the world and words of a writer

gretchen is a writer floating between australia and manhattan

Tag: puppies (page 5 of 21)

chapter week. green stuff.

IMG_4790Today is Tuesday and I am resisting dipping into holiday mode because work is wild as always and I kind of need to focus.

But next week is chapter week blog family! It is my first full week off in over a year and I’m going to spend the whole thing with my face buried in words aiming to surface with novel. In any event, novel will be closer closer closer.

Then I can focus on other important life things, like a sequel for The Carrier.

In addition to the whole exercise thing that I’ve returned to (again)… I’ve decided to only eat steamed green things this week. This way, next week during my time off – I won’t feel as guilty about gorging on wine, cheese and olives.

I haven’t spent a week at my parents’ house since I first set off on mission alla New York City and hid in their basement between popping in and out of town for interviews, and scribbling down stories.IMG_4805

I remember lying on my bedroom floor when I was seven years old writing my first “book” in a spiral notebook. I’ve written some of my favorite pieces at my parents’ place. So even though the idea of getting away for a couple of days was appealing, finishing this bloody book takes priority. Also, puppies. The forest at my parents’ has rapidly become one of their favorite lands.

And besides, I’m running away to a secret location with boy and puppies 4th of July weekend… oh summer how I missed thee.





I’m addicted to vine, suddenly and already.

back. chapters.

Camping was fun blog family. I think Frankie sprained his leg somewhere in between the mix… he was a bit limpy after prancing through Central Park this morning. That aside… it was a seamless effort.DSCN4844

I camped in a shack on eleven acres of nowhere-ville someplace amongst the northern Catskill Mountains. I hiked around barefoot and held marshmallows over open flames until they torched into crispy black gobs of carbon-y goodness.

DSCN4817I counted stars and swatted mosquitoes. The puppies were utterly out of control – leaping and prancing and dancing about.

I don’t think I’m a “city” character per se, I just backflip over certain populated areas like New York, Amsterdam and the sort…I grew up in the country. We weren’t allowed to be inside as kids, my best friend and I.

One day, when I’m a world-renowned best-selling author, I’ll probably have a few acres on a couple of continents – preferably touching water. I don’t reckon that’s too much to ask. Naturally I will continue to visit my cities with grace and adoration – but I’ll happily saunter back to a field of flying kites, picnic blankets and wild flowers. Somewhere, in a land, far away.

After 48-hours of river rushing over my naked toes, I returned to New York City.

The puppies weren’t impressed. I can see in their furry faces that neither one of them is so certain about exactly what I’m trying to do around here. But I turned away from them and flipped open my spiral bound ink pad that had notes about exactly what that first chapter will be and all of the ways that each story of my novel ties to the next one to build a new kind of book.

I stood out on my balcony and had a margarita. Then I came back in to re-organize chapters, again.

Writing is so much fun. It makes my life. I am so happy that there is one consistency that has never, and can never, go away.

To words… blog tribe. x

off to camp

I’m going camping tomorrow. I’m packing the puppies and a boy and we’re driving two hours away to eleven acres of green complete with tiny electricity-less shack.

My book has been talking a lot to my brain lately. I recently reformed a few chapters and finally started to compile an ending. I’m looking forward to having the last week of June off to string more pieces together with shades of description and a new face here or there.IMG_4640

Yesterday I learned that in addition to the roof I ordinarily spend time on, I can actually access a second rooftop area that’s 44 stories up. I stood up there staring across Manhattan rooftops last night with the same feeling of, “Holy shit, I can’t believe I actually got myself set up here” feeling that doesn’t leave.

Still, my feet are itchy for something. Something that likely falls into the realm of holiday, book finishing, new plan scripting.

Blah blah blah… for now, all I am interested in is making smores tomorrow. I was quite surprised about my Australian family’s lack of awareness regarding smores – particularly when they have such spectacular barbecues.

I’m looking forward to standing beside a fire and infusing my body with smoky strips. I’ll probably eat a burnt veggie sausage off of a charred tree branch. Peanut and Franky will so happy. And I bet I see stars too. New York City has nearly everything I need, but lacks my one and only non-begotiable requirement aside from puppies…

Stars are critical.

midtown. dogs.

IMG_0017When I was a little girl, and we would make our yearly New York City trip from the country, my eyes used to roll out of my head toward every dog I saw.

It was hard enough to accept that people actually lived in the expansive skyscraper jungle of Manhattan. Seeing people with dogs blew my mind. I grew up on acreage where neighborhood dogs roamed free. I couldn’t imagine a dog being in an apartment, particularly an apartment someplace like Fifth Avenue.

I was thinking this as I strolled up Eighth Avenue with the puppies this morning. The road I took to get back here got so bumpy at the end; I lost sight in some ways of what exactly I was swinging.

To widen my smile further, I wound up passing a woman around the age of my mother – standing inIMG_0003 front of one of the hotels smoking her 6am cigarette. She beamed at the sight of Frankie and Peanut and greeted me with, “Look how good they are! They are CUTE!” And then she buried them in pats.

The lady reminded me of me as a kid. She made me realize that I grew into one of “those people” who once seemed like mythical creatures to me – people who not only live in midtown, they live there with dogs.

Frankie has brought a unique joy to my life. Taking care of him and watching his health improve in my care has grounded me in ways I never knew were coming. I’ve been grounded like this before, but I let it go for a minute.

Frankie reminds me of history to hold, and what to let go of. Here’s to staying and keeping light.

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