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Archive for the ‘PiBoIdMo’ Category

Inspirational Quote of the Week

All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.
Chuck Palahniuk

Experiences inspire ideas. Mom has completed her PiBoIdMo challenge with 35 inspired ideas for new stories.


Some of her ideas will become picture book manuscripts. Some will become poems. One of them might become the elusive Book #2 or eBook #2. Some of them stink so bad that they will stay in her phone and rot. But somewhere, somehow, all of them were inspired for a few minutes by an experience during the month of November.

At her author visits, students or teachers often ask Mom if she ever has writer’s block. She says, “Never.” That’s because as long as she has a list of ideas, even if one story gets stuck, there are a bunch of other stories just waiting to get started.

I was inspired last night, so I started playing the piano with my paws…

piano paw

…and my face.

piano face

Mom came in to see what was inspiring me. Was I a genius and she was just finding out? No. Did I suddenly get skills that no dog in the world ever had? No. Would I play at Carnegie Hall and be famous? No. There was a fly in the house. And I wanted a closer look at it.

*Not actual fly

*Not actual fly

The fly disappeared after my concert, and later he met with an unfortunate end. Rest in peace, little fly. I think you would’ve been delicious.


*Not actual fly tombstone

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about autumn.

1. Leaves – Leaves are falling everywhere. Some of them are dull and brown. Some are gorgeous and brightly colored. They remind Mom of ideas. Ideas come in all shades, too. Some are brilliant. Some crumble when you touch them.


2. Cool – Mornings and nights have been cool lately. Sweater weather for sure.


3. Ready – Fall reminds us that winter is coming. We need to be ready. Mom is getting ready for PiBoIdMo. It’s a whole month when she has to write down a new picture book idea every single day. She’ll type them into her phone, and then try to make each one into a story.


4. School – Kids go back to school in the fall. That means I go back to working at Read-To-A-Pet-Night at the library. Sometimes, Mom and I listen to 7 or 8 stories. Some are awesome. Some are …meh.

pet night

5. Halloween – Halloween is in the fall. Mom got me 2 costumes. One of them is a turtle costume. We used to have a turtle named Leave-the-Turtle-Alone. I hope Mom doesn’t change my name to Leave-the-Dog-Alone. That would be too lonely!


Does anybody want to play with me?


Starting on November 1, Mom will be a part of PiBoIdMo.


Yep. November is Picture Book Idea Month. That means she will have to get a picture book idea in her head every day for 30 days.  Last year, she wrote 30 ideas, and 8 of them are now either stories or poems. And one of them will be Mom’s first ever eBook, called What If I Don’t.


Ideas are a way of life when you’re an author. They are also a way of life when you’re a dog. Here are some ideas I have for stories….

Cupcake, the Best Dog in the World.


Cupcake Gets Unlimited Treats

101 treats

When Cupcake Went for a Ride


Cupcake Looks Pretty


Read to a Pet Night Starring Cupcake

pet night

Street Naps for Cupcake


Cupcake Turns Seven Years Old

birthday 7

That’s a week’s worth of ideas, right there! What’s the big deal? I wish November was named DogIdMo. I could totally do this!

New Strategy

Every day when I am halfway through eating my dinner, I slide the bowl around the kitchen until I’m able to pick it up in my mouth. Then I carry it onto the little rug in the living room. Once I get it settled there (IF it doesn’t flip over and splash food everywhere), I finish eating my food and then try to eat the bowl. So far, I have been unsuccessful with that goal.

rug dinner

The other day, I decided to try a new strategy. It’s called eating-on-the-leather-chair.

chair dinner

Mom was happy and excited when she saw me. She said the things she always says when I impress her with how smart I am – like, “Oh no you didn’t!” and “What did those jackasses in your head tell you to do now?” and “You’re going to get a spankin’.” I love when she says that. It sounds so much like, “You’re going to get some bacon.” Bacon. Yum….


I’m ready for my bacon, Mom.

Mom is trying a new strategy with her writing this week. Each day, she works on a story for a half hour and then she works on a poem for a half hour. Her idea lists from PiBoIdMo and her other lists are getting too, too long. She thinks she can use them up faster if some of them become poems. Also, she wants to enter a poetry contest, so she needs some new poems to submit. She said, “Poems are fun.” and “This one is about you, Cupcake.” and “Some of these ideas are too stupid to live another day.”

We should put those bad ideas in the garbage. Let me check and maybe clear out some of the more delicious… I mean bulky trash to make room….


Inspirational Quote of the Week

But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.”
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


I struck lucky when Mom found me a few Decembers ago. Purrs n Pups found me in Georgia in a kill-shelter, where my puppies had been adopted…


….and I was left behind.

They brought me to foster care and my foster-mom brought me to an adoption event where Mom found me.


She said some bad words like, “Too small.” and “Too old.” But then she said some good words like, “I’m taking her home!” and “This is my new dog!”

My first day at home.

My first day at home, I said, “This is my new couch!”

Mom is always waiting to strike lucky. She works on stories, revises them and revises them, makes cover letters, signs them with her lucky pen, and submits story after story to magazines, book publishers, and agents. Whenever Book #2 gets accepted, that will be her lucky day.

PiBoIdMo is helpful. Mom gets a new idea every single day during that month.


Mom’s 12×12 Challenge is helpful. It keeps her writing new pieces every month.


The class she took named Making Picture Book Magic was helpful. It taught her about planning a story to make sure it has all the parts it needs.


Her writing group named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid is helpful. They help her stories get better and better.

Where's the work? This looks like a party!

Where’s the work? This looks like a party!

Her computer friends at RateYourStory help her by giving her a reality check about what she writes.


