I have set myself the goal of writing a story; actually taking an idea all the way through the writing process. I’m getting good at capturing moments and blogging about them, but I haven’t really pushed myself to craft a story. I’ve looked through and selected an entry from my notebook, done some oral rehearsal and planning, and now I have started a draft. This is what we ask our kids to do, and I think it’s critical that I experience this work as a writer and teacher.
So….here’s what I have so far. It’s a start, but there is lots of work to be done!
No Tears for Pogo
Until the age of ten, life had treated me well. My parents, sister, dog, and I lived in a nice house with a nice yard on a nice street in the same town where my parents had been raised and my grandparents still lived. My sister and I walked to the nearby elementary school, had Sunday lunches with one set of grandparents and Thursday dinners with the other. Summers included days at the beach and week-long vacations on Block Island. And then, one evening during my tenth year, everything changed.
My sister and I had been up and down the street twice calling and looking. We were in the back woods walking up toward the Bernstein’s house when we heard my dad yelling, “Come on, girls. We can continue our search when we get back from the train station, but we have to get in the car now so we are not late picking up your mother!”
This had been the way the week had been going since our dog Pogo went missing three days before. Christina and I would walk home from school, looking along the way and calling out Pogo’s name. Like a group of carolers, the gang of kids we walked home with would sing out, “Pogo…Come here you big little puppy! Come on, pup. Come out wherever you are! Pogo…Come here you big little puppy…..” Then Christina and I would walk up and down our road, continuing to call out for Pogo. Dad would sometimes drive us around the neighborhood, windows open, all of us calling and looking, looking and calling. But so far, nothing.
Pogo had never gone missing. He was a ten year old bassett hound, and big for his breed. My parents had purchased him the year I was born, so I considered him to be my dog. After all, we were the same age, and had been through almost all of the same experiences. His typical day included eating breakfast and then laying across the road in the sunshine until he would feel the vibration of a car that was coming down the hill. He would get up, stretch his long body, and lumber to the side of the road. Once the car had passed, Pogo would return to his original spot on the road, possibly moving a bit if the sun had changed position. In those days, there were no leashes or invisible fences, and nobody seemed to care whether or not dogs were wandering around the neighborhood. In the evenings, Pogo would eat again and then, in the winter, spread himself out in front of the burning fireplace so that Christina and I could lay our heads on his long belly and rest by the fire. He was, without question, the best dog ever. And then, one day, he just didn’t come home.
Stay tuned for the rest of the draft and LOTS of revision work!! If you have any feedback, please bring it on.