Stories go a long way from start to (hopefully) finish.
Mom’s first book went from this…
December 12 is my Gotcha Day. You can read my Gotcha story here . We celebrated with ice cream. Mom made me a doggie yogurt ice cream pop with a cookie handle.
I went from this…
Change is good.
Today, the park was chock full of surprises. I chased a butterfly whose name was Don’t-You-Dare. I tried to eat a bottle cap, which tasted like sand. I ran in circles on the baseball field till Mom was dizzy and my feet and legs turned brown from kicking up dirt. And I even saw a purple jelly bean and a cigar butt.
After all that excitement, I cooled off on a pile of dirt in the shade of a bench.
Mom got a super-fun surprise last week. Back when she was studying in her Making Picture Book Magic class, she wrote a story called What If I Don’t. Her teacher, Susanna, and all of her online classmates helped her and encouraged her while she worked on it. She also brought it to her writing group called DavidLaurieandOtherDavid. They said, “Fix this, change that, move this, cut that, let’s have more coffee.” Last week, Mom got a contract for her story from MeeGenius! What If I Don’t is going to be Mom’s first ever eBook! Surprise!
MeeGenius is a free app with tons and tons of cute books for kids to read on the iPad and iPhone. Pages turn with a swipe, and there’s also a Read to Me option, in case you’re like me and can’t read.
Mom, I don’t think these glasses are working….
Picture books should have about 500 words. Not 700, not 900, and NOT 1,075!! Mom dug out (from inside her computer) an old story of hers called Mail for Jessica. She always thought this would be her official Book #2. Waaaay back then, when picture books were about 1,000 words, Mom framed the manuscript and hung it up because she was THAT sure it would be snapped up and published any minute.
Cut to a hundred million years later (yesterday), and that big, overgrown story is still hanging unpublished on the wall and still sitting unpublished inside the Dropbox. Mom said, “It’s too long!” and “There are so many words I don’t need.” and “Where’s your stuffed watermelon?”
Just like people and dogs, picture books should have only what they NEED. That’s what makes a story tight and fresh and filled with possibilities for success.
Mom needs her ice pack for a little while each day. She says she does NOT need my bony head on her sore leg.
Sometimes, cutting out the extra stuff isn’t as easy as it sounds…..
It’s FINALLY spring around here – complete with warm air and tulips at the park. Actually there are some crazy thunderstorms and flash floods, too. Next stop – Butterflies.
Soon it will FINALLY be tennis season. Actually, I don’t play and Mom doesn’t either, but I’m pretty sure that other people do. I have a tennis dress and a tennis ball, so I will look good while I’m not playing.
Next stop – Mom will probably try to teach me to hold a racket.
And by the way… FINALLY, Mom has Book #2 out for people to read.
Actually, it’s not the Book #2 she was hoping for. It’s her story in Humpty Dumpty Magazine! They made it the May/June Build a Book Activity.
When kids tear out the page and follow the directions – cut the dotted lines / fold the solid lines – bing, bang, boom, Book #2. Yay!
Next stop – Book #3. Wait. What??
I have received some awards, and would like to thank the people who gave them to me (finally). I have learned that being a blogger made me part of a big, giant, always-growing blogging family of friends, and I LOVE that. If you are reading this and you would like to share any of my awards, please grab the badge and go for it. If you don’t do awards, and would just like to share a smile, see something different, or learn something new – take a minute to visit these special blogs.
My friends at Collies of the Meadow awarded me the Blog of the Year Award. I could add another star to my former badge, if Mom could figure out how. Those collies make so much mischief, they may have stolen the stars. (Ginger is like that, sometimes…) To see the rules for this award, click here.
My friend at Another Boomer Blog gave me the Sunshine Award. She always shows me interesting, unusual photographs (sometimes with Duke, Lou, or Augie). She has such a great eye. Click here to see my answers to the Sunshine questions.
My deep-thinking, profound friend at Wiley’s Wisdom surprised me with a new award, that I never had before. Leave it to Wiley to dig up something brand new – The WordPress Family Blogging Award. Since then, I have also been awarded this honor by SIX more of my cyberfriends. That proves that this is a big family and it keeps growing and growing! Thanks to Granny and Little B. at AngelsWhisper, Chelsea at JennyMac Book Blog, the whole zoo at DogDaz, Buddy, Basil, Nutty, and Nibbles at Hutch A Good Life, Savannah at Savannah’s Paw Tracks and Sue at Kid-Lit Reviews. You all bring us tons of smiles and giggles and great information.
Thanks, friends! xoxo
It snowed again the other day. Just when we were getting ready for spring, and the flowers were starting to grow, snow tried to crush them! But those flowers are tough. They will keep trying.
I used to know how to bowl with 10 water bottles. Then Mom bought me bowling pins and I forgot what to do.
She practices with me a lot. Even though I still get confused, I’m tough. I will keep trying.
Mom writes, revises, and submits stories all the time. Some get rejected, some get ignored, and some get lost in the slush pile forever. Last week, she got a happy letter and sent a happy contract.
