About the Author

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Plainville, CT, United States
Having achieved my goal of becoming a published author, I contribute it to the fact that I have been writing since the age of 9. My boys were the inspiration for my children's stories and my life is the inspiration for my autobiography. I have a tendency to write about whatever I feel, relevant, interesting or not. I welcome any comments you may have, positive or constructive. Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog, My life.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Leap of Faith

I have always been very personal when it comes to my writing.  I am careful who i let read my work and would never let any one in on any ideas that i may have for my next story.  Fast forward twenty or so years.
I still write and i am still a very private person when it comes to my material.  Could it be from the let downs, the put downs, the criticism and constantly being told that writing is stupid, i was never going to amount to anything and if i thought i was i was foolish? Could be.  Whatever the reason, i generally keep what i write to myself.
Recently, with the encouragement of a dear friend, i started sharing some of that material.  Reluctantly, i would post a little bit, talk about it and even pick up an old story to finish.  Wait, no negative comments?  This could be a good thing after all.
I take another step and create an author page on Facebook.  I'll keep this page for my material.  I go through the time line, start at the beginning of my "writing" and just go from there.  I post the very first poem i have ever written, the beginning of me as an author/writer.
Well that didn't turn out very well.  While i posted it on my wall and in MasterKoda, it didn't get as much traffic as i hoped even though i tried to solicit it amongst my on line friends and groups. Maybe i should have kept it to myself.....?
i wrote a piece of non-fiction a few years ago, but never really did anything with it.  That's what usually happens with everything i write.  It gets put away and doesn't surface again until i am digging through a drawer, going through old files on my computer, etc.  Well, remember that dear friend i spoke of earlier?  She told me about a book that was being put together for a child with cancer.  There were several authors, writers, artist, etc that were contributing material for this book.  What could it hurt?  She would even edit it for me......OK, so we'll give it a shot......
It didn't take long before she was done editing my story.  It was short but most of the editing was in my tenses.  I "sucked" as she so bluntly put it lol.  Good thing she is a dear friend or I may have gotten a bit pissed off.
Story edited, sent off to Inknbeans Press.  Now we wait.  I didn't know if this was a project for which every piece of submitted material was accepted, or if they actually sorted through everything and only picked what they felt was suited for the book.  I was very pleased to find out that they were accepting what was submitted.  Perhaps this is the beginning of something good for me for once.  It would definitely be something worth waiting for after all the bullshit I have gone through with my writing. Bullshit?  That's what I call it.   See the beginning of the blog - that's the general description of constantly being told that I didn't know how to write, etc.  you know, bullshit.
So we waited. And waited and waited and waited.  FINALLY the book was ready....I was very quick to order but would have to wait two weeks to get it as I couldn't afford expedited shipping.  The anticipation and excitement were overwhelming.  I shared with everyone and it felt good that they shared in my excitement.  Well everyone except the one person that I wanted to share in my excitement the most........
Not getting the congratulatory response I was expecting, my whole idea that I could finally become something quickly faded and I retreated back into my little private world.  No more posting.  No more writing.  I was going to put it to rest again, once and for all.  It was a stupid hobby anyhow.
Now fast forward to today. Just an ordinary day, but something strange happened today.  My brain was flooded with ideas for a story that I had no intention of writing for quite a while, if ever.  How was I going to write this story?  I had so many ideas pop into my head all at once and no time to do anything with them.  Working a full time job, taking care of a toddler and a home didn't leave me much time for writing.  But I HAD to put it on paper somehow.  But how?
I have "met" a lot of people on Facebook and in my Masterkoda group.  I have spoken to some more than others.  One in particular actually reached out to me.  I got a private message, an attempt to be friends as she wrote for young adults, and some stories for children. .  I had apparently mentioned that I wrote for  children.  I can't imagine what else would prompt her to reach out to me like that.  After all it was just  writing. 
Do I take a chance? Maybe.  Just maybe this would work.  She did after all show enthusiasm toward the subject matter of my next story, the Kangarillasaurus.  Actually stating that if I didn't write about it, she would.  This just might work.
I decided that I was going to take a chance.  Was she on line?  Nope.  I would have to PM her.....that would get her attention.  Just one sentence was all it took... "would you like to co-write a book with me?"  It didn't take long before she responded.  Very enthusiastically I might add.  Now I knew it was going to work.  I just had to test the waters a bit.
I gave her the ideas that flooded my brain while I was trying to work, and she would throw back a couple of her own.  By the time we were done, we had the makings of a children's story.  I was very pleased to say the least.  I had a good feeling about this.  Yes, there was that doubt, that fear that my ideas were going to get stolen but the more we exchanged ideas the more I knew that I had made the right choice.  The choice to take a leap of Faith.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sailin' With Sadie - Life with a Labrador

