"Golden Retriever dies in hot car". This was not a TV news story. This was not a news paper headline.. I don't think it even made the back pages of the local paper.
I heard about it in my writing class. It was an awful thing to hear. My mind and attention immediately left the reader and went to the dog. I pictured it going from window to window, pawing at the glass, trying to get out. It was going from back to front, licking the window, looking for air, panting frantically, needing water.The temperature rising baking the poor animal like a pig on a spit, but the pig is always dead, The dog wan't dead, it was dying. It was dying a horrible death. It was locked in a hot car. The temperature rising. 100 degrees, 110 degrees, 120 degrees, 130 degrees 140 degrees...When did it die? How much did it suffer? I was oblivious to the reader. I had shut her out. My mind, my heart and my soul was with the dog. Who would do this?
The class prompt was "where are you?" The writer was feeling sorry for herself. Her nephew had fallen from a car and had been killed. Someone in the family had left the Golden Retriever in the car and had forgotten it.
What kind of family was this The writer wrote and read her words with with absolutely no emotion. My mind was screaming "my god lady, do you know what you just wrote"? Where are your feelings, your heart, your soul, your life.? Are you really dead and no one has told you yet?
A boy died a tragic death. A dog died a horrible death. You wrote about these events the same as you would describe the time of day. You want to write? Are you kidding? If you are ever going to be writer you had better develop some feelings. You teach music. Do only teach dirges? If you are going to write you had better learn to write words that are "hummable".