Tag: Cindy Grant

NaNoWriMo Sustained Story Mind

“William Faulkner’s conviction that the writer’s duty is “to help man endure by lifting his heart” comes to mind — storytelling is still literature’s greatest duty.” Susan Sontag, Sontag on Storytelling, BrainPickings

Thoughts of my writing friends moved me to write this morning. Shout out to my friend, poet, scientist, and animal lover, Briahn. Another shout to Redwood Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club. We need inspiring and thought-provoking quotes. I hope you find in this post a kernel of encouragement.

I am a storyteller writing novel-length fiction.

Like most of you, I continue reading a variety of nonfiction in the form of news, writing craft advice, history, and biography. This day I find myself charmed by a post on BrainPickings.  BrainPickings brings together both sides of my mind. Currently, it is the only email subscription I read daily. You might want to pop over and steal a few minutes to read the full post.

“Be serious.” By which I meant: Never be cynical. And which doesn’t preclude being funny.” Susan Sontag

“Serious fiction writers think about moral problems practically. They tell stories. They narrate. They evoke our common humanity in narratives with which we can identify, even though the lives may be remote from our own. They stimulate our imagination. The stories they tell enlarge and complicate — and, therefore, improve — our sympathies. They educate our capacity for moral judgment.”

Hi-fve or low fi, I love music.
You’ve got dog music?

By the way, I have thrown caution to the winds and jumped into my third National Novel Writing Month. Although I “won” the two years I entered, this year seems a wilder breast to get a handle on. On one hand, it does not matter if I write a 50,000-word manuscript again in thirty days but on the other, I want my Dog Leader Mysteries book two in good shape to go in 2018. Book one in the series sits on the editor’s desk, and hopefully, I will have a final draft off to copyeditors early next year.

Remember, it is not how many words you write.

Think of it as how many story arc’s you keep. Only keep the parts of story action, theme, and words in your story that matter. The revision comes much later. Keep writing forward in your first draft,  add all the details the story needs.

Later, like months later, you will revise by creating a new document draft to fit your dreamed-first draft story vision. Keep going. You didn’t learn to walk in one day. No one writes a novel in one day either. One page, one step, and fall. One page, one step, and fall not as far. Two steps, find your balance in your story world. Look around inside, write what you see. Fall.

Write what you envision and keep going. Feel your story. Write each day in a state of expectation that your dream story can be caught on paper.

If you stop writing, don’t beat yourself up.

Start again.

Be glad for starting. Be grateful for the story mind in you that wants to know the deeper story you write or want to write.

Get closer to your vision (outline or synopsis) in your story mind

Do not let go.

  • Keep asking, where does my character want to go?
  • Am I lifting my reader’s heart?
  • What happens next in this story?
  • What do my main characters want and need?
  • Where do I see this story ending?
  • Try out a few endings (early to see where it is headed).

Do you read novels? What fiction do you enjoy? Do you write stories? Are you taking on National Novel Writing Month this year?

Thanks for reading and sharing,  Deborah Taylor-French

Don’t miss this Wednesday’s post by Cindy Grant.

You will want to see and read it. High-quality informative writing from a writer who loves pets. Plus fab professional dog photographs,



ABC’s of Grooming Poodle Dogs

DIY Care of Poodle Dog Hair

By Cindy Grant, guest blogger

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. Although all dogs require general grooming, the poodle does need more care when it comes to their coats.

Here’s the ABC’s of taking care of poodle hair.

Acclimation for Dogs to Grooming

Ensure that you acclimatize your poodle. From as early as six weeks of age to all the different facets of grooming to prevent fear, aggression, and troublesome sessions later, take time to get your dog comfortable with grooming tools, sights, and sounds. This includes brushing, nail clipping, and even the sound of an electrical clipper. Petfinder “Dog Grooming for Hounds.

Bathing Poodle Dogs

It’s safe to bathe your poodle weekly but no more than that as it will strip their natural oils causing the skin to dry out. Always use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed for canines.

When bathing your dog, ensure that your poodle’s coat is fully saturated with water. Bear in mind this can take some time as poodles came from an old breed of hunting dogs with dense coats.

Once done towel dry to remove excess moisture. Being careful not to burn your pet, blow-dry while using a slicker brush to make your dog’s coat tangle free and fluffy.

Beauty from The Inside Out

The diet of your poodle affects the health and shine of his/her coat. Kibble should consist mostly of lean meats. Avoid by-products such as bone, organs, and beaks as well as fillers like corn.

Nutrient-wise, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids are great for the skin and also help to reduce inflammation.

Brushing Poodle Hair

The curly coat of the poodle can mat easily. This is because about 80% of poodle coats may consist of secondary hair or an undercoat of dense cottony hair with the outer layer being wiry, wavy, or wooly.

Matting is not only unsightly and makes the coat dull but causes discomfort for the dog because it pulls the hair.

A brushing a day will efficiently keep matting away. A wire-bristled round-head pin brush works best on curly hair. If the coat has already started matting, consider a greyhound comb or a slicker brush which has shorter wire bristles.

Another benefit of regular brushing is that it removes loose hair that tends to get trapped, improves circulation, and releases the natural oils. This helps to keep the skin moisturized as well.


Clipping Poodle Hair

Although poodles are not known to be shedders, their hair grows fast, which increases the matting problem. Your poodle needs to be clipped monthly to remedy this common hair growth challenge,

Don’t despair if a professional groomer exceeds your budget as you can do this at home yourself too.

All you need is an electric clipper with different sized blades to improve clipping while limiting hair pulling and a pair of scissors. The latter is for cutting out heavy matting and more precise trimming around the eyes, ears, and tail.

If you’re a novice, stick to the primary, easier cuts first. There’s the puppy cut where the body gets grown long, while specific areas get shaved or use the lamb clip grooming style.

Go to YouTube and watch this video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkjda6tdiow) This clipping demonstration features the favored top knot.

You can also grow in skill into the trendier styles like the Continental with the ankle bracelets that look like pom-poms and thicker tufts of hair on the back and chest later.


Coloring Poodle Hair

Poodles come in about ten different shades ranging from silver or white, gold or apricot to café-au-lait and black.

To boost the brightness of their natural coloring and create a uniform shade throughout, use color-enhancing shampoos. Blue or purple shampoo brightens white, red for golden tones, and green for both black and certain shades of gold.

Although taking care of your poodle’s hair is more work than with other breeds, it sure does create a fantastic opportunity to bond with and enjoy with your pet.

About our guest blogger, Cindy Grant:

We thank Cindy Grant for this informative and thought-provoking post. Additional thanks to Grant for the three handsome professional photographs of adorable poodle dogs. 

Cindy Grant is a crazy fan of dogs, cats, and all kinds pets. She is a blogger, and the founder of No Wild Longer, a U.S.A. pet lovers community.

Please follow Cindy Grant on Twitter: Cindy Grant @cindypetlover
Find and like her Facebook page: Facebook No Longer Wild

When you share this post on social media or by email, your actions encourage good writing and healthy pet care. Afterall, pet lovers want the best for their pets. Pet bloggers and writers want the best for ALL PETS.

We love our readers. We love your comments, too.


  1. Daily Puppy (.com) Tips Hair Care Poodles
  2. Wiki How How to Groom a Poodle
  3. Grooming Angel. (.com) 
  4. Pets.thenest.com Make Poodles’ coat shiny healthy
  5. How to use dog clippers
  6. Pedgree.com Health Poodle Hair Care 101


  1. Acclimatize your poodle
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids
  3. The lamb clip for dogs