And of course, I help her by taking her to the park to clear her head,

under the bench

staring at her while she’s working,


and sometimes, I fall asleep on the iPad and type LLLLLLLL with my ear.


Countdown Wednesday

Today, we’re counting down Our Year in Review.

My Highlights in 2012

3. My picture was in a book! Chuck Sambuchino wrote a political humor book called Red Dog / Blue Dog, and he used my picture to illustrate one of the pages! I looked adorable.


2. I learned how to dance. Mom taught me to twirl around on my hind feet for a cookie.

1. I forgot how to bowl! I learned bowling using empty water bottles…..

 But then Santa brought me a bowling set, and I have no idea how to bowl. So I just take a pin and bring it on the couch.

bowling1 pin

16. I found some bread that the birds dropped in front of my house. It was delicious!

Mom’s Highlights in 2012

3. Mom’s story Fly Fishing was in the final issue of Stories for Children Magazine in November. There was no dog in the story, but there was a trout.

2. Mom’s story Waiting for Petey was in the November/December issue of Turtle Magazine. there was no dog in the story, but there was a teddy bear (I love teddy bears).


1. NWEA bought Mom’s poem Talking Goldfish to use in their online test prep program. There was no dog in the poem, but there was a fish.

42. Humpty Dumpty Magazine is holding Mom’s story Show and Tell Surprise for possible publication in the May/June 2013 issue. There was no dog in the story, but there was a hermit crab.

67. Mom completed 3 challenges this year – 12x12in’12 (3 of her 12 stories featured a dog), PiBoIdMo (9 of her 30 ideas are about dogs), and Goodreads. (about 30 of the 214 books she read had a dog in them).

2012 is in the rear view mirror. Bring on 2013. Happy New Year!

new year2

First Time


Today I picked a toy out of my toy box for the very first time. All by myself. I stuck my head in and pulled out …. none other than the dreaded mechanical hamster.  I wasn’t confused by the toy box , and I wasn’t afraid of the hamster. Mom said, “Look at you!” and “What a smart, brave girl!” and “Now what?” 


Nothing. That’s what. I didn’t actually DO anything with the hamster. I just sat with it. But it’s a start.


Mom is a first timer, too. This month, she joined a bunch of other writers in PiBoIdMo. That means she got a story idea every single day in November. It’s her first time ever doing that and she did great at it, except for writing down the same idea twice. Luckily she caught the double yesterday, and got a final idea just in time. She didn’t DO anything with her ideas. She just sat there with them. But it’s a start. 


Someday soon, I will pick another toy out of the toy box. Maybe I’ll even play with it. We’ll see….


Someday soon, Mom will pick out one of her new story ideas (probably the one she wrote down twice) and make it into a story. Maybe it’ll be Book #2. We’ll see….

next to toys

Countdown Wednesday

Since Mom is working on an idea challenge, today we’re counting down ways to get ideas.

 How I Get Ideas 

3. The window – I get ideas from looking out the window.  Mostly, the things I see out there scare me, but sometimes, I just need a closer look.

2. My toybox – I see lots of fun things to play with in there, but I haven’t figured out that I can stick my head in and pull out any toy I like.  I always wait for Mom to pick them up one by one and say, “What about this one?”  and “What about this one?!” and “What about THIS ONE???!!!”

1. Smells – When I smell treats or my dinner or Mom’s dinner, I get ideas about putting on my good girl face and sitting and giving my paw and dancing if necessary. I’ll do pretty much anything for food. 

How Mom Gets Ideas

3. The park and the neighborhood  – I love kids.  We watch kids at the playground and in the field. How they play (or don’t play) gives Mom ideas.

2. School – Whenever Mom visits a school to talk about being a writer or to visit one of her student teachers, she gets ideas.  Sometimes, she also gets a head cold when too many kids cough and sneeze on her.

1. Blogs – Mom reads a lot of blogs. Some are about dogs and cats and hamsters and guinea pigs and families and art and photography. But some are about being a writer.  She gets lots of ideas when she reads tips and talk from other writers.

Ideas are fun, unless they scare you.


A couple of days ago it snowed. Snow! Right after the hurricane! There was wind that made my ears stick out like wings,

cold that went right through my pink parka,

and about four inches of the white stuff that made my feet freeze. 

Guess what else is frozen. Mom’s brain. It’s been two days since she wrote an idea in her PiBoIdMo list. The numbers are still there, but there’s nothing next to the newest ones.  

After the snow, I got a surprise. It was a package in the mail from my friend, Rumpy.

He had a contest-giveaway, and I won! I won some Frosty Paws dog ice creams, and the Frosty Paws stuffed animal! I love ice cream! And I LOVE stuffed animals! Thanks, Rumpy! What a wonderful surprise. 

Maybe Mom will get a surprise inside her head – some surprise ideas so she can catch up in her PiBo challenge. She needs 30 ideas by the end of the month. Come on, ideas!


Mom and I were pretty lucky. Hurricane Sandy took away the power and hot water at our house, and knocked down a couple of trees on our street, but we were fine and our home was not damaged at all.

I had to wear my sweater and stay under my blanket because of no heat, and we had to go to bed early with flashlights because of no light.

Mom said I was a brave little soldier the whole time. (Plus, I think I looked adorable in my sweater.) Many of our friends had a lot worse trouble than we did, and we hope and pray they’re doing fine. 

Through it all, even though we couldn’t write on our blog, or look at anybody else’s blog,  Mom got started on PiBoIdMo, all on her own, right on schedule. There are still mostly numbers on her Iconic Notes page, of course, but the first five numbers are filled in with five brand new ideas. 

So here’s to a wonderful new month filled with ideas and opportunities and productivity and success and no more charging the phone in the car…

and no more gas lines….

and no more scary wind that sounds like a baby screaming.  And no more Hurricane Sandy!