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

Countdown Wednesday

Today, Mom and I are counting down about advice.

Advice I Get

3. Be Quiet – Mom says this word when the mailman comes. Ditto the FedEx and UPS guys. She clearly does not know these people are here to kill me. I must sound the alarm.

2. Don’t pull – Mom tells me this word when I am smelling delicious things outside, and checking my pee-mail. She clearly does not know that if I don’t quickly eat the goose candies in the grass, one of my dog friends might get them and I will miss out.


1. Fetch it – It took me a long time to understand this advice. I finally learned what it means. For any of my friends struggling with fetching, the secret to it is the bring-back. Do not get the ball, bring it on the couch, and try to hatch it like an egg.


Nailed it. Wait. What??

That is apparently not fetching. Bring it back to Mom and GET A TREAT. That’s fetching.

Advice Mom Gets

3. Add Conflict – People don’t like conflict. Especially Mom. But in a story, conflict is good. So are suspense, action, problems, unexpected obstacles, surprises, and other kinds of trouble. I like trouble.

broken barrel

I don’t think the monkey will pop out of the barrel and laugh at me anymore…. RIP laughing monkey.

2. Find Your Voice – Each time she starts a new story (at least once a month), Mom has to find her picture book voice. Voice helps the book sound unique and different from other books. Voice shows Mom’s characters looking at the world in their own special way.


1. Focus on Character – Mom usually writes stories that are plot, plot, plot. Lately, she is trying to take the advice she’s received about developing character, character, character. Susanna Hill’s Picture Book Magic class helped her a lot with that. Now Mom can get to know her characters before they start living in her story.



Speaking of living, two of my bloggy friends gave me the Sunshine Award, recently. I think it’s the perfect time of year for this award, since the snow is finally gone, and any minute now, the sun will shine and I will take a street nap.

street nap

A big, sunny thank you to Collies of the Meadow and The Squeak Life for sharing this prize with me. If you feel like you need a smile, visit them. They’re a guaranteed giggle. And if you want to celebrate the sunshine, take this award and post it to your own blog.

Comments on: "Countdown Wednesday" (82)

  1. Goooood grief! Why do hoomans not understand that the world is filled with deadly parcel and letter carrying assassins who want to kill us!? Is it really such a difficult concept to grasp??
    Congrats on the award!
    Wally & Sammy

  2. Genevieve, Terrific pointers! And congrats on the Sunshine Award.

  3. Thanks fur the shout out Cupcake :3 and those are some furry good pieces of advice! :
    The Pigs xx

  4. Cupcake – you are such a character. You must inspire Mom’s writing – or maybe distract her. Somwetimes I can’t tell : ) But you definitely make me smile!

  5. Cupcake you always have things figured out don’t you! Learning commands is tricky – we KNOW what they want, but do we want THEM to know we know…..right?? Keep ’em guessing……look cute and get treats – that’s the name of our game. Guess it won’t be long before street naps will be back for you – now that all that icky and ugly snow is gone!

    Hugs, Sammy

  6. Cupcake, I think you saved everyone from the mailman!
    I also hear, “be quiet” and “don’t pull” but they’ve pretty much given up on “fetch it” – ha ha!

  7. That is a lot of good advice form both of you! (And many thanks for the shout out :)) I am going to email your mom because I have something to say about voice. Congrats on your award and enjoy the sunshine 🙂

  8. fredrieka said:

    I do good on fetch and bring back, I know she will throw it again so when I do not want to play anymore I hang onto it. I love goose poop, deer poop, just poop in general. Pee Mail is awesome

  9. Great advice Cupcake, I will try the fetching thing. But I can’t help but think if they want the ball so badly, why did they throw it away??

  10. Cupcake mum surely does not get it …Doc also barks..and yes it is always because there is a murdulator coming….I sometimes tell him to stop….I have generally given up bwahahaah 🙂 seeing your rendtition I think Doc takes it up a level so you can rest assured he and I are having a conflict over this! hugs Fozziemum xx

  11. So fetch doesn’t mean hatch? Glad you cleared that up for me. 🙂 as for the advice your mom gets I can add one more thing, picture movie scenes with your characters. It helps me see the action and picture the interaction.

    • Thanks, PL&W. Great suggestion! Who doesn’t love watching movies?> Nobody, that’s who. If Mom wants me to, I can act out the scenes for her….

      Love and licks,

  12. mollieandalfie said:

    Loved the video Cupcake, you haz a loud bark like me 🙂 Great tips there too and big Congrats on the lovely award xxoxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  13. Those are some great suggestions Cupcake! Love the picture of you sleeping in the street. Looks nice and sunny warm.

  14. hahaha cupcake I barked with you! I agree, the mailman is a KILLER! everydoggy knows that and in every crime story the mailman is the villain. Or sometimes it is the gardener, when the mailman is the victim. Or vice versa. I won the fight against the mail-assassin, now we have to pick up our mail at the post office :o) Congrats to your award, enjoy the sunshine!

    • Thanks, E. I thought the butler was always the killer. But yes – for sure it’s the mailman. Evil freak. You’re lucky your mailman is too afraid to bring mail to you. I hope you get to go along to the post office.

      Love and licks,

  15. I would meow and growl if I thought it would keep the delivery peeps away….I envy you your voice Cupcake!

  16. Cupcake, you are so cuuwoooowooote in pink!

  17. Has mom noticed that you have yet to be killed? Therefor, using unassailable logic, you are clearly only alive because you continue to bark. Good work!

    • GAH! You’re right, W. I’m not sure Mom is putting 2 and 2 together. She’s not much with the math. I must keep barking at the evildoer to stay alive.

      Love and licks,

  18. Speaking of conflict, you are either not a people dog, or a very good watch dog! Or maybe you just don’t like surprises behind doors. I any event, I LOVE the shadow shot.

  19. YES!!!! You HAVE to bark the mailman, the FEDEX Guy and the UPS Gal down the road to home! YOU JUST HAVE TOO!!

    Good job! Cupcake! You do good work!

    Fuzzy and Boomer

    ❤⊱彡 Linda

  20. Cupcake, I am laughing out loud right now because as I read your post, the mailman is in the neighborhood and Archie hears him. So, he’s barking as you are barking on the video — and he may be barking at your bark. Oh well, time to get the mail. Archie knows the mail man always leaves him a dog bone in the mail box and he’s anxious to go.:)

    • I LOVE your mailman, Archie! My mailman could learn a thing or two from him – namely give me a treat instead of yelling through the door at me.

      Love and licks,

  21. Why is it that Mom is supposed to use her voice and yet she tells you to be quiet?! People make no sense sometimes. I happen to love my mail lady. She sometimes plays fetch with me! I could play that game all day Cupcake.

    • You p-p-p-play with the mailgirl? *gulp* You’re brave, R. Mom and I will never agree about voice. There’s apparently a double standard around here.

      Love and licks,

  22. I have some thoughts on this advice your mom is giving you. 1. We are girls and we have a lot to say. Sometimes we just can’t keep quiet. 2. Have our moms ever tasted the goose berries? No? Well, maybe if they did they would start to appreciate our obsession. 3. Hey humans, you throw the silly ball and then you expect us to go get it? Really? If you wanted it so badly, you shouldn’t have thrown it! There. I feel better now. Hope you’re having a fabulous day Cupcake!

    • Thank you for venting here and backing up my ideas, Miss HL. I need to convince Mom to taste the goose candies. Then she’ll see why I obsess over those delicious things.

      Love and licks,

  23. Ok, the RIP to the laughing monkey is priceless! I love all the advice and Miss Harper Lee’s thoughts are very true. However, Cooper tells me that he likes it when I throw the frisbee so he is perfectly happy to bring it back to me… well, until he gets tired.

    • GAH! That Peek-a-Boo laughing monkey was begging for me to tear his barrel to shreds. Mission accomplished, you giggling weirdo. I admire Cooper. Mom tried to teach me Frisbee, but I don’t catch, so it practically sliced off my head.

      Love and licks,

  24. OMD that video had me in STITCHES!!!! Dakota has a TWIN!!!! He does the SAME THING! Love when you said “don’t they know they are here to kill me?” lol!! Classic, loved it!

  25. Cupcake your barking on the video (talking) has my dogs Indy and Patches going crazy. They think another dog is in the house. Congrats again on the Sunshine award. You and mom both deserve it! 🙂

    • Thanks, T. Indy and Patches must have understood the threatening secret code I was telling to the evil mailman. I said some pretty vile things…..

      Love and licks,

  26. Hehehe Cupcake you made the woofies here bark with all your barking MOL!

  27. Cupcake, you are too cute. Now get out of the road. 😉

  28. Cupcake! Goose candies!! You would have a grand time here around the pond!!! That mailman isn’t ever going to mess with you. Your Mom is safe with you on the job! Congratulations on the Sunny Award!

  29. You’ve got some good advice here Cupcake.

    Like mom I struggle with conflict. I think it’s because I seem to have so much of it in my life that I can’t think of conflict to write about. Maybe I should just add some of my conflict….

  30. What an awesome post Cupcake! We bark too at the UPS guy, but that is because we want him to pet us! We run from window to window to catch every glimpse of him. RIP monkey in the barrel! hee hee Loved all of your photographs in this post! You are surely photogenic! ❤

    • Thanks, N and B. Your mailman must be …..nice. *confused look* My mailman even looks dangerous when he is driving in his car….

      Love and looks,

      • Our UPS guys are awesome, but our mailman is so lazy! Some times I feel that if he “could” throw our packages from his truck to our front door, he would…just to save him from doing any actual walking! 😎

  31. writerrabbit said:

    Well, I’ve never seen the mail man. But I’ll take your word for it.

    – WR

  32. I bet if those delivery peoples brought treats, you’d quit barking. I’m sure that’s what you’re telling them.

  33. Congrats on your award!!!!!!! WoohooooO!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  34. LovableLobo said:

    Cupcake, you ARE a ray of sunshine and you always make us smile!

  35. This Shiva. Whenever I nomming a great white sharkie and I seeing that Jaya has great white sharkie too, I making sure that I shall has that great white sharkie too!


  36. snoopys@snoopysdogblog said:

    Hey Cupcake

    Thanks for explaining fetch it buddy, I totally don’t understand that game! 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  37. Cupcake, you should have my mail person. Sometimes she gives me treats and loves.

  38. You deserve every award possible. Keep up the great work and as for fetch.. Lad says tease her a bit then she will give you two treats to bring it back… hehehehe Thats why we call him Lad the bad….

  39. […] stories can go on and on and on. And on. The plot can go off track. The focus can go […]

  40. […] all over the place, getting longer, but going nowhere, and Martin is stuck in the basement with no suspense, no crisis, no obstacles, no nuthin’. AND some of the secondary characters are trying to take […]

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