When Heather Huffman asked me to guest blog about any topic that I wanted, my first thought was-animals. It’s Heather Huffman after all. But then I thought about what animals symbolize for me. They serve as a balance of who I am and who I want to be. Animals align me in my world, whether it be in my writing struggles, parenting issues or those little frustrations that life throws my way. Pets and animals offer a simplicity that allows us to depart from the chaos that floats around in our mind on a daily basis and enter a world of quiet self-reflection. While my good friend Heather is surrounded by the sounds of farm animals and the quiet country nights, I am encompassed by the louder city life with two Newfoundland dogs who serve as my family pets.
As only another writer can understand, developing and launching a novel is a lot of hard work. The writing part is easy for us writers, it’s all the other things in life that sidetrack us, sending our world into a tailspin. With the recent release of Underwater Secrets, I’ve been caught up in the world of marketing and tying up last minute typos. With all the pre-launch stress, I have failed to give my furry kids any attention. They lie on the floor by my feet, loyal to my every move and command, so why should they be pushed aside because a new book has entered the world?
The other day I was feeling particularly bitter and stressed out. In the midst of it all I realized that I had had completely forgotten about my two dogs, Baxter and Brody. Instead of stopping to pet them as part of my daily ritual, I walked over their massive bodies or pushed them aside when they got in the way of my many back and forth trips from the kitchen to my office. I was consumed with my own life and had failed to remember what truly makes me happy-petting my boys and being surrounded by their soothing simplicity. It is one of the moments in my day that loosens up my tightly wound schedule and frees me from the clutter of thoughts that bounce around in my brain. After all, my dogs accept me for who I am, no questions asked.
So, I made a date with my dogs. I promised them that I would schedule a few minutes out of every day to pet them, brush out their messy mats and simply give them the attention they deserve. There is a reason that dogs are used for therapy and this is evident in the way they have taken me down from my whirlwind. So, as I do with all new book releases-I learn something. As a new book gets printed and sent out to the world, a little piece of me is shed and a new part of my life begins.
About the author: EJ Hanagan is a writer, fitness fanatic, obsessive reader and animal lover. She lives in a sleepy beach town outside of Boston with her husband, their new baby girl and their two giant Newfoundland dogs.
After spending four years in the Air Force, EJ put her fire for fitness to good use and worked as a personal trainer while going to college. If it weren't for the amazing, brave people that she met while in the military, she wouldn't have the passion that she does now, to focus on bringing awareness to veterans with PTSD. Her hope is to bring the invisible scars of war to the surface through her writing and community involvement.
Connect with EJ online:
Amazon | Facebook Author Page | Twitter
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Rolling hills that had been vibrant green just weeks ago were now muted in tone, as if they were taking a deep breath before bursting into the song of fall.