. The Glimpse Scene
As a reader (and a writer) I need to find the character relatable, something that makes them real. Sometimes characters can seem too perfect, or too evil, or too...well, conceived by someone's imagination.  
And if a character isn't believable, the story won't feel authentic, thereby decreasing the reader's interest, they simply won't care what happens. This is why the glimpse scene is so important. It gives the reader an inside view of the character's humanity.  
It doesn't matter if your character is a superhero or a work-from-home accountant, there needs to be a human connection. To do this, show their fears, secrets, desires...all those things that make us human.



This glimpse scene in NIGHT SHIFT helps show Daniel's grief.


His backpack lay in a heap at the end of the bed. He pulled it over and rummaged down to the compartment close to the bottom. Carefully folded and dry in a plastic bag were several white handkerchiefs. His father had always carried one.
“If it weren’t for handkerchiefs,” his father once told him, “I wouldn’t have met your mom.”
Daniel sat on the hotel bed wishing for that moment back. Instead of brushing off his dad, he would have asked to hear the story about how his parents met. Years later, after the accident, Daniel would lie awake at night, making a list of all the things he never knew about his mother—even trivial things that never occurred to him. What was her favourite movie? Favourite colour? Favourite food? Did she like milk or sugar in her coffee? And what was the name of her favourite perfume?
He never asked his father these questions—it was too painful and the words felt clumsy in his mouth. As the routines of school and work gave a semblance of normality, Daniel quietly filed each one away, waiting for when his dad was ready to talk. But that time never came.
Daniel picked up a handkerchief and ran a finger over his father’s embroidered initial. It was something tangible that reminded him he had once belonged to a family.
 

Here are some quick writing exercises to help you get into your characters head.
  1. List as many bad habits you can think of (even some of your own). Is there a way to give one of these to your character?
  2. What does your character do when no one is looking. Sing? Dance? Make diabolic plans with homemade voodoo dolls?
  3. Take a few minutes to write a long list of key words that describe your character. Then cross out all the uninteresting ones until you have only three or four. How would you show those characteristics?
  4. Think about how your character was living before the story takes place. Is there a decision in their past they regret?
I hope this was helpful! Happy writing!


Monday, 6 March 2017

Read An Ebook Week!

Who wants a free ebook? Who wants many free ebooks?

You're in luck, my friends!

The 2017 Smashwords Read an Ebook Week promotion is taking place now from March 5-11 2017. All week long readers can browse the special Smashwords Read an Ebook Week catalog by coupon code levels and categories. After 11:59pm Pacific time on March 11, the catalog disappears.


How it works:

Click here for my Smashwords author profile. Both NIGHT SHIFT and BLACK FRIDAY are FREE to download this week. When you go to the checkout, use the promo code 'SFREE'.




Happy Reading!

And if you enjoy a book, please consider leaving a review on any buying sites such as Amazon or you preferred social media. It really makes a difference to the book's exposure. Plus, it warms the author's heart and encourages them to keep writing. So, yeah...reviews matter.



Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Secret to Never Giving Up on Your Writing


Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

I'm madly working on a secret project right now!

Okay, it's not that secret, but it makes it sound all mysterious and forbidden and I want to grab you by the suspenders so you'll keep reading.

Anywho, I've been trying to get a chapter written each day because I hate writing, but it feels amazing to have written, you know? I guess you could say I have a 'love hate' relationship with writing.

But the other day I realized I had gotten into the habit of thinking the same two destructive thoughts each time I opened my laptop.

1. I would look at the word count and think, There is no way I'm going to make this into a novel! Too much stuff has already happened and I have no plot left. (Maybe I'm trying to convince myself I'm almost finished) *evil laugh*

2. Then I would worry the story didn't have enough action. I need a fight scene, I'd think. Where can I fit in a fight scene? And what's going to be the next plot twist?

You can imagine how much I was able to write with that miserable frame of mind. *tsk tsk*

But...THEN! (light bulb) I started watching Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (based on the books by Douglas Adams) and had my mind blown! It's hard to describe exactly, but basically a bunch of weird stuff happens to four different groups of people who have nothing in common, but they're all connected by the most bizarre circumstances. The main theme Dirk kept relying on was that everything is connected and nothing is coincidence.

At the end there's an explanation you'll gladly accept because you've grown so attached to the characters you really think they exist and you want a happy ending for all of them.

*Ahem*

More importantly—besides being entertained—I came up with a story telling slogan to keep me typing; Everything is connected and if you keep moving forward all the random stuff will eventually meet and it will be awesome.

Say it with me.



So that's what I think of now when I open my laptop. All the other stuff I can't figure out will eventually make sense...it always does.

What do you do to help you through slog through a writing project?


Monday, 13 February 2017

4 Cliffhanger Ideas for Chapter Endings


Hook: a device designed to catch people's attention.


