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 ‘video’
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.
And Mom even shares me with the kids at the library when we work at Read-to-a-Pet-Night.
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.
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.
Today’s 5 words are about rest.
1. Couch-Nap – I like a good couch-nap. When Mom leaves me alone, the couch is my napping area of choice. Also the floor, my bed, the rocking chair,
and the butterfly rug in the bathroom.
2. Street-Nap – In the summer the asphalt in my neighborhood gets blazing hot. Those are the perfect days for a street-nap. I lie on my belly and my side and sometimes I flip over and squiggle around like a wiggly worm.
3. Laziness – Mom has been kind of lazy lately. She hasn’t been sitting at her computer and talking to herself! That means no writing in a few days. I thought she was a “full-time” writer. This week, she’s been a writer at rest.
4. Excuses – She makes excuses like, “I have an appointment.” and “I’m swamped. It’s a super-busy day.” and “How can I write if you drink all my coffee?” I can make excuses, too. “You left your cup right where I can reach it.”
and “I couldn’t decide which toy to play with.”
and “I was lonely eating in the kitchen by myself.”
5. Back-on-the-horse – Yesterday, Mom sat at her computer and said she was getting back on the horse. I have never seen a horse. Mom saw one in Manhattan and showed me the picture. It looked like a big dog. A really, really, REALLY big dog. I hope she doesn’t love that big guy more than she loves me.
Sometimes stories get stuck. Mom likes the rule of three, so if there are only two good obstacles in her story, she can be Stuck-and-Waiting for one more good idea. Her other choice is to use an obstacle that isn’t her favorite and worry about it later. Then she is Stuck-but-Moving.
If a character turns boring halfway through the story, Mom can be Stuck-and-Waiting. A story that is Stuck-and-Waiting can die a miserable death. Her other choice is to go back to her character sketch and add some flaws, quirks, oddities, and traits to bump that character up. Even if he or she isn’t perfect, Mom can go back to work and worry about it later. Then she is Stuck-but-Moving.
When I come inside, I need to get the rock salt (and snow and mud) cleaned off my feet with a baby wipe. Sometimes, I am Stuck-and-Waiting.
When the snow is really deep (and touching my belly *shiver*) my legs can’t reach solid ground. Mom says, “I am not carrying you anymore.” So I get busy – Stuck-but-Moving.
Inside a snow bank, there could be something fun like a ball or something yummy like a piece of bread that the birds dropped. There’s one way to find out - drill my nose in as far as I can. Then I am Stuck-and-Searching. That’s my favorite way to be!
Sometimes, when I play with my monkey in a barrel, it puts me into a frenzy. There’s just too much going on! Too much to do. Too many possibilities. Bite the barrel? Tear off the lid? Growl at the talking? Rip the monkey’s face off? Chew his arm till he stops laughing? Shake the whole thing till I’m dizzy? I don’t know what to do first.
Since NewYears, Mom has also been in a frenzy. She’s not biting, tearing, growling, ripping, chewing, or shaking, like me. But she does have a lot going on, a lot to do, and a lot of possibilities. She may have bitten off more than she can chew. I’ve done that occasionally, too…. (And by “occasionally” I mean every day.)
Mom has entered a ton of challenges, and made a bunch of goals for herself this year. She will read 200 picture books in the Goodreads Challenge again,
she joined 12×12 for 2014, which means she needs to write a new first draft in the next few weeks,
she’ll get 30 new ideas when PiBoIdMo starts,
and she will write 30 poems this year.
In between all those jobs (and a bunch of others – if you can believe such a thing), Mom decided to enter the Highlights Annual Fiction Contest this month, AND take Susanna Hill’s Making Contest Magic class this week.
So Mom is learning, mind-writing, registering, paypal-ing, reading, commenting, revising, studying, listing, rhyming, critiquing, and ….do you see what’s missing here??
Rocky, over at my friend Bacon’s blog told me that January 6 was National CuddleUp Day. So I made sure Mom took some time out to celebrate. Actually, I will make sure we celebrate that thing EVERY day!!
This post is not all about me for some reason.
It’s not even all about Mom. It’s not a birthday party for Mom’s old book, Keep Your Ear on the Ball.
Or her ALMOST new ebook, What If I Don’t.
Today, we want to say “Surprise!” and “Happy Birthday, Pam!” to our bloggy-friend Sammy’s Mom.
If you don’t know Sammy or Pam, you can visit them here. If you want to see ME (and a bunch of bloggy friends) in a special happy birthday video, click below. Hey, wait a minute…maybe this IS about me, after all!
This is my new bed. It fits me perfectly. Sometimes I rest in it, sometimes, I sleep, and sometimes I use it to stare at Mom while she works.
It beats this.
Mom has something new, too. It’s her new story that she’s working on for 12×12.
Well, she’s been working on it all month, but she’s not sure she’ll get it finished in time. If she doesn’t finish it by the end of the month, it will be the first time since 12x12in’12 that she missed doing a monthly manuscript.
We’re not sure what slowed this one down. Maybe because she was revising some old stories. Maybe because she entered a contest. Maybe because this story is written in a different format than she usually uses. Mom says, “This is all part of writing, so it’s time well spent.”
Maybe she’s behind because she is trying to teach me to “Park It” on my new mat.
I can’t always get that quite right.
Maybe because she’s teaching me to “Find it” when she hides a bacon treat. I used to know how to do that, but sometimes, I get hung up.
Maybe because she’s teaching me to knock down a tower of cups. Mom says, “Touch it!” and “Touch it!” and “TOUCH IT!!” and “Ugh. This is NOT time well spent.”
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?
One of my favorite parks is in Nutley, NJ.
It has BABY SWINGS!
When I am on the swing, I think, “I can stay here forever.” and “I hope some of my friends see me over here.” and “I wish we had a swing at the house.” and “I wonder if I’ll ever be big enough for the grown-up swing…”
The park is a great spot for dogs, and also for writers. Ideas are all over the place. When Mom looks at the swing, she thinks, “What if….” there were an alien on the swing, or a bully or a fish or a clown. And “What if…” the swing were magic, or broken or a spaceship or a nest. And “What if the swing…” tossed a kid up into a tree, or started talking or had a fight with the slide or started growing. And “What if…” someone got stuck in the swing, or was afraid of it or wanted to build one or figured out a new way to use it.
I think Mom wants to stay there forever, too! But we can’t. We have other things to do….
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.