My husband and I have been together for 11 years this year, but married for 6.  During my previous marriage, I owned three dogs.  An Old English Sheepdog, a Shepard/Lab Mix, and a Rhodesian Ridge-back.  I had never owned a Lab, but my current husband is a hunter (for food only) and has only owned Labradors for pheasant hunting.  When I met him he owned a Black and a Chocolate Lab.  After unforeseen circumstances and health issues forced us to put the dogs to sleep only months apart from each other, I was in search of another Lab to fill that empty space in my husbands heart.  Ebony, the Black Lab was his baby and he was devastated that she was gone.  He didn't want another dog to replace her, stating that he didn't want to lose another and could never love another dog as much as he loved Ebony.  I was on a mission now.
It took me a few months, but I finally found a responsible breeder that only had three left and they were yellow.  A color my husband had never owned.  One was a female, a preference of my husbands.  I took a look at the dogs, and this female was quite the little spit-fire.  A personality all her own already at a young age, she was tormenting her siblings and then running away as if to say "HA - catch me if you can!"  I gave the breeder a deposit to hold the puppy for me.  Now the only thing to do was convince my husband to get another dog.
I managed to convince Bill to just "look" at the puppy.  It took a while, but reluctantly, he finally gave in.  I think it was for the main purpose of getting me to leave him alone about it, but whatever the reason I'm glad he went.
He looked at the puppies, not saying much and i pointed out the female.  He remarked at her coloring - she looked white with yellow markings.  The tips of her ears looked as if someone had dipped her in Yellow Lab as well as a strip on her back.
Next, as he was watching her, she was "attacking" a weed.  Biting it, yipping at it, pouncing on it and running around it in circles.  Then she would start all over again. She was entertaining herself.  Bill reached down to pet her and she immediately took the submissive position, belly up.  He rubbed her belly, looked at me and said "Lets take her home".  Mission accomplished.
Sadie has been a ray of sunshine in our lives from day one.  She has filled us with so much joy and unconditional love we can't imagine life without her.  The amazing thing is that she shows qualities of Ebony and Dillon (the chocolate lab) as well as qualities of her own.  Its as if we were meant to have her.
We have our share of experiences with Sadie that will always be memorable just because she never fails to amaze us with her personality.  I would like to share one of those moments with you.
the following story was written 5 years ago and t is the story that I submitted for The Gage Project and will be submitting to the MasterKoda writing contest for unpublished manuscripts.  Please, enjoy!

Sailin' With Sadie
By Melanie Ouellette

Wow, where do I start?  I can’t imagine my life without a dog.

We have had them all – A Chocolate Lab, Black Lab and now a Yellow Lab. Our summers with all of them were just so memorable that it would take me forever to list the wonderful things that transpired over the years. 

Our current Lab Sadie had just turned two. Never before have I had a dog with a personality such as hers.  She is truly an amazing dog.

 Last year, being her first summer with us, turned out to be quite possibly the most unique summer we have had in a long time with a young dog.  While she was past that puppy stage in her life, she was still quite full of energy and surprises!

My husband Bill and I love to take the boat out on the Connecticut River and on local lakes.  We decided to take Sadie with us, as she gets extremely upset when Daddy leaves without her.  Never having had her in the boat before, we weren’t sure what to expect, but we WERE up for the challenge.

This particular boat excursion happened at a local lake that we frequent every year.  Upon our arrival at the launch, I usually would help Bill unhook the boat and transfer everything from our truck into the boat, etc.  Apparently, Sadie felt that she should be the first one in the boat.  Without hesitation, she jumped out of the truck, onto the ground and then leaped into the boat clearing the sides with ease.  Quite the picture seeing that the boat was still on the trailer and is about 4 feet high!  With that being said, I knew this was going to be a very interesting day.                                 

