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Countdown Wednesday

2015

It’s that wonderful (terrifying) time when we look back on what’s been accomplished in the year past and set some new goals for the future. Today, we are counting down about resolutions.

Mom made a ton of resolutions last year. Some were successful, some went bust. ‘Nuff said about those clunkers.

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Mom’s 2015 Resolutions

 3. Read 200 more picture books and rate them on Goodreads.

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2. Revise and submit 12 manuscripts that she’s written recently.

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1. Draw and color 100 pictures – hopefully some will be pictures of me!

Mom did NOT draw this one....

Mom did NOT draw this one….

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She drew this one… Ugh.

My 2015 Resolutions

3. Develop a relationship with my toybox. In 5 years, I have never taken a toy out of my toybox (That’s been Mom’s job.). But last week, I decided to see what this toybox thing was all about. Guess what! It really is filled with TOYS!

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2. Meditate. Sometimes when I’m walking with Mom, she tries to make me walk into areas that scare me. I usually turn to stone and refuse to move. Sometimes she picks me up and carries me. This year, I will turn that paralyzing fear into a meditation. I will hear babbling brooks, the wind in the trees, and the sound of birds – not the words, “Come on.” or “Let’s go.” or “Heel.” or “Keep moving.” or “COME ON!” Meditation is good for my soul.

Ooohhhmmmm.....

Ooohhhmmmm…..

1. Grow taller. Being tiny has its advantages when it comes to hiding. But when it comes to stealing food, it’s a problem. I can’t reach the table, the counters, or the garbage pail.

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I can only hope somebody forgets to push in their chair or doesn’t notice I am a few inches away from the gingerbread house on the coffee table.

gingerbread house

Countdown Wednesday

123

It’s a new season around here. Fall. Also known as Autumn. Also known as Pumpkin-Freaks-Are- Everywhere-Trying-To-Kill-Me.

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They’re watching me…aren’t they? *shiver*

Today, we’re counting down about seasons.

What I Know About Seasons

3. Napping. Something I like about fall is that it’s still warm and sunny enough for street naps and sun-puddle naps. I love a good nap.

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2. Next. The next season will be winter. That means jackets (Mmmm. Toasty.)

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and boots (*gulp*)

and snow (Yikes! I hope it doesn’t touch my belly!).

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1. Halloween. Fall is Halloween time. ‘Nuff said.

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What Mom Knows About Seasons

3. 9-Months. Fall means Mom is 9 months into her 12×12 challenge. She could’ve had a baby in all that time. Maybe a book-baby…?

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2. Visiting. Back-to-School-Season means Back-to-School-Visits-Season. I’m still not allowed to go along, but I’m getting better at watching and waiting for Mom to come home.

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1. Clothes. Sweaters and sweatshirts are warm and cozy and Mom will wear them a lot this season. Ditto boots and jackets. I sure hope Mom can walk better in her boots than I do in mine.

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Help me….

Otherwise, no matter how many book-babies she has, she’ll never even make it to a school visit!

sweatshirt

Countdown Wednesday

Today, Mom and I are counting down about advice.

Advice I Get

3. Be Quiet – Mom says this word when the mailman comes. Ditto the FedEx and UPS guys. She clearly does not know these people are here to kill me. I must sound the alarm.

2. Don’t pull – Mom tells me this word when I am smelling delicious things outside, and checking my pee-mail. She clearly does not know that if I don’t quickly eat the goose candies in the grass, one of my dog friends might get them and I will miss out.

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1. Fetch it – It took me a long time to understand this advice. I finally learned what it means. For any of my friends struggling with fetching, the secret to it is the bring-back. Do not get the ball, bring it on the couch, and try to hatch it like an egg.

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Nailed it. Wait. What??

That is apparently not fetching. Bring it back to Mom and GET A TREAT. That’s fetching.

Advice Mom Gets

3. Add Conflict – People don’t like conflict. Especially Mom. But in a story, conflict is good. So are suspense, action, problems, unexpected obstacles, surprises, and other kinds of trouble. I like trouble.

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I don’t think the monkey will pop out of the barrel and laugh at me anymore…. RIP laughing monkey.

2. Find Your Voice – Each time she starts a new story (at least once a month), Mom has to find her picture book voice. Voice helps the book sound unique and different from other books. Voice shows Mom’s characters looking at the world in their own special way.

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1. Focus on Character – Mom usually writes stories that are plot, plot, plot. Lately, she is trying to take the advice she’s received about developing character, character, character. Susanna Hill’s Picture Book Magic class helped her a lot with that. Now Mom can get to know her characters before they start living in her story.

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Speaking of living, two of my bloggy friends gave me the Sunshine Award, recently. I think it’s the perfect time of year for this award, since the snow is finally gone, and any minute now, the sun will shine and I will take a street nap.

street nap

A big, sunny thank you to Collies of the Meadow and The Squeak Life for sharing this prize with me. If you feel like you need a smile, visit them. They’re a guaranteed giggle. And if you want to celebrate the sunshine, take this award and post it to your own blog.

Countdown Wednesday

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Today, Mom and I are counting down about rest.

What I Know About Rest

3. I nap in my bed.

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2. I nap on the couch.

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…a lot.

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16. I nap in the street. (But only in the summer.)

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1. I nap on Mom’s bed. I am allowed on her bed when she says the word, “OK” and then we sleep there all night long.

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Who turned out the lights?

I am not allowed on there when she makes the bed, or when she is sorting out her folders and paperwork for her college job.

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Who? Me?

What Mom Knows About Rest

3. Waking up super-early in the morning, lazing in bed, drinking tea is a perfect, restful start to the day.

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2. After a story is finished it needs to rest. No working on it, no looking at it, no THINKING about it.

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Sometimes, a story needs to rest for a week. Sometimes longer.

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1. While a story is asleep, it’s difficult to wait for it to finish resting. It’s good to start mind-writing a new story right away. (And all new stories should be about me!)

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26. When stories wake up from resting, they sometimes stink.

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Countdown Wednesday

Today we are counting down about winning. Not the Charlie Sheen kind which was kind of weird, but the writer kind. And the blogging-dog-of-a-writer-kind.

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Mom is a Winner

3. Mom’s book won a prize once. It’s called The Moonbeam Award. It shows as a badge on the cover of her book. I think it would look better shaped like a dog bone.

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2. In 2013, Mom’s story Show and Tell Surprise was in Humpty Dumpty Magazine. That was a winner. Plus, magazines taste delicious.

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1. Mom also had an acceptance from MeeGenius for her first ever ebook, named What If I Don’t. We can’t even wait to see that one in the MeeGenius Bookstore. BIG winner. Plus, inside my head, I often think, “What-if-I-don’t?”. I hope someday to say it out loud.

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78. Mom is a winner in the 12×12 Challenge. She wrote 12 storybooks in 12 months. Just barely by the skin of her teeth, but she did it.

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I am a Winner, too!

3. Hutch a Good Life awarded me the Sunshine Award. Yay! I love sunshine. Plus I am afraid of the dark.

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2. Along with Nikitaland, Hutch also gave me the Blog of the Year Award. I have seen friends that have this award, and I am in good company with it. Plus stars are my favorite shape – except for dog bones.

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1. Bacon and AngelsWhisper both awarded me the Friends and Followers Award. I love friends and followers. So, thanks, friends! And thanks, followers!

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67. I will give myself the Biggest Rule Breaker Award.

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Something smells good in here…..

I always ignore rules, so if you are reading my blog, you deserve an award. Feel free to share my bling, and also take a minute to click my friends’ links and check them out. Then maybe you can be a Rule Breaker, too.

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Mom left a cup of coffee for me. Yay!

Countdown Wednesday

Today, we’re counting down my latest awards.

dragon loyalty award

My friends at Dog Daz Zoo sent me the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I won it once before right here.  Thanks, girls!

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Nikitaland sent me the Versa-tail Blogger Award or something like that. Yay! Thanks. I have never had that one before. I think it means my tail is pretty, and not a freaky monkey-tail, like Mom says.

Whether you have a tail or not, feel free to add some bling to your blog and share either one of my awards.

Both awards want me to tell seven things about myself. I’m not much with the math, but I’ll try, and maybe I’ll even let Mom tell one or two things about herself, too.

Seven Things

1. I love sleeping under the covers on Mom’s bed.

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2. My birthday was in September. I’m seven.

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3. Sometimes, I try to hatch my toys like eggs.

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4. When my feet touch sand, I run in circles like I am a deranged lunatic.

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5. One day, while Mom was driving to the VA, there was a devil in her rearview mirror.

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6. I like lollipops.

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7. Mom read a book that had a dog named Cupcake in it. It wasn’t me.

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92. Mom is falling behind in her reading challenge. She planned to read 200 picture books this year. She is not on target, but plans to catch up. We’ll see.

46. Speaking of falling behind, she also missed the month of June in the 12×12 challenge, so she’s hoping to do her June manuscript in December. We’ll see.

21. Mom promised to take me to the park today. I’m really tired from working at Read to a Pet Night at the library last night.

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Being a good girl, listening to a story…

Plus it’s really cold outside. I’m not sure I want to go to the park. ….We’ll see….

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Countdown Wednesday

Today, we’re counting down some favorites. My friend, Little Binky gave me the idea when we were both nominated for the Favorite Things Award. Thanks, Little B. and Granny!

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For this award, all we have to do is tell 6 of our favorite things, and then pass the award on. Feel free to take the badge and tell 6 of your favorite things if you haven’t already done that.

My Favorite Things

6. Bacon treats. Or chicken. Or liver. Or beef. Or cheese…..

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5. Stuffed toys. I don’t always tear them up. Only sometimes….

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4. The park. I love swinging, walking, sitting, sniffing, eating things from the ground when Mom isn’t looking, and people watching – especially little-kid-people.

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3. The car. Every road trip is a good road trip.

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2. Street naps. The hotter the better.

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1. Sun puddles. Aaahhhh…..

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Mom’s Favorite Books to Read Aloud When She Was a Teacher

6. The Trumpet of the Swan

5. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

4. All About Sam

3. All the Money in the World

2. Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake

1. The Chocolate Touch

glasses

Countdown Wednesday

Spring has finally sprung around here, so Mom took me to the park. Today, we will count down what we learned there.

What I Learned at the Park

3. Cigars are delicious. At the baseball field, I found a cigar butt. It was all crushed and stepped on, but I liked it anyway. Mom said the word, “Don’t you dare eat that.” She says that a lot. I sat and guarded the cigar for a little while, and I managed to lick it once or twice when she wasn’t looking.

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2.  Bats smell good.  There was a dead bat behind one of the benches. I sniffed him and wanted to sit with him (taste him), but Mom said the word, “Get away! Get away! Get away!” She says that a lot, too.

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1. Flowers are pretty. We saw some little flowers that looked like stars. They were pretty, but they got even prettier when Mom added me to the picture.

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What Mom Learned at the Park

3. Pick and choose.  The dead bat, crushed cigar, and yellow flowers reminded Mom of her idea list on her phone. Some of the ideas are dried up and petrified, some stink, and some look like stars. She tries to always pick an idea that seems like a star.

star flowers

2. Sit with the stars. When Mom starts a new story, with a star idea, she mind-writes with it for a while. She needs to add lots of good stuff to the idea till it becomes a story. She added ME to the star flowers at the park, but she doesn’t add me to all of her stories. I wish she would….

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1. Get away. After a story is finished, Mom has to get away from it for a while. She doesn’t think about it or look at it or work on it for a week or two.  After she’s away long enough, she can see the story more clearly – what’s good, what needs work, and what stinks.

If I stay away from the park for a week or two, maybe I can go back and see what stinks.  Yay! I can’t wait!

sniffing

 

Countdown Wednesday

123Today, Mom and I are counting down about a author visits. She’s going to visit a school on Friday, so she can talk about being a writer, and read her book to the kids there.

Why I don’t like author visits.

3. Staying by myself. Mom will go away in the car for a long time. That means, no walking at the park, no jumping through my hula hoop, no treats in my IQ puzzles, and no bowling practice. Boring.

bowling

2. Bags. Mom will pack up tons of things to show the kids, and she will also put her laptop and LCD projector into bags. Bags are usually a LOT of fun. My head fits in there perfectly, and sometimes bags have treats in them. Or bacon. Or cake.

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But school visit bags are off limits. Mom says the word, “Get your bony little head out of there.” No fun.

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1. Kids. Mom will talk to tons and tons of kids at her school visit. I love kids. And they love me. Whenever kids see me, they pet me and hug me and say how cute I am. Plus, kids taste delicious, like candy. And sweat. And dirt. Yum.

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What Mom likes about author visits.

3. Driving. Taking a road trip is always fun. Of course it would be more fun if I went along, but….

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2. Reading. Mom loves reading stories. Story time was her favorite time of the day when she was a little girl at school, and it was her favorite time of the day when she was a teacher. Of course, I also love story time, but….

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1. Kids. Mom has talked to hundreds and hundreds of kids in her careers as a teacher and an author. Thousands, maybe. She predicts that the kids at this school will ask her some of the same things kids at other schools have asked, “Are you rich?” and “Did you draw the pictures?” and “One time my dad got his finger stuck in the car door…” which is not a question, but….

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Countdown Wednesday

123

Mom and I are counting down to the end of the month.

My January Countdown

3. Snow! We need more snow before January is finished! I love snow… As long as it isn’t deep enough to touch my belly. That scares me.  Mom digs it with the shovel so I won’t be afraid.

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2. Learning. Mom teaches me and teaches me every day. I am getting better with fetching, as long as there are Cheerios. I am still confused about bowling, though.

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1. Work. Mom is working hard to finish her January story for 12×12. Tick. Tick. Tick. She’s really cutting it close.

Mom’s January Countdown

3. No snow! Mom doesn’t want snow because it is too much mess and trouble. But if it snows, she will have to stay home and work on her stories (and play with me). C’mon snow!

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2. Learning. Mom will study at an online writing class in February. Tick. Tick. Tick. Soon, I will not be the only one learning.

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1. Work. Mom will work with her writing group named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid next week. They will talk about stories and eat cookies and drink coffee. How does that count as work??

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