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

Archive for the ‘ideas’ Category

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

 

 

 

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.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

–Fred Rogers–

We think of helpers a lot during the Labor Day season. I mean, they’re around 24/7/365, but they are especially honored at this time of year. Plus lots of them have the day off to relax and recharge. And eat burgers.

Mom and I met a lot of the helpers Mr. Rogers talked about when our car floated away in the storm a couple of months ago. A nearby family invited us into their house to dry off and warm up, some teenagers pushed our soggy car out of the water, the police called for the tow truck to take the car to a safe place, our Uber driver took us home through the storm, and the insurance lady helped us figure out how to get a rental and then a new car. We appreciated all of them and lots more helpers in between.

I’m sure the Hurricane Dorian people down south will be finding the helpers today and for a bunch more days in the future. We are all, always ever-grateful for the helpers.

As a doggie, I appreciate helpers a lot. The vet

and people at Petco keep me happy and healthy with medicines, treats, toys, and neat nails on my paws.

The park and highway workers help me have fun adventures with Mom. And of course, Mom is a helper by holding the end of my leash to keep me safe from cars, big dogs, scary statues, and delicious poisons on the ground which I really want to eat.

Wait. What? Is that Teddy Roosevelt?? Please don’t make me walk near him.

As a writer, Mom appreciates helpers a lot, too. Everywhere she goes she hears, sees, and meets people and pets who give her ideas just by being their own original selves. Her critique group named LindaVijiLauriConnieKellyJenandOtherJen help her see what’s good and what needs work in her stories.

And of course, I am a helper by staring at her and giving my full support. She calls it “creeping her out.” That’s good… Right..?

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Regret is not when you could not finish what you started, but regret is when you do not start what you could have finished.

~Apoorve Dubey~

Mom says, “We’re finished here” a lot. Mostly to me. She says it when I tippy-toe along the curb instead of walking in the grass like a normal dog.

She says it when I nap in the gutter.

Or the street.

And sometimes “we’re finished here” when it’s time to make the bed.

To me, things are never really finished. They’re just “done for now.”

Mom’s monthly 12×12 Challenge stories are not really finished either. I mean they have a beginning, middle, and ending, but the month ends and the stories still have a long way to go.

First drafts are like that. They’re just “done for now.”

Part of Mom’s challenge is also to revise a story a month. Revising a manuscript means that after the story has slept in the computer undisturbed for a while, Mom opens it up and says, “Ugh. This stinks.” and “There are some good bones here, but it needs work.” and “Get up, lazy bones.”

So, let’s drink to starting whether you’re ready or not, finishing what you start, and living life with no regrets…

…and plenty of naps and treats and an occasional lick of cake batter.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“The bad news is time flies.
The good news is you’re the pilot.”

~Michael Altshuler~

Time flies A LOT when you’re a doggie. You wait for Mom to come home.

You wait for somebody to play with you.

You wait for friends to come by.

You wait to get chased out of bed.

I’m not the pilot of ANYTHING around here. I’m mostly waiting. And watching time fly by.

Mom has been writing a picture book a month for her 12×12 Challenge. She nailed it in January, February, and March. Here we are halfway through April and so far, she hasn’t written a book or an opening sentence or a word or even a letter.

Mom has not been the pilot of anything around here. She is mostly waiting. And watching time fly by, just like me.

She promises herself that she will get busy tomorrow. She will not just get busy being busy, she’ll get busy being productive! She will jump into the cockpit and fly.

I might jump into the cockpit,

but I have a feeling time will still fly by me while I wait for something fun to happen…

Mom will scan her idea list, pick an idea or two, decide on some characters and a setting, and for sure START WRITING. Tomorrow. First drafts are allowed to stink, so yay. She’s on it.

I will wait and maybe get to the park or Petco or the dog park.

Or maybe I will just play by myself for a while.

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words come from a story that Mom is revising this week.

6. Trash – I have always wished I could figure out how to get pizza crusts, eggshells, napkins, banana peels, and many other delicious things out of the garbage pail.

Let me in. I know there are chicken bones in there. Why am I so tiny?

I love trash! Mom doesn’t love trash, especially when one of her stories ends up in the trash bin on her computer. If she starts a story and then gets stuck, she sets it aside for a while, works on other things, and then goes back to it. If it still stinks and it’s still going nowhere, she trashes it and starts over.

If she put a little jelly on that trash, I’d help her out with that. Mmmmm. Jelly.

14. Flop – Mom reads tons of picture books. Some fly and some flop.

When she reads a flop, she says, “Ugh. I want that 5 minutes back!” The weather is getting colder here, so I can’t take as many street naps as I did in the summer.

Even when it’s way too cold, I still flop down and give it a shot. Mom says, “If you’re wearing a sweater, it’s too cold to sit on the ground.” When I ignore her, she says, “Ugh. I want that 5 minutes back.”

8. Outside – I love outside. There are squirrels, leaves, acorns, grass, and dog friends.

I also love inside. There are toys, treats, trash, my blankie, and Mom. Sometimes it’s tough to choose.

74. UsefulCritique groups are useful. Mom’s group called LindaVijiConnieJenandOtherJen help her get ideas, change ideas, and fix ideas that stink.

5. Sneakers – Mom wears sneakers, but they do not make her fast at all. When we walk down the hall at our house, she is so slow! I have to show her how to get us home (and out of the scary hallway) in a more efficient way.