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Archive for the ‘picture book writing’ Category

Inspirational Quote of the Week



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.


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….


…or holes in them.


Some are all wet.


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


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.


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.


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.


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

101 treats

take a nap,


steal food,


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

How It Starts

ready set go

Starting is always an exciting adventure.

Here I am starting to head into the veteran’s home to do my therapy work.

This is as close as I'm getting to that guy...

This is as close as I’m getting to that guy. …Pretty sure he’s trying to kill me.

And starting off for a road trip to the park.

road trip

Trees get started from these. Mom says the word, “Don’t eat the acorns!”

acorn eater

Fall colors are finally starting in my neighborhood.

fall tree

And at the park…

park leaves

Mom started a new story last week. She is working on it with her online writing class – Making Picture Book Magic.

pb magic

She had to think up a bunch of different ways the story could start, and then pick the one she liked best.

once upon

Probably should keep trying…

She had to do a few more things before she started writing, but then she started. She wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. Then she said, “I have written over 500 words and I’m nowhere near finished.” and “I feel like I’m drowning.” and “Why would you steal blueberries? You don’t even LIKE blueberries!”

Who? Me?

Who? Me?

After Mom was finished drowning and finished cleaning up the berries that I chewed and spit out, she started her story all over again. So, that’s how it starts. …and starts again…

park trees



Work in Progress

Around my neighborhood, there are a few works in progress. This vine is definitely a work in progress – trying to grow something. Mom says, “Maybe pumpkins.” I hope not. *shiver* Either way, the flowers are there, but it looks like it needs another year (or ten) before anything will pop out to scare the daylights out of me.


This pile of …. I don’t know what – is another work in progress. Sometimes it seems like road salt, but sometimes, it looks like mulch. I guess it’ll make up its mind eventually.


When Mom was a teacher, she used to stamp her kids’ first drafts with a rubber stamp that read, “Under Construction.”

under construction

The kids thought it was fun. Plus that stamp told them to work on revising and proofreading their stories for a little while longer so they would be ready to hang on the bulletin board.

This month, Mom is studying in Susanna Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class.

pb magic

Her new story is a work in progress and is under construction in a big way. Every morning, Susanna teaches Mom what to do next in order to have a finished story by the end of the month. Mom does each step and then posts it to their Facebook page so her classmates can see it and talk about it with her. She thinks it’s fun to have a work in progress that moves closer to completion every day.

Something else is a work in progress at our house. A whole box of orange snowball cakes.


Mom is trying hard to eat them all herself. I offered to help, but she said, “No thanks.” and “Dogs can’t eat chocolate.”


and “Your behavior is DEFINITELY under construction.”



Inspirational Quote of the Week


Writers see possibilities a lot. They imagine them and ask about them inside their heads when they’re making up a story. They especially need to consider them when they’re revising.  Mom had an old story that she liked a lot. She showed it to her writing group friends and they said SO many amazing things about it. Like, “There’s too much this.” or “Not enough that.” and “Maybe you can try some of this.” or “You may want to add some of that.” Mom considered the possibilities and tried some of the suggestions and guess what. The story is VERY different, and Mom loves it even more in its new form! Who knew?

Possibilities. I love those guys. I, for one, am happy to hear that they never run out.

Riding in the car opens a ton of possibilities.


Mouth open, sunroof