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

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

~Christopher McDougall~

I run for my life pretty much every day. Well, not exactly for my life… But I run for my toys, and I run if Mom doesn’t hand over my cookie fast enough or if she tries to brush me. #donotbrushme

Mom hasn’t made much progress in her writing lately. And by not much, I mean none. Let’s just say if she were the gazelle, instead of COOKING breakfast she would BE breakfast.

It’s officially September, officially the day after Labor Day, so officially, it’s time to buckle down and get busy with writing work. I have done all I can to be inspiring.

Dressed up…

Gave knowing looks…

Showed off my skills…

Stayed quiet…

Tagged along on thinking walks

Nothing. So, fresh school year (with no school to go to),

fresh week (with four days left),

and hopefully a fresh attitude (with the lion and gazelle in mind).

Let’s run!

“Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”

~anonymous~

Not a lot of writing has been accomplished around here lately. Mom reads instead. Blog posts, web sites, her Kindle,

and she listens on Audible sometimes too, and calls that reading. The jury is out on that one.

I do not actually know how to read without help, but Mom let me look at the pictures in a book about one of our therapy dog friends.

Dog books are my favorites. Mom rarely reads dog books, in case she’s afraid the dog will die in the story. This wasn’t that kind of book.  

Unlike Mom, I never slack off on my jobs and responsibilities around the house. I watch for danger

(or the Amazon truck),

control the traffic,

Worst speed bump ever

help with the housework,

and make sure none of our drive-thru/curbside car food goes to waste.

We’re hoping that next week, Mom can get back to writing. She has an idea for a new piece to start, but she’s still mind-writing it instead of buckling down to work. I guess mind-writing is writing like Audible is reading.

Five Word Friday

Today’s 5 words are from an old story that Mom started working on recently. As always when she read it, she said out loud to herself, “Such a cute story.” And, “How can I make it better?” And, “Stop running so close to the….

…water dish. Ugh.” Then she said naughty words and, “I should buy stock in paper towels.” Then she called me the name, “Mental Case.” #rude

Friends – I have many dog friends at my apartment complex. They like to sniff me, and most of the time I turn to stone with fear or hide behind Mom for protection. Occasionally, I come out and sniff my friends. *shiver* Mom tells me I was brave and gives me a treat.

Jacket – I have a lot of jackets, sweaters, jammies, and t-shirts. I wear them all year round for cold protection, sun protection, and apparently filth protection in case I accidentally (on purpose) lie down in trash, dumpster spillage, or bird poop.

School – Mom says school visits are always fun and full of surprises.

She hasn’t been to any lately because of lockdown and the pandemic. Whenever book #2 comes out, the first thing she will do is schedule an author visit. I have been to school with Mom a bunch of times.

I liked the kids petting me, the teacher talking about me, and Mom letting me show off some of my tricks. But the absolute best part of school is named Lunchboxes. Oh boy – do they smell good.

Third – I am Mom’s 3rd doggie in her adult life. Before me there were Sandi and Smoki. I am the first doggie that Mom chose and trained and lived with all by herself. The elusive book #2 will really be Mom’s 3rd book if we count her e-book, which we do although it may or may not still be available on the platform that e-published it.

Halloween – Mom does not love Halloween at all. She has written one Halloween story in her life, and it isn’t one of her favorites. She says it’s PTSD from spending 35 Halloweens with 8- and 9-year-olds. #gofigure I love Halloween.

“You have to finish things – that’s what you learn by finishing things.”

~Neil Gaiman~

Finishing things is good. Mom FINALLY finished one of her half-stories last week. Soon, her writing group named LindaJenVijiLauriandOtherJen will read it and say things about it. Then suddenly, the story will not be finished anymore, and Mom will work on it again. And again. And again.

When I am finished with things, I. Am. Finished.

I am finished going to the vet for a tummy ache. Now I eat my special, yummy, chicken stew foods, and I will never go back there again. #shotshurt

After a few minutes, I am finished trying to get treats out of my treat ball. Mom helps me with the last one or two. Again. And again.

I am finished with early wake-ups. I need my beauty sleep.

I love the sun. But when I’m finished, I’m finished.

On a warm, sunny day, I finish my walks with a street nap

or a street squiggle.

Mom tries and tries to get things going again, but when I am finished, I. Am. Finished.

I’m finished out here. Let me in.

So hopefully, Mom will start and finish and restart and refinish lots more stories till eventually the right one gets to the right place at the right time. Then she’ll be finished. Till she starts a new one again.

And again.

And again.

Finished last will always be better than did not finish, which always trumps did not start.” ~Unknown~

Five Word Friday

Today’s Five words are from yet another half-story from Mom’s never-ending collection of unfinished stories. We kinda like this one, so it may have a chance at seeing the end.

16. Rudolph – No. Not that Rudolph. Picking a character name is important for a story. That character will be in the author’s head for a long time, so the name should mean something. Mom was named after her grandma. I was named Cupcake because I am so sweet.

Me being sweet on my Gotcha Day.

4. Trim – Some characters need a lot of adornment. They get trimmed and decorated with traits and quirks. That helps them work. Sometimes, when I used to do therapy work, Mom thought I looked like a plain potato, so she trimmed and dressed me up to be different. It made me fancy. It made the old soldiers laugh.  

51. Wrinkled – If Mom wrote on paper instead of computer-typing, LOTS of papers would end up wrinkled and tossed in the garbage pail. I am an expert on wrinkling. I can’t help it. Warm clothes are so cozy and comfy. It’s tough to resist.

20. Famous – It’s rare that a picture book could make an author famous. I mean Cat in the Hat, Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus don’t come along every day. Even though Mom is nowhere near famous, I have had a moment or two in the sun.

