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

The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Mark Twain

There’s been plenty of lightning and thunder the past few weeks around here.


It’s been bright and loud and unexpected and wild and relentless. I am not afraid of the lightning and thunder at all. Mom says I am afraid of so many things, I don’t have room in my brain to be afraid of storms. Actually, I kind of like these crazy storms, because they make Mom stay home with me.

I also kind of like lightning bugs.

jar of fireflies

Whenever Mom takes me out at night, I see those blinky things flying all over the place. She won’t let me chase them, though. She says, “Don’t pull me!” and “Heel!!” and “That’s enough craziness for one day. It’s time for bed.” I haven’t caught a lightning bug yet. But when I do, I’m pretty sure it’ll taste like lemon candy.

Mom is not nuts about storms or bugs, but she is nuts about words. They are her favorite things in the world (besides me).


She writes words and counts words and reads the words out loud to herself. Then she deletes them and changes them and takes some out and puts some new ones in. She is ALWAYS looking for the right word.

Mom says adverbs are poison. I am not allowed to eat poison. I tried it once and it wasn’t fun.


Mom uses SmartEdit to find the poison adverbs and get rid of them and then she searches in the Β ThesaurusΒ to replace them with a perfect verb that does the same job only better. “Walked quickly, looked carefully, and laughed loudly” are OUT. “Raced, inspected, and roared” are IN.

Maybe tonight, “Heel” will be OUT and “Gulp. Slurp. Yum- Lemon” will be IN.


Comments on: "Inspirational Quote of the Week" (81)

  1. You look so cute and dry in your rain coat! Mom takes fabulous care of you Cupcake!!

  2. your Mom is one smart cookie!!! My Mom loves words too but you would never know it from looking at what she writes! BOL! My posts must make you cringe! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  3. I think your mom should take into consideration that you have found the PERFECT outfit for lightning bugs hunting: a YELLOW raincoat!
    SmartEdit seems to be interesting – I’ll try it!
    I use the CD-version of this thesaurus:

    • OMGoodness, K. You and Mom are BOTH thesaurus people! Good thing thesaurus isn’t the same as Tyrannosaurus!

      Love and licks,

      • And what do you think about Pegasus, Cupcake?

      • Flying horse? What’s not to like?

      • “According to legend, everywhere the winged horse struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring spring burst forth. One of these springs was upon the Muses’ Mount Helicon, the Hippocrene (“horse spring”), opened, Antoninus Liberalis suggested, at the behest of Poseidon to prevent the mountain swelling with rapture at the song of the Muses; another was at Troezen. Hesiod relates how Pegasus was peacefully drinking from a spring when the hero Bellerophon captured him. Hesiod also says Pegasus carried thunderbolts for Zeus.” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Flying horse carrying thunder? Awesome.

  4. snoopys@snoopysdogblog said:

    Hey Cupcake,

    I hope you got your lemonade buddy! I’ve never thought of changing the words like your Mom does, she’s super clever, I just hope she never changes the word mischief, cos that’s my favorite! Tee Hee

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy πŸ™‚

  5. Oh Cupcake you look like a perfectly adorable lemon drop yourself in your raincoat! I’ve never eaten a lightning bug but I’m sure you’re right that they must be lemon flavored or maybe even butter flavored (either would make me happy). There are a few words I don’t particularly like – for instance, “NO!” and “let’s go back in the house”…….but for the most part I only hear GOOD words around here so I’m a happy boy. You look happy too Cupcake and that’s lovely……………!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  6. I like your rain coat – you look like a girl who can resist every thunderstorm. Thanks to your mom for the links, we will avoid to use poisoned things – maybe we can earn it together with the – saurus :o)

  7. Oh Cupcake! You and mom are so funny! I love your outfits and mom looks great in green – my favorite color. (I guess yours is yellow) πŸ™‚
    The new adverbs work better. I get a better picture from them. Keep up the good work – both of you. Love and hugs, G
    P.S. I hope you catch a yummy delicious lemon bug. ❀

  8. I sure hope you’re in luck Cupcake! I don’t like ‘leave it’, ‘no’, ‘stop it’ I hope they get changed to nicer words too πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, M. “Leave it” is definitely a buzzkill. I think all words should be happy words like, “Wanna come?” and “Good girl.” and “Treat.”

      Love and licks,

  9. stanleyandkatrina said:

    I agree with John, cupcake, you are adorable in the rain coat. I love your mother’s writing tips and will be sure to share them with Stanley & Katrina!
    ~Christine M
    Techie for Stanley & Katrina

  10. Your Mummy is very clever! Whee sure hope you catch a lightning bug soon, with such a bootiful coat whee are sure they will all flock to see you!

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

  11. Oh look at you cutie Cupcake, I hate storms..We have never seen those light bugs.. Have a wonderful weekend xx0xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  12. Cupcake, you look quite lightning yourself in your raincoat… and very cute πŸ™‚

  13. Love the rain gear Cupcake. Am curious about Smart Edit — is it free? I favorited the page. After I write a story, I go back and pull out the adverbs — amazing how many verbs that are better. And, you reduce your word count.

