This is a reprint of the July 2021 Newsletter – to get the news before anyone else, make sure to sign up for my newsletter!
Hellooooooo again, Jill, and welcome to my safari jeep. It’s revving up and ready to ride the bushveld in search of all things Untamed, Unexpected and Unforgettable. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, wear your sunhat. If you’re down south, a beanie and some fluffy earmuffs might be in order.
So glad you’re here!
I’ve declared July, “Love Your Dog More Month.” I’m heady with this self-anointed power to call a month whatever I-darn-well-please because in a month crammed with handles, who’ll notice?
July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, National Anti-Boredom Month, National Grilling/Hot Dog/Ice Cream/Picnic Month, and Watermelon Month to mention but a few!
And the weeks? Week 2 is called “Nude Recreation Week,” and Week is 3 titled “Capture the Sunset Week!”
**My imagination went bezerko here … but I was forced, in good taste, to hit delete and instead share this lovely South African sunset!**
And the days…oh don’t get me started…we have International Joke Day, I Forgot Day, World UFO Day, Compliment Your Mirror Day, Disobedience Day and Eat your Beans Day… and those are just the first three days! Seems Take Your Houseplants for a Walk, Take Your Pants for a Walk Day and Walk on Stilts Day are all to be celebrated on the 27th of July, my husband’s birthday. I reckon there’ll be some disobeying of July rules in our house. A man who’s been dizzy for three years can barely take himself for a walk, let alone take along a second pair of pants while walking his houseplants on stilts!
Who comes up with this stuff? You see why I thought to pick something much more sensible and run with it?
So, dear friend, let’s enjoy Love Your Dog More Month, together!
“Jock of the Bushveld” on vinyl (or an LP as it was called then) damaged me so severely as a child, I just couldn’t do it to you! I still avoid all movies and books about dogs, lest I cry for three years straight! (I cried 10 years for Jock of the last time, but strong like a bull now, I’m likely still avoiding 3 years of misery.)
Readers of War Serenade and Zebra will turn the last page of each book and know with great certainty that I’m a dog lover of the highest order.
Fictionally, there’s Buffer, faithful protector and confidant to his mistress Iris, in War Serenade. Then Pietro finds an abandoned little fox terrier with just one ear and calls him Piccolo. His risk of being caught, pup in arms, pushes nerves to their edge as he sneaks Piccolo back into the fortified camp through the secret trap door. He does it for Steph, in hopes of cheering up his dog-loving friend. Piccolo not only warms Steph’s heart; he becomes the camp’s mascot and with his warble brings the house down at the monthly concerts.
SPOILER: As Piccolo’s creator, I couldn’t let any harm come to the musical pooch. But my characters? Well, as much as I like them, they sometimes must be eliminated in the name of “STORY.” But when I am with pen, your dog-loving heart is safe with me.
In in my latest novel, Zebra, we have Tripod, 4-year-old Jock’s beloved dog he rescues from a band of crazed baboons. With just three legs and half a posterior, Tripod is as essential to the story as the Drakensberg Mountains are to the setting.
I am doggone besotted with canines at the best of times, but I suspect my need to share my pooch-love today, stems from a ridiculous hope that talking to you about our faithful, loving, smart, spunky thirteen-year-old Aussie Shepherd, Tula, will somehow keep her from jumping on the king-sized bed waiting for her in the sky.
Tsotsi, his Dad and I are pretty devastated…
But, let’s talk of other things…
The persons who the person in charge of July (?) let loose to go mad and name 31 days of this month as often as they please, with a hefty nudge to use their wildest imaginations.
Body Painting Day, Cheer up the Lonely Day (Good idea), Pandemonium Day(Every day in the current real estate climate), National Nude Day (July seems terribly liberated! See Body Painting Day), Cow Appreciation Day (NOW you’re talking!), World Snake Day (Jock would be happy), Yellow Pig Day (Any color pig and I’m in!), Ratcatcher’s Day (Wait! Don’t hurt them…my next hero’s a white rat!), and nothing you’ll ever see in my house…Threading the Needle Day.
The fur-babies in our lives and the unchanging, unconditional love they give us … WAIT!
I have to pull the jeep over to the side. “Hello?” (Yep! Cellphones work out in the bush!)
These old eyes are misty…
… You see, Tula’s vet just called. She says our old girl’s not ready to leave us just yet, and with meds and TLC, she should be ok. Praise be!
Though we only saw dogs and an image of a dizzy man on stilts walking houseplants with an extra pair of pants in his hand on our safari today, I do hope you enjoyed.
Until Next We Meet…
Please remember your review on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you bought your book, gives the highest of HIGHs to your favorite author—a feeling so lofty it can surely only be compared to becoming the “visionary” who was nominated the right to name a day in July!
So, ’til next we next meet in August, why not escape from the heat any time you dare? You can, you know. Venice, South Africa and Namibia are there any time you dare, just open the covers of War Serenade and Zebra. Or stay here in the hot northern hemisphere and enjoy the glorious, jam-packed, fun-filled days of summer!
Wherever you are, I’ll see you in my dreams.