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

Unexpected Things

Rate Your Story Rating Scale:
10 – Consider this story as practice.
9 – This story is best saved for reading to your family.
8 – If at first you don’t succeed…rewrite, rewrite again.
7 – Your idea has merit, but the story needs a lot of revision.
6 – Not bad, but doesn’t stand out.
5 – Better than average, but still needs work.
4 – A decent story. Could be great with a few revisions.
3 – Good story! Get a critique or two and polish before submitting.
2 – A very good story with the potential to be outstanding! Nearly submission-ready!
1 – Great story! You should consider submitting this!


Usually, things go just as you expect them to go. When Mom sends her work to Rate Your Story, lots of times it gets rated a 4 or a 5.

But unexpected things happen all the time. Recently, one of her stories was rated a 2.

Also, recently, one of her stories was rated a 7. Mom works equally as hard on each of them, and feels equally good when she sends them in, but there’s no way to know what clicks and what clunks.

Speaking of clunking, the front door at my house where I have lived for the past 7 years clunks shut on its own every time Mom and I go into or out of it. We expect the clunk and usually things go as we expect them to go.

But unexpected things happen all the time. Last week, I unexpectedly hesitated in the doorway, and the door clunked shut ON MY TAIL. I screamed and pulled it free, but the last little bit of my long, monkey tail didn’t make it out. It was left behind on the living room floor!


When Mom gets her scores, she looks carefully at what went wrong and fixes the story up. There are little changes like tweaking the opening to make the conflict clearer. And big changes like changing the entire point of view of the story. Whatever she does, the story is never the same again.

Doctors looked at what was left of my tail and decided how to fix it up. I slept peacefully through my surgery, and have been sporting a series of adorable bandages…

and the cone of courage.

This week, my stitches will be removed and I will be back to my old self. But my tail will never be the same again.

*sigh* Good times….

Soon, we will move to our new house. And yes, as I expected, that door also clunks shut on its own.

I’ll just wait right here. Thank you very much.


Comments on: "Unexpected Things" (52)

  1. I’m so sorry… this evil door…. that was not the tail-tale with an 1-rating…. hugs to you and lots of potp… and I hope in your new house the door will not tail-gate you ;o(

  2. We three are very concerned to learn of your tail accident. Our tails are very important to us doggie woggies. We hope you get better soon and stay away from dangerous doors.

    • Thanks, friends. This is good advice. I’ll think twice before passing through. Or actually, I’ll think once and get the heck out of the way!

      Love and licks,

  3. Boy oh boy! That was an Unexpected development. Bye bye to your monkey tail. Now you will have a new look plus a new home. I’ll bet you scared the living daylights out of your mom. Glad you have almost mended. Those are some really fashion-forward bandages. Lady Caroline

    • Thanks, Lady C. You are so right about Mom. She said the word, “Now I have seen everything.” when she found the tiny piece of my tail on the floor.

      Love and licks,

  4. You’re very brave, Cupcake. That sounds very painful. I hope you’ve been receiving lots of tasty treats to help you heal. Be careful of that door in future!

    Congratulations to your mom on the 2 rating!

    • Thanks, C. My tail was painful for a while. The doctor gave me some medicine that Mom “hid” in cream cheese, ham, and peanut bitter. Yum.

      Love and licks,

  5. OUCHIES! Oh my goodness Cupcake…..I know that hurt like CRAZY as most doors are HEAVY and clunk with a very hard clunk. Poor little girl. I’m glad the doctor fixed you up with some pretty bandages and a “repaired” monkey tail. I hope by now it doesn’t hurt so much and that you will know that all of us love you whether you have a monkey tail or a shorter, pert and perky tail or even NO tail – the love in your sweet eyes SAYS IT ALL….you are a forever sweetheart no matter what!

    Hugs, Angel Sam and Teddy
    p.s. happy moving!

    • Thanks, Angel S and Little T. Mom is relieved that I am so much better and wagging my modified tail again. I have learned NOTHING from this experience and still hesitate at the door at the old house AND the new house. Mom says I have made her a paranoid lunatic about doors.

      Love and licks,

      • Oh Cupcake…..Hesitating at the door is a natural thing since “THE GREAT TAIL INCIDENT”….but soon that memory will fade a bit more and you’ll be flying out the door again with Mom. You know, it hurt your Mom just as much as it did you when that happened – but in a different way. Your tail hurt – and her heart did!

        Love, Angel Sammy and Teddy

  6. Three Pups and a Couple of Kitties said:

    Unexpected indeed! We hope your tail feels better soon. Your bandages are very cool and we like that your mom named your cone the cone of courage. My Margret says to tell your mom to keep up the good work on her books. ~gentle nose nudges Belle for the rest of the pups and kitties.

    • Thanks for the good wishes, B. Mom says I have a lot of courage and was very brave though this whole ordeal. Plus she says I’m tougher than I look.

      Love and licks,

  7. Doors are the worst, Cupcake. Chili often has to scurry through the outside door before it slams shut on windy days. I hope your tail feels better soon & that your Mom’s RYS scores continue to be good ones.

  8. I knew about your tail, Cupcake, but I didn’t know about leaving a bit of your tail on the living room floor. So sorry Cupcake, that had to hurt. I am glad you slept through the surgery and they fixed the poor tail. It will look fine I am sure and hopefully never happen again. I had the front door shut on my finger several years ago and CH was worried I would bleed on the carpet… not much sympathy 🙂 He didn’t know how bad it was so I will give him that… Ha! You are a courageous Cupcake! Neat for your Mom with the 2 rating on her story! Good Morning! Been loving the pictures of your new home!

    • Thanks, Pix. My tail is getting much better. Mom wishes her scores will also get much better. Soon I will get my stitches out and Mom will finally get her first look at my modified tail. Yikes!

      Love and licks,

  9. Oh no! Your poor tail! I wish I had more than just a stumpy tail. We think cocker spaniels don’t need their tails docked. But breed standards only change slowly.

    Ghostwriter knows about those rules for writing. It’s a long process to get the story perfect!

  10. OH! Cupcake! What a terrible thing to happen to your tail! My it HAD to hurt! LOTS! My condolences! Boomer

    • Thanks, L. It DID hurt a lot when my tail broke off. I screamed bloody murder, but just for a few seconds, so Mom thought I was fine. Then she looked at it…. Whoa!

      Love and licks,

  11. Christine said:

    Your mom one day will receive the unexpected award Best Seller ” Your picture will be seen around the world spreading the news of wagging good cheer!

  12. Oh cupcake – what an awful thing to happen to your tail. But I hope it soon gets better and you will be wagging again. Glad you didn’t loose very much of your tail. Woof woof and nose rubs from Benji. Mary sends her love to you too. x

    • Thanks, M and B. Even with my heavy tail bandages, I am back to wagging again. Soon I will be my old self with my new, cropped tail.

  13. Dear, poor Cupcake. I just couldn’t click “Like” on this, not when you had such a horrible accident and lost the end of your tail. Thankfully, it wasn’t the sort of accident that was the end of your TALE! I hope you are getting extra treats this week.
    ❤ Amy

    • Thanks, A. The treats are flowing – each time Mom puts the cone on or takes it off, I get a treat. Pretty good deal, considering how horrific this whole ordeal has been.

      Love and licks,

    • Mom hasn’t seen my tail yet, A. We’re going to the doctor again tomorrow, and if they take out my stitches, we may get our first look at the leftover tail. *gulp* From the looks of the bandages, it’s not too different.

  14. I love your mom’s persistence! Ratings also depend upon the rater’s interests too! Poor Cupcake! At least you still have a tail.

    • Thanks, P. Mom is nothing if not persistent. She says, “Being judged is part of the job.” I say, “Ha! Ha! Ha! You call this a job???”

      Love and licks,

  15. Oh no – poor little Cupcake. My mom wood freak if she had seen part of my tail layin’anywhere without me attached to it. Like u – I wood haf SCREAMED! Butt luckily, if we leave the house thru the front then we go thru the big garage door. Butt now, like Zooperson sed, u will haf a new tail an’a new home – an’hopefully that clunky door will leave your tail alone. Hope it’z feelin’a little better at least – may-b thoze cute bandagez will help it.

