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

Archive for the ‘ideas’ Category

Setting

I don’t like dark. Or storms. Or night. Our house is rarely ever completely dark. It has TV light ALL the time and a hundred night lights that switch on automatically as soon as night tries to sneak in.

Day is my favorite time. I’m all about sunshine and sparkle and bright and light.

Mom’s favorite time is morning. She is always up and att’em early. That’s her best time to write and her best time to do most everything – clean, swim, get ideas, take me for a walk, meditate, and cook.

Ugh… Not yet!

Her stories usually take place during the daytime. That is part of what is called setting. It sounds like sitting,

but apparently it’s not. When Mom said she was working on setting, I said, “…so am I!”

Nope.

Anyway, dark is scary and Mom doesn’t usually write scary things. But she has a challenging plan for herself. The next story she writes will take place at night or in a dark place.

*gulp*

Mom doesn’t have her next story idea, yet, but she will check her lists and choose an idea or two that she can mix together and take to the night. I typically like helping Mom work,

Helping.

but if there’s anything dark involved…

Nope.

She’s on her own.

 

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about adjusting. Mom and I are both adjusting to our new home. And we are adjusting our new home to suit us just right.

I think I need a booster seat.

75. Writing – no writing whatsoever has been done in our new home, yet. The desk has wires everywhere and none of them is connected to anything.

Plus there’s a ton and a half of other things to hog writing time. Mom hopes in a few days, she will be back on schedule with her stories. I will be happy when she sits still for an hour. It’s hard to keep an eye on her when she is on the move.

Whatcha got there? Lunch? I like lunch…

14. Tail – I had barely adjusted to my tail bandages when they were unceremoniously removed – to reveal THIS! Now I am adjusting to my shorter, thinner, mismatched, discolored FREAK-tail.

61. Street Naps – I almost took my first street nap at my new street this afternoon. Almost! But a loud noise spooked me. I’m taking balcony naps, now.

999. Rejections – 2 rejections came to Mom by email. She said, “You can run, but you cannot hide.” and “I can’t wait to work on these stories to try to make them better.” and “Please don’t bark at the new neighbors.”

5. Activity – Moving to a new home is cause for lots of activity. There are moving men, deliveries, shopping, unpacking, reorganizing, and decorating. Being a writer, is cause for lots of activity, too. There are ideas to record, drafts to write and rewrite, agents and publishers to research, and critique work to get to. But sometimes, I just want my own kind of activity – for no reason at all.

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about communicating.

16. Kids – Kids can be great communicators. When Mom visited a couple of schools  this month, kids talked to her a lot. Sometimes they asked questions like, “How long does it take to write a story?” and “How many stories have you written?” and “On Sunday, my Uncle Peter’s toilet overflowed!”

2. Kids – Lots of the kids made Mom thank you notes to say “Thank you for coming to our school.” and “We loved your book.”

and “My baby brother has a car seat with bunnies on it.”

73. My Face – Mom says my face communicates NOTHING.

It’s blank.

All the time.

She says, “Are you hungry?” and “Do you need to go out?” and “What? What?!! WHAT???”

What?

6. Body Language – I sometimes communicate through body language. When I’m scared, I shiver and tuck my tail between my legs. When Mom tries to put my boots on, I play dead and flop down on my pillow.

Also, my feet turn as mushy as pudding. Mom calls me the name “PuddingPaws.”

5. Show Don’t Tell – Everybody who’s anybody says writers must SHOW what’s happening in a story. Don’t just TELL it. That helps the reader stay engaged and gets them to do a little work while they’re reading. They will also feel closer to the characters in the story and more invested in the plot. Sometimes I need to SHOW Mom that she has put my food bowl too high for me to reach.

What’s my dinner doing up here?

Then she TELLS me I have to wait.

Seriously??

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mom is working on 3 different stories that she’s not crazy about. She is certain that they WILL get better, just like Janet says they will, so she keeps going back and forth from one to the other and moving them forward. Paws crossed that they’ll get better real soon.

