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. 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. Mom will be learning around here, too. She joined Summer School! 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. 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.
Posts tagged ‘school’
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.
Last week, Mom did an author visit.
It wasn’t the usual visit with little tiny kids or even one of the visits with medium sized kids. It was a COLLEGE author visit! Mom spoke to a class of future teachers who are learning about literacy. She was a little bit afraid that they’d beat her up and steal her lunch money, but they didn’t. They were so smart and super nice and were an absolutely wonderful audience.
They asked lots of good questions. Actual questions! Nobody asked any of those random non-questions like, “Once my daddy grew a mustache.” or “My neighbor painted her house purple.” or “If my dog eats too fast he burps.” Mom had a ton of fun. Even though she was a little bit afraid, she was glad she said yes and didn’t miss this amazing opportunity.
I went on a visit last week, too. It was therapy pet day at the veteran’s home.
I always feel a little bit afraid when I first get there. Sometimes, my tiny brain forgets what’s going to happen.
But then when I go in, everyone is super nice. They ask lots of good questions, just like the college students did. They say, “Who’s this little fellow?” (even though I’m a girl) and “Aren’t you cute?” and “Do you want to sit on my lap?” They’re a great audience, and nobody beat me up or stole my lunch money.
I did have an issue with a giant chef. Every time I come to the VA, I cuddle with all the patients, but I stay as far away from the giant chef as possible. I’m pretty sure he’s trying to kill me. And cook me. And eat me.
Today’s five words are about autumn.
1. Leaves – Leaves are falling everywhere. Some of them are dull and brown. Some are gorgeous and brightly colored. They remind Mom of ideas. Ideas come in all shades, too. Some are brilliant. Some crumble when you touch them.
2. Cool – Mornings and nights have been cool lately. Sweater weather for sure.
3. Ready – Fall reminds us that winter is coming. We need to be ready. Mom is getting ready for PiBoIdMo. It’s a whole month when she has to write down a new picture book idea every single day. She’ll type them into her phone, and then try to make each one into a story.
4. School – Kids go back to school in the fall. That means I go back to working at Read-To-A-Pet-Night at the library. Sometimes, Mom and I listen to 7 or 8 stories. Some are awesome. Some are …meh.
5. Halloween – Halloween is in the fall. Mom got me 2 costumes. One of them is a turtle costume. We used to have a turtle named Leave-the-Turtle-Alone. I hope Mom doesn’t change my name to Leave-the-Dog-Alone. That would be too lonely!
Today, we’re counting down some favorites. My friend, Little Binky gave me the idea when we were both nominated for the Favorite Things Award. Thanks, Little B. and Granny!
For this award, all we have to do is tell 6 of our favorite things, and then pass the award on. Feel free to take the badge and tell 6 of your favorite things if you haven’t already done that.
My Favorite Things
6. Bacon treats. Or chicken. Or liver. Or beef. Or cheese…..
5. Stuffed toys. I don’t always tear them up. Only sometimes….
4. The park. I love swinging, walking, sitting, sniffing, eating things from the ground when Mom isn’t looking, and people watching – especially little-kid-people.
3. The car. Every road trip is a good road trip.
2. Street naps. The hotter the better.
1. Sun puddles. Aaahhhh…..
Mom’s Favorite Books to Read Aloud When She Was a Teacher
6. The Trumpet of the Swan
5. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
4. All About Sam
3. All the Money in the World
2. Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake
1. The Chocolate Touch
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
I use my imagination a lot. Mostly I imagine things that are trying to kill me and then I try to hide from them. Mom drags me near them to show me that they’re not dangerous. That makes me shiver. Sometimes, she picks me up and carries me, but sometimes she is just not in the mood, so we cross the street and decide to fight that battle another time.
I use my imagination to pretend things too. I pretend the street is my bed.
I pretend Mom is going to take me with her in the car.
And I pretend she won’t notice if I walk on the glass table as if it’s the floor.
Mom uses her imagination a lot, too. She tells the students she visits that they should always start with a tiny, little seed of an idea and make it grow by mind-writing. That’s because even though an idea is a good beginning, the best parts of the stories she writes come from her imagination.