8. Useful – Beds are useful. I use mine sometimes.

“Writing gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”

~Mason Cooley~

Mom and I have stayed home a lot in the past year. It has been a good thing in some ways and a bad thing in other ways – for both of us.

On the upside, staying home means I got to nap a lot

and watch TV with Mom

and nap a lot. (Yup. I said it twice.)

On the downside, staying home means she did a bunch of homeschooling,

practice,

and brain work with me, so I didn’t turn into a piece of furniture or a potato.

On the upside, staying home means Mom (should have) had plenty of time to write stories and read picture books. (Nope. I didn’t say either one twice.)

On the downside, staying home means actual experiences, people-watching, eavesdropping on kids’ conversations, and observing the world was a no-go.

 

Also, bookstores and libraries gave Mom the virus-germ-heebie-jeebies.

So reading picture books is basically non-existent, and writing is at a minimum around here. Happily, Mom has an idea list, that she started in StoryStorm and continues as always. She has a few half-finished stories waiting for her attention and a few finished pieces waiting for revision. She also has nothing but time. So here’s hoping Mom gets more than 15 minutes of writing done each day. She keeps telling herself that writers write, so she needs to take her own advice. Or at the very least, paws crossed that she doesn’t turn into a piece of furniture or a potato.  

Potato Dog – Don’t let this happen to you!

 

Five Word Friday

Mom’s latest half-story has these 5 words to play with.

Water – I don’t like water. I don’t like to drink it. I don’t like to step in it. And I REALLY don’t like Bath Day. That is way too much water in way too many of the wrong places.

 

Door – Mom is always waiting for the right door to open for her writing work. It did once, but it’s been stubborn since. When it eventually opens again, she will blast through it without looking back. I never step through a door without some hesitation. Mom says I have door-phobia. I always make sure things are safe for us out there. Sometimes the hesitation ends in disaster – like when my tail got caught in the door and a piece fell off! 

 

Snuggly – When it’s snowy and cold and windy outside, I get snuggly in my bed.

Or in Mom’s bed.

Or on the couch.

 

Or the chair.

Those are sometimes good writing days for Mom, but sometimes, she wastes the day getting snuggly with me (and watching way too much TV). 

Night – We do not like night. Mom and I don’t like the dark at all. Ditto for the moon, coyotes, shadows, sunset, owls, fireflies, and moths. We are all about sunrise, morning, sunshine, and light.

Mom has a few stories about being afraid of the dark and getting over fear of the night, but writing them never helped her reality at all.  

Blanket – Winter and summer, I am a blanket-loving doggie. I doze on them, in them, and under them. Move over, Linus van Pelt. You are not the only one with a legendary security blanket. 

 

 

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” 

~Stephen King~

Mom has started a list. It’s for a challenge that she does every January. The StoryStorm challenge is to write down 30 story ideas in 31 days. Then use those ideas to make stories all year.

Today is the 18th day of the month. Mom is on idea #24. We have a good feeling about finishing. Finishing the challenge is a good start to writing stories. See what I did there? Finishing. Starting. Yeah. That.

I am a great finisher. I always finish the kibbles, and treats in my IQ toys. The Tornado

 

and the Hide ‘n Slide.

I always finish the squishy snacks on my Licki-Mat.

I am finished trying to learn Fetch. What is that stupid game about, anyway?

I fetched it. Now it’s mine. What?

I am finished eating my toys. Mom said if she has to throw one more toy in the trash, she’s throwing me in there with it. #rude

So I’m pretty sure Mom can finish one simple list. Then she will start choosing, changing, mixing, nixing, writing, and revising stuff from the list to make stories. I will help by licking her shoes, staring at her,

begging for food,

PB&J? Yes, please. Please?

napping,

and…. did I say staring at her…? Yeah. That.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.”

~Alfred Lord Tennyson~

Pretty low bar after 2020, but we’ll take it. Everybody loves being happier. 

We are happy, but being happier is even better. Can’t have too many blessings! Am I right?

Writing and selling and sharing the elusive Book #2 will make Mom happier. 

So will good health, good friends, good luck, and plenty of creative ideas. Fingers crossed that some of them go somewhere.

More treats will make me happier.

So will more walks,

You call this a walk?

more kisses,

more toys,

These seem like fun….

and plenty of naps.

Paws crossed that some of them are in the blazing hot street.

Here’s to a dream-come-true holiday season and a new year filled with happiness, health, friends, luck, creativity, treats, walks, kisses, toys, and naps. 

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are from another new story in Mom’s computer.

16. Love – Mom is the human I love the best in the world. I am the doggie she loves the best in the world. Sometimes she calls me the name Stubborn. I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

23. Dozed – I doze a lot around the house. During the day, I try out different chairs,

the sofa,

the rugs, and the floor. Mom does not doze – literally or figuratively. She works on stuff, plays with stuff, cooks stuff, makes stories, talks to her friends, and watches TV. Sometimes she tells me, “You snooze, you lose.” That usually means she ate a snack without me! #rude

Is that pound cake??

81. Snuggle – I like to snuggle. I squeeze in next to Mom when I am cold or sleepy or lonely. Mom doesn’t mind at all.

Sometimes she says, “Do you know what personal space is?” That means she likes it.

9. Peeped – Mom peeps at some of her old stories once in a while. She loves some of them and hates others. Sometimes she says, “Meh.” Those are the worst ones.

12. Book – Since quarantine Mom hasn’t been to the bookstore or the library to read dozens and dozens of picture books like she usually does.

She reads and listens to regular grown-up books on her Kindle and Audible, but not a lot of picture books at all. She just stays right here with me. *sigh* Sometimes she says, “2020. UGH!!”