Ah, the humble domino. Do you remember the little box containing a set of Double-Six dominoes made of wood? As a kid, I didn’t figure there were that many things you could do with them. A game was short–and, I thought, childish, like a super-simplified matching game. The most fun a person could have would be lining them all up and knocking them over. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrt as they fell, one at a time, until the last one went down. You could even make them go around curves, if you did it right!
They explained these weren’t the dominoes I remembered. That sets now went to Double-Fifteen (and beyond). That they were now made of ivory (or more likely resin). That you could play several different games with a set, like Mexican Train or Muggins.
This I had to see.
To my surprise, I found I enjoyed the new dominoes. Not enough to buy a set for our house, mind you, but enough to keep from eye-rolling when dominoes won out as the chosen party game.
But that’s not the kind of domino that sticks most in my mind. When I began brainstorming the first book in my Green Acres series, I decided to include a border collie. The puppy needed a name, and what better than Domino?
My as-yet-unsold novel Domino’s Game is about a nutritionist hooked on locally grown food, who tries to resist the junk food addict next door, but his dog and a mouse invasion throw them together. (This turned into my first solo published novel, Raspberries and Vinegar.)
Yes, as I got deeper and deeper into writing the story, Domino’s role grew until, in the end, the novel was named after him.
When I prepared one-sheets for conference, I asked my friend Cathy West for permission to use this photo of her pup, Noah, as a stand-in for Domino. Isn’t he adorable?