Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
I run for my life pretty much every day. Well, not exactly for my life… But I run for my toys, and I run if Mom doesn’t hand over my cookie fast enough or if she tries to brush me. #donotbrushme
Mom hasn’t made much progress in her writing lately. And by not much, I mean none. Let’s just say if she were the gazelle, instead of COOKING breakfast she would BE breakfast.
It’s officially September, officially the day after Labor Day, so officially, it’s time to buckle down and get busy with writing work. I have done all I can to be inspiring.
“Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”
Not a lot of writing has been accomplished around here lately. Mom reads instead. Blog posts, web sites, her Kindle,
and she listens on Audible sometimes too, and calls that reading. The jury is out on that one.
I do not actually know how to read without help, but Mom let me look at the pictures in a book about one of our therapy dog friends.
Dog books are my favorites. Mom rarely reads dog books, in case she’s afraid the dog will die in the story. This wasn’t that kind of book.
Unlike Mom, I never slack off on my jobs and responsibilities around the house. I watch for danger
(or the Amazon truck),
control the traffic,
help with the housework,
and make sure none of our drive-thru/curbside car food goes to waste.
We’re hoping that next week, Mom can get back to writing. She has an idea for a new piece to start, but she’s still mind-writing it instead of buckling down to work. I guess mind-writing is writing like Audible is reading.
“You have to finish things – that’s what you learn by finishing things.”
Finishing things is good. Mom FINALLY finished one of her half-stories last week. Soon, her writing group named LindaJenVijiLauriandOtherJen will read it and say things about it. Then suddenly, the story will not be finished anymore, and Mom will work on it again. And again. And again.
When I am finished with things, I. Am. Finished.
I am finished going to the vet for a tummy ache. Now I eat my special, yummy, chicken stew foods, and I will never go back there again. #shotshurt
After a few minutes, I am finished trying to get treats out of my treat ball. Mom helps me with the last one or two. Again. And again.
I am finished with early wake-ups. I need my beauty sleep.
I love the sun. But when I’m finished, I’m finished.
On a warm, sunny day, I finish my walks with a street nap
or a street squiggle.
Mom tries and tries to get things going again, but when I am finished, I. Am. Finished.
So hopefully, Mom will start and finish and restart and refinish lots more stories till eventually the right one gets to the right place at the right time. Then she’ll be finished. Till she starts a new one again.
“Finished last will always be better than did not finish, which always trumps did not start.” ~Unknown~
On the downside, staying home means she did a bunch of homeschooling,
and brain work with me, so I didn’t turn into a piece of furniture or a potato.
On the upside, staying home means Mom (should have) had plenty of time to write stories and read picture books. (Nope. I didn’t say either one twice.)
On the downside, staying home means actual experiences, people-watching, eavesdropping on kids’ conversations, and observing the world was a no-go.
Also, bookstores and libraries gave Mom the virus-germ-heebie-jeebies.
So reading picture books is basically non-existent, and writing is at a minimum around here. Happily, Mom has an idea list, that she started in StoryStorm and continues as always. She has a few half-finished stories waiting for her attention and a few finished pieces waiting for revision. She also has nothing but time. So here’s hoping Mom gets more than 15 minutes of writing done each day. She keeps telling herself that writers write, so she needs to take her own advice. Or at the very least, paws crossed that she doesn’t turn into a piece of furniture or a potato.
Mom’s latest half-story has these 5 words to play with.
Water – I don’t like water. I don’t like to drink it. I don’t like to step in it. And I REALLY don’t like Bath Day. That is way too much water in way too many of the wrong places.
Door – Mom is always waiting for the right door to open for her writing work. It did once, but it’s been stubborn since. When it eventually opens again, she will blast through it without looking back. I never step through a door without some hesitation. Mom says I have door-phobia. I always 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 off!
Snuggly – When it’s snowy and cold and windy outside, I get snuggly in my bed.
Or in Mom’s bed.
Or on the couch.
Or the chair.
Those are sometimes good writing days for Mom, but sometimes, she wastes the day getting snuggly with me (and watching way too much TV).
Night – We do not like night. Mom and I don’t like the dark at all. Ditto for the moon, coyotes, shadows, sunset, owls, fireflies, and moths. We are all about sunrise, morning, sunshine, and light.
Mom has a few stories about being afraid of the dark and getting over fear of the night, but writing them never helped her reality at all.
Blanket – Winter and summer, I am a blanket-loving doggie. I doze on them, in them, and under them. Move over, Linus van Pelt. You are not the only one with a legendary security blanket.
