We’ve had some nice weather around here the past few days and the birds have been visiting our yard in a steady stream. The sparrows splash about in the bird bath, the doves laze around by the ground level pool, and the finches and the robins take turns at the bubbling rock.

The bubbling rock is in perfect view from the patio door, right about Cassie’s eye level. So lately when the bells ring I’m not sure if she wants to go outside because she has to take care of business or because she wants to chase the birds. She doesn’t have a super high prey drive but the birds are mouth-sized and fluttering around and I see her instincts kick in. So before I open the door I give her the command to “go slow” and she walks out there at a normal walking pace, giving the birds plenty of time to fly away before she reaches them.

We must do this a dozen times a day. She sees the birds, she asks to go out. I open the door and tell her to go slow. The birds fly away before she gets there.

But still she hopes.

Sometimes it’s hard for writers to find hope. If you don’t have a submission out to an editor or an agent or even a critique group hope seems a little hard to hold onto. But if you’re not putting words down on paper you won’t ever reach the point of having something to submit to an editor or an agent or your critique group.

Hope is good. But you still have to do the work.