Writing, barking, shouting

dogThere’s a German Shepherd in the neighborhood who likes to bark in the afternoons. Since this was meant to be a writing afternoon, I’ve been tense. Barking isn’t an intrinsically soothing sound and I prefer silence for writing rather than, say, bark-drowning music or earplugs. It’s hard to type with fingers in your ears.

Finally, after two hours I figured, noise for noise, I’ll go out to blow leaves. Of course the barking picked up since now my dog Jesse was outside too, looking at the barker in his bemused way, at my bizarre activity, and then sitting on grass, which excited the barker even more.

Finally, quite devoid of reason, I went over and shouted, “Shut up! Stop barking!” She did. Amazing. A few moments of silence, or rather, my leaf blower. Barking again. I shouted again. Silence. As I was putting the blower away, the shepherd came running up to the fence, barking. I pointed at her. “If you bark, I’ll shout.” She looked at me a minute and then trotted away. It’s still quiet. I’m very amazed.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Workshop on Point of View for the Knoxville Writers Guild, Sat. Feb. 18, 2017, 10am to noon

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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