Cassie and I have a snack game we play every day sometime around noon. It’s been long enough since breakfast and still too far til dinner that she gets a little grumbly in her tummy. So I ask her if she wants snackies and if it’s time to play the game.

The game is simple. I take 3 of her dog biscuits and break them into 4 or 5 pieces. Makes it look like a veritable feast. (Sorta like putting our diet dinners on a salad plate.) Then I send her to her crate in a down stay while I go hide them. I put one under a giant pile of toys. I shove some inside the well-chewed bones around the house. I put on the chair, the edge of the coffee table. I put one under her blanket. You get the idea. Then I release her and let her go “find” the treats. It’s great fun because she loves to find them and then she gets to eat them. It exercises her brain and tires her out at the same time. Bonus for me, she usually takes a nap afterward.

I may have mentioned a time or two that Cassie is a smart dog. Today I said “snackies” and “play the game” and suddenly she disappeared. I didn’t think much about it at first. I just went to the kitchen and grabbed a few biscuits. Then I went looking for her. She had already gone to her crate and laid down and was giving me her best “focus” look. She was ready to play the game. She knew what she had to do before we could play. She wanted her reward.

I’m working on Flyboy’s story. Now. Still. Whatever. It’s gone well. It’s gone, well, not so good. Some days I can write 1,000 words, solve plot problems in my sleep and craft sentences I find so brilliant I want to write them in gold. Some days I write three sentences and I call it a good day. On Monday I reread what I had written so far and decided it didn’t stink as much as I thought it might. Last night it seemed like the most boring story ever. EVER. Today it looks fixable.

This is the way the game is played. I know what I have to do to get there. I have to put myself in the chair and write one word at a time. It’s hard. Every day I fight it. I fight going to my office chair. I fight opening the manuscript. I fight putting my fingers on the keys. But I want that reward, the finished book.

I just need to take the first step and sit in the chair.