And Then She Barked!

I look upon my latest journey to publication kind of like our reformed, aged barn cat took to the new puppy. The first day and a half, Fireball, the cat, would approach Shiloh, the puppy, with a wary posture. He'd sniff, and she'd bounce. Now, this was the day before and on Mother's Day. And I'm watching the action and wondering if our set-in-his-ways, master-of-the-house, especially the windowsills, cat would accept the puppy. He wasn't known for his patience with new residents in HIS house. In fact, our previous dog would often sit outside no matter the weather and watch him lording over the fact he was in the cool – or hot, depending on the weather – house. He was the king, and let no one forget that.

And then she barked. It was an extremely memorable moment. The cat was doing his usual sniff, sniff, sneak about this strange smelling what he thought was a kitten who didn't purr. Shiloh, bless her loving heart, decided it was time to introduce herself. So she did. Quite loudly for such a small puppy (she's three-quarters black lab and one quarter pit bull. Thankfully, the lab traits are dominant).

The cat to his credit reacted in a quite predictable manner. Every hair stood on end. His tail bristled much larger than any bottlebrush bush I've ever encountered. He was up on his claws, and he hissed. Hisses of outrage, of get away from me you traitor, and of how dare MY PETS betray me like this.

The puppy decided these hisses were an invitation to come closer. She did, in bouncing, bounding leaps. And that was the last I saw of the cat until the next morning when it was time to feed him. I don't think one of his paws touched any of the stairs on his way down. And I definitely heard the sound of cat pinging off the walls as he took corners far too fast. To this day, I believe he hid under a far, dark corner of the bed, ready to defend his hiding place, until my feet touched the floor at o'dark thirty.

This relationship has grown since that moment. The cat obviously thought he could defend his ownership of certain places, but each week brought more and more intrusions by this … trespasser. The windows were given up because of happy, bouncing puppy barking out her joy at seeing the funny dog appear. Cuddle moments in his female pet's lap turned into boxing matches when the interloper bounded onto the sofa and stuck her wet nose into his fur.

Although, I don't believe he really means to hurt the puppy. Fireball has yet to release his claws when boxing her head. And Shiloh seems to enjoy the interludes.

How does this compare to going through the process of readying my book for publication? Quite easily.

I had spent fifteen years trying to sell a book, until I received the email from Solstice Publishing. I actually thought I done the hard part. Then I reached the editing process. I'm told it was far less painless than some authors go through. Okay. I'll believe that, for a minute or two. I'm a perfectionist, and I had to talk myself out scoldings for missing this and that. Now that process is over, and I'm waiting the last pre-publication event. Then it's a book. I'm both terrified and excited out of my mind. I know I've written a good book, perhaps even a little better than good. Others have told me that many times. So, I'm ready to let the reading public give me their opinions on this work.

I'd like to say be gentle. This is one of my babies I'm sending out into the world. But, I honestly want to know how people feel about this book. However, before you get your chance to read Softly Say Goodbye I must do a bit of promotion work. There are press releases to perfect, newspapers – traditional and online – to contact. Tweets to organize. A few blog posts to prewrite. Oh, and one last thing. A few promotional items to put together for the visits I hope to schedule with local libraries and perhaps schools.

So, Fireball, all I have to say to you is this:

You are surviving Shiloh. But will you survive Mommy when you can say about her …

And then she barked!


Doc Ellis said…
"And then she barked!" looks to me like the title to a book, or to a song, or to both...

Best of luck with your latest adventure.

Doc Ellis 124
G. B. Miller said…
Pretty cool comparison: new pet to publishing.

And I echo Doc Ellis's comment, in best of luck with your latest adventure.
KC Sprayberry said…
Thank you. It's definitely been a great experience on both.