Living with a children's author isn't as easy as it looks!

Five Word Friday

If you know me, you know I’m afraid of lots of things – golf carts, ladders, airplanes, soccer players, election signs, solar panels, and balloons to name a few…. Today’s 5 words are about FEAR.

1. Vocabulary – You should never be afraid of words. Mom is using a ton of new vocabulary in her Lyrical Language Lab. Words like: iamb, meter, dactyl, trochee, and anapest (anaPEST! That’s my name sometimes.)…

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The words scared Mom at first, but when she learned about them, they helped her. I know a lot of words, too. Mostly: treat, dinner, park, out, ice cream, and naughty.

squiggle

2. Fixing up – Mom fixes me up with the Fur-min-a-tor brush. When I’m afraid of the brush, I run around in circles until Mom is too dizzy to un-fur me. Mom works a lot on fixing up her stories after she writes them. She says, “Too long.” and “Too boring.” and “OMG! Where does all this hair come from??”

Blah. Blah. Blah. Where's my treat?

Blah. Blah. Blah. Where’s my treat?

3. Ticking – Mom uses a timer to help me wait for my dinner. She soaks my food in water for a half hour because I don’t like to chew. The clock ticks the whole time, and when it rings, my kibbles are soft enough to eat. The timer is TERRIFYING!

clock

I won’t stay in the room alone with it, so as soon as it’s set, I get next to Mom and follow her like a shadow. The clock is also ticking for Mom to finish her August 12×12 manuscript. She is studying so much at her 2 summer schools that the story is slowing down. Tick. Tick. Tick. *shiver*

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4. Characters – I am always trying to be a character in one of Mom’s stories. A few times I made it, but nobody bought the stories, so I’m afraid you’ll never read about me.

bunny

I’m changing my look so Mom will write about me again, after she finishes studying characters at Kidlit Summer School.

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5. HidingHiding is a good strategy for when you’re afraid. Always get where nobody will see you and stay still.

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I’ll be fine here. I’m pretty sure I’m invisible….

 

Mom can’t hide her summer school work. Both of her teachers say, “Now put your homework on the Facebook page.” Mom says, “I hope this is right.” and “I can’t wait to see what my classmates did.” and “Where are you?”

sheet hiding

Invisible.

Unthinkable!

This is incredible! Unbelievable! Mind-boggling! Unthinkable! Inconceivable! It’s… it’s…. it’s… Summer School times TWO!

visualizewriting2

 

Mom is smack in the middle of Kidlit Summer School

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and all of a sudden on August 1st Lyrical Language Lab started up.

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Do you see what’s happening here? She’s studying TWO summer schools at once! Reading stories, writing stories, reading poems, writing poems. It’s out of control!

bookpile

You’re probably wondering what I’m doing while all this reading and writing and writing and reading is going on. Nuthin’ that’s what.

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I just wait…

sleeping4

and wait…

sleeping2

and wait.

sleeping

For a whole HOUR – which feels like 2 hours or 8 hours or 67 hours. Ugh! Thank goodness Mom still sets the clock for her writing time, so when her iPad chimes, she can play with me again.

Anybody want to throw the squeaky corn on the cob toy? Anybody...?

Anybody want to throw the squeaky corn on the cob toy? Anybody…?

After what seems like 975 hours, we finally get to walk around outside, go to the park…

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and on Saturday (AFTER summer school), we even went to work at the Veteran’s Home so I could see all my old soldier friends and make them smile.

va camo

 

Mom says, “I’m learning a lot.” and “School is fun.” and I say, “When the heck is summer VACATION!!??”

bathing suit 2

 

 

 

Weekend Trouble

Weekends are for resting and chilling. Also riding in the car and playing with friends and walking at the park and going on the swings.

Weekends make me happy.

smiley

This is my happy face.

There is no “writing time” on the weekends. No work allowed.

swing

This is also my happy face.

But all of a sudden, Mom is on the computer – burning daylight – reading and writing and printing and talking out loud to herself. badge Apparently there’s Summer School on Saturday and Sunday! Including homework and Facebook work! And I have to “stay quiet” and “be a good girl.” Wait. What? Huh??

huh

This is all wrong in at least 9 ways. Mom said, “It’ll only take a few minutes.” and “I will bang this out in no time.” and “Yes, that’s the doorknob. And no, I’m not ready to go.”

doorknob

How the heck does this thing work?

