How to Break into Magazines

From the Mail Bag: Kate writes: I’d like to start writing nonfiction, human interest stories, emphasizing topics such as dogs and life with dogs, health and psychology. I’d like to start with articles (magazine, newspaper or both) and eventually work towards a book. I have done a few small human interest pieces for the newspaper at the University where I currently work and also back when I was in college. Any advice you’d have to share would be appreciated.

Dear … Read more

Jon Katz, Dog Trainer or Trouble for Dogs

From the mail bag: Allie asks: Just wondering. What do you think of Jon Katz? As a person, a writer, and now a trainer?

Dear Allie, I can’t comment on Katz as a person; I’ve never met the man. And I know all too well how it can be hazardous to draw conclusions about someone who writes about pieces of his or her life. As a reader, it’s easy to think you know the whole person, when you really … Read more

What Do You Say When…

From the mail bag: K.W. asks: What do you say when someone has asked you to read something they’ve written, and it really stinks? I don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings, because I know she spent a lot of time on it. She thinks the story she’s written is ready to be sent off to a publisher. I think it’s ready to be sent to the circular file. Help! I’m sure you must get this a lot.

As a … Read more

The Coyotes

From the Mail Bag: I’d love to hear more about your coyotes, S.B., a reader writes in. She goes on to ask: Have you always had them nearby? When did you start having the coyote dreams? Have they taken over your area or are they remaining a stable population? I am fascinated by the relationship you and Kiera have with them!

Dear S.B.: The first time I heard or saw them was the night I was looking at Magic’s … Read more

The other context for “Finding Kiera”

From the Mail Bag: M.M. wrote, I experienced your search for Kiera as very single-minded and focused–bordering on obsessive (and definitely annoying to me). It seemed to me that you were too caught up in “looking for something to fill a need (for Kiera) rather than for someone to help.”

Dear M.M.: I can see why you’d view my search for Kiera that way, but let me anthropomorphize for a minute to better illustrate how I experienced it. Let’s say … Read more