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My epic failures trying to find my motivation again.

I’m usually a very motivated person. You have to be in order to be an indie writer/publisher.

There is no one but yourself who’ll make you sit down and put those fingers to the keyboard.

Usually, I have no real problems writing. Every now and then, I’ll have a day or so where I don’t write but it doesn’t last long. I love writing and when I don’t, I get cranky.

But lately I’ve been in a funk.
I know I need to write. I want to write but I just don’t.

I also haven’t been exercising and I know from the past that exercising first thing in the morning motivates me to be productive all day.

Motivation failure take-1. I roll out of bed early and change into sweats and a T-shirt.

I walk the dogs, stretching my legs for my upcoming run. I walk about a half mile.

Then I start jogging. I make it less than a tenth of a mile when I feel something on my thigh. INSIDE my pants.

It’s long – about two inches – and prickly.

I stop. My heart’s thudding in my chest. I really don’t want to know what’s in my pants but I kind of have to.

I pull the waistband of my sweats away from my body and pause.

I’m in the middle of my yard. The street is right behind me.

If this is some weird bug, these pants are coming off.

Perhaps I should go back up to the house, but it’s clinging to my leg and I really, really need to get whatever it is off my skin.

Beware neighbors because you may be seeing my big, underwear’d-butt very soon.

I move the sweats down a bit and away from my body and almost collapse with relief. It’s a pine needle.

Myself and my neighbors were saved from a terrible trauma that day, but it didn’t help my motivation – except shaking my pants before I put them on.

A few more days of fudgy-funk pass by and I decide, today is the day. August just started. Time to start writing again.

Motivation failure take-2. I’m out walking my dogs. I have to actually go into the office today to turn in the on-call phone and I’m taking the dogs for one last quick walk around the yard. My hound dog, Sassy, has started angry-peeing when I leave. You may remember her from this blog post.

I’m almost to the house when Charlie (a boxer-mastiff mix) takes off across the yard after something small and dark. I scream. He ignores me but his brother, Louis, is now paying attention – TO Charlie NOT me – and he runs after his brother.

I run after them (much, much slower). I have Sassy on a leash (she runs away so always has to be on a chain or leash) and I’m screaming because whatever it is Charlie has it.

And it gets away. It’s an armadillo and it’s flying across the yard but my two asshole dogs are right on the poor little thing’s tail and they get him again.

I’ve reversed direction and am running after them. I catch up with them in the brush. I reach to slap them and Sassy dives in joining the chomp-fest on that poor little thing.

I yank her back, kicking at Louis and Charlie, screaming no and yelling for them to stop but they don’t even hesitate at my screams.

Now, I’m getting pissed and scared for that armadillo. It’s a big one, so it’s armor is strong but they are big dogs. I’m still yelling and trying to hold Sassy back as I kick at my dogs. I don’t know exactly when or how, but I end up on the ground, holding Sassy back (who’s howling like a banshee) while I slap at my two dogs. They are paying me about as much attention as a fart in a hurricane.

At this point, Tricks, my Belgian-Malnois, jumps in. I know there’s no way that poor critter is getting away from three of them, but she doesn’t go for the armadillo, she goes for Louis.

Tricks is old – about 15 or more – and she has arthritis bad. Louis is about 9 or 10. He’s in great health and outweighs her by about 20 lbs. I scream at her to stop because I don’t need a dog fight on top of this (and me, remember, I’m on the ground with the armadillo).

Luckily, Louis pays no attention to her and she backs off to pace on the outskirts, not sure what to do.

I go back to trying to get them to stop biting on the poor thing and at some point it scrambles under a palmetto bush. The two dogs haul ass into the scrub with it.

I know there’s no way I can help it with Sassy. I won’t be able to hold her back and dig through the brush for dogs and armadillo. So I drag her to the porch and grab my mop. I’m so pissed and frustrated at this time that I consider grabbing the shovel but I don’t really want to hurt my dogs.

Mop in hand I lock Sassy on the porch and hurry over to the bush. I can hear one of the dogs snorting. I’m imagining it chowing down on that poor armadillo but instead, the little critter found one of his tunnels and Charlie is snorting as he’s trying to dig it out.

