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

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

William Somerset Maugham

First of all, I love this guy. How could I not? His name is W. Somerset Mom. And just like Mom, he talks about rules. Mom has a lot of rules for me. Here are the top three:

14. Keep off the bed after it’s made.


6. Always put the toys back in the toy box.


97. Don’t eat garbage.


Somethin’ smells good…

3. No begging.


Mom doesn’t know the novel rules any better than Maugham does. Ditto the picture book rules.


I mean she knows there needs to be a great opening, unpredictable characters, conflict, voice, rising action, increasing obstacles, excitement, humor, emotion, lyrical language, plot twists, surprises, and of course a satisfying ending.


Sometimes, when she reads picture books – which she does A LOT,

books3she says the word, “What? There’s no conflict here.” and “Aargh. That was SO predictable.” and “Get off the bed!”


and “Ugh. Worst ending ever.” and “Meh.” and “Don’t even think about it!”


So apparently, there are rules and there is reality. It’s tough to know what an editor will like. It’s much easier to know what Mom will like.



Comments on: "Inspirational Quote of the Week" (62)

  1. that are pawsome 3 rules LOL. I don’t understand why we can’t eat garbage… I mean the whole world talks about recycling, so the humans would do an environment-friendly thing if they would offer us the garbage bag for a check…and they wouldn’t need so much garbage bags, right? that saves money they can use for eventual vet-bills :o)

  2. MOL…that’s the most inspiring quote we have ever heard, Cupcake…and aren’t we good in breaking bed rules…and more….MOL 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Day 🙂 ❤

  3. My Dear Cupcake….you are EVER so smart! Life seems to be full of rules and some of them we ALL have I think, others are “tailor-made” for us by our Moms. Some rules we can get away with ignoring and others not so much and like our little friend Phenny, we wind up on the “rug of shame”. Oh well…….someone ELSE said “rules are made to be broken”…..maybe that was who we should listen to? HAHAHAHA

    Love, Angel Sammy

    • So smart, Angel S. Rules ARE made to be broken! Maybe not at Phenny’s house, though. He’s ALWAYS on the naughty mat.

      Love and licks,

  4. Three Pups and a Couple of Kitties said:

    Hi Cupcake! Rules are tough but it sounds like you’ve figured it out. Good job looking so cute while you are breaking the “stay off the bed after its made” rule. No one not even mom could resist that face. We’ll have to try that!

    • Good luck, Pups and Kitties. Even when I have my cutest, most irresistible face on, Mom says the word, “OUT!” and points at the door.

      Love and licks,

  5. fredrieka said:

    Rules Pfft! Surprise endings are the best. One surprise you can give your mom, put all your toys on the bed after it’s made. That would surprise her Cupcake

    • That would be an AWESOME surprise, for Mom, F. But it sounds like an awful lot of work. I wish you could come over and help me.

      Love and licks,

  6. You would fit in perfectly at our house where rules are meant to be ignored.

  7. Rules, of course, are made to be broken. That’s the most important rule of all.

  8. Rules? What rules? I didn’t know there were rules!

  9. Can’t hear the rules …I have my head in the drain …again
    Love Big Oscar

    • Thank goodness there isn’t a rule about that, Big O. ….or is there??

      Love and licks,

      • Mrs P has covered the drain, but I push the slab out of the way just to see whats in there….I class this as part of my guard duties ~ a monster could enter the cottage up the overflow into the kitchen sink, then slime the whole place, then I’m pretty sure Mrs P would think it was me being a tad naughty …oh my goodness I’d better check the drain again ~ my people need to be safe ……

  10. Cupcake, how can mom resist you begging??? Charley agrees, the bed is the best place to be, especially when it’s cold and it’s not made and she can crawl under the flannels and be very happy. Now I have the rule that that is not allowed and Charley says, she just wanted to check if that was still the case…every day…xo Johanna
    Ps LOL Somerset Mom ;o)

    • Thanks, J. Charley is smart to check the rules every single day. New ones can sneak up on you if you’re not paying attention.

