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

Archive for the ‘acceptance’ Category

Five Word Friday


Looking over her stories, Mom is noticing she has three different kinds – some that aren’t ready yet, some that are old and worn out, and some that are just about right. Today’s five words are about growing and changing. It’s good for characters, good for stories, good for authors, good for butterflies, …and good for me.


1. Unripe – New stories need time to ripen up.

Ugh! Green and underdone.

Ugh! Green and underdone.

Whenever Mom finishes a story she tucks it away and doesn’t look at it or think about it for a few weeks. It sits in the computer until it gets ripe.

2. Learning – When Mom first adopted me, I apparently did not know how to conduct myself. She had to teach me A LOT of things. Plus she took me to obedience school so she could learn how to make me learn. Wait. What?

CGC diploma

3. Overripe – Some of Mom’s stories have been around for years and years. And YEARS. She has revised them and revised them and edited them and overhauled them and submitted them and revamped them. She’s done everything but run them over with her car.

dog in car

She hasn’t totally ruled that out because they’re going nowhere.

I think this one has been run over by a car...

I think this one has been run over by a car…

4. Waiting – Writers do a LOT of waiting. So do I. I wait for Mom to share her breakfast,

Did somebody say pancake?

Did somebody say pancake?

wait for her to come home, wait for her to go walking with me, wait for her to take me in the car, and wait for my dinner.


5. Just Right – Like the porridge, the chairs, and the beds in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, some of Mom’s stories are just right. They’re not too old and not too new. They’re not too long and not too short. They’re not too blah and not too way out there.


Perfect! May I eat it??

Inspirational Quote of the Week

There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.

~Garth Stein~

Writers cannot be afraid to lose. Rejection is part of the game plan. Rejections happen so that a writer’s work can improve. Rejections are also the path to finding the right home for a piece of writing. Rejection = wrong home. Acceptance = right home. (That goes for shelter dogs too! Just sayin’.)

My first day at my forever home.

My first day at my forever home.

Mom is not afraid. I mean, yes – she’s afraid of bugs. And spiders. And the dark. And germs. And Chinese restaurants (long story). And earthworms (don’t ask). But when it comes to being an author, NOTHING scares her.

Last week, she did a different kind of author visit. She was a guest at Disability Awareness Day. She talked to over 200 kids – a group at a time – at her table.


They also touched the pages of Mom’s book in Braille, typed their names into the iPad to see how they look in Braille, solved puzzles, tested their sense of touch with the objects in Mom’s Touch Box , and walked with their eyes closed using the cane to feel their way around.

Type your name at Braillebug.

Type your name at BrailleBug.

Mom signed books for a bunch of kids, teachers, and parents.


It was a LOT of fun. Plus a LOT of talking, so Mom needed some tea with honey and a few gingersnaps when she got home. And yes – she shared a gingersnap with me!


Last month, Mom tried to take me hiking. Talk about a losing proposition. The trail we tried was icy, muddy, overgrown, and STEEP. But did that scare us away? ….Yes!


…But not for long. Today we tried again – on a different trail.

log dog

It was sunny, well-marked, flat, clear, and wide. We didn’t win any races, but we are in the game. And not afraid to lose.

Hitchhiker butterfly - also in the game....

GAH! Hitchhiker butterfly – also in the game….

Waiting and Waiting

Waiting is tough. It’s one more tough thing in my life along with the treat famine when I gain weight,


the mailman trying to kill me, and being afraid to walk past scary things like pumpkins, the UPS truck, and the always deadly, frightening coffee lid in the street.


Waiting is brutal. Here I am waiting for my turn to listen to a story at Read to a Pet Night at the library…

Am I next?

Am I next?

…waiting for Mom to carry me so I don’t have to walk in my paw boots , and…


…waiting for Mom to come home.


Mom entered a couple of stories in the Rate Your Story Writing Contest.


She also sent a story to an agent who showed interest in it during #PitMad on Twitter. Now she is waiting for results. For her the waiting is fun and exciting. She says, “Once you do your best, there’s nothing else to do.” and “Gotta be in it to win it.” and “Seriously?? It’s a cardboard chef! He’s not going to hurt you!”


Five Word Friday

Things change. Change is what makes the world keep spinning and not come to a stuck-in-the-mud-stop.


Today’s five words are about changes.

1. Joining – Joining a class or taking on a challenge makes things different. Last month, Mom became a ProMember at Rate Your Story. That means experts will look at her work and give her tips before she sends it out to a publisher.


