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

Posts tagged ‘ideas’

Difficult

Going to the vet is difficult. Once we’re in, Mom won’t let me leave, no matter how terrified I look…

vetscared

or how hard I stare out the door.

vetdoor

Hiding under the high metal table doesn’t help.

vethiding

So it’s shots, blood stealing, poking, squeezing, feeling, listening, looking, and checking. Whew! Of course there are some cuddles and kisses and treats along the way, too.

For Mom, finishing a story is difficult. Not the actual finishing – once she imagines and writes herself to that point, the ending just happens. But then it gets tough because it’s time to get a new idea to start a new story.

lightbulb

Mom starts to wonder if she’ll ever get another idea as long as she lives. What if nothing starts cooking in her head? Ever. GAH! Thank goodness she has her idea list in her phone. After she worries for a little while, she does some poking, squeezing, feeling, listening, looking, and checking. Whew! Of course there are some cuddles and kisses and treats along the way, too.

cuddle

Eventually, she picks a few things from the list, mish-moshes them together, mind-writes for a while, and she’s back on her way imagining and writing her way towards the next ending!

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Wait! What? Does this mean I have to go back to the vet AGAIN?

bedhiding

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.

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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!”

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

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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!

Taking Your Time

Mom has to take her time when she makes a story. It’s OK to write it quickly, but then comes the hard work, which is revising, and that part is slow. Fixing the word choices in poems or stories makes the right mood and the right voice and the right feel. In her Lyrical Language Lab Class, Mom learned to look again at every word in a story to make it sound better and flow better without slowing the story down or going off on a tangent.

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Sometimes I get off on a tangent when I’m checking my pee-mail.

sniffing

When I’m sniffing out a message, I will say, “This is from my friend, Mocha.” and “I wish I could jump on his head right now.” and “His mom always says the furs on my head are soft.” and “My squirrel toy is really soft.”

squirrel

and “I wonder if that laughing monkey toy is out of the toy box waiting for me.”

monkey

and “Squirrels look like monkeys running around in the trees.” and “Trees are…..”

monkey cuddle

And then Mom says, “Let’s go.” and “Let’s GO!” and “LET’S GO!!” Apparently, sniffing the same blade of grass all day is not an option for me.

still sniffing

I am learning to take my time when I eat my dinner. I didn’t learn it in Lyrical Language Lab – it’s because of my new slow-feeder bowl!

Inspirational Quote of the Week

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….?

Picking and Choosing

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.

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.

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I look and sniff, but never choose any of them.

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I’m so excited to see them and smell them that my tiny brain doesn’t even know what to do.

rawhide

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.

dental chews

Also a toy. And sometimes a dress

peace dress

or a coat

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or a sun hat.

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Someday, I hope the sticks, chips, and bones will look good to Mom. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next month…..

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin. Robert Collier

visualize 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. mailbox But guess what. When her first story was sold, no letter came. Her publisher called her on the phone and left a message! phone 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?”

thinking

What time is dinner?

I visualize, too, of course.

What time is dinner?

What time is dinner?

I see and feel and believe in tons of treats, piles of toys, toys long walks, and playtime that never ends. walking   My mental blueprint shows how I will get onto the table, into the garbage, out the window, and through the door. photo 3 My brain may be tiny, but it’s busy all the time. Visualizing…..

What time is dinner?

What time is dinner?

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.
Mary Kay Ash

I would like to fly. Sometimes, I fly around my house – from the floor to the bed and from the ottoman to the sofa and from the chair to the door.

flying

But I’m not allowed to fly outside. If I could, I’d fly up into the trees to catch birds and squirrels.

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They are up there laughing at me, so flying would come in handy to put a stop to that.

Mom writes picture books. But sometimes, she goes outside her comfort zone to write other things. Once she wrote a non-fiction story, but she hated it – ALMOST as much as she hated doing the research for it. She said, “This is too much like work.” and “I dread writing time.” and “You cannot climb a tree – you’re a dog, not a bear.”

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Last weekend, Mom wrote a song. Her friend needed a little pre-k song for graduation, so Mom made it up and sang it out loud to herself over and over and over and over and over. She said, “That was easier than I thought.” and “I didn’t know I could write a song.” and “You cannot climb a tree – you’re a dog, not a bear.”

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Sometimes we need to go out of our comfort zones and TRY to see what we really can do. Mom is no Paul McCartney, but she wrote a song. I may not be a bear, but if Mom would unclip my leash for 5 seconds, I think I can climb a tree. After all, bumblebees fly….

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