Hello everyone and welcome. Thanks for stopping by last week for my Springtime blog. It was great to see you all. Today I’m turning the reins over to best selling author Suzie Carr, creator of The Dance and The Curvy Side of Life. She is here to talk about her new book, The Pet Boutique which is now available for sale. Come meet this amazing woman who will rock your socks off.
If you love dogs, then you’ll likely understand my obsession when I wrote my newest book, The Pet Boutique. Not only did I get to spend the last seven months of my life engaged with the silly and lovable antics of a particular furry loved one, but I also learned the profound healing effect writing can have on a person’s heart.
This story started out very different than the story it eventually became. I suppose that’s a writer’s truth most times, though. Rarely does a story that’s outlined in messy scribble on a coffee-stained notepad turn out to be the end result. But, this story’s evolution goes a lot deeper than that.
You see, the writing of this story is a story in and of itself. In early June, I began writing The Pet Boutique. The story was going to be about a married lesbian couple who grew apart after the death of their beloved dog. The story was supposed to dig into the undercurrents of a marriage, with all its complexities, comforts and safety, and figure out what really matters after years of layers shed and expose the raw, realness of life.
Then, my life changed dramatically on July 15 when my beloved dog, Bumblebee, passed away. That moment stole my heart, breath, and life force. I was devastated by her death and the emptiness of life without her.
It was that terrible. It read nothing like the story I had planned originally. It was basically me sifting through my grief and allowing it to flow into the story. Well, the result was a sad, depressing tale and a total reflection of the state of my mind, which was a state completely not in the zone for writing a lighthearted book.
I couldn’t release that story to the world. It basically was my grieving process, all seventy-thousand words of it. I needed to get the emotions out and set them free. Writing allowed me that freedom. I wouldn’t have been able to write a fun, lovable romantic story until I got that sad one out of me first. That story will remain personal, archived as a part of my past.
It was my birthday, and I remember sitting in my home office reading the first few chapters of that first draft of The Pet Boutique. My chest constricted. A sense of dread flowed in me. Panic ensued. No, I wasn’t suffering a heart attack. I was suffering writer’s fright. My beta and editorial team were expecting a story to read and critique from me in less than two months, and the one before me was too personal and sad to share. I needed a new story.
Something really cool happened immediately following my quick descent into panic mode.
I felt Bumblebee nudge me like she was saying, OMG Momma wake up. If you’re going to put me in a book, it better be a fun book. Surely you’re not going to put anyone through reading this version, are you? I fully expect to be placed in this pet boutique story, but only if it’s fun, romantic, flirty, and a place suitable for me to hang and allow my legacy to live on.
Let me tell you if she could talk, that’s exactly what she would say. I felt that nudge from her to archive that story and start over.
After that very moment, I wrote what I felt in my heart:
I’m laughing. I’m joyful. I’m clear-headed. I’m free to bask in happy things again. Today, for the first time, I’m no longer bowing my head, shameful of laughter in the sorrow of your passing. You’ve offered me your blessings. You’re nudging me, directing me to lighten up and have some fun. A gate has opened and we’re running, my dear Bumblebee. Running together, Momma with her arms wide, and you, sweet baby girl, with your tail wagging, with the wind as our companion.
It was important that I honor her life in a way that never lets her spirit end. Whenever I need a good smile or a jolt to my heart, I always have The Pet Boutique to keep me company.
From the moment Lexie Tanner meets Taylor Henshaw in the dilapidated space that will one day become her aunt’s pet boutique, she knows she’s got her work cut out for her. Taylor self-identifies as a complicated woman, and there’s nothing Lexie enjoys more than a good fixer upper. But Taylor’s complications run deep, and way into her past. Surrounded by an eccentric and spirited group of family and friends, including a spunky and lovable dog named Cashmere, the two women navigate a series of obstacles that have them questioning their choices. As their journey unfolds, neither women are prepared for what happens when they start to break down the old and discover the new.
Available in Kindle and paperback, and coming soon to Audible!
Bumblebee was loved by many, and this video represents the incredible love and friendship we shared. A Tribute to Bumblebee!
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Thank you, Suzie, for your heartwarming story. The Pet Boutique is available. For those of you who have read the book, I’m looking for discussion of the book so feel free to comment in the comments.