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

Posts tagged ‘writing’

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.”

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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!

Unthinkable!

This is incredible! Unbelievable! Mind-boggling! Unthinkable! Inconceivable! It’s… it’s…. it’s… Summer School times TWO!

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Mom is smack in the middle of Kidlit Summer School

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and all of a sudden on August 1st Lyrical Language Lab started up.

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Do you see what’s happening here? She’s studying TWO summer schools at once! Reading stories, writing stories, reading poems, writing poems. It’s out of control!

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You’re probably wondering what I’m doing while all this reading and writing and writing and reading is going on. Nuthin’ that’s what.

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I just wait…

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and wait…

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and wait.

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For a whole HOUR – which feels like 2 hours or 8 hours or 67 hours. Ugh! Thank goodness Mom still sets the clock for her writing time, so when her iPad chimes, she can play with me again.

Anybody want to throw the squeaky corn on the cob toy? Anybody...?

Anybody want to throw the squeaky corn on the cob toy? Anybody…?

After what seems like 975 hours, we finally get to walk around outside, go to the park…

happyparkdog

and on Saturday (AFTER summer school), we even went to work at the Veteran’s Home so I could see all my old soldier friends and make them smile.

va camo

 

Mom says, “I’m learning a lot.” and “School is fun.” and I say, “When the heck is summer VACATION!!??”

bathing suit 2

 

 

 

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….

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

Nancy

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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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?

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