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Archive for the ‘picture book writing’ Category

Hidden

Sometimes, when Mom writes a story, it’s not the story she meant to write. When stories jump from her head to her hands to her computer, bad things can happen.

computer kid (2)

The stories can go on and on and on. And on. The plot can go off track. The focus can go away…

blurry

… and then come back again.

clearsleeper

And then go away again.

blurrybedCharacters can refuse to do what she wants them to do. BAD things can happen.

Remember this...?

Remember this…?

The story from Mom’s brain might be in there somewhere, but it’s hidden. When Mom gets to the end, she says, “It’s twice as long as it should be.” and “This sounded better in my head.” and “Where’s your other boot?”

missing boot

It snowed last weekend in my neighborhood. EVERYTHING was hidden under 28 inches of that cold, white stuff. I was hidden under the hood of my pink parka.

hood problem

Who turned out the lights?

My beautiful paws were hidden in boots to protect them from cold. And rock salt.

boots are killing me

A sofa near the dumpster was hidden under a snow drift.

sofa

After a couple of days, I found some grass that was hidden near a disconnected snowplow that was hidden behind a building.

plow

A long time ago, I found a soggy potato chip bag hidden under the snow. So far, try as I might, I haven’t found any buried food.

looking in snow

Maybe when Mom is finished searching for the elusive, amazing story from her head, we’ll take a walk and see if there’s an elusive, amazing McDonald’s wrapper hidden under the snow. Or maybe I’ll just rest for a little while…

clearbed

Dress Up Your Pet Day

January 14 was Dress Up Your Pet Day. I participated, of course…

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When I was first adopted, I resisted getting dressed. I even tried to eat my coat!

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But then I learned. Mom dresses me when we do therapy work at the veteran’s home or the library.

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It makes people smile and it also helps me not to leave too many furs on them when they cuddle with me.

lap

Plus it keeps me warm so I don’t shiver.

snow parkaI like dressing up. It usually means something fun is about to happen.

paw jacket

In between dressing me and posting me, Mom was busy dressing up one of her stories. The simple beginning, middle, and end needed a fancy title, some colorful words, something sweet to make people smile,

hawthornea sassy character,

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and some warmth and emotion.

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Mom calls dressing up her stories revising. She used to resist revising – I mean, she didn’t try to eat her coat or anything, but she fought making changes to dress things up. Now she likes revising. It usually means something fun is about to happen. At least we HOPE so!

accepted

happykids

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

2016

This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.
-David Nicholls-

2016 is a bright new year filled with hope and promise. After I recovered from all the celebrations…

all asleep

…I prepped myself for my first steps into the 365 days ahead of me.

blanket baby

First some beauty sleep…

Actually 366 days, since it’s a leap year. Leaping is something I love to do. I’m such a tiny girl, leaping makes me feel big and powerful.

Mom is starting off the year right with a story revision that she’s been doing for a few weeks, now. Her writing group gave her tons of good suggestions for ways to make her story better.

lightbulb

She took things out, added things in, and moved things around. She used more words to show action, fewer words to make a punchier ending, and new words to say things in a more precise and fun way.

When Mom sent her story back to Rate Your Story, they gave it a score of 2…

RYS2

…AND gave her a couple more ideas for fixing it. A 2 is a big improvement from the 5 the story had the first time it was judged.

RYS scores

I’m pretty sure Mom would have done some leaping of her own, if she could. But that’s what she has me for, after all…

 

Resolutions

225602-Colorful-Happy-New-Year-QuoteIt’s the time of year when everyhuman thinks about resolutions. They want to climb higher, do better, get healthier, and be happier. They swear they’re going to eat right, get organized, be creative, and break all their bad habits.

I’m here to say, resolutions can be fun. I resolve to:

Knock over the garbage pail.

trash

Steal food from the table.
 cocoa
Nip the mailman.
Pull my head out of my leash.
Get into the cabinet where my food is.

in the cabinet

Push through the baby gate.

gate

Sleep on top of the bedspread when Mom isn’t home.

bedspread

Eat a shoe.

Drink from the toilet.

And bite my winter coat AND BOOTS.

boot

 

new_year_quotes_02

Mom’s resolutions are a little more modest. She will:

Read 200 picture books again (and drink 200 chai lattes).

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Submit 10 stories to publishers, agents, RYS, or her online writing group.

Write 10 brand new stories.

typing2

I got this…

And meditate 4 times a week (she’ll need it).

CALM

 

Stuckness

“Do you ever get writer’s block?”

block

People ask Mom that question a lot. Writer’s block means a writer is stuck and can’t write.

Mom doesn’t get writer’s block. When one of her stories gets stuck, she works on a different story, just so she can keep writing. Or she goes to the bookstore and reads a bunch of books.

book pile

Or she helps a writing group friend fix up one of their stories. Or she writes a poem. Or she fixes one of her own stories. When it’s writing time, it’s writing time. No stuckness allowed.

time

Tick. Tick. Tick. Is it almost time to play?

Sometimes, though, writing time just doesn’t come. At this time of year, there’s lots to do, so writing time can get lost in the busy-ness of shopping, wrapping, lunch with friends, photo shoots, and decorating. She’s not stuck, she’s living her life. That’s where stories come from, after all. And busy-ness doesn’t last forever.

sneaky under the tree

I’ve been kind of busy, too…

Sometimes, I get stuck. Whenever I pass by the soccer field near my house, I can’t resist sticking my tiny head through the net. I do it every time we get close enough. I know Mom will get me out. Eventually.

net

Put down the camera and unstick me!

When Mom wants to make the bed each morning, I stay stuck right in the middle. I know Mom will chase me out.

naughty on the bed

When I work at the library for Read to a Pet Night, I am stuck on my Park-It Mat waiting for somebody to read me a story.

parkit

I know Mom will give me treats for being a good girl.

cookie please

I don’t let the stuckness bother me. Stuckness happens, but it doesn’t last forever. Somebody always comes.

reading

Inspirational Quote of the Week

 

quote

Um… No. Not EVERY leaf is a flower. Some are crunchy, brown, dead things that need to be raked up or blown away with noisy machines that I’m pretty sure are trying to kill me.

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Some of them, though ARE flowers! They’re blindingly colorful and drift softly down from the trees and glitter and glow right in the middle of all the ugly ones.

leaf face

Autumn leaves are kind of like ideas. Mom is collecting ideas this month and writing them into her phone.

PiBo badge 2015

Some are already crunchy, brown, and dead. Some have mold….

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…or holes in them.

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Some are all wet.

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These will most likely not go any farther than the list.

meh

But every now and then, there are some beautiful, colorful ones floating down and sparkling in the sunshine. Mom needs to jump on those before they get away.

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Got ’em!

 

 

Finishing and Starting

Mom will be finishing her Picture Book Magic class this week. Next week, she’s starting PiBoIdMo!

PiBo badge 2015

Sheesh! She’s barely finishing one thing and she’s starting another!

I like finishing my dinner…

dinner done

and then starting to beg for other people’s dinner.

begging

And finishing a car ride…

car ride

and starting a street nap before Mom drags me into the house.

street sleeper

In the month of November, people like Mom in the PiBoIdMo challenge have to think of a new idea for a new picture book every day of the month. That’s 30 new ideas in 30 days.

calendar

I haven’t had 30 ideas since I was born! Mostly my ideas are all the same. Eat treats,

101 treats

take a nap,

nap

steal food,

thief

take a walk.

reservoir walk

Well, I’m finished with my latest car trip and ready to start Read to a Pet Night at the library . Let’s do this!

do it

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