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

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
~Anne Lamott~

Starting can be a tough gig.


Writers start new things all the time. If they stick with their start, they end up with a story. That’s a happy ending – with a happy ending. See what I did there?


If they bail, they end up with a sad, unfinished, possibly terrible first effort. But that’s not to say they can’t yank that ugly, old thing out of the depths of the computer hard drive, Dropbox, cloud, or OneDrive and use it as a starter on a new day or a new month or a new year sometime. Old ideas are not always bad ideas.


When I am doing something new I sometimes have a few (or 90) false starts or terrible efforts.

Fetch? Wait. What??

Fetch? What does that even mean??

My first efforts at getting my picture taken with Santa were confusing. Mom said, “Look at me.” and “Do you want chicken?” and “Wanna go in the car?” and “Ugh. Why do I do this to myself”

I looked this way.


And that way.


And this way again.


Santa didn’t give up, though. He held me in the squeeze-grip till I looked where Mom and the photographer wanted me to look and I was publisher-ready.


I am proof positive that sticking with a rough first effort can pay off. You need to start somewhere.


Let’s get going…


Wait What?

Comments on: "Inspirational Quote of the Week" (69)

  1. yes… you said it totally right… we have to start somewhere… and we have to be patient like Santa then the perfect somewhere jumps in your minds and we can start something sometimes ;o)

    • So true. Patience is tough for little doggies like me. Thank goodness Mom and Santa have more patience than I do.

      Love and licks,

  2. 😀😇
    That’s absolutely right, the start is always terrifying… But when you never give you will definitely get the best…. Lovely photos with Santa… 👍👍

  3. hannahandlucy said:

    We loved the pictures of you with Santa Cupcake but weren’t so sure about the lights wrapped round you.

    • I wasn’t so sure about those lights, either, H and L. Luckily, I didn’t try to taste them…. That would’ve been a bad idea.

      Love and licks,

  4. yes, and we can’t be too hard on ourselves, we will get there )

  5. Cupcake you are so wise! First efforts sometimes turn into fine projects but not always when “first begun”…..filing them away for another day could be smart. My Mom has a pile of “unfinished” projects that she COULD work on but probably won’t. However I’m going to have a little talk with her about that – maybe she can do what your Mom and YOU do – look back at them and see if they might be “ready” to happen. Sometimes leaving things on the “back burner” is a GOOD thing!

    Love and Angel Hugs, Sammy

    • Thanks, Angel S. I know that Eddie made it into one of your mom’s stories, so maybe it’s time for Sammy to make an appearance…. Just sayin’. Yank something off that back burner and edit my buddy in there.

      Love and licks,

  6. Cupcake, I know some peeps who get “lit” for Christmas, but never a pup! 🙂 I love how you help your Mom tell a story, from “start to finish.” ❤

  7. Keeping on and being patient got you a very cute picture with Santa Claus!

  8. You started and ended up the best Christmas tree ever! 🎄🐶❤️

    • Thanks, G. I am happy Mom didn’t try putting a star on my head. Or hooking a ball on my nose. Or covering my feet with an embroidered tree skirt. Also that I didn’t taste the lightbulbs.

      Love and licks,

  9. aaaww Love your inspiration beautiful. We must all start and never give up. Love your pic with the big man. I hope you put in a good word for me too – hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

  10. Very inspiring Cupcake.

  11. Yes, Cupcake, cliche but true: The longest journey starts with the first step. Charley would never sit on Santa’s lap and Santa would probably think her too big anyways. xo Johanna

    • So true, J. If Charley met Santa at my vet’s office, she wouldn’t have a choice. Santa, just snatched up each doggie, kitty, and bunny and held them in the death grip till they were picture perfect. Works for me…

      Love and licks,

  12. I have the terrible first effort part down, now just to see about that writing…

  13. Oh Cupcake, you are too adorable…especially in a light tangle! Thanks for the paws advice.

  14. Paws-atively inspiring, Cupcake! I especially love your bright, light coat – no chance of Mom losing you with that on! Happy holidays! Woof!

  15. Thanks, Cupcake! This encourages me to keep writing! I’m not very good at it yet, but hopefully I’ll improve if I keep trying! 😉

  16. Oh, Cupcake – as you will see when the Elf on the Shelf post goes up later today, you and Choppy have some similar problems.

