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

Posts tagged ‘children’s literature’

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mix a little foolishness with your prudence. It’s good to be silly at the right moment.

~Horace~

Mom likes to laugh. Mostly, she laughs at me. But she also laughs when she reads picture books.

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She says, “GAH! That was hilarious!” and “Some stories are just SO funny.” and “It’s a bike rack. How can you possibly be afraid of a bike rack??”

bikerack

Making humor in her books is part of Mom’s job. It’s important to make her readers laugh, while not looking like she’s trying too hard. …even though she’s really trying very, VERY hard. Mom says, “That’s what I call a smile.”

nail trim

and “I love a dog in a shopping cart.”

cart

and “It’s always a delicate balance.”

Don't I know it!

Don’t I know it!

Some books that made Mom smile lately are: Gaston, Pardon Me, Monster Chefs, Shoe Dog, I Hatched, Zombie in Love, How to Babysit a Grandpa, Little Santa, and about a million others.

She also gets a giggle from me in my Halloween witch costume.

hatwitch headupwitch

And my tutu.

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Did you laugh today?

Countdown Wednesday

123

It’s a new season around here. Fall. Also known as Autumn. Also known as Pumpkin-Freaks-Are- Everywhere-Trying-To-Kill-Me.

fallstuff2

They’re watching me…aren’t they? *shiver*

Today, we’re counting down about seasons.

What I Know About Seasons

3. Napping. Something I like about fall is that it’s still warm and sunny enough for street naps and sun-puddle naps. I love a good nap.

sunsquiggle

2. Next. The next season will be winter. That means jackets (Mmmm. Toasty.)

snow1

and boots (*gulp*)

and snow (Yikes! I hope it doesn’t touch my belly!).

snow3pink

1. Halloween. Fall is Halloween time. ‘Nuff said.

turtledogdevildog

What Mom Knows About Seasons

3. 9-Months. Fall means Mom is 9 months into her 12×12 challenge. She could’ve had a baby in all that time. Maybe a book-baby…?

bookbabies

2. Visiting. Back-to-School-Season means Back-to-School-Visits-Season. I’m still not allowed to go along, but I’m getting better at watching and waiting for Mom to come home.

hoping

1. Clothes. Sweaters and sweatshirts are warm and cozy and Mom will wear them a lot this season. Ditto boots and jackets. I sure hope Mom can walk better in her boots than I do in mine.

boots

Help me….

Otherwise, no matter how many book-babies she has, she’ll never even make it to a school visit!

sweatshirt

Rules

Rules are everywhere. At the park, it’s “No dogs on the track.”

track

So I get as close as I can without breaking the rule.

track2

Sometimes, Mom flat-out makes up rules in her head like, “Don’t eat the acorns.”

acorn

and “Keep out of the mud.”

mud

and “GAH! That stick is too big to carry!”

giantstick

And her all-time favorite “No sleeping in the street!”

squiggle

Most days, Mom has rules to follow in her writing. There are word count rules, and the rule of three, the rule of thinking with pictures in your head, and the rule of playing with wonderful words. And then there’s don’t make the book too quiet and don’t hit the kids over the head with a lesson, but do have fabulous characters with their own special voices and do surprise everyone with a twist at the end.

huh

Whew! That’s a LOT of rules…

Mom says, “Rules are important. ” and “The world would be mayhem without rules.” and her other all-time favorite, “Rules are made to be broken!” Wait. What?

Streetnap!

OK, then – it’s time for a streetnap!

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I like lunch. I don’t officially eat lunch, but Mom does. And once in a while she shares it with me. I’m not allowed to beg, but sometimes (every single day), that rule accidentally gets broken and Mom says the word, “No human food” just before she gives me a tiny taste.

beg

I do not believe there is a huge difference between human food and dog food. Yummy and delicious is yummy and delicious, no matter what the container looks like.

purinapasta

Mom likes to use “short, easy words” just like Winnie the Pooh. And most of the time, that’s exactly what she uses when she writes stories AND when she talks to me. She says, “Sit” not “Ensconce yourself”

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and “Down” not “Move towards a lower position”

down

and “Fetch” not “Pick up and deliver.” I understand these small words and they do the job well…. except when they don’t.

Huh??

Fetch? Huh??

In stories, it’s not about the size of the word. It’s more about what the word really says and whether the word needs help from another word to say what it needs to say. This is especially true with verbs, which I think are something like burps. Better to say, “Trudge” than “Walk slowly with head down” and better to say, “Chomp” than “Eat quickly and noisily” and better to say, “Whisper” than “Speak softly in hushed tones.”

So in an effort to keep things short and precise, I would like to say, “Gimme some!”

cupcakes

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.

badge

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

hiding1

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.

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??!

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