It’s not Book #2, but one of Mom’s stories will be published in Humpty Dumpty Magazine in May. We’re excited and happy to have an acceptance! But for Book #2, she’ll have to keep trying.
Last week, we reached 10,000 views on our blog. I’m not much with the math, but 10,000 seems like a lot, seeing as how Mom only lets me post once or twice a week. I am excited that so many people and pets wanted to see what we were up to.
Of course, about 9,000 of the views were probably Mom, looking for mistakes and reading comments and stuff. She is my biggest fan. I am her biggest fan, too!
A long time ago, Mom got a fan letter from a little girl who read one of her poems in Spider Magazine. The little girl said that Mom’s poem made her laugh.
I’d like to say Mom was excited about the fan letter, but excited doesn’t even begin to express how she felt. That letter was her favorite piece of mail of her life, until she got the contract for her first book years and years later.
Even though Mom’s book had a ton of good reviews and won The Moonbeam Award, she has never received a fan letter from any of her readers. She has lots of thank you letters from the kids at the schools she visited…
….but no fan letters.
If I could write, I’d send her one, but paws aren’t much good with a pencil.
Thanks to all my fans for visiting Cupcake Speaks. Every Visit, every Comment, and every Like feels like a fan letter to me!! xoxo
Today, we’re counting down Our Year in Review.
My Highlights in 2012
3. My picture was in a book! Chuck Sambuchino wrote a political humor book called Red Dog / Blue Dog, and he used my picture to illustrate one of the pages! I looked adorable.
2. I learned how to dance. Mom taught me to twirl around on my hind feet for a cookie.
1. I forgot how to bowl! I learned bowling using empty water bottles…..
But then Santa brought me a bowling set, and I have no idea how to bowl. So I just take a pin and bring it on the couch.
16. I found some bread that the birds dropped in front of my house. It was delicious!
Mom’s Highlights in 2012
3. Mom’s story Fly Fishing was in the final issue of Stories for Children Magazine in November. There was no dog in the story, but there was a trout.
2. Mom’s story Waiting for Petey was in the November/December issue of Turtle Magazine. there was no dog in the story, but there was a teddy bear (I love teddy bears).
1. NWEA bought Mom’s poem Talking Goldfish to use in their online test prep program. There was no dog in the poem, but there was a fish.
42. Humpty Dumpty Magazine is holding Mom’s story Show and Tell Surprise for possible publication in the May/June 2013 issue. There was no dog in the story, but there was a hermit crab.
67. Mom completed 3 challenges this year – 12x12in’12 (3 of her 12 stories featured a dog), PiBoIdMo (9 of her 30 ideas are about dogs), and Goodreads. (about 30 of the 214 books she read had a dog in them).
2012 is in the rear view mirror. Bring on 2013. Happy New Year!
Something strange arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m worn out from the wondering,
tuckered out from the thinking….
It’s not a rejection, because Mom didn’t put it into the shredder (to destroy the Karma). It’s not a bill, because Mom didn’t get online (and mumble) and pay it. It’s not a catalog, because she didn’t order me ( or herself) a new dress or toy.
Is it…? Could it be…? It IS! It’s an acceptance from Turtle Magazine.
They are buying one of Mom’s stories! Yay! The contract is signed and ready to go, and the letter is hanging on the bulletin board. It’s not Book #2, but it’s an acceptance, and we LOVE that! Look for Mom’s story, Waiting For Petey in the November/December issue of Turtle Magazine for Preschool Kids. That’s if you can find a copy. Mom might go mental with excitement and buy them all herself.
I wonder if Turtle Magazine tastes as delicious as the rent bill…..
Speaking of delicious things … and happy things, I’d like to thank our friends at DogDaz for giving us another Addictive Blog award, and our friend Chelsea at The Jenny Mac Book Blog for saying we’re Lovely again. Both these blogs are fun to laugh with and learn from. See more about these awards here and here.
Things always work out even-steven for me. If I lose a ball, I find another one on the field. If I accidentally eat the wing off my stuffed chicken, Mom buys me a stuffed goose.
Sometimes I fall off the chair. Other times I fall off the couch. Sometimes, I’m naughty, and sometimes I’m super-cuddly. Even-steven.
Mom was even-steven yesterday. Early in the morning, she got an acceptance for her story Too Many Pets from Stories for Children Online Magazine. She printed it out, hung it up on her bulletin board, and said, “Yay!” and “Yay!” and “No, you may NOT eat the thumb tacks.”
Then the mailman brought her an envelope from Highlights Magazine. Mom said, “I bet this is another acceptance!” and “We’re on a roll!” and “Yay!” Then she opened it (insert dramatic music here). I was hoping she would take out the box of thumb tacks (which I’m DYING to taste), to hang it up next to the other one, but nope. No hanging, no tacks, …no yay.
Mom said, “Bummer.” and “Rejection.” and “At least she personalized it with a little note.”
Sometimes, even-steven stinks! But not for me! Later I plan on being super-cuddly….