This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is, "How do you define success as a writer?" I think there are different levels of success. The first level is that you actually complete a manuscript. If you are a writer, you know that's a challenge unto itself. Then I would say getting your work published is the next level. For me, it wasn't just publishing it myself. It was finding an agent/traditional publisher who actually thought my work was decent enough to accept. It gave me a sense of validation. The next level would be selling copies of your work. That means people are actually interested in what you write and that you've done a decent amount of marketing to get the word out. Finally, if you hit a best-seller list and make a lot of money, I'd consider that the ultimate success. Not many of us get to that level, but we should all take pride if we reach the first level. As one of my author friends likes to say, "If writing was easy, everyone would be doing it."
Now for the story. It's another Klaus one. The overgrown German Shepherd puppy had been let out of his crate. Usually, I keep a pretty good eye on him, because he's nothing but trouble. But I had gotten sidetracked answering work emails. By the time I looked up, Klaus was nowhere to be found. I called his name. No response. I went upstairs to look for him. No dog. I began to worry. Did he somehow get outside?
Going back downstairs, I noticed the basement door was open. Surely, he had gone down there. I went into the basement and called his name. No Klaus. No sounds indicating another living creature was there. I went into the storage room. I went in the theater. I went into the other storage room. Nothing.
Then I looked on the ground in the first storage room I had checked. A dog toy! Evidence the wayward creature had been there. Puzzled, I wondered where in the world an 85 pound, frisky German Shepherd could possibly be hiding. And so quietly!
My son, Bubba, solved the mystery. He came down into the storage area and crawled into a small space that led to a little door under the basement steps. He opened that door and guess who popped out? Klaus! With his tongue hanging out and a big doggy smile. He had gone into the secret cubby space and somehow closed the door behind him. Why he didn't bark to tell us he was trapped is a mystery. Apparently, he enjoys a good game of hide-and-seek!