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.
This is my happy face.
There is no “writing time” on the weekends. No work allowed.
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. 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??
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.”
How the heck does this thing work?
Every first draft is perfect because all a first draft has to do is exist.
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.
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.
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.
I sat on my Park It Mat, watched people and cars go by, and didn’t beg….
…. 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….?
“Let’s take a walk,” she said. “It’ll be fun,” she said.
“What are you ‘fraid of?” she said.
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).
Mailing in my information form, shot record, and license is a rule.
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.
Mom follows rules when she sends in her stories. She was about to enter the MeeGenius Author Challenge,
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!
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!”
Is there something on my head…?
Here I am – at the beach!
There’s sand and sun and sand and sand and sun….
And fences and bases and benches and grass. Wait! What? This isn’t the beach. It’s the baseball field at the park.
It sure seemed like the beach, though…. I guess I should’ve asked more questions before I got into the 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.
Being out and about is awesome. When I’m out in the world, out of my comfort zone, I see things I wouldn’t see at home.
Vet parking lot… Wait! What??
I smell things I never smell at home.
Hmmm… Smells like….
And if I pay attention and turn my head just so, I hear things I don’t hear at home.
Out and about is different – in a good way. It’s exciting!
This week, Mom’s first ever ebook What If I Don’t? was published at MeeGenius.
She can’t frame it
or autograph it, and she can’t put a pile of them in her bag for a school visit. She’s a little out of her comfort zone with her ebook out there in the cyber-world. It’s different – in a good way. It’s exciting!
If you want to see (buy) Mom’s new ebook, you can download the free MeeGenius App from the App Store and look for it in New Releases. Or you can put “What If I Don’t?” or “Genevieve Petrillo” into the search box. You can also see (buy) it at meegenius.com.
If you want to see me at the vet – forget it. You’re too late. I was poked, prodded, stuck, squeezed, checked, and double-checked from teeth to tail. I’m back in my comfort zone.
It’s important for writers to have ideas. Lots of ideas! Mom saves her ideas in her phone, so she never feels blank or blocked or blah or bummed.
She types in plot ideas, character ideas, names, settings, situations, and titles whenever they pop into her head. Some of them come to life easily, and Mom chooses them for her stories. Some of them get left behind and probably won’t get selected. …unless they start looking good tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next month….
At the pet store there are millions of chew sticks, rawhide chips, and bones.
I look and sniff, but never choose any of them.
I’m so excited to see them and smell them that my tiny brain doesn’t even know what to do.
Mom chooses for me. She doesn’t choose the sticks, chips, or bones because apparently, I am too lazy to chew them. But after I get my nails trimmed, she picks a packge of treats for me.
Also a toy. And sometimes a dress
or a coat
or a sun hat.
Someday, I hope the sticks, chips, and bones will look good to Mom. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next month…..
Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin. Robert Collier
Visualizing is an important part of a writer’s journey. Mom always visualized opening a letter of acceptance. She walked herself through every bit of how it would feel. The envelope – the weight of it, the uncertainty – that wiggly feeling in the tummy, the zipping it open – the rough edges, and the finally knowing – somebody said yes. Over and over for years and years, she saw it, felt it, and believed it. But guess what. When her first story was sold, no letter came. Her publisher called her on the phone and left a message! That being said, Mom still visualizes getting an acceptance letter. Over and over. Every detail. Every single day. She says, “This will happen.” and “It can’t hurt.” and “What is going on in that tiny brain of yours?”
What time is dinner?
I visualize, too, of course.
What time is dinner?
I see and feel and believe in tons of treats, piles of toys, long walks, and playtime that never ends. My mental blueprint shows how I will get onto the table, into the garbage, out the window, and through the door. My brain may be tiny, but it’s busy all the time. Visualizing…..
What time is dinner?
Mom likes sharing. She shares her stories with kids of all ages, every time she goes to an author visit.
She also shares her new stories with agents and editors . Sometimes she shares poems and ideas with her friends.
Whenever my friend Lila comes to see me, I share my toys with her and she shares her mom with me. Whenever we visit the veterans’ home, Mom shares me with the old soldiers who miss their old pets.
And Mom even shares me with the kids at the library when we work at Read-to-a-Pet-Night.
Who wants to read me a story?
On Sundays, Mom sends my picture in to the local weather lady, who shares it with the viewing audience for Big Dog Sunday on TV.
Every Wednesday night, Mom helps me take an #idolselfie to send in to American Idol.
JLo, Harry, and me! #idolselfie
She thinks it’s time to share me with a bigger audience. They haven’t put me on Idol so far, but we’re hopeful.
If Mom ever gets the elusive Book #2 published, she will share with a bigger audience. Nothing, so far, but we’re hopeful.
Mom has two author visits coming up. One this week and one next week. Both are call-backs, so she kind of knows what to expect. One thing she expects is fun! Rejection is the downside of writing. School visits are the upside AND her most favorite thing about being an author. Bar none.
Fifth graders and college students make for very different visits, which means Mom will pack up her school visit stuff TWICE. I love when Mom packs up her bag.
Sometimes there are candies in there. Or gum. Or tissues. And sometimes stuffed toys, depending on where she’s visiting. I ALWAYS check the bag out, just in case.
Once I found (and ran with) a smaller bag from inside the bigger bag. It had a fork, a beanie baby, a paintbrush, and a baseball inside. Mom said, “I need them for a game.” and “You wouldn’t understand.” and “Eeeewww. They’re slimy with dog spit!”
Although I love the bag, I hate the leaving. Why does every upside need a downside? When Mom says, “I have to go,” I hear the word GO and head for the door.
She says, “Not this time.” and “I’ll be back in a little while.” and “Do you want a treat?” which is EXACTLY what I want. And that’s how the downside becomes the upside again.
Spring is almost here. I mean it’s here on the calendar, but in real life, not so much. Mom and I look for flowers outside, but we’re not seeing a whole lot.
Almost there…not quite…
The grass is still kind of brownish and slime-ish in spots. And the wind still turns my ears upside down.
Also, the rain has Mom bringing out my raincoat every couple of days. April showers and all that….
Real, actual spring – street nap spring – takes longer to happen, I guess.
Stories take longer than expected sometimes, too. The calendar says we’re 10 days into the month, but we’re not seeing much of Mom’s April manuscript. The idea is still brownish and slime-ish, and wind and rain in Mom’s head are slowing down the progress. Her ears aren’t upside down or anything, but I’m hearing an awful lot of “Here we go.” and not an awful lot of, “Yay. I’m finished.”
I think the rain wetting the soil and the wind flying the seeds all around are putting down the groundwork for the real season.
This is definitely a sign of spring…
Like the rain and the wind, mind-writing and planning are putting down the groundwork for Mom’s story. The daffodils are starting to pop. I hope Mom’s story will pop soon, too.