Not really a serious filmmaker, just someone good with a camera, I would make a movie of my two dogs and their styles of playing Fetch. Possibly I should call it playing with balls, rather than Fetch, because the fetching part… not so effective.

Zelda (a fifteen-pound Jack Russell terrier) doesn’t like small balls. She likes basketballs. I think I posted a movie once of her playing with the basketball in the water, but the balls are twice the size of her head. I throw the ball in the water, she jumps in after it, herds it to shore with her nose, corners it and chews it until she succeeds in popping it, and then, triumphantly, brings me the remains. Then we play with the remains for a while.

Bartleby doesn’t know how to play. Not at all. We’ve been working on it, trying to encourage him, being enthusiastic–I actually made him a toy from a couple socks because he won’t go near real dog toys and every once in a while, I can get him to chew on that for a while. But today he was out by the pool with us and I could see that he wanted to play. He kept sort of trying, until finally I got up and found a tennis ball. Tried to get him to take it from me. He wouldn’t. But when I placed it on the ground between his feet, he actually put his mouth on it, then carried it about ten feet away and dropped it. I was so pleased and so proud of him. Yay, Bartleby, you go, you moved a toy! So I went and got it and we did it again. And then again. And then I realized that Bartleby’s version of Fetch requires that the person do the fetching. He does the removing, I do the retrieving. But hey, it’s a game, and he’s playing.

So the movie would be two minutes long, one a super-condensed version of Zelda taking three hours to retrieve the basketball (because she has to destroy it first) and one of Bartleby taking the tennis ball and moving it ten feet away. My dogs. So sweet they are.

In other news, I haven’t written anything for a week. I’m doing a presentation at an Orlando library this weekend and it’s occupying more of my brain than it should. It was meant to be a repeat of a presentation I’ve given before, but I feel like I have new things to say about context and layering and point-of-view. So I haven’t written that yet, but I will and then I have to decide what to write next.

I think one of the reasons that I haven’t moved on is that I really haven’t. I gave ALM to the editor but I have a pretty lengthy list of edits I want to make to it, ranging from stuff like “do I mention cookies too often?” to “make scene x more plausible by adding y details.” Some of them are fairly big edits. I have one idea–courtesy of Barbara (thanks, I think?)–that would mean at least another major chapter/scene to write and more dramatic ending revisions, so I’m contemplating that. Not with a ton of enthusiasm, but if it makes the book better, it’s worth it. But I can’t do anything until I get it back from the editor in June. Writing it was definitely a lot more fun than editing it has turned out to be!