Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day weekend...deadlines and crazy pets! Roxanne Rustand

The weather this Labor Day weekend couldn't be more beautiful here in the Midwest. Bright sunshine, fluffy clouds, low humidity and seventy degrees. What could be more wonderful for family gatherings and time spent relaxing? I look out the windows and want to saddle up one of the horses, but alas, I'm here in my office. And what a mess it is.

I finished a deadline book yesterday. A number of unexpected trips this year, some family health issues and various other things conspired to slow down my progress on the manuscript during the previous months. So though I'd planned on finishing very early, that didn't quite happen--much to my regret.  Do you ever find yourself getting behind on things?

This morning I've come  downstairs to my office to assess the wreckage and start shoveling up the debris after being so focused, because another project awaits. Good heavens. I'm glad none of you are here to see this! Thus far I've found... FIVE pairs of shoes under my desk. Four soda cans. A Yeti tumbler. Contigo coffee mug. A bag of Ghiaradelli chocolate chips (oops!) A banana. Reams of paper...and piles of printouts of various versions of chapters, the charts I fill out to make sure plot points occur, subplot characters don't wander out of the story and disappear, and a logical sequence of events prevail.

As you can see, my computer screen is plastered with  Post-It notes, because alas--I can find a Post it in neon orange, but can't always find my brain.

And then, there are all of the research tools.  So much can be researched on the Internet at the touch of a button--say, a step in how to refinish a hardwood floor,  when vaccinations are due for puppies, or when a child can move from a regular car seat to a booster seat in Wisconsin (that, I got from our daughter-in-law, bless her heart.) But magazines and books help.

You may laugh, but I promise you--if some research detail is wrong,  readers will notice and not be happy! So research matters. But the danger in doing  research is that it can be way too much fun.
Case in point: this stack of magazines on my floor, gathered for veterinary research details for the book I just finished (Love Inspired, out July 2017.)   They are way too interesting to an animal lover like me.

Though this particular article has nothing to do with my current manuscript, my favorite issue each year includes the "X-Ray Contest Winners."  Vets send in x-rays of the most bizarre items they've discovered when diagnosing  a pet who is not eating or is otherwise under the weather, and it's just amazing to see what a dog will merrily wolf down and survive--at least, after surgery. A whole corn cob WITH the little skewers on the ends, for instance. A needle and thread.  A cheese knife. Why?!! 

This year, one of the finalists was  a dog that had swallowed seventy-five plastic coffee creamer cups. Another swallowed twenty-three pacifers (gathered from neighbors--the owners had no children) and a peach pit.
Yet another dog swallowed a hundred-fifty small landscaping stones. And, one enjoyed eating two rubber duckies. you have pets, and have they ever done something totally bizarre?  Please share!  Ah...the tales I would love to share from our house.....but maybe another time.  :)

Best wishes to you all for a wonderful holiday weekend!

The Single Dad's Redemption
Love Inspired   July 2016

USA Today Bestselling Author
The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016
An Aspen Creek Christmas, Love Inspired 11/16
A London Christmas (Sweet Christmas Kisses Anthology 2016)
An Irish Christmas Blessing (Sweet Christmas Kisses Anthology 2015)
A Scottish Christmas (Sweet Christmas Kisses Anthology 2014)


  1. I'm in the same place you are today. About a half hour ago, I finished the synopsis I need to get to my critique partners today (for my deadline next Tues.) and am looking at unpacking from the vacation we returned from last week before we headed to a family reunion this weekend. As for weird activities, Colossus, our lab-rottweiler mix used to go back in the woods and get tree limbs (not small branches) to bring to us in hopes of playing catch. And our daughter had a cat that liked to swim with her in our above-ground pool.

    1. I've never heard of a cat liking to swim! How cool. Sounds like Colossus had a very appropriate name!! Best wishes with your deadline!

  2. Our weather is great in Oklahoma right now.

  3. When my kids were young, one of them got a giant chocolate kiss for a gift and left it sitting where the dog could find it. He ate it foil and all and miraculously didn't die.

  4. Weather is beautiful in the Carolinas! My little dog has fortunately not eaten anything odd. Thanks for a fun post!

  5. Well, my yorkie brings me dead rats. Does that count?

    1. Wow. I'll bet rats would be about as big s/he is!

      I would not love to receive "gifts" like those! :)