Imagination comes easy for both of us, but knowledge is TOUGH. Mom has some knowledge, but not the kind that has to do with math. I have a tiny brain, so there isn’t a lot of room for knowledge in there. In spite of this, Mom insists on teaching me new things all the time. She says, “Find it!” and “Fetch it!” and “Drop it!” and “Touch it!” and “Leave it!” and “26+18?? GAH! Where’s the calculator?”
Lately, Mom is teaching me to find things by sniffing. Here I am trying to sniff out a bacon treat. I know it’s somewhere – In the boxes. Or near them. Or under the rug. Or behind the toy. Or…. GAH! Where’s the calculator?
I want to say for the record that going to school was as much fun as I predicted it would be. Wait! No! It was TEN times more fun! When Mom and I arrived, everybody was working in groups to invent their own original math games. We were impressed. These kids sure do love to learn!
The first place I discovered was the shelf with the lunchboxes. Mom said, “We are NOT staying for lunch.” and “Don’t even think about it.”
Then I saw a poster that looked a lot like me. but I noticed it said the word, “Listen Up” which clearly has nothing to do with my life.
The whole time I was there, I was kissed and held and cuddled and touched and hugged and carried and petted like crazy.
The kids showed Mom and me the picture books they wrote and illustrated. Now Mom is worried because they are definitely steep competition for her.
They even gave Mom and me a thank you card with lots of words inside and cupcake stickers on it. Perfect.
After all that fun and love, I was exhausted, so I rested in the car and then took a quick street nap when we got home.
Mom has another school visit on Thursday. I wonder what I should wear…
Mom went to a school visit last week to share her book with some 5th graders.
They were a wonderful audience and asked lots of fun questions. They are also writers and are working on writing their very own pictures books! Mom wasn’t too surprised by this because their teacher used to be one of Mom’s students, way back when Mom was a teacher. She was a smart little girl and lots of fun. Now she is a smart 5th grade teacher and still lots of fun. Here she is when she was little – she’s the one in the pink dress standing right next to Mom.
In fact – when that 5th grade teacher was in Mom’s class, she brought a praying mantis egg case to school for show and tell and it opened up and released tons of praying mantis babies all over Mom’s classroom! And THAT’S what Mom wrote about in Humpty Dumpty Magazine this month in her story called Show and Tell Surprise.
She shared that story with the 5th graders and gave them a copy of the magazine to keep in their classroom.
Mom loves sharing. Sometimes she shares with me. We share the big chair in the living room,
we share the bed,
she shares her coffee,
and her car.
And if I beg hard enough, sometimes she shares her food with me.
On Monday, Mom will share ME with the 5th graders! Yes, it’s true. They invited me to come along for the ride when Mom goes back to visit them and deliver some books. Road trip!
Why I don’t like author visits.
3. Staying by myself. Mom will go away in the car for a long time. That means, no walking at the park, no jumping through my hula hoop, no treats in my IQ puzzles, and no bowling practice. Boring.
2. Bags. Mom will pack up tons of things to show the kids, and she will also put her laptop and LCD projector into bags. Bags are usually a LOT of fun. My head fits in there perfectly, and sometimes bags have treats in them. Or bacon. Or cake.
But school visit bags are off limits. Mom says the word, “Get your bony little head out of there.” No fun.
1. Kids. Mom will talk to tons and tons of kids at her school visit. I love kids. And they love me. Whenever kids see me, they pet me and hug me and say how cute I am. Plus, kids taste delicious, like candy. And sweat. And dirt. Yum.
What Mom likes about author visits.
3. Driving. Taking a road trip is always fun. Of course it would be more fun if I went along, but….
2. Reading. Mom loves reading stories. Story time was her favorite time of the day when she was a little girl at school, and it was her favorite time of the day when she was a teacher. Of course, I also love story time, but….
1. Kids. Mom has talked to hundreds and hundreds of kids in her careers as a teacher and an author. Thousands, maybe. She predicts that the kids at this school will ask her some of the same things kids at other schools have asked, “Are you rich?” and “Did you draw the pictures?” and “One time my dad got his finger stuck in the car door…” which is not a question, but….
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