Pet Prose: Betsy

Susannah Hoffs.
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“Seriously, people say you can’t tell us apart. It was only natural that I become the lead singer in a Bangles cover band. It’s all in the sideways glance.”

Betsy, writing an article about local band the Whizbangles.

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Paco

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“Not all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time…’ Some begin with a clap of thunder–BOOM!–or the satisfying crunch of bicycle tires on gravel.

This fairy tale begins with a whisper. The softest of whispers that only the largest of ears could have heard, and Luke had very large ears.

‘Pssst,’ Luke heard.

He looked behind him. He looked in front of him. But he was alone.

‘Why are you looking around? I’m down here!’

Luke looked at the ground, but all he saw was a tiny beetle, and he knew beetles couldn’t talk. He looked around again.

‘Down here!’ the voice insisted.

Luke leaned down until his nose was almost touching the beetle, whose mouth did indeed move as it said, ‘That’s better.’

Paco, writing the beginning of his children’s story “Bobo the Beetle.”

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Carmela

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“Make fun of it if you want. Insult it as cheap and cloying. But I’m telling you, Mogen David is not just wine. It’s magic. I had my first taste of it when I was eleven.

‘Do you think she ought to?’ my mother asked my uncle as he offered it to me.

‘It’s only a thimble full. It won’t hurt her to taste it.’

She looked at Daddy, who shrugged.

I’d been reading the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia, and that night I fell asleep still holding it in my hand. When I woke up, I wasn’t in bed. I was in the middle of a group of children and a lion standing over me and arguing.

‘This never happened before!’

‘She wasn’t in the original story. She has to go!’

‘Where do you propose we send her?’

‘You’re the king! You figure it out!’

‘But this is your story, Caspian.’

‘Please,’ I said, scooting a safe distance from the lion, ‘can’t I just join you? Don’t people always appear in stories because you need them, even if you don’t realize it yet?’

Say what you please–that I was a drunk little girl–but eleven years later, I can tell you that without fail, a spoonful of Mogen David before bed has taken me all over the world and through the galaxy. Books are not what you think they are–typescript on static pages. Combine a book and this magic elixir and you have a key that unlocks the portal to a secret universe.”

From Carmela’s forthcoming novel Mogen David and Me.

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Periwinkle

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“The number twenty-seven had always been lucky for him. It had been his number when he played football in high school, and though he hadn’t been a star on the gridiron, he’d never been seriously injured, so he counted that as a win. He was twenty-seven when he got his job at Valiant Industries, which he still loved. Twenty-seven had once been the first number on the back of a fortune cookie fortune, so he’d used the entire sequence of numbers and won three hundred dollars. That was a fortune for him at a time when his shared rent was eighty bucks a month, and even that had been hard to scrape together sometimes.

On this Monday, he wasn’t looking at much of anything as he held the subway strap. Then his gaze lighted on the bare arm of a girl several people ahead of him and the tattoo just above her elbow: Happy 27.

He couldn’t see any part of her but her arm, and he attempted to stay focused on that when the doors slid open and people jostled him as they moved out en masse. Once on the platform, he tried to find her in the crowd. His sense of destiny would not be denied.”

An excerpt from Periwinkle’s contemporary romance manuscript.

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Cali

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“They say, ‘Dance like no one’s watching.’ Where’s the fun in that? I want to dance like everyone’s watching! I love the attention! I want the acclaim! I don’t want it all, but I do want to be one of Lady Gaga’s dancers. Gaga! Call me!”

From Cali’s article “Little Girl, Big Dreams.”

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Autumn

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“‘It’s my job to worry. I’m a Virgo.’

‘But you worry about everything. You see a shingle lying in the street and think our roof is coming off. But it doesn’t even match our shingles! We’re still eating breakfast, and already you’ve worried about climate change, whether the car you bought last year was the smart choice, if we should go anywhere at Christmas–four months from now!’

‘It’s okay to worry about Christmas as soon as they start selling decorations in the stores.'”

A small excerpt from Autumn’s novel Life With a Virgo.

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Maxie

Author photo.

“But at the end of the witch hunt, there were no witches. Just exhausted people trying to do their jobs.”

Maxie, writing a column on inhumanity.
 

 

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Best Friends

Our driver’s funeral service was today. Afterward, I spent time away from everything RPM because sometimes I need to breathe and focus on a bigger picture.

But I can never really escape the dogs. Debby and I went to one of my favorite shops, Body Mind and Soul, where I found bracelets made by Chavez for Charity. The two bracelets I picked out benefited Best Friends Animal Society. It seemed a nice way to honor Charles Roberts’s commitment to the rescue of animals.

Pet Prose: Paxton

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“Our mother had an interesting way of putting a spin on things for her children, even when most of us were grown.

For example, the night she had a big cookout for our stepfather’s birthday. We’d been outside swatting mosquitoes and drinking beer for the time it took the potatoes to bake. As the rolls came out of the oven and the sizzling steaks were removed from the grill, while my sisters brought out the salad, dressings, and other condiments, we heard Alvie–our stepfather–roar from the kitchen, ‘Did one of you girls get the butter? Where’s the butter?’

Everyone looked at their hands and the table. No butter.

‘We may be out,’ Mama called.

‘You can’t have baked potatoes without the damned butter! Do I have to do everything around here? And on my own birthday. Nobody eat a bite until I get back with the butter!’

As the sound of his motorcycle died in the distance, Mama said, ‘Of course we’ll start without him. Pass the A1 sauce, please.’

Five days later, Alvie still wasn’t back, with or without the butter. And the night Mama realized we weren’t randomly straggling into her house, but arriving with a family discussion about Alvie on our agenda, she sighed and rolled her eyes.

‘I guess it’s time I told you children the truth about your stepfather. I know he’d prefer that I didn’t, but you have to know. Alvie is a spy for the USA, and right now, he’s on a mission. Needless to say, this information remains in the family.’

None of us dared look at one another. Bad enough to have a stepfather who’d deserted our mother, but his parting gift had been to push her toward butter-free dementia.”

From Paxton’s novel All the Nuts of Walnut Street.

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.