      Love and licks,

  11. Frankie and Ernie said:

    RULES???? What are THOSE??? BaaaaaWaaaah.

  12. I think Maugham and Mom both hit the nail on the head. 🤣

  13. I like Mom’s rules, Cupcake, especially as they seem to be more guidelines than rules – just like in picture books!

  14. LOVE THOSE BOOTS! I have boots but so far Mom hasn’t made me wear them! But You and your boots look way cool! Boomer


    • Thanks, B. You are pretty safe over there with your bare paws. Around here, there’s lots of road salt and icy pavement. I don’t love the boots, and when Mom puts them on me, I act like she’s killing me. But I really need them sometimes. #cityproblems

      Love and licks,

      • Mom explained to me about road salt, that seems like some pretty harsh stuff. I’m glad you have boots. Yours are pretty spiffy! Boomer

  15. Marty the Manx said:

    Rules ARE made to be broken, ask us cats MOL!

  16. Lovely photos of you Cupcake. Benji can relate to all you say but we don’t always stick to the rules, he says.

  17. It would be very hard for me to enforce rules with your little face looking like it does in these photos. Cracking up at all the toys spread out on the floor and you snoozing on the couch!!!

    • Thanks, Pix. Playing with so many toys can be exhausting. I don’t know how Mom can expect me to help clean up. Plus, I’m still a little afraid of my toybox, so I prefer not to interact with it if I don’t have to. I need her to get the toys out for me and then put them back.

      Love and licks,

  18. Rules are made to be broken! Or at least bent at every opportunity.

    • Thanks C. Bent is a good way to think of it. Bending the rules sounds a lot less naughty than breaking them.

      Love and licks,

  19. OMD! Do you actually put your toys away? I sure hope that my mom doesn’t catch on to this rule.

    • Well, yes. I do occasionally accidentally drop or toss a toy in the direction of the toy box. That’s something like putting the toys away. Mostly, though, I snooze on the couch while Mom does it.

      Love and licks,

  20. Doggy keeps breaking the trash rule, that’s why he does what he does at night I guess.

  21. Choppy hopes there is a rule about eating as much bacon as possible.

  22. hello cupcake its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow that shoor is a lot of roolz!!! on the wun hand i like roolz becuz they mayk things prediktabul but on the other hand i do not like things like do not sit on the bed or on the furnitcher or sutch fortchoonatly we do not hav those kinds of roolz heer!!! ha ha ok bye

    • Ha! D the V, you are a funny guy. I didn’t think we had that rule either…. till I broke it. Then Mom said I would get a spankin’ – which sounded like I would get a bacon. I didn’t get either one, BTW.

      Love and licks,

  23. I’ll bet you’re a big help to your mom Cupcake. We all new guidelines for the perfect behaviour. We all struggle with those guidelines too.

    Luvs Kali and Shoko

    • Thanks, K and S. Calling them guidelines sounds a lot friendlier. Mom calls that “struggle” naughty behavior. Go figure.

      Love and licks,

  24. Love the quote beautiful. It’s so perfect – like YOU. XOXO – Bacon

  25. Our Mom has lots of rules too. We try to humor her and listen sometimes.

  26. Fun blog post C! I am glad to know that you are figuring out your own rules! 😀

  27. Katie Isabella said:

    Cupcake…you sure do have rules down pat. And everything else too. A burning question. Do your ears tips flap as you walk?

    • Yes, they sure do, KI. And my head kind of bobbles back and forth with each step, too. It all contributes to my cuteness. Thanks for noticing.

      Love and licks,

  28. Hello Cupcake! I does think that your mum does think that she doesn’t like things that is predictable. If you does follow the rules you is being predictable. So if you does break the rules, you will all be making your mum happy.
    Love Chicken 🐾

    • You are a brilliant thinker, C. So… I’m only being naughty to help Mom be happy? Genius! It’s for her own good!

      Love and licks,

  29. […] Challenge stories are not really finished either. I mean they have a beginning, middle, and ending, but the month ends and the stories still have a long way to […]

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