A few weeks before Christmas, I lost my faithful writing companion: the West Highland terrier I rescued almost eight years ago, my lovely Molly.
Molly (and her brother George, who we sadly lost just two years ago) was with me when I made my very first serious attempt at writing a novel, sitting on her bed at my feet as I wrote longhand in a pad at the kitchen table. She was also at my side when I wrote my latest novel, the one that has finally won me a publishing contract and that will be released with Manatee Books in the coming year.
For much of my time, Molly drove me quite bonkers, fighting my laptop for space on my knee, barking at every figure that passed the window, and crying for her walk or her tea just as I might be finding myself in the ‘zone’ (you all know what I mean, that place in your novel that you pray you will reach every writing day, the one that, when it comes, you never want to leave). What we writers all know, however, is what a solitary, sedentary world we can create for ourselves when we are writing, and what Molly did for me was make me get out of the chair, make me shut down my laptop, if only for a short while, and make me go out of the house, something that I am struggling with a little on the days I’m not in my day job now that she is not here.
I won’t get another dog, not for a while anyway, but for many writers, our canine and feline companions can often be the only thing that connects us to the outside world, that enable us to have a responsibility to something other than the characters we are creating on the page.
So, here’s to Molly: with me in spirit for the next one.