“Whatever pool of possibility stands before you, jump in!”
Mom jumped in and submitted a few stories in the past few weeks. We didn’t hear back yet, but things inside the wheels and gears (whatever) of the computer stand no chance at all.
With things out in the world of books, there’s a chance that something will A. be good enough, B. get into the right hands, and C. land in the right place at the right time. If none of those things happen, we are no worse off than before, and Mom will feel like she’s a writer because writers take those chances all the time.
Win or lose, we will smile through and keep on hoping. And jumping.
Mom doesn’t like when I jump from high places. She says it gives her 6 strokes and 4 heart attacks every time. But when she plops me up on top of a rock, it’s awful tempting to make a jump for it.
Ditto when I leap onto a bench. Jumping is fun.
When Mom calls me I will jump and run every time. That is not my fault. It’s what she taught me.
Once on my walk I tried to jump up and catch a bird. I have also jumped up to try and catch a butterfly, a helicopter, and a hot air balloon flying over my house. If (When) it doesn’t happen, I am no worse off than before.
So, win or lose, I smile through and keep on hoping. And jumping.
This month, Mom is challenging herself to get a story ready to submit somewhere. Our five words are from one of the stories that made the cut as a possibility.
Cloud – When clouds come and cover the sun, they interfere with my street naps.
Mom is always happy when the sun goes behind a cloud because then I get up and start walking. When the sun comes back, I hit the deck again.
Garden – Mom has a whole garden of stories and poems inside her computer. The challenge is to sort through them and pick a good one. Sometimes in a garden, the flowers die off. That happens with stories, too. Mom doesn’t want to submit a dud.
No duds here…
Popped – Last week, I had surgery to remove a bump from my chest. I had a bunch of staples in there to hold the cut together. The vet told Mom not to let me jump around. Mom and I both knew that was just crazy talk. As soon as I got home, I popped up onto the chair and have popped up and down all over the place ever since.
Mom did waste spend $70 on a ramp, but I only use it when she tells me to.
Puddles – I like puddles. Even though I dread bath day – leaving drippy, soapy, sloppy puddles everywhere almost makes it worth the torture.
Sky – Since we live on top of a hill, we look at the sky a lot. I mostly look for sunshine. Mom sees planets, stars, sunrises,
and sometimes, planets and the space station. Plus we always need a reminder about where we should be reaching.
Today’s five words are from Mom’s June Challenge story, which she barely finished a couple of days ago. #junechallenge Yes, it’s the middle of July.
16. Bumblebee – Even though Mom is afraid of bees, she wrote a story about one. Sometimes, she tells me a bumblebee is going to sting my face off. I dare you, Bee.
4. Swing – I never miss a chance to show my baby swing picture. Now that I am older and fatter… I mean more dignified (and more stubborn), I will NOT let Mom squish me into the swing anymore. Sometimes you just have to put your paw down.
22. Colors – Mom never plans her stories before she starts writing them. She just jumps in and types and follows the characters, hoping they will grow and change and get more colorful as the plot develops.
Sometimes, she doesn’t plan what I’m going to wear. She just picks random things and puts them on me. Then I end up wearing so many colors, I look like a hobo clown.
It’s not polite to stare…
8. Froze – In the winter, everything around me froze,
but I stayed toasty warm.
95. Flowers – Like flowers, story ideas start out as tiny seeds. If they get the right attention, they grow into something awesome. Flowers in my neighborhood look amazing.
Certainly too amazing to harbor bumblebees that will sting my face off. I hope…
“There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”
In case Mom’s weekly writing challenge isn’t challenging enough this month, her writing group named LindaVijiConnieLaurieJenandOtherJen is also having a June Challenge. Everybody in the group is working on a new (or old) story and posting new versions each week for everybody to look at and share about. Ready or not!
Mom had a new story already started with 2 pathetic sentences. Two sentences! It sat there and sat there till the challenge. Now it is getting attention and making progress. It’s pretty lame, but it’s getting better.
Speaking of lame- I sniffed this gigantic, weird mushroom outside this weekend. I checked underneath it to see if any sprites or fairies lived there. They do not. It’s just a big, nasty mushroom – serving no purpose.
Mom thinks my street naps serve no purpose, but I say street naps warm me up.
Ditto my sidewalk naps,
and naps under cars.
I think learning new tricks serves no purpose, but Mom says tricks help my tiny brain stay sharp.