I have never been dogless. When I was a child, my family had a succession of pooches of various breeds. As an adult, my kids and I adopted a string of dogs, including two incorrigible beagles and a lovely golden retriever named Juliet.
After my children were grown, I decided to trade the cold winters of upstate New York for the endless summer of coastal Florida, where I could enjoy the sunshine and write more books. There was a hitch, though—faithful Juliet disliked hot weather, so my son gladly took her in.
Being dogless gave me the freedom to pursue new pastimes in my new home: paddling my kayak, exploring the beaches, and planning my next novel. But then, an emptiness hit me. No damp doggy nose nudging me awake in the morning, nobody wagging their fanny off in greeting when I arrived home. My beach walks were solitary, and the space next to me on the couch was sadly vacant when I curled up to read in the evening. My writing suffered, too. With all the disruption of moving, the daily writing routine I’d worked so hard to cultivate was in danger of falling apart.
What to do? I wasn’t sure at first. Then one day, while sorting through my boxes, I came across a photo of a house I’d lived in twenty years ago. I recalled the wintry day when my young family moved in. The driveway was so long and narrow that the moving van had to park on the road, and the crew schlepped our belongings up to the house by hand. The cheerful driver wasn’t fazed though, because he had a secret power hidden inside his truck. “Mind if I let my dog out to play with yours?” he asked, and of course I agreed.
Next thing, a little dude named Edgar came bounding through the gate. He had short, stumpy legs, a ridiculously long back, and tall, pointy ears like satellite dishes. Where his tail should have been, there was only a fluffy pair of buns that resembled oven-browned loaves of bread. Edgar launched himself across the snowy backyard like a ping pong ball on steroids. “He’s a corgi,” his owner informed me, and I was instantly smitten.
As I sat there with my memories, a realization dawned: I need to get a dog. A month later, I acquired Pekoe, a 10-week-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and all heck broke loose. Having a puppy forced me to rise with the birds in the morning, for urgent potty and walkies. The vet had warned me that corgis tend to think they’re the boss of the world, so I worked diligently on Pekoe’s obedience training. Needless to say, she wasn’t too psyched about the whole doing-what-you’re-told thing, but I persevered. I developed a daily routine with a healthy blend of play time, training and naps, and structured my writing time around it.
The discipline of a daily schedule worked wonders with my pup, and it also jump-started my stalled writing life. The four basic commands I taught Pekoe—COME, SIT, STAY, FETCH—were essential to her training; and in a happy coincidence, I found they could be applied to my writing as well.
Take COME, for instance. When the muse knocks, the writer must come to greet her, or risk her disappearing into the dreaded maw of writer’s block. Then there’s SIT. Your book won’t get written if your butt is traipsing around town, instead of at home in that desk chair where it belongs. And once you’re seated at the keyboard, you must STAY. Silence those pesky notifications and close the door, because it’s writin’ time! The last command you must master is FETCH. Your book ain’t gonna write itself, so let’s get after it! Clamp those needle-like puppy teeth around your story, give the muse a ferocious growl, and don’t let go until it’s done.
I’m happy to report that Pekoe has grown into a happy, healthy, and reasonably obedient corgi who only occasionally indulges her fantasy of being the supreme leader of the universe. With plenty of loving care, I hope to have Her Royal Corginess by my side for many more years and books to come. If you’d like a glimpse of Pekoe’s life of leisure, she’d be delighted to have you follow her on Instagram at #pekoecorgi.
About the Author
Regina is a registered nurse-turned-writer who was raised in beautiful upstate New York, where she spent many happy years exploring the winding back roads and scenic hiking trails of the Adirondack mountain region. She recently traded the snowy northern winters for the tropical breezes of the Sunshine State, where her favorite pastimes are kayaking among the mangroves, strolling the gorgeous beaches, and attempting to teach tricks to her boisterous corgi.
You can read more about the book (and read a preview!) by going to: https://www.amazon.com/Down-Bad-Road-Regina-Buttner-ebook/dp/B0BSN7F7KT.
Blog Tour Calendar
May 29th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the blog tour launch of Down a Bad Road by Regina Buttner. You’ll have the chance to read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.
May 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Stop by author Anthony Avina’s blog to read his review of Down a Bad Road by Regina Buttner.
May 31st @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews blog
Join Lisa for an interview with Regina Buttner.
June 1st @ World of My Imagination
Stop by World of My Imagination to read Nicole’s review of Down a Bad Road.
June 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog
Revisit author Anthony Avina’s blog to read “How a Corgi Supercharged My Writing Life” by Regina Buttner.
June 5th @ A Lit Life
Stop by A Lit Life read Stephanie’s review of Down a Bad Road.
June 7th @ Sue Edwards’s blog
Visit Sue’s blog to read an interview with author Regina Buttner.
June 8th @ Michelle Cornish’s blog
Read a guest post from Regina Buttner about cultivating writerly discipline.
June 9th @ Reading is My Remedy
Check out Chelsie’s Instagram where she’ll review Down a Bad Road.
June 10th @ World of My Imagination
Stop by Nicole’s blog where Regina Buttner is a guest for “Three Things on a Saturday Night.”
June 12th @ Reading is My Remedy
Stop by Chelsie’s blog to read a guest post by Regina Buttner about disguising your friends and family in your stories.
June 13th @ Michelle Cornish’s author blog
Join Michelle as she reviews Down a Bad Road.
June 14th @ Create Write Now
Visit Mari’s blog to read a guest post by Regina Buttner about growing up old-school Catholic and daring to write about it!
June 15th @ The Knotty Needle
Join Judy for her review of Down a Bad Road.
June 16th @ Mindy McGinnis’s blog
Stop by Mindy’s blog to read “A Humorous Look at NOT Dating After 50” by Regina Buttner.
June 16th @ From the TBR Pile
Join Kari as she reviews Down a Bad Road.
June 18th @ Lady Unemployed
Stop by Nicole’s blog to read “How Joining a Professional Writers Organization Transformed My Writing Career” by Regina Buttner.
June 21st @ Life According to Jamie
Join us as Jamie reviews Down a Bad Road.
June 22nd @ Sue Edwards’s blog
Return to Sue’s blog to read “From Nurse to Writer” by Regina Buttner.
June 23rd @ Nikki’s Book Reviews
Read Nicole’s review of Down a Bad Road.
June 24th @ The Faerie Review
Stop by The Faerie Review to read a spotlight of Down a Bad Road.
June 25th @ A Lit Life
Return to A Lit Life to read a guest post from Regina Buttner about how a visit to the Stillwater Hotel in Upstate New York inspired the setting for Down a Bad Road.