What Do Bozo the Clown, the Ocean, and My Crazy Dog Have in Common?

Strangely enough, Bozo the Clown, the ocean, and my crazy dog all influenced me while writing a short story called “Wandering Universes.” I’m excited to announce that the story was recently published in Halfway Down the Stairs.

For any writers out there, this is a great publication to submit to. Each issue has a theme like “we all fall down,” “time” or “persuasion” and it’s fun coming up with a story or poem to fit each theme. This issue’s theme was “chaos,” which went along well with my crazy dog.

Bozo can also be pretty chaotic. I know this because I once appeared on the show and had to run around and catch as many balloons as possible. When the neighborhood kids saw me on television, they brought presents to the house and asked for my autograph. It was my one brush with fame. A lot of people think clowns are creepy these days, but the thought of Bozo still makes me smile.

The ocean, whether chaotic or calm, is always influencing me. In this short story, a couple continually walks a certain coastline, possibly too often, but doing so lets their minds wander. Until chaos arrives, that is.

In case you’d like to read it, here’s a link to my short story Wandering Universes.

24 thoughts on “What Do Bozo the Clown, the Ocean, and My Crazy Dog Have in Common?

  1. That is a wonderful story. You really captured the essence of a couple drifting apart, yet still clinging to what they know or what they hope could happen again. I think it’s actually a sad commentary on most couples today. In the beginning, the relationship is exciting and fulfilling, but after a while it grows stale. The hand-holding and squeezing was a perfect detail to highlight the flow of her thoughts. The appearance of the dog is like a spirit guide in a way. At least, that’s how I interpreted it. I thought it was a perfect way to end the story. So delightful.

    What kind of dog do you have? Looks like a springer spaniel or an English setter?

    • Thank you for taking the time to read it! That’s a great interpretation. I wrote this one a long time ago and I still don’t fully understand it. 🙂 I love the idea of the dog being a spirit guide. You must know dogs because not many people guess it, but she is an English setter. Very high energy and a lot of fun. The next issue’s theme is “villainous” in case you have any villainous stories to share!

      • I knew it! Yes, I have an English setter, Ginger, who is a rescue dog. Before her, we had another English setter, Fryar, who we got from a breeder when he was 4 months old.

        Setters are wonderful pets, aren’t they? Both of ours have been great with our kids and anyone friendly who comes to our house. You’re right, super energetic, chasing anything they can. They even dig up moles from underground.

        Villainous, eh? I might have a story or two up my sleeve. 😉

      • That’s funny that you have one too! I haven’t seen English setters around much, but they really are a lot of fun. I love to watch her run and jump through the woods. She looks just like a deer. She’s 13 now and still crazy! 🙂

    • Thank you for taking the time to read it! It’s funny because it does do the “head jumping” thing and all that – but one of the great things about reading and writing is the chance to explore different viewpoints so I like to be able to do that. I wrote this a long time ago, before I tried to pay attention to the rules. Just so you know, the next issue’s theme is “villainous” – it makes me think of those mustache-twisting cartoon characters – could be fun to come up with something for that!

    • hahah – thank you – that photo was after running around on the beach and a muddy, smelly marsh so she’s not looking her best there, but she is a lot of fun

  2. Hi Sheila – I can’t believe it took me so long to find this! What a terrific story. Really well crafted. You get a perfect picture of the relationship and personalities of this couple, and the way that they have changed over time in such a short piece. Having just come back from the beach, I could also really hear the waves in there.
    Well done on being published! I look forward to your future works. 🙂

  3. Shelia,
    1 – Congratulations.
    2 – A lot of people think clowns are creepy these days, but the thought of Bozo still makes me smile. -> This clown thanks you.
    Le Clown

    • I never really understood how they got that reputation – unless it’s all because of “It” – but I’ve always loved clowns.

  4. Wonderful story Sheila. Isn’t it funny how clowns are to entertain kids, and so many kids are terrified of them?

  5. I love the way you write! I truly enjoyed Wandering Universes. The title captured the story so well. Also, the story itself was captivating. In such a short amount of time, the reader was drawn into a lifetime of moments for these two characters. It felt real and alive. I appreciated the dog’s presence too, with it’s happy and joyful experiences, there was a contrast for the characters that made the story even richer. Thank you for writing and sharing. I’m looking forward to reading all of your works!

    • Thanks so much for reading it! I wrote this story a long time ago and ended up getting kind of tired of it after revising it over and over again. It’s so nice to hear that you enjoyed it – that really makes it all worthwhile – thank you.

Comments are closed.