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Archive for the ‘children’s literature’ Category

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”

Hugh Laurie

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,

grass naps,

and naps under cars.

I think learning new tricks serves no purpose, but Mom says tricks help my tiny brain stay sharp.

I smell Cheerios! How does this thing work?

So I bowl,

play Tic-Tac-Toe,

and ring my bell for cookies.

I guess purpose is relative. In Mom’s stories, her characters have to have purpose. So do their actions. Maybe they should take a street nap…

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

Mom has been writing a story a week with Susanna Hill’s Mix ‘N’ Match Mini Challenge. Today’s five words come from her first three stories.

Ball – I don’t care for the toys named Ball. They have a habit of rolling under the couch and then I have to wait for Mom to finish mumbling and get the yardstick and roll them back out. I prefer stuffed animals. They are much friendlier. Plus sometimes they look a little like me.

Birthday – I am 13. I have celebrated 10 birthdays since I was adopted. UPDATE: IT IS NOT MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY TILL SEPTEMBER (DARN IT), SO THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES, BUT I WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT BIRTHDAYS IN GENERAL RIGHT HERE. MEANWHILE, IF THERE’S ANYTHING WITH WHIPPED CREAM IN THE FRIDGE, I WOULDN’T MIND SLURPING SOME. JUST SAYING.

Mom and I love birthdays because there is cake. Sometimes there are hats and balloons, but I do NOT love them as much as cake. Because…. cake.

Downpour – In a downpour, I wear my raincoat.

I used to be afraid of the rain, then I was afraid of my raincoat. Now I am afraid of wet grass. And puddles. I am not afraid of mud.

Yay!

Mom writes lots of stories that involve fears of many kinds. I wonder why.

Delicious – Including the five senses is a good way to draw readers into a story. What things look like, feel like, smell like, sound like, and taste like show the audience what is going on in ways they can understand.

I like tasting things – treats, cheese, faces, cookies,

kibbles, chicken, cigar butts, acorns,

the floor, and my paws which may or may not be made of candy.

Dust bunny – FYI – Dust-Bunnies do not look like bunnies at all.

THIS is a bunny!

Around here, they are constructed mostly from my hair. Maybe they should be called Dust-Doggies.

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
~
W.C. Fields~

Sometimes it’s good to follow W.C.’s advice. Mom has been trying to teach me to play Tic-Tac-Toe, and it hasn’t been going well.

She tried it with Cheerios on the board,

no Cheerios in the board,

and treats on the board.

Every attempt ends with her calling me knucklehead, naughty, clueless, silly, and thickheaded.

So yes, we are about ready to quit. We may still play for fun, but Mom knows that like Fetch, I will never learn this game.

What…?

Mom has not yet succeeded in selling Book #2 or eBook #2. Nevertheless, she will NOT follow W.C.’s advice. She doesn’t write every day like she used to. Apparently, quarantine is too busy to fit in a writing hour on a regular basis.

But she still works on stories and poems. She writes them, reads them when her critique partners write them, revises them, and once in a while she submits them. Apparently, when you’re a writer, that’s what you do.

In Mom’s latest story, she is using facts about an insect. Facts! That is new in her writing life. Truth be told, facts are new in her real life, too. She makes things up a lot. But she is suddenly doing research and taking notes.

How long will this last? Will this story ever be finished? Will it ever get past 18 words? I can’t picture it, but we’ll see, I guess.

Blerg. It’s like she’s trying to learn Tic-Tac-Toe or something….

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Write like nobody’s watching because – nobody’s watching.”
~Dan Brown~

Nobody is ever watching when Mom works on a story. She watches the words come onto the screen and she tells them to herself out loud and then she plays around with them till they make a story. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

When she finishes her stories, her online critique friends will look at them and tell ideas to make them better. But even they don’t watch. They say what they say and Mom decides what to do in the end. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

All day long and for some of the night, too, I watch.

Sometimes, Mom says I am a creeper or a stalker.

Who? Me?

