Writing has been very therapeutic for me throughout this entire process. Thank goodness I've had that outlet. Now I'd like to jump back into my novel, but there is a resistance there. And here's the reason.
When everything happened with Charlie, I was working on my novel. I was in my bedroom with my laptop, Charlie was laying beside the bed, and I was having trouble with a particular scene. Then Charlie collapsed, we went to the vet, and well, we all know the rest. For those first few days, I couldn't even think of working on the novel. I know I'm not alone. When Dean Koontz's beloved Golden Retriever, Trixie, passed on, he couldn't write for a month.
Everyone is different, though, and for me, I need that outlet of diving into my characters' lives and immersing myself in my writing. But I'm scared. Why? Because the last time I worked on it, Charlie was there. And now I fear I will associate the novel, and that particular scene, with what happened.
I think I know the solution. I just have to do it. That's what I did last night when I had to go to the grocery store. The last time I went, Charlie went with me - it was his last ride in the Jeep. When I drove that same route, tears welled in my eyes. But I knew I had to go - the kids needed milk and cereal for their breakfast, after all, and I can't just hide from life right now. So I successfully made that little journey and I felt Charlie's spirit with me all the way.
So today, I hope to open up that file again and just get through it. I love this story. I love my characters. I love how everything comes together. I can't abandon it. And last night, I made a decision.
My main character in my novel owns a dog. And I have decided to change his name to Charlie.