Summer Learning

There has been some learning going on around here lately. Mom taught me the word, “Roll over.” It’s something like, “Down.” But more squiggly and flippy and thumpy and spinny. At first, Mom grabbed as many of my little legs as she could and twisted them like spaghetti till she got me upside down. Then I learned to tuck my back legs under and make myself turn to stone, so she couldn’t roll me. tucked under Eventually, she learned to show me a treat which made me melt into submission. That is called Learning. Plus Bribery. Mom said, “Whatever works.” and “By the time you learn this, you’ll be too fat to do it.” and “I need a break.” Then she made a s’more and didn’t share it with me. smore Mom will be learning around here, too. She joined Summer School! badge She’ll be studying online with two amazing teachers, a talented group of guest teachers, and a Facebook group filled with classmates. In Summer School, she’ll think up new characters. Then, she’ll grab their little legs and twist them like spaghetti till they squiggle, flip, thump, and spin. squiggle Then she’ll make a story about them. The bribery won’t work, so she’ll have to read a lot of posts, talk to herself, pay attention to her teachers, and be inspired. After that, she’ll probably make a s’more and not share it with me.

Seriously??!

Seriously??!

Every first draft is perfect because all a first draft has to do is exist.

~Jane Smiley~

Mom said the word, “Thank God!” about this quote. In her 12×12 in 2014 challenge, Mom writes a new first draft every month. So far she is keeping up, staying ahead, and getting it done.

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She says, “This is cute.” and “Almost finished.” and “It needs some work, but that’s for another time.”

Recently, Mom took me to the bagel cafe to have breakfast at the outdoor patio.

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Last summer, we tried this, but I went berserk. I kept trying to pull Mom’s arm out of the socket and kiss the waitress, I was afraid of a motorcycle zooming past and people window shopping across the street, and instead of drinking from the water dish they gave me, I sat in it.

This time, I was better.

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I sat on my Park It Mat, watched people and cars go by, and didn’t beg….

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…. too much.

Mom said, “You did it.” and “Good job.” and “This still needs some work, but that’s for another time.”

Are you going to finish that....?

Are you going to finish that….?

Rules and Regulations

“Let’s take a walk,” she said. “It’ll be fun,” she said.

*gulp*

*gulp*

“What are you ‘fraid of?” she said.

 

Really?

Really?

This week, we had to mail in the annual paperwork for me to be a therapy dog. Mom and I took a walk to the mailbox (and by “walk” I mean she dragged me past the cat on a bike, a ladder, and a couple of garden gnomes who I’m pretty sure were trying to kill me).

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Mailing in my information form, shot record, and license is a rule.

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If I don’t follow the rules, I can’t do my work at the Veteran’s Home and the library. Following rules is important.

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Mom follows rules when she sends in her stories. She was about to enter the MeeGenius Author Challenge,

meegenius blue

but by the 99th time she read over the rules to be sure she was doing everything right, she saw that she can’t enter because she is already a MeeGenius published author!

ebookcover with border

Mom said, “GAH!” and “Whew!” and “That was close.” She changed her plan and instead of entering the contest, she submitted her story to MeeGenius the regular way. So hope is still alive.

Mom also reads the rules 99 times every month when she submits to an agent in her 12×12 Challenge. She says, “The rules are the rules for a reason.” and “I don’t want this person to think I’m an idiot.” and “OMG. You look like an idiot!”

firecracker head

Is there something on my head…?

Here I am – at the beach!

sand

There’s sand and sun and sand and sand and sun….

sand field

And fences and bases and benches and grass. Wait! What? This isn’t the beach. It’s the baseball field at the park.

sand fence

It sure seemed like the beach, though…. I guess I should’ve asked more questions before I got into the car.

car

Mom asks her characters questions when she’s writing. I know because she asks them out loud. She needs to know their strengths and weaknesses, favorite things and pet peeves, best friends and secret thoughts. Sometimes characters seem perfect for Mom’s story, but then, when she gets to know them better, she cuts them because they just plain don’t work. Sometimes, they fit better in a different story, so Mom moves them. Or saves them for the future. Once in a while, they change the course of the story they’re in, by not behaving the way Mom thought they would. Characters can be tricky like that.

Things are not always what they seem. When I lived in a cage, Mom thought I was too small, too old, too nervous, and just all wrong for her. Turns out, I’m perfect.

perfect

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