Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Writing Life: A Dog's Eye View by Dana Mentink

Who says we can't learn from animals? Not author Dana Mentink. Today, she reveals some of the things a terrier has taught her about writing. -- Sandy

Dana: Wow! Spring has finally sprung here in Northern, California. It's been the wettest winter on record and we are all glad to see signs of milder weather. Many changes have occured around here at Mentink Manor. We now have an extremely naughty little terrier charging around the place. Junie (also known as Juniper Drop it What Is That In Your Mouth Mentink) has added life to our place, for sure. Who would think that a scruffy faced, twelve pound dog could teach me a thing or two about writing and life?

The first thing Junie taught me was that the view is always the same inside. Every morning she is on fire to go out into the world and sniff and wag at anything and everything. "Let's go OOOUUUUUTTTTTT," you can practically hear her say. "We're too young to sit in a chair all day." Good advice, Junie. Let's take a break here in Chapter Three and go out for a walk.

Point number two, via Junie Mentink. If a thing is worth something, you can come back to it later. That bone she hid under the sofa? It's gonna be even more amazing when she rediscovers it later this week. Writing is like that, too. It's better if you let it sit and revisit it later. Then you can dig deep, reexamine your work and create something savory indeed.

And the last point. No two dogs are the same. Oh how I still miss our previous dog, my darling old Nala, and for a while, I looked at Junie in astonishment, thinking, "Nala never did that!" So two creatures of the same species can be so different they are almost incomparable. And so too must my fictional characters be. That hero must be radically different than his counterpart in the previous book. That heroine, must be as unique and special as the person who reads all about her. Point taken, Junie! So thank you Junie and both of us wish you a wonderful spring and a great year of reading and writing ahead!

Have you ever learned anything special from a furbaby?


Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner. She is the author of over thirty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and she has also been honored with a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, an inquisitive puppy, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.


  1. So pleased to be here! Thank you for having me!

    1. We're thrilled and grateful to have you share about Junie and her teaching ways, Dana. Love her FULL name! I'm trying hard to follow Junie's first point---get up and take a break on occasion. I get too focused and forget.

    2. Me too, Sandra, but Junie doesn't let me forget to talk a little walk break!

  2. Love this,Dana. Our beloved MoneyDog (Border Collie/Lab) taught us it was okay to round up our treasures we found. Came home from work the day after we rescued her from a train-hopping transient fellow, and she had a perfect circle of miscellaneous stuff, including toilet paper streams from the roll strung around said circle. We sure miss her sweet self.

  3. When I was a young girl, Daddy took me to the SPCA and we chose a dog for our family. Susie was already trained and fit right into our family. By having Susie as our newest family member, I learned that a dog's love is unconditional. :-)

    1. That's for sure. A dog's love has no strings attached!

  4. Dana - I love seeing Junie on Facebook! And I always take her side, no matter what she's done. :-)

    My first Westie Fenway taught me to never plant a begonia. She dug up every one I ever put in the ground. Seriously she taught me more than that. She was little for a Westie, but she had a huge heart and taught me to live life fully.

    My current Westie boy Crosby has taught me that even if you get told not to do something 100 times to keep trying. He wears me down and gets his way. I'm hoping to wear down the editor at my targeted publisher. I'll keep sending manuscripts.

    And my Westie girl Nolly Grace has taught me how very important the love of your family is. She values that above all.


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