  14. I’ve never seen a lightning bug! I’ve seen lots of lightning, though, and I wouldn’t want to taste it. Mark Twain was right — one word makes a BIG difference. I love that last picture of you, Cupcake. You look like you’re saying, “Who, me? I didn’t do it, whatever it was.” πŸ˜‰

  15. Great advice Cupcake and might I say you look adorable in that rain coat!!

  16. Oh, Cupcake, my human mommy loves this post! She is an old . . . oops, wrong word . . . former editor, and she loves words, too! And you and I have something in common: I love lightning bugs, and I also try to rip my mommy’s arm out of the shoulder socket when I see them. Do you really think they might taste like lemon candy? That would be divine. πŸ™‚

  17. You know I never thought about what a lightning bug might taste like… I’d like to think they taste like lemon candy too. I love lemon candy!

  18. Oh Cupcake, you look sooooo adorable in your raincoat! We don’t have a raincoat yet, but our Mommy said that she is going to make one for the both of us. I was going to PIN your raincoat pic to Pinterest, but you don’t have a Pinterest button at the end of your post. Bummer!

    • Thanks, Val. Feel free to pin me with the Add a Pin button. I love Pinterest. BTW, Mom tried to follow you, but your link didn’t work. She found you somehow, anyway, so you may want to double check your post.

      Love and licks,

      • I just went back to my post and clicked on the link and it took me right to my Pinterest Boards. Hmmmm. That is so sweet that your Mom wants to follow me on Pinterest! Tell her Hi from me!

      • Weird. It kept telling Mom Error 404. Maybe it’s an iPad thing. She found you and followed you anyway.

      • That is odd. I also have a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button right on my blog on the sidebar too that people can click on! I don’t think I noticed one on yours though.

  19. Thanks for the tip on the Smart-Edit tool!

  20. BOL CUpcake! you are way too funny…and my Mom tries to use new words, verbs, action verbs, but sigh…she is just a regular blogger…not published like your Mom and Sammy’s Mom and so many others…but we so appreciate great new writing…paw pats, Savvy…peeEss you are fab in your rain gear

  21. we just love your raincoat Cupcake…you are just so stylish, a real fashionista!
    xxx wally & sammy

  22. Cupcake Momz sez to tell you that she learned something today…she never thought about the poison adverbs before but you can be sure she will think about them from now on…Thank you!

  23. Gee, there are so many comments here, how do you find the time for lightning bugs? I love your yellow raincoat. My Jacko wore a yellow raincoat and four little yellow boots. I don’t think he liked the boots much. When it rained Jacko turned a nice shade of yellow.

    I am going to start checking for more poison in my writing. I had no idea my words could put my two little guys in danger (they both like to chew on paper). Thanks for the warning!

    • First of all, paper is delicious, especially used napkins. Second of all, Jacko had the right idea. Boots are evil. Mom got me some when I first came here. I walked like my feet were on fire, and boots went flying all over the place.

      Love and licks,

  24. Thank you for the gift of SmartEdit, I downloaded and am excited to try it. Words are so important, as are commas. As you know I have the new business blog, and words are killing me. Petblogs are cake compared to business writing. Oh my. I need your advice with poison adverbs. Thanks – Lorian
    PS – Sofie wanted me to tell you that fireflies are delicious, but she usually spits them out before they go down.

    • Mom says adverbs are poison in children’s picture books. They may be less poisonous in other types of writing. Using exactly the right word is ALWAYS important though! Sofie is a quick hunter – fireflies, ducks, she is always ready to take action!

      Love and licks,

  25. You are SO adorable in your raincoat Cupcake! I once ate a tulip (when I was 3-ish)! It was yucky. Don’t eat them. Aparently, they’re poisonous.

  26. We’ve been having a lot of storms with heavy rain. You look very cute in your raincoat and prepared for those storms!

  27. First off, let me tell you that the word for lightening bugs is BLAACH! I ate one by accident once and I couldn’t get it out fast enough. No lemon candy there! And I personally like romping in the rain naked! I just drink in the raindrops!! And I wish we would get some of your rain here. Enjoy! (But stay away from the lightening bugs!)

  28. Oh BOL! I say heel is OUT as well as SIT, STAY, and COME. Well, I will COME if there are TREATS!

  29. Cupcake,

    You look fabulous in your rain gear. We’ll have to steer clear of adverbs. They don’t sound delicious.

    Bella and DiDi

  30. You look so cute in your raincoat, Cupcake!!

    This post reminds mom of a very tough English professor she had in college. He would make the students write an essay and then they would have to rewrite it with only half as many words. Writing less seems like less work to me, but mom says it is a Lot more work! Your mom sounds like she really knows how to use the right words πŸ™‚

  31. Cupcake, in some ways we’re opposites. About the only thing I’m afraid of is thunder. It’s the most horrible thing in the world. We haven’t had any yet this year, but next month it will probably be here. Yikes!

  32. Just dropping by cupcake to say hi! Looks like you are as popular as ever!!! Alesia and LInus!

  33. We love glurp and slurp!!! Hoping you are having a wonderful summer that is perhaps a bit drier now.. πŸ™‚

  34. whoa Cupcake!! You have that adverb elimination down to the last purrfect paw!! Pawsome, Savannah

  35. […] rain has Mom bringing out my raincoat every couple of days. April showers and all […]

  36. […] got tossed in the trash. Computer writing is different. It’s quieter, simpler, and neater. Find, Replace, Cut, and Delete make no sound at all. Neither does the Recycle Bin. They’re loud as a 747 in […]

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