I wallop him with the mop.

That got his attention – FINALLY.

I then chase them both back to the porch. I’m furious with them and myself.

I know dogs are dogs and they chase and kill small animals, but I expect my dogs to at least flinch when I scream at them. I’ve had numerous dogs over the years and they all minded better than this. I am top-dog in my house. I have to be.

In Louis and Charlie’s defense, I’ve never spent much time training them because I didn’t think I needed to. They are well behaved dogs — apparently, unless they are trying to kill something.

So, yesterday I punished them. I locked them in separate rooms for most of the day and when evening came around I wouldn’t touch them or let them get on the couch by me. And to really hit them where it hurt, I gave Tricks numerous snacks right in front of them and the three jerk-faces got nothing more than “bad dog.”

Today, training started. If they won’t learn to stop when I say, then they’ll have to spend the rest of their lives being walked on a leash because they have to mind.

I don’t value another dog or cat over the life of an armadillo but I could get sued if they attack someone’s dog or cat. I can’t have that.

I did go back out to the brush and look for the armadillo but I haven’t seen him. I haven’t smelled him either so hopefully, he made it.

I feel so bad for the poor thing and it was another failure at motivating myself because I wasn’t in the mood to do anything after that ordeal.

I was exhausted. My shoulder had been hurting before and this didn’t help it. Not to mention all the cuts on my arms and legs. I don’t know if they are from the brush or the critters. None of them are deep and I’ve cleaned them well, so it doesn’t matter and it’s nothing compared to what that poor armadillo must be feeling.

But just like with the armadillo, I haven’t given up. I will push myself and start writing again. It’s not as life-and-death as what the armadillo went through, but I’m only happy if I’m working on a story or two for at least a few hours a day. And I like being happy so that means I’ll write again.




  1. Loren Hall says:

    Thank You for starting my day with a good laugh. Loved the story.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      You’re welcome. 🙂

  2. Tonya Cutaran-Mathis says:

    Poor puppies, and poor little armadillo. I’m sure you checked for bite and scratch marks. Not that Hansen’s disease is carried by all armadillos, but one can never be too careful.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Yeah, everyone is fine as fare as I can tell. I do have some scratches but I’m pretty sure they are from the trees and brush not the dogs or armadillo. I never touched the armadillo.

  3. Kim Croft says:

    I can picture what you went through with your dogs. I have nine dogs and while I have never had an armadillo – we have moles. Lucky for me only my three big dogs got it and my husband rescued it from them. Then then he’s like “So, what are you gonna do with it.? It’s kind of cute.” “Seriously, me? You rescued it.” LOL, I took it to the country and released it.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      See, guys are just big softies. Glad he was able to save the mole and you were able to release it. They are kind of cute. 🙂

  4. Genlle Themann says:

    That was hysterical!! I had a similar problem with my two mutts when we lived in the country. Only thing that made mine worse was that my two dummies went after a skunk! Well, they caught the skunk before I caught them, so I turned to go home and told them they were on their own. They beat me back to the house, but they had already caught the business from the skunk. They slept outside for about a week!!

    1. Linda Odea says:

      LOL – funny but not for the poor skunk. A friend of mine had two shelties and one of them got sprayed by a skunk. They washed her and washed her but could not get that stench out so they decided to try tomato juice but they didn’t have any. They did have spaghetti sauce. It worked. It took away the smell but for weeks whenever the dog shook bits of Italian herbs fluffed into the air. I still laugh thinking about that story.

  5. Denise Sherman says:

    Here is a suggestion.. put pets for your characters into your books. Your pets are such characters and very entertaining..
    I pray that the Armadillo is ok from being shaken up do much..
    Loved the chuckles of the Pine Needle bug. LOL 🤣😂🤣😂

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Already done. Charlie and Louis are in Feeding Fersia, Rage of Rattus Norvegicus and Leaving Level Five and will be appearing in the Lake of Sins series. Sassy is in the Lake of Sins series as well as numerous other of my cats and dogs. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. I keep going out by where the armadillo escaped and I’ve seen new holes dug by A armadillo. Not sure if it’s the same one or not but I don’t smell anything dead – so, I’m hoping he made it okay.

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