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SPIRIT MATTERS: Sage words to assuage writer’s block backfire

Jerrilyn Zavada
Jerrilyn Zavada

This week I have been having an old case of writer’s block, so I did what the pros suggest to alleviate the all-too-common-problem. I got up and moved.

I grabbed my coat, my phone, my purse and the dog — not necessarily in that order – and went for a ride to Burger King, which is one of the few places I know in town that serves Cherry Coke from the fountain.

Upon pulling up to the drive-through, Zeke’s instincts went into gear. He knew where he was and why we were there. (I don’t take the dog along just thinking of myself, you know).

Commence whining. And jumping. And lunging.

“Oh, look, she brought her dog! I bet I know who that plain hamburger is for, haha! Wow he’s bigger than you…how do you handle him?”

All of this while I was simultaneously digging for the damn $3.11 out of my pocket book with one hand and pushing back my 88-pound black Labrador and telling him to sit!...sit!...sit! with the other (remember last week’s weigh-in session? That’s right. Zeke’s on a diet. I’m not fielding questions why, then, I took him to Burger King for a plain hamburger after he had just had his supper).

After putting the car back into park, which Zeke had knocked it out of, I gave the attendant the $3.11, grabbed the hamburger and tore off the wrapping to give it to the dog. If I had any chance of retaining any peace and calm for the rest of this exchange I had to get the hamburger to the dog.

She handed me my change, and my Cherry Coke. I mumbled a few words of apology and pulled away.

The ride home was relatively peaceful, as I warned him I was taking him to the cemetery to see his dead Grandpa, who would have a few words for him. (Don’t judge me. This is the way some writer’s minds work).

We got home, I released the animal from the car, went in the house and reached for my phone which was nowhere to be found. I dumped my purse on the counter, rummaged through it a couple times. No luck.

Back out to the car I went with the garbage can as I picked through old compact disc covers, tossed away straw wrappers, etc, looking for the $800 smartphone I had just recently traded up for. No sign of it, so I messaged my nephew, who is Superman dressed in a high school kid’s clothes and told him I needed help.

Meanwhile, I went back to the purse one more time and searched all the pockets. Again. And there she was. Huge, huge sigh of relief.

As I recall this incident that took all of 15 minutes out of an otherwise uneventful day (and I do mean uneventful) Zeke, is now sound asleep on the bed in the guest room, and I am thinking about what to do the next time I have writer’s block and the ghosts of the masters whisper in my ear to get moving.

I think I’ll go for a walk.

Without the dog.

SPIRIT MATTERS is a weekly column that examines spirituality in The Times’ readership area. Contact Jerrilyn Zavada at to share how you engage your spirit in your life and in your community.

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