Writing with the Hound, part 1

It’s Day 9 of National Novel Writing Month.

There’s a gigantic Irish hound chewing on a knotted rope across the room from me. Not just any knotted rope, it’s cruise-ship thick docking rope. But then, he’s a big damned hound. His name is Failinis and he usually runs with the Celtic gods.

He’s on loan for the month.

First, he’s invincible in battle. I need that. November’s a tough month for me. I do not have the luxury of setting my day job aside just because I’m committed to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). Nor do I get to ignore my family, my friends, the podcast, the audiobooks, or the gym. I have dumbed down meal preparation to simple roasted meat and vegetables. I’ve also cut out all television and reading. Yet even with those time-savers, I still need to be a superhero to get everything done. I need a bit of invincibility.

Second, Failinis catches every wild beast he encounters. He can’t not win a hunt. I knew I would be chasing some pretty wild goals this month–check that list above. Therefore I needed a companion whose every legendary fiber screamed victory.

As with most things Celtic, his third mythic trait would be a huge deterrent if I succumbed to it. Any running water Failinis bathes in becomes wine. Think about that. The Irish had a wine-making dog. I’m sure the resulting beverage tasted like the hair of the dog too. But as you might imagine, a river of wine would be disadvantageous.

That is, until day thirty. Hell, if I make it to the end of November I invite you all over for a River of Wine party. I’ll provide the wine if you bring noshes.

I think he senses I’ve stopped writing to tell you about him. The carcass of that rope is hanging from his jaws. The frayed fibers look like chewed sinew. He growls and stands, placing himself between me and the door.

When I don’t make a break for it, he steps forward and nudges my keyboard with his nose. Drool from the rope leaves a slime trail across the desk between us.

If I don’t keep writing, he will get more aggressive. Those teeth have killed one of the famed Fianna, and those fangs are aimed at me until I meet my daily word goal.

I lift my tea, raise my mug in toast to him and say, “Here’s health to your enemies’ enemies!” I then take a sip to seal the deal.

Mollified, he lays back down and starts in on the rope again.

Don’t fear too badly for my life. He has proven a loving and playful pup after the daily goal is met… So if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to my writing.

(Please connect if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo – you can find me here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/vance-bastian)

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