Our Silky dog is not a canine. She’s a ca-person, I’m sure. She takes the blame when the computer acts up – “It’s Baby Dog’s fault,” is my favorite assignment of cause. She takes it in her stride, which is, by the way, right behind me when I walk about the house. She also takes credit when something, which has been lost, suddenly turns up. “Look, Baby-Dog found it.” So, it’s fun at times to see my writing through Baby Dog’s ears.
Since she is a well educated ca-person, having graduated from Dog Training classes, I try to make sure I use the correct tense and that spell-check in operating correctly. But, her greatest asset to me is her willingness to listen to my stories as I read them to her.
The elementary school in Berne, Indiana had a resident dog that slept on a pillow outside the nurse’s office. Children penciled in an appointment to sit on the floor beside the Book-dog and read their favorite tales to them. Reading aloud has almost become a thing of the past, with audio books being very expensive and parents working long hours.
If your writing is suitable for children, invite them to a reading in your living room or the public library, with cookie served of course. If you have a polite ca-person who will sit on your lap during the reading, you will gain extra praise from your listeners.
However, you don’t need an audience of willing listeners to critique the words you’re writing. Your own ears are important. You just need to read everything aloud. Your words will either ring true to you, or they’ll fumble in your mouth and demand correction. If you are lucky enough to have a ca-person in your home, they make excellent listeners too. You could borrow Baby-Dog, but she sleeps a lot and is seldom available for outside bookings. Happy writing, happier reading in 2015.
Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp