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


When I was first adopted, I walked forward, backward, sideways, and upside down. I zigged and zagged and wiggled and waggled. I pulled and pushed and jumped and got in the way. Mom said, “Here is your forever home.” and “You’re my new doggie.” and “This psycho mutt is trying to kill me!”

Zigging and zagging…

Then I went to obedience school so I could learn how to walk nicely on my leash. After 10 weeks of studying, I was a perfect walker with the best manners.

Well, maybe not perfect… It took a few more weeks before I stopped trying to chase cars, but eventually, I did.

Walking forward is a great skill to have. Looking forward is also a great skill to have. Mom and I do both. A lot.

There is a time to walk back, though. When Mom works on a story, she tries to keep it moving forward. Each day, she takes her characters a little further through the plot. Sometimes she knows exactly where the story is going. Sometimes, she is straight-up flying blind. But forward she goes day after day. When she gets to the end of the story, then it’s time to look back.

First the story gets to sleep for a while inside the computer.

Sleep is important for stories and for busy puppers…

After a week or two, Mom looks back and starts revising and editing the story. She goes back over it 9,000 times. She reads it out loud, makes changes, takes stuff out, adds stuff in, and moves stuff around. Sometimes she sends it to her critique group, sometimes to Rate Your Story. Sometimes she says, “I’m finished fussing with this thing.” And she starts a new story to do the same stuff all over again. Forward and back. Forward and back. This psycho-human is trying to kill me!

Comments on: "Inspirational Quote of the Week" (32)

  1. hahah maybe there is a school for writers too where thy can learn to walk in da right direction? but for a story we can walk in all direction and at the end we land at the end… although we sometimes wish a gps system could lead us to that place the direct way without jams and detours and construction ground on da road ;O)

    • I DO wish that, P. If Mom cold write a story direct from beginning to end, we would have more time to play, and she would spend less time ignoring me and telling me to be a good girl.

      Love and licks,

  2. Life is one long “class” – things to learn almost every day if we just are OPEN to it. We’re never too old to learn a new trick…….they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but that’s NOT TRUE! Not that any of us are old but we sure are good at learning – sometimes the hard way. I know one thing for sure Cupcake – you are one very wise girl!

    Hugs, Teddy

  3. ha – i love the abe lincoln quote, so perfect for this

  4. Carole Schulman said:

    Perhaps a story based on this particular blog today; only about a little girl or boy who is taking the proverbial one step forward and two back…until the lesson they are trying to assimilate becomes clear to them, as it inevitably will. Either academically or socially. A try, try again approach. Cupcake, I love reading your adventures and your first weeks home with your mom started my day with a smile!! XOX

    Katie Isabella

    • Thanks, KI. Learning lessons the hard way is a common theme that Mom writes about. That and being afraid of stuff. She writes a lot about that, too. Mom and I like remembering when she picked me out and brought me home, back when I was all wrong and absolutely perfect at the same time.

      Love and licks,

  5. Cupcake, your Mom is a smart writer for knowing that sometimes you have to go back before you can go forward with a story. And you’re a smart pup for knowing that sleep is important for pups & stories.

  6. I just started freestyle and I am going to learn to go backwards. XOX Xena

  7. As long as it’s not two steps back and one step forward you’re good. ❤️🐶

  8. You and your mom are clearly made for each other, Cupcake! Keep putting one foot in front of the other and forging forward you two lovable psychos 🙂

    • Thanks, S. Mom and I love forging and being lovable and being psycho and putting one paw in front of the other. #wereonit

      Love and licks,

  9. You’re the purrfect pupil, Cupcake. I’m still zigzagging between Granny’s legs…MOL😹Nice balance between walking forward and sleep, while your mom is working…backwards…😸 Now let’s make pawprints together in the snow, it’s my new hobby…MOL😹Pawkisses for a wonderful day🐾😽💞

    • Thanks, Little B. I think our pawprints would look GREAT together – in your beautiful garden or in the park near my house!

      Love and licks,

      • We can do both of them, Cupcake…MOL 😀 I was trying to sign up by emai, but it didn’t work, we know why afterwards, so we signed up with Granny’s email and that worked. YAY! Just wanted to tell you, because we tried it a few times …to much and maybe you got an email for all the failed times, so if you did “Sorry for the inconvenience”. Here’s an Extra Pawkiss for that🐾😽💞

  10. I think it’s just human nature to keep moving forward, although granted, some peeps do get stuck in the past, or stagnate. But mostly it’s just putting one foot in front of the other. 🙂

    • Getting stuck and stagnating are not on our radar, J. We are new ideas, new stories, new tricks and new treats all the way!

      Love and licks,

  11. chesterspaniel said:

    I like to pull ahead of ghostwriter and then go left and right, left and right, sniffing all the time. GW looked up this behavior and found out that cocker spaniels are hunting doggies, and this is called quartering the field as a way to sniff out birds and small animals who may be hiding. I do this when I’m out in my fenced yard too, and so did all of our angel cockers, Charisma, Ginger, and Joey.

    Good luck on your writing. We know it can be difficult sometimes. But still fun.

    • Writing IS fun, C. Sounds like hunting is fun, too. I am the opposite of a hunter and can barely find a cookie if Mom throws it on the bed. What will you do if you actually catch a bird or a critter? *shiver*

      Love and licks,

  12. Margret Abbott said:

    Cupcake, You did such a great job learning how to walk beside your mom instead of in and around her you could teach others how to do it. Your mom deserves lots of credits and some Cupcake cuddles for sticking to her writing. The back and forth stuff is all part of the process. It’s got to be hard to know when to say it’s finished. ~ nose nudges Belle Pup

    • Thanks, B. At least if you and your sisters zig and zag, your Mom can see you. I am like a little mouse out of Mom’s line of vision. I’m like a ninja! That’s why we had to go to school to straighten out my walking – literally!

      Love and licks,

  13. M. K. Clinton said:

    I’m sure you are an excellent walker now! The Bayou Boys walk at two VERY different speeds. We look funny walking together. Dad and Pierre are usually a bit ahead but Pierre stops to leave pee mail every few steps so we do get to catch up.

    • That would be pretty comical if you took them both at once! Don’t poo-poo the pee-mail (See what I did there?) It’s an important part of the process.

      Love and licks,

  14. Forward is a good thing but sometimes it’s also good to retrace one’s steps by going backwards. In the long run, it the overall progress that matters.

  15. Charlee: “Hey, that’s how our Dada does it too with his books! Except he pretty much always does the ‘flying blind’ approach.”
    Chaplin: “And he doesn’t read out loud, which is good, because his books are pretty long and some of us around here need to sleep. A lot.”

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