Packing for our move to the new apartment is also coming along. Mom is feeling on top of the whole thing and not frazzled at all.

Wait. What? Uh…. Mom? A little help here, please…

I’m on top of everything, too….in my own way.

Mom works on one story and when she gets stuck, she switches to another one till she gets stuck. Then she switches again and works on the third one for a while. Little by little, things are getting done.

Around here, Mom also goes from one thing to another. She empties a cabinet and then switches to the bookshelf and packs up some of that stuff. Then she switches again and packs up the stuff in a desk drawer. Little by little, things are getting done.

With my help, of course…

Mom mind-writes about her stories, too, so by the time she sits down to write, she knows a few ideas to help her get going.

I mind write in my special doggie way.

And when I wake up I have LOTS of ideas to help me get going.

I smell gum.

What?

I smell cookies.

I smell outside.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”
~Orson Scott Card~

Story ideas. Aargh. This month is all about ideas for Mom on account of StoryStorm. She was hoping to have 30 ideas by the 30th, and she is pretty flush with 39 so far. Way ahead of the game.

Still she continues to read the StoryStorm posts every morning and she adds an idea or two to her list, depending on what the post says to do.

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Probably about 5 or 6 of the ideas on the list will turn into something. Maybe it will be exactly the something we need to finally see Book 2 or e-Book 2. Paws crossed.

2 books

It’s not only humans who walk past ideas every day. Just this morning, I walked past a McDonald’s bag that might’ve had a piece of burger in it.

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A stick that fell in the storm.

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And a cat waiting to kill me while he was hiding under a car.

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Mom said, “No litter-burgers.” and “That’s not a stick. It’s half of a tree.”

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and “Don’t even think about it.” Also, “Why do I take you anywhere?” She says that one a lot.

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I’m ready…

So if that Orson Card guy is right, I still have 997 ideas to walk past today. I’d better get back out there and get busy! Maybe I’ll catch a little nap first….

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

William Somerset Maugham

First of all, I love this guy. How could I not? His name is W. Somerset Mom. And just like Mom, he talks about rules. Mom has a lot of rules for me. Here are the top three:

14. Keep off the bed after it’s made.

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6. Always put the toys back in the toy box.

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97. Don’t eat garbage.

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Somethin’ smells good…

3. No begging.

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Mom doesn’t know the novel rules any better than Maugham does. Ditto the picture book rules.

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I mean she knows there needs to be a great opening, unpredictable characters, conflict, voice, rising action, increasing obstacles, excitement, humor, emotion, lyrical language, plot twists, surprises, and of course a satisfying ending.

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Sometimes, when she reads picture books – which she does A LOT,

books3she says the word, “What? There’s no conflict here.” and “Aargh. That was SO predictable.” and “Get off the bed!”

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and “Ugh. Worst ending ever.” and “Meh.” and “Don’t even think about it!”

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So apparently, there are rules and there is reality. It’s tough to know what an editor will like. It’s much easier to know what Mom will like.

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What?

Joining

I am not much of a joiner. I do join up with some of my therapy dog friends at the veteran’s home and the library. But we don’t play much. Apparently, that’s not what we’re there for…

This is what I'm here for...

This is what I’m there for…

I got some new toys and a new coat from Santa. They have now joined up with my old toys

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and my old coats and sweaters.

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And sometimes, I join Mom for dinner. That never ends the way I imagine it will.

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Wait. What?

Mom is more of a joiner than I am. Now that it’s a new year, she has joined StoryStorm,

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The 12 Days of Christmas for Writers,

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and Rate Your Story.

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That means she will get 30 story ideas in 30 days, will watch videos every day for 12 days to be inspired and learn new things, and can send her stories to RYS for evaluation and critique.

She has also joined the GoodReads 2017 Reading Challenge, with plans to read 200 picture books this year.

2017-read

Maybe I will join her while she reads. There might be snacks….

*sigh*

*sigh*