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

Posts tagged ‘writing’

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.

12-x-12-new-banner

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.

bagel4

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.

bagel5

I sat on my Park It Mat, watched people and cars go by, and didn’t beg….

bagel3

…. 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….?

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Here I am – at the beach!

sand

There’s sand and sun and sand and sand and sun….

sand field

And fences and bases and benches and grass. Wait! What? This isn’t the beach. It’s the baseball field at the park.

sand fence

It sure seemed like the beach, though…. I guess I should’ve asked more questions before I got into the car.

car

Mom asks her characters questions when she’s writing. I know because she asks them out loud. She needs to know their strengths and weaknesses, favorite things and pet peeves, best friends and secret thoughts. Sometimes characters seem perfect for Mom’s story, but then, when she gets to know them better, she cuts them because they just plain don’t work. Sometimes, they fit better in a different story, so Mom moves them. Or saves them for the future. Once in a while, they change the course of the story they’re in, by not behaving the way Mom thought they would. Characters can be tricky like that.

Things are not always what they seem. When I lived in a cage, Mom thought I was too small, too old, too nervous, and just all wrong for her. Turns out, I’m perfect.

perfect

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.

rawhide3

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

rawhide2

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

raincoat 2

or a sun hat.

sunhat

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

Nancy

There’s been a lot of hiding around here lately.

sheet hiding

A blog post about ME is hiding over at Peace, Love, and Whiskers. Pop over and check it out, if you haven’t already.

plw2014blog

The other day, I saw this…

red balloon

It’s an evil, runaway, red balloon. It’s hiding under the car, waiting to roll out and get me. Mom let me walk by really fast, because she knows that balloons are trying to kill me.

white balloons

And look what’s back there! Two more balloons. White ones. I know what they have planned…

That's close enough...

That’s close enough…

I have no plans to start liking balloons, but I want to thank my friend Little Binky for sending me this lovely award. I am not afraid of it.

100,000+hit+award+%231

Do you see what else is hiding? In the grass? A feather. It’s from the birds that sit in the trees and laugh at me.

feather

All kinds of things are hiding in all kinds of places. When I try to hide, I always get caught. The other day, I brought my tiny yellow dog and hid on Mom’s bed with it. Somehow, she found out that I was in there.

messy bed

I don’t know how she does it! She’s a regular Nancy Drew when it comes to figuring things out.

When she was little, Mom was probably Nancy Drew’s biggest fan. She read every one of the Nancy Drew Mysteries, and hung on every word.

nancy

Now that she’s a writer, she hardly ever writes mysteries. She wrote one once, and when it was finished, she said, “Ugh. This thing is so lame.” And “Where’s the suspense, the red herring, the foreshadowing!?” and “Seriously? You’re back on the bed again?”

Who? Me??

Who? Me??

Mom might BE Nancy Drew, and LOVE Nancy Drew, but she has no plans to WRITE Nancy Drew.

 

 

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?

Hopeful Sharing

Mom likes sharing. She shares her stories with kids of all ages, every time she goes to an author visit.

school visit

She also shares her new stories with agents and editors . Sometimes she shares poems and ideas with her friends.

Whenever my friend Lila comes to see me, I share my toys with her lila and toy and she shares her mom with me. v and c Whenever we visit the veterans’ home, Mom shares me with the old soldiers who miss their old pets. va friend

And Mom even shares me with the kids at the library when we work at Read-to-a-Pet-Night.

Who wants to read me a story?

Who wants to read me a story?

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.

#idolselfie

JLo, Harry, and me! #idolselfie

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.

Book #1

Book #1

If Mom ever gets the elusive Book #2 published, she will share with a bigger audience. Nothing, so far, but we’re hopeful.

Five Word Friday

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,

couchnap

 

and the butterfly rug in the bathroom.

butterfly nap

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.

street squiggle

Aaahhhh…

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.

Z-z-z-z-z-...

Z-z-z-z-z-…

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.”

drinking

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.

horse

Woof!

 

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.

photo1

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.”

photo3

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.”

photo4

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….

photo2

Author Visits

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.

school visit

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.

bookbag2

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.

bookbag

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!”

gamebag2

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.

Ready!

Ready!

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.

milkbone toothbrush

 

Almost…

April-Calendar-2014-PDF

Spring is almost here. I mean it’s here on the calendar, but in real life, not so much. Mom and I look for flowers outside, but we’re not seeing a whole lot.

daffodil1

Almost there…not quite…

The grass is still kind of brownish and slime-ish in spots. And the wind still turns my ears upside down.

daffodil4

Also, the rain has Mom bringing out my raincoat every couple of days. April showers and all that….

rainy

Real, actual spring – street nap spring – takes longer to happen, I guess.

street rest

Chilly tummy.

Stories take longer than expected sometimes, too. The calendar says we’re 10 days into the month, but we’re not seeing much of Mom’s April manuscript. The idea is still brownish and slime-ish, and wind and rain in Mom’s head are slowing down the progress. Her ears aren’t upside down or anything, but I’m hearing an awful lot of “Here we go.” and not an awful lot of, “Yay. I’m finished.”

I think the rain wetting the soil and the wind flying the seeds all around are putting down the groundwork for the real season.

This is definitely a sign of spring...

This is definitely a sign of spring…

Like the rain and the wind, mind-writing and planning are putting down the groundwork for Mom’s story. The daffodils are starting to pop. I hope Mom’s story will pop soon, too.

daffodils bloom

 

 

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