Milo has had the bone since Christmas and here it is, the very end of July, and he finally got busy.
I got the bone on a really good post-Christmas sale. It is a huge bone, the kind the pet stores sell for around $15, but this one had a tiny red and green bow on it. The red and green bow, apparently, made this bone a Christmas bone and therefore, a few days after Christmas, it was put on clearance and I picked it up for $2.99. I put it in the backseat of my car to keep Milo entertained on long drives and he nibbled around the edges but never really got serious — until now.
“Hey Milo, you want a bone?” I asked him one night as he lay outside of Peter’s house in the grass.
The Pretty Boy doesn’t like bones. He is much too busy barking at every person who walks by, every single person, and pretending that he is keeping us safe. Milo gets bored with this and so he was chewing on a stick when I offered him his Christmas bone.
Suddenly, Milo had a full-time job.
This bone is taking up every evening and would take up all day if I let him have it. This bone is the most interesting thing in Milo’s life. He cannot get enough of this bone. I don’t know what made the difference; whether it was that he just couldn’t properly chew a bone while in the car, or he didn’t feel ready to tackle such an enormous bone, or the bone itself wasn’t ready to be consumed. Whatever it was that was holding him back, he is ready now and the giant bone is already half its former size.
Which brings me to my own situation.
I went back to school in order to finish a book. I had a very wise teacher who assured me that getting a master’s degree in writing would not teach me to write — but it would speed the process considerably. I don’t know how long it might have taken otherwise but now, after nibbling away on the edges for more than two years, I have suddenly gotten to the marrow of this book and I very much need to finish it — if it is ever to be done.
Writing this column has been the most important thing in my writing life. I have written the column from Africa, from Belize, and from the top of a mountain in Switzerland. The only thing more important in my writing life than this column is finishing the book. So, when I looked at the months ahead and the hours required to finish the book, I realized that something would have to give and that something would have to be the column.
And the time is right.
I have a wonderfully supportive partner in Peter. I have accomplished writers willing to help me and an agent interested in representing me. I have a perfect little office space that faces seven ponderosa pines and the mountains. All I need is time.
I am delighted that I will be allowed to return to the column early in the new year. I imagine I will have lots of news (including a wedding!) and a renewed enthusiasm for sharing my wonderfully ordinary and perfectly extraordinary life.
And I hope you will still be here, reading. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity to share every week. I am very excited about the letters to come.
Till next time,
P.S. If you would like to reach me while I am gone, please feel free, at firstname.lastname@example.org