  17. Katie Isabella said:

    Cupcake! I am going to take what you say with me today and get started with something I am putting off! YOU look totally adorable by the way!!

    • Thanks, KI. Adorable is always a goal of mine. I hope you and your mom got started with the task you were putting off.

      Love and licks,

  18. Oh Cupcake, you are a riot. Great Santa photo–you always come through. Lady Caroline

  19. Cupcake you were the best little lighted dog in the whole world. As for taking your photo with Santa —-I think you were very brave. I would bark and bark at him. Boomer

    • Thanks, B. Frankly, I don’t know if you would’ve had a chance to bark at The Big Guy. He was pretty quick to scoop me up and plop me on his lap. Plus there were treats and squeaky toys galore!

      Love and licks,

  20. Three Pups and a Couple of Kitties said:

    Cupcake, I think you have a little bit of our Bonnie pup in you. It always takes her awhile to look where I want her to look when I’m taking pictures. You and your mom make me smile!
    Thank you, I needed that today. ~the Pups and Kitties Margret

    • I’m so happy I brought what you needed, M. Mom always says she has 50 bad shots for every good picture she gets. I think Bonnie and I should step up our game. The bad shots are the best fun. I’m aiming for 100.

      Love and licks,

  21. A Cupcake Christmas tree! Everyone should have one. A great message to persevere with things, even if they are difficult.
    Monty and Chicken 🐾

  22. Frankie and Ernie said:

    LOVE your Header… and your pics with SANTA CLAWS…

  23. Cute post, Cupcake! Glad your mom got a really great photo of your with Santa!

    • Thanks, P. Mom and the photographer were clicking away waiting for me to be good. Plus there were treats and squeaky toys to make me happy.

      Love and licks,

  24. You’re so right, we have to make a start. We can’t get going with the improving until we’ve begun!

    I’ve noticed something else we have in common, Cupcake. I don’t do “fetch” either. I give them my you-threw-it-you-fetch-it look when they try that on me!

    • Thanks for the tip, C. I am pretty sure I have that look in my arsenal. Usually, I just look confused and derpy. I am encouraged that even a smarty dog like you is fetch-resistant.

      Love and licks,

  25. Momwithoutpaws has not started a new story in a long time. She is in a slump. Woof

  26. hello cupcake its dennis the vizsla dog hay wot ar yoo dooing with that big laptop yoo luk verry intent on it wotever it is!!! ar yoo chekking yore stok portfolyo??? yoo ar verry festiv in that last pikcher like a krismas robot dog!!! ha ha ok bye

    • Ha! Thanks, Dennis the V-D. I DO look a little like a Christmas robot dog! How insightful! Once Mom bought me a robot hamster. It was terrifying! I am not a scary robot at all.

      Love and licks,

  27. Bentley and Pierre always look in opposite directions! You look so cute with Santa. ♥

  28. Our Mom struggles to get started with many blog posts. She comes up with a great idea, Writes it in her head, but when she sits down she forgets what she wanted to write!

    • Mind writing is tricky like that. Mom does it, too. She doesn’t write stuff down right away, She thinks if she likes it enough she’ll remember it. Dream on….. Sometimes human brains are overrated.

      Love and licks,

  29. Need me some cupcake 🐾🐾🐾

  30. It’s simply impawsible for you to take a bad photo Cupcake xo Isn’t Santa pawsome though? I mean really….such a busy guy 😀

  31. YES! YES! YES! You hit the hammer on the nail, Cupcake, without starting there’s no ending, so we just have to do it! Purrfect! I don’t know about that Santa Paws, it looks like he starts to squash you…great pictures anyway 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Sunday 🙂 ❤

  32. Whilst the pictures didn’t load, there was large gaps between the writing; I had thought for dramatic effect. The pictures loaded, it created a comical effect on the very true insights. It’s hard to start out – we should all encourage each other. Thank you for your inspirational quotes.

  33. […] has been working with some of her new story ideas. She is trying to get some of them to connect to each other. Putting a random character into a […]

  34. […] look up at the stars, too. I don’t imagine anything or visualize anything – or read or write or edit or critique or submit anything. I just look at the stars or stare at the air. Mom says, […]

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