2. Color – Mom’s friend gave her a color change umbrella. It’s white when it’s dry…

white umbrella

…and when it rains, this happens.

colored umbrella

Colors make everything happier. It’s like when Mom edits a story. It’s plain when she starts, and comes alive when she adds colorful characters, interesting word choices, and unexpected plot twists.

3. Bowl Games – For SuperBowl Sunday, we started off watching the Puppy Bowl,


Yay, team!

but then we had to change to the Human SuperBowl.

superbowl nap


4. Bravery – Bravery can change. I am afraid of a LOT of things. So when the little girl upstairs built a snowman on the front lawn, Mom was sure I would be terrified. But I suddenly became brave, and didn’t bat an eye when I saw the snowguy.


I even tried to eat his buttons which looked like cookies….


…but turned out to be rocks.

5. Point of View – Mom tries to see her work with a different eye, and make changes. She looks for an unusual point of view or a new spin. I help her see life from my point of view when she puts her GoPro camera onto my Fetch harness and we go walking in the snow. Maybe she should clip the camera to herself and then work on her stories.






There would be no point to sending out stories if Mom didn’t believe somebody would love her work and will publish it. She believes like crazy. Part of the fun of setting goals and striving to get better at your craft is believing. She says, “I believe this is one of my best stories yet.” and “I believe this is the one.” and “I don’t believe you can’t find a better place to sit!”


Two pieces of tissue paper. Perfect place to plop down and snoopervise.

Believing doesn’t mean dreaming (not that there’s anything wrong with dreaming), and it doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go wrong. Sometimes things go wrong.


Things that go wrong are called Rejections. They’re also called I’m-Stuck. And Where’s-the-Conflict. And What’s-the-Point-of-This. When these things go wrong, Mom revises, switches to a different project, adds in a new problem for her character, or takes away some paragraphs and starts in a spot that makes the point clear.

Then she sweeps the broken glass off the floor and throws away my tissue paper bed. Go figure.




Rules and Regulations

“Let’s take a walk,” she said. “It’ll be fun,” she said.



“What are you ‘fraid of?” she said.




This week, we had to mail in the annual paperwork for me to be a therapy dog. Mom and I took a walk to the mailbox (and by “walk” I mean she dragged me past the cat on a bike, a ladder, and a couple of garden gnomes who I’m pretty sure were trying to kill me).

very afraid

Mailing in my information form, shot record, and license is a rule.


If I don’t follow the rules, I can’t do my work at the Veteran’s Home and the library. Following rules is important.


Mom follows rules when she sends in her stories. She was about to enter the MeeGenius Author Challenge,

meegenius blue

but by the 99th time she read over the rules to be sure she was doing everything right, she saw that she can’t enter because she is already a MeeGenius published author!

ebookcover with border

Mom said, “GAH!” and “Whew!” and “That was close.” She changed her plan and instead of entering the contest, she submitted her story to MeeGenius the regular way. So hope is still alive.

Mom also reads the rules 99 times every month when she submits to an agent in her 12×12 Challenge. She says, “The rules are the rules for a reason.” and “I don’t want this person to think I’m an idiot.” and “OMG. You look like an idiot!”

firecracker head

Is there something on my head…?

Comfort Zone

Being out and about is awesome. When I’m out in the world, out of my comfort zone, I see things I wouldn’t see at home.

At the vet. Ugh. Wishing I could get back to the car...

Vet parking lot… Wait! What??

I smell things I never smell at home.

Hmmm... Smells like....

Hmmm… Smells like….

And if I pay attention and turn my head just so, I hear things I don’t hear at home.


Out and about is different – in a good way. It’s exciting!



This week, Mom’s first ever ebook What If I Don’t? was published at MeeGenius.

meegenius blue

She can’t frame it

framed book

or autograph it, and she can’t put a pile of them in her bag for a school visit. She’s a little out of her comfort zone with her ebook out there in the cyber-world. It’s different – in a good way. It’s exciting!

If you want to see (buy) Mom’s new ebook, you can download the free MeeGenius App from the App Store and look for it in New Releases. Or you can put “What If I Don’t?” or “Genevieve Petrillo” into the search box. You can also see (buy) it at

ebookcover with border

If you want to see me at the vet – forget it. You’re too late. I was poked, prodded, stuck, squeezed, checked, and double-checked from teeth to tail. I’m back in my comfort zone.

comfort zone



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