    An’tell your mom on the ratingz – the good an’not so good. My mom iz kinda envious that your mom stickz with it no matter what an’she keepz tryin’no matter the ratingz.
    Lady Shasta

    • Thanks, Lady S. Mom is determined to hang in there with her work. She loves to write stories.

      And YES! Freaking out was definitely part of the hideous tail-tip-on-the-floor experience. At first, Mom thought it was a clump of hair. When she picked it up, things got pretty intense pretty fast.

      Love and licks,

  16. OMG, Cupcake, you and your mom both are HEROES!!! It must have been a terrible experience – pain, screams, blood… But you mastered the horror together! I’m very proud of you and your mom! LOVE!!!!

    • Thanks, K. I was all pretty ugly and resembled a crime scene for a while, but we are both recovering nicely. Although I have learned nothing from this experience, Mom is watching my tail carefully when we go out the door. She’s a better learner than me.

      Love and licks,

  17. Be more careful, dogfriend. Tails are meant to last. I’m sure you’ve learned to dangers of the door and I’m sure mom will get a #1 rating. I’m pulling for you both. And no. I’m no pulling your tail. 😳❤

    • Thanks, G. Especially thanks for not pulling my tail. *ouch* Mom continues to put her work out there. And I continue to hesitate in the doorway. But I look out for her and she looks out for me, so we’re going to be OK.

      Love and licks,

  18. Katie isabella said:

    Oh my sweet Cupcake I am so very sorry sweet girl. I know that hurt you badly and your mom was hurt too with being helpless to make it all go away. Feel better and better every day and here are lots of smoochies.

    • Thanks, KI. Smoochies are always the very best medicine. On the upside, the doctor gave me some pills for the pains in my tail, and Mom put them in delicious globs of peanut butter and sometimes cream cheese. #Brightside

      Love and licks,

  19. hello cupcake its dennis the vizsla dog oh hay wow i am sorry abowt yore tail!!! poor thing!!! it sownds like the door is hawnted or sumthing i wood maybe hav an eksorsist chek owt the noo howse just in kayse!!! it sownds like yore mamas storreez do pritty wel at that site so that is gud eeven if wun storry didnt klik with wun persun!!! ok bye

    • Thanks, D the V. I think you’re right – that door is haunted!! It always tries to get me. At the new house, Mom is super careful when I stand there like a jamoke in the doorway. She wishes she had 6 arms to carry stuff, hold my leash, and save me from getting crushed in the door.

      Love and licks,

  20. Ouch!!!! That was not a nice door. Sorry for your pain. Mom makes nice bandage art. Hope it all feels better soon.

    • Actually, the vet made my bandages and changes them every few days. Mom hasn’t seen my injury, since the surgery.

      Love and licks,

  21. You poor thing, Cupcake! We all hope you feel better now. I expect you will still look beautiful with your new tail. You never know – you might be more aerodynamic.
    Monty and Chicken 🐾❤🐾

    • Thanks, M and C. I am feeling better. Soon my bandages will be off for good. I’m not sure why Mom won’t let me eat my new (hopefully aerodynamic) tail. It seems delicious, but it’s tough to reach it with the cone on, Derp.

      Love and licks,

  22. Oh my gosh! You poor little thing. My daughter accidently shut her cat’s tail in a door with the same result. I hope you are feeling better!

  23. Doors are so annoying, Cupcake. My two-feet brother lost the tip of his finger lately, but thank cat it healed properly, so we know your tail is going to heal too, but we feel very sorry that you had to go through that pain😩 Healing Pawkisses still continue❤❤❤

  24. […] a few seconds too long in the doorway so the door slams on my tail and a piece of it breaks […]

  25. […] would let in one of her stories. Till that happens, she will keep on knocking. Once my tail got caught in the door and a little piece of it broke off and fell onto the living room floor. (insert Mom’s […]

  26. […] Book – Mom reads picture books like crazy – piles and piles of them – usually 200 a year. It’s a […]

  27. […] 5. Tougher – A few years ago, when I got my tail caught in the door, […]

  28. […] 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 […]

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