The truth is – SHE is the creeper. Now that we are quarantined and doing our part to stay home and flatten the curve, Mom has become obsessed with me.

She takes me for walks around the neighborhood,

homeschools me with my IQ Puzzle,

I smell Cheerios!

teaches me tricks,

Knock them down??? But you just put them up!

practices my skills with me,

Face-and-Paw-Bowling. Who needs a bowling ball?

and barely ever gives me a chance to breathe.

I for one will be more than happy when coronavirus goes away and Mom can get back to being busy and I can get back to nobody watching – except me.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Happy New-ish Year! 2020 feels like it’s going to be a great year for all of us. So far, it’s been pretty good for me – lots of treats,

a bunch of car rides,

some naps and cuddles,

and a few walks at the park in the cold.

So far, it’s been pretty good for Mom – leftover Christmas gingerbread men,

gift card shopping trips, a few walks at the park in the cold,

and a new writing challenge called Storystorm.

Storystorm lasts only a month. All Mom has to do is get 30 new story ideas during January and boom – the challenge is met. Simple, right?

 

Not always. She’s 3 ideas behind already, but she is hoping to catch up soon.

Mom is trying something new this January for Storystorm. Usually, she reads the Storystorm daily post and types her ideas into her phone. This year she is writing them with a pencil like in the olden days.

She is also drawing a picture for each idea. AND she is using that as an excuse in her head for falling behind. #pathetic

I am not allowed to make excuses. That is fine with me. I embrace ALL of the things I do,

and I act like they’re right whether they’re right or not.

Five Word Friday

It’s official! Mom has finished her 12th first draft of 2019.

Challenge complete. Of course the stories are very new and are nowhere near ready for primetime, but they’re done.

We chose 5 words from this month’s story.

16. Busy – Mom is busy a lot. She can be busy talking to friends, cleaning up, or “working” on her computer. I like to keep busy, too. I can be busy playing with my toys,

begging for food,

or exercising.

What a workout!

Sometimes, we’re busy together at the park

or walking around the neighborhood.

42. Kids – Kids are delicious. Usually they taste like gum or sweat or chicken nuggets. I see kids when Mom takes me to a school visit and when I work at the library.

Read it again!

9. Shoes – Sometimes I love shoes. I lick them, sniff them, and when I was little, I used to carry them around. Other times, I do NOT love shoes.

Embarrassing…

86. Teacher – Mom used to be a teacher.

Now she only has me to teach. She has discovered you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Meanwhile, it’s all on me to learn the stuff. #somuchresponsibility

 

357. Floor – Like kids, floors are also delicious. I like the floor a lot. Mom says, “Don’t lick it.” and “Stop being a weirdo.” and then when she’s cooking and she drops something, she’s all, “Oh, look, Cupcake. Here’s a treat for you. Clean up the floor like a good girl.” #makeupyourmind

What?

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mom is a big believer in this. She’s more of a writer than a waiter. Waiter? Wait. What? We need a waiter here…

Bacon and eggs, please.

Anyway, Mom jumps in and writes stuff every chance she gets – almost every day. Almost. Once a story gets into the computer, it’s fair game to be tweaked, tightened, talked through, and sadly – sometimes, tossed. But having a new story is always good, even if it comes to a tragic ending.

The 12×12 Challenge encourages her to write a lot. With a couple of months to go, she is in the middle of a couple of stories that may – for the record – become her November and December drafts. They won’t count if they’re only half finished, though, so she needs to get that faucet turned on and get that water flowing. I hope no puddles are left behind. Once, I almost stepped in a puddle. Almost.

Whoa. Close call…

I am not a fan of water. Bath day is not my idea of fun.

When I’m waiting for my conditioner to work, Mom says, “I don’t like it any more than you do.” and “You will smell so pretty.” and “NO! Don’t jump out of the tub!”

At the park, I like to go as close to the edge of the water as possible. NOT so close that I get my feet wet, though.

Mom says, “Not too close.” and “Stay by me.” and “If you fall in, you’re on your own.” So far, I haven’t fallen in, but as long as the water is flowing

and flying,

there’s always still a chance. #daringdoggie

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

Mom is finished with her October draft. We picked today’s 5 words from that story.

Witch – If Mom were a witch, I’m pretty sure she would cast a spell to make Book #2 happen. She’s not a witch. Well, not that kind of witch, anyway. I was a witch for Halloween a few years ago. Not a scary witch, but a good witch. If I could cast a spell, I’d be buried in delicious treats. And toys. Plus taking a lot of car rides. And walks.

Mushroom – Sometimes, mushrooms get out of control around here. When it rains too much, mushrooms from outer space grow in the grass and mostly, they don’t even look like mushrooms. Mom says, “No fairies would be caught dead living in there.” and “That is a mushroom from Mars.” and “DON’T EAT IT!!”

Snow – Mom has a winter/snow story that she loves. Her critique group loves it. So do the RYS judges. Apparently nobody else loves it. Snow is pretty. I like walking and playing in the snow. But if it touches my belly, all bets are off.

Are you seeing the problem here?

Mom has to pick me up and bring me inside. #delicatebelly

Thank you, snow blower guys…

Midnight – We are not usually awake at midnight. Usually by then, I have Mom’s arm or leg pinned down, so I am sure she will not disappear in the night and leave me alone.

Got her!

Sometimes, at midnight Mom gets an idea for a new story. If she writes it down, she may or may not understand it the next day. If she doesn’t write it down, it’s gone forever.

Delicious – I think all foods are delicious. Some favorites are chicken, bacon, cheese, cookies, tissues, gloves, acorns, and cigar butts from the ground at the park.

Yum!

YUM!!

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Albert Einstein. Pretty smart guy.

Sometimes Mom calls me a pretty smart girl.

Solving IQ puzzles like a boss… (There are treats inside these things!!)

Other times, she reminds me that my brain is the size of a marble.

Genius at Work…

 

Once in a while, I remind HER – Look who’s talking. I mean, I’m no mathematician, but we are 7 days into the new month and there is no new draft in Mom’s computer. What happened to her 12×12 Challenge – one new story a month for 12 months?

Usually a week into the month, she has at least chosen an idea or named a character or written a cute title. So far this month – nothing.

I, on the other hand, have eaten a bank lollipop,

fought the windy wind at the park,

Ears flapping in the wind…

tested out my winter leg warmers,

worked at the library

and the VA,

shopped for treats,

and got myself blessed at church.

Not bad for a doggie with a marble-sized brain…

Brain at Rest

Five Word Friday

Our five words today come from Mom’s September draft which she finished this weekend.

16. Bunnies – There are lots of bunnies around my apartment complex. I don’t try to chase them, and they are not even afraid of me. Someday, I would like to taste one. #goals

47. Practice – Mom practices writing a lot. She studies about it and works on new and old stories all the time. Whenever Mom teaches me tricks, we also practice a lot.

Plus, I get Cheerios and chicken to help me learn. When Mom writes stories, she doesn’t even get Cheerios and chicken. Only coffee.

Sometimes she shares…

9. Sleep – Once in a while, when Mom and I are in bed, ideas come into her mind. Sometimes, she writes them down in her phone, but when she is absolutely, positively sure she will never, ever forget the perfectly amazing idea, she confidently goes to sleep. She does not remember anything in the morning.

51. School – When I wasn’t born, Mom worked at school for a long time.

Teacher-mom

Now, she only goes to school once in a while. On the happiest of happy days, she takes me with her.

School has tons of kids. Plus lunchboxes. Plus delicious pencils and crayons, and did I mention lunchboxes…?

I smell peanut butter….

99. Dark – I don’t like the dark. Mom tells Alexa to turn on the light and turn on the television. Nightlights are everywhere in our house. But Mom still makes me go outside in the dark.

 

I am skittish, hesitant, and edgy. Mom says, “You have to go out.” and “Toughen up.” and “Sorry, Charlie.” But Charlie isn’t even my name.