After we finally got underway, we were in search of a nice spot to anchor and go swimming off the boat.  As we cruised the lake, Sadie took her spot at the front of the boat, ears flapping in the wind and her nose checking everything out. We would occasionally hit wakes left by other boats, causing our vessel to slap the water and jump quite a bit when we went over them.  Apparently, this was not a favorable motion to Sadie, as it didn’t take long for her to retreat from her original spot to a safer one, curled up under Bill’s seat.

Finally, we found a nice place to anchor the boat and decided to go swimming.  We usually throw a couple of life jackets in ahead of us so that we can hold onto them and stay in the water longer.  Bill proceeded to throw in a life jacket and the next thing we saw was Sadie flying through the air.  She landed in the water, grabbed the life jacket, and proceeded to swim back to us.   It was obvious that she had absolutely no problem with the Retriever in her!

She seemed to be struggling a bit getting back to us so Bill had to jump in and help her get back into the boat. He brought her over to the ladder and amazingly enough, she found her footing and with a little help from the two of us, managed to get back in the boat.

Thinking that the ordeal was over, Bill turned, proceeded to swim over to the life jacket and floated around a bit. 

Next thing we knew Sadie was back in the water! Back to the boat she went – with a little help from Bill - and this time the two of us told her to “STAY!”  Apparently she was a bit tired, as she didn’t try to jump in again. Bill was able to swim a bit and then once back in the boat, decided that if Sadie was going to continue to jump in the water, we should probably move the boat closer to shore so she would be able to find her own footing.

We were able to find a little island with a makeshift beach, which seemed like a perfect spot to anchor.  No sooner was the anchor in the water – there went Sadie again!  We both figured that at this point she obviously loved the water, so investing in a life jacket for her would probably a good idea.

Not having a life jacket for her, we decided that we would take turns staying in the boat to make sure that she didn’t continue to jump in the water.  She was getting fatigued and having trouble swimming back to the boat and this was probably the best way to handle the situation.

Before I tell you what happened next, I must tell you that our boat isn’t anything fancy.  It is a Tracker, 16 feet long, carpeted, and has a few holds and drains in the floor.  Those wonderful drains are a key factor in what happened next.

Apparently, in all our excitement, we forgot that dogs pee.  I was sitting in the boat with Sadie, reading a book and just chilling.  The next thing I knew she started to pace….then squatted! I began to panic because I certainly didn’t want pee all over the boat.  Using some quick thinking, I grabbed her in front of her back legs, swung her bottom end around, and aimed her pee into the drain!  Quite the interesting day this was turning out to be!

At this point, I decided that it was now MY turn to swim and Bill’s turn to babysit. He got into the boat and I as I threw my life jacket into the water – BIG mistake – it was promptly retrieved by a Flying Labrador!  This pretty much continued the entire day and I must say that on occasion, we purposely threw the life jackets into the water, feeling as much joy watching her as she felt retrieving each one!

I did finally end up going swimming and by the time we had our fill, we were absolutely exhausted.  We were certainly ready to end our day and go home.

I think Sadie would have been content traveling in the boat the entire trip home.  Once we docked at the launch, it took us a good ten minutes to coax her out of the boat and get her back into the truck.  She slept the entire ride, not waking until we got to the end of the highway close to home.

As for Bill and I, we just laughed at her character and personality and look forward to many more summers on the boat with our Flying Labrador!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Gotta love him.....

Another Axel tale: This morning, i was attempting to "catch" him to get his shoes on so that we can go to Miss Judy's (Daycare). Well, apparently when i say come here, it clearly means run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. 
I managed to catch him, and told him "we need to get your shoes on so we can go. I need you to be my "best helper." " Struggling with me the whole time i am trying to get his shoes on, i finally manage to accomplish the task. He gets off my lap and i tell him - "you need to stop being so fresh to me in the morning. I need you to be my best helper so I can go to work and you can go to Miss Judy's." He turns around to me, puts his hands on his hips and clearly states: "Well Moma, thats not the way I see it."
I couldn't really say too much after that - i was trying too hard not to laugh.