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A Tucker Story by Rebecca Forster

February 15, 2019 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , ,

When the phone rang at 4:44 my husband answered. I sat up in bed and waited. Whatever news was to come, it wouldn’t be good. Tucker, my son’s dog, had died.

Ten years ago at Christmas time, against my advice, he got his then girlfriend a dog. The lady in question was not a homebody like my son, and I didn’t think she would like the responsibility of a dog. Still, poor as he was, my son wanted to get her this gift. Somehow he hooked up with a man in an alley who handed him a dog. He in turn proudly handed the pup to his girlfriend.  

A few weeks later, the girl was gone and the dog was back. I advised my son to give him away. He couldn’t afford another mouth to feed. What if the dog got sick? What would the little thing do all day in a studio apartment while my son looked for work? Thankfully, my wise counsel fell on deaf ears, and Tucker became part of our family.

That dog grew from a terrified little mutt to a self-confident, joyful, loving pet. It took a year of patience and love for my son to convince Tucker that no one would beat him, no one would abandon him, and everyone would love him.

Tucker was polite. He waited patiently for everything – a walk, a treat, a cuddle –  and showed gratitude for small kindnesses in a million little ways. Never a crotch-sniffer he spent weeks attacking mine, befuddling us all with this new behavior. I was diagnosed with uterine cancer a few weeks later and once I was operated on, he never did it again. I think that was a Tucker miracle.

He slept at my feet while I wrote, was underfoot when I cooked, followed me everywhere until my son came into the room. Then it was clear that Tucker’s heart belonged to him. The love between this rescue dog and this young man was glorious, and gentle, and kind, and loving, and caring. They were friends. They had each other’s backs.

If you think about it, all of us who write are striving to tell a Tucker story. In his little life there was drama and character building, joy and pain, courage and excitement, goals to be met, laughter to be shared and tears to be shed. If we as authors could weave a story one tenth as full as this dog’s life, our books would never be forgotten. So tomorrow when I sit down to work, I will remind myself to write a Tucker story even though I might shed a few tears along the way.

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Indie Doesn’t Mean Independent

January 15, 2017 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster, Writing: It's a Business tagged as ,
Just before Christmas, a new author asked me how she might get more exposure. I’m sure she was waiting for some social media insights or advertising suggestions. Instead, I introduced her to Marianne Donley, one of my first writing friends.
Thirty-two years ago I published my first novel with Harlequin and joined RWA. The women I met there saw me through three genre changes, five publishers, four agents and the final leap into indie publishing. In those early days I learned that being part of a creative community was not simply important, it was essential to the health of my creative career.
With do-it-yourself publishing all authors –  newbies or seasoned writers – are often overwhelmed. We juggle writing, design, formatting and marketing, but if human interaction isn’t a part of the equation our hard work will lack inspiration, depth and heart. In an age where we boast of the number of followers we should be counting our friends.
When I ushered in the 2017, I took a time out. I looked backward and forward and was amazed to find out how truly un-indie I am.  Old RWA friends like Marianne, Sandra Paul, Mindy Neff, Angie Ray, Barbara Benedict are still my best writing buddies. No less important are those in my new virtual community – authors like Rick Bard, Brian Drake, Sheldon Siegel, Christine Whitmarsh, Chris Taylor, and Jennifer Chase. I have a superb team that inspires me and helps me create my books: cover designer, Hadleigh O. Charles, marketing expert, Robin Blakely of Creative Center of America, editor, Jenny Jensen of E-Bookeditor.com and formatter Stef McCaid. There are readers and pen pals, Tweeples and Facebook friends, family and neighbors who join in the mix. I am so grateful for them all.
As your year unfolds, remember this: being a successful indie author means being a successful human being. In the coming days reach out, give back, pay attention, get to know the people behind the avatars and the books. Your work will be better for it and so will your heart.
May 2017 be filled with fabulous friends and colleagues, good acquaintances, and admiring readers.
Happy New Year!

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