Black Dogs are suddenly all the Rage!

I haven’t had the time to write much lately. There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Pepper. Pepper is the cutest little cockapoo and he’s all black with just a tiny bit of white on his chin. He stole my heart at hello.

Before we picked up Pepper to bring him home, I read an article that black dogs are the hardest to adopt when in a shelter. I don’t quite understand that. The black dogs are just as cute even though they are harder to take a picture unless you can catch them with their pink tongue sticking out. The eyes tend to blend in with the dark coat so a twinkle isn’t easy to capture. We got him from a breeder and he was the last one left so maybe there’s something to that black dog thing.

All of June’s dogs were black, Mia, Molly and Shana the black standard poodle. She had these dogs in the days before smart phones and our craziness of picture taking at every opportunity. So I think June was just ahead of her time, picking fashionable black pets to go with the little black dresses she carefully selected to sell in the many stores where she worked as a dress buyer. June was quite successful picking fashions that flew right off the racks.

Much ado was made recently when an all black standard poodle was crowned Best In Show at the Westminster Dog Show. She was a gorgeous dog but I can do without the froo froo fancy haircut. Shana, June’s standard poodle, sported what was called a kennel cut, the same length all over, simple and classic.

June would be thrilled to know that her favorite black dogs are back in style. She would be head over heels in love with Pepper, running her fingers through his silky hair for hours on end. Oh, I forgot he’s a puppy and he won’t sit still that long. But she’d love him because he’s classic and all black. And I bet now that black dogs are all the rage, more will find their way into happy homes.

Memoir or Autobiography?

Many people ask me the difference between a memoir and an autobiography. The explanation is simple; the execution more complicated.

An autobiography covers all the events of the narrator’s life, in chronological order. It starts at birth or childhood and goes to the present with the intent of detailing their life history. A memoir on the other hand, focuses on one or a few events in the writer’s life with the intent of spreading and teaching a specific message.

The key word in memoir writing is focus. And trust me staying in focus is hard. When writing my story of June, I thought of so many more anecdotes that could have been included. But I had to remain focused! Some of June’s tales were funny or touching but didn’t help to move the story of our relationship with her dementia along. To write a good, readable memoir, the writer still needs to follow the rules of the craft of writing. In an autobiography, although good writing skills are a must, laying everything out chronologically doesn’t require quite as much thought about tension and story arc.

I love studying the craft of writing and I love real life stories. Memoir is the perfect vehicle for my creative outlet. I think I have several more life stories to share with the world. You might want to read about the time I rafted down the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon, the challenge changing me and my life permanently for the better. I often think about my summers at the lake or reconnecting with high school classmates after forty years. These events changed me in some way, reconnecting me to what matters in this life.

And maybe someday I’ll be able to piece all my memoirs together and end up with my autobiography. I’ve got a way to go.