It's important to keep your reader's attention (that's right, make them stay up past their bedtime!) so I tend to put all of my cliffhangers at the end of the chapter as opposed to mid-way through. This keeps the reader invested in the story and the characters. If not, they'll lose that immediacy of what's happening in the now and will be reaching for that bookmark.

Don't let that happen!

So here are a few ways to keep your reader in the moment and wanting more.

1. Important Decision: A crucial choice your character has to make that will affect the direction of the plot. It's even more enthralling for the reader if we know either choice will result in some form of disaster.  




In this example from Asp of Ascension, the main character is desperate enough to believe the one person she trusts the least. 

      Terry's patience grew thin. "What am I supposed to do?" she demanded.
      The line was dead quiet except for Dr. Mullaca's steady breathing. Finally she said, "That should be obvious, girl. If you want to save your father, you have to find that missing asp!"



2. Physical Danger: When your character is in a life or death situation where there is seemingly no way out.

But of course there's a way out! There's a hundred more pages, so the reader really, really, wants to know HOW that's going to happen.



In Butterflies Don't Lie, the main character (through a series of bad decisions) ends up falling off a sailboat in the middle of the ocean. Too bad she can't swim.

I stumbled forward, groping for the safety stay, but I was already moving too fast. I tumbled headfirst over the edge and hit the water. The last thing I remember seeing was Blaine’s shoulders. He was turned away—as always—with his back to me.

3.Unexpected Revelations: This is one of my favourites, otherwise know as the plot twist! Something occurs in which the character (and hopefully the reader) discovers something so shocking that it changes the direction of the plot.




In Night Shift there is a particular 'holy crap' twist that I'm quite proud of, but I can't put that one here because I don't want to spoil it for future readers. So here's another example of an unexpected revelation in the book that changes the motivation for the character and even switches the track of the plot.

When he finally looked over, tears were running down Mary's cheeks, her lips quivering. "Daniel," she said, still pointing to the picture of the blonde woman. "This is Virginia."


4. Hinting at a Mystery: Keep the reader guessing. It's also more satisfying if the answer to one mystery creates more questions for the reader.


In Girl on the Run, the main character's inner monologue alludes to a secret guilt. At this point we know she's suffered a loss, but we're unaware of the full disaster.

     I used to care about provincial records and even the Olympics, but not anymore. Those were things I not longer had, and no longer deserved. I put my hand on my stomach, on the heaviness that was always there. A reminder of what I'd done and what I'd lost.

What ideas have you used to hook readers at the end of your chapters? Please share your own chapter endings in the comments section. And remember to add the title so we can find it at the bookstore!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Last Goodbye





Cody, our lovable and loyal cocker spaniel, died yesterday. He was twelve.

We adopted Cody two and half years ago through Litters N' Critters, a non-profit animal rescue organization. He slipped into our family like he'd always been here. And although we were the ones who chose him, it was clear from the beginning that he owned us. And wherever we went, whether it was to the cottage or a walk in the park or the annual Father's Day Run, he came too and it made those events more endearing.

As a senior dog, Cody wasn't jumping over fences, but he could suddenly be full of energy whenever a neighborhood cat dared to come into the yard. He enjoyed good health until a few months ago. His last visit to the vet determined his liver was failing and he was anemic. With the help of Dr. Croft, we decided to treat him with palliative care to keep him comfortable as long as we could. 

Cody loved to nap, loved to eat, and was known for his lack of speed, so the ability to see whether or not he was unwell was a little hazy most days. Yesterday though, it became clear that the time to say goodbye had come.

Other than adopting him, it was the most important decision we could make on his behalf.

Dr. Croft and the rest of the staff at Halifax Veterinary Hospital were gentle and kind. The entire process was very peaceful. We said goodbye to Cody as a family, staying with him to the end.

I'm crying as I write this and feeling a little strange as well because there are so many human tragedies in the world that deserve tears and grief. However, anyone who's ever loved a dog can tell you it's a special kind of loss. And Cody was a very special kind of dog. 

I want to tell you a little bit about him... 

His favourite pastime was napping.

Anywhere,



Anytime,



And on anyone.




He loved to eat. His favourites were apples, carrots, peppers, and as a treat, bacon! He would stand in front of the fridge, just staring, hoping it would open on its own.






He was exceptionally good at helping me proofread.




He had a great sense of humour.




He loved eating all the fruits and vegetables in the garden.





He loved playing in newly fallen snow.




Easter was his favourite time of year.





He loved the beach.





He loved visiting my parents at their home in Chester. 





Adam loved him.



Ruth loved him.




And Ken and I loved him. A whole bunch.




But no matter how much love we gave Cody, it always felt like he loved us back more.
Even though we only had him in our lives for a few years we have so many wonderful memories of Cody that we'll remember forever. We miss him and are sad that he's gone, but we are also happy that he is at peace now.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...