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  • Sue Hawley

Break the routine- at least sometimes

In case you’re wondering, the wood burner is happily roaring and I’m nice and cozy. You’d think by the middle of April, and weeks into the spring season, the wood burner would be cold and out of a job. But Northeast Ohio seldom follows the calendar and has a mind of its own. I’m jealous of all my friends who live in warmer areas of the country but even I have to admit the late snows don’t bother me all that much. We know this soon will end and summer will be here in a mere few weeks.

I tend to walk pup at the same time every morning and she seems to be able to read clocks- she is sitting at the door at the prescribed time each day. Sadly, today we didn’t walk. Not because of the snow, but because my bones and I aren’t on speaking terms today. I swear when this shutdown is behind us I’m investing in a proper pair of hiking boots.

However, yesterday during the ritual (cold, snowy) morning walk with pup I had an epiphany of sorts. I walk pup in the exact spot where the next book in the Peg Shaw series takes place. As we trudged along, my mind was turning over some ideas for the story, and I discovered my subconscious has been trying to get my attention. Deciding to break routine and pay attention, we walked a bit further than normal and I noticed a much more intriguing spot for a dead body! This is also probably why my bones are aching so much today but what a find! Which goes to show my subconscious is so much smarter than conscious thought. Immediately my brain kicked into gear so, with camera phone in hand, I began snapping pictures so the area was carefully recorded for referencing as I write.

And now I’m actually able to focus! Sitting in front of the fire, I find myself mulling over the current manuscript and have decided to change a few things—which is quite unusual for me. I’m not famous for rewrites. In fact, I avoid them as much as I can. So, while the current shut down of the world was not able to get my butt in gear with regards to writing, a simple act of walking a pup sure got the juices flowing. Maybe I simply needed some fresh air and a walk in nature.

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