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Countdown Wednesday

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It’s back to school time around here. For 52 years of her life, Mom went back to school in September – sometimes as a student and sometimes as a teacher. Today we’re counting down about back to school.

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My Back to School Countdown

3. Sleep – A good night’s sleep will make a better learner.

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So does a good morning’s sleep and a good afternoon’s sleep

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and a good floor sleep and a good street sleep.

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I must be the best learner in the world!

2. Friends – When school starts I get to see lots of friends at the library. I am well-behaved and don’t knock over any chairs or bump any tables. I don’t lick the books or the kids’ shoes while they’re reading to me. …Actually I do all of those things, but just a little bit.

iselin library

1. School Visits – Once in while, one of Mom’s teacher friends tells her to bring me to school to play with the kids for a while. That is my dream come true.

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Mom’s Back to School Countdown

3. School Visits – Mom loves visiting kids at school to show her PowerPoint, talk about being an author, and read her books to them. She says it’s the best part of being an author. Bar none.

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2. Friends – Now that she’s not a teacher anymore, Mom and a few of her retired teacher friends go out to breakfast on the first day of school and enjoy drinking lots of coffee and talking instead of working.

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1. Fear – Mom had a raging case of school phobia when she was in kindergarten. She cried and begged her mother every single day to let her stay home – not for the first few days, but EVERY SINGLE DAY from the first day of school in September till the last day of school in June. That might explain why she writes about being afraid so often. She has a million stories about fear in her computer. It’s apparently her favorite topic.

Luckily, I am much more courageous than she was….

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons...

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons… Help me.

 

GAH! It’s the deadly balloon of doom. *gulp*

 

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Countdown Wednesday

She finally did it! Mom brought me with her to a school visit. Well… It wasn’t actually a school visit where she had to talk to kids about being an author. She already talked to these kids a few weeks ago. On Monday, we were just picking something up and dropping something off for the kids.

We are counting down about our awesome school visit.

What Mom loved…

3. The teacher used to be Mom’s student a long time ago. Now she is a super-teacher.

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That’s her. She’s the first one on the left in the pink jumper –  right next to Young-Mom.

2. The kids made a cute card for us to take home.

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1. I was a good girl.

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What I loved…

3. Everyone fussed and fussed over me.

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2. Through the window, I spotted a playground with swings and slides.

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1. Lots of kids gave me treats.

Over here, kids! Mom brought my treat pouch!

Over here, kids! Mom brought my treat pouch!

27B. I wore my sailor dress.

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67. I ALMOST got to play in the playground. Then I got afraid. So Mom said the word, “Forget it.”

*gulp*

*gulp*

52. I relaxed in the back seat all the way home.

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6. I didn’t take a street nap, but Mom let me rest for a few minutes in the parking lot.

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I’m worn out from all that love. Plus my belly is full of treats.

21W. School visits are the BEST!

Countdown Wednesday

calendar

Today, we are counting down about Unexpected Surprises

Unexpected Surprises for Mom

3. Rejection – Two of Mom’s stories were rejected last week. They have been rejected before, so why is it unexpected? For some reason, Mom is ALWAYS surprised when she gets a rejection. That’s because she only sends out things she really likes and has really worked on for a long time – by herself and with other people. And she only sends them to places and people who seem to like work like hers. Oh well.

Surprise!

Surprise!

2. Snow – The first day of spring brought snow. Twelve hours of it. It was gloppy and wet, but snow nevertheless.

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1. What if…? – Stories need unexpected surprises to keep the reader off balance. One good way to decide on a twist is to ask the question, “What if…?” and make up crazy scenarios to throw a monkey wrench into the story. Monkey wrenches are good. Monkey toys are good, too.

monkey toy

Unexpected Surprises for Me

3. Snow – I wore my paw boots in the surprise snow. Mom said, “Hold still.” and, “Put your foot in.”

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and “This is the LAST TIME we’re putting these on till next winter! …I hope.”

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2. Gifts from the plow guys – When the snow started to melt, surprises came out of the snow plow mountains – candy wrappers, tissues, cigarette butts, dirt clods, and water bottles… all kinds of goodies! Thanks snow plow guys!

snow surprises

72. Street Nap – I was halfway to my first street nap of the season, but Mom stopped me. She said the word, “Don’t you dare.” and “It’s 25 degrees! The ground is freezing!” and “The wind is blowing your ear upside down.”

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1. New clothes – Mom surprised me with a new spring dress from Fetch Dog Fashions. I think orange is my color.

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I think Pebbles Flintstone is my look. And tutu skirts are my style.

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No surprise there….

 

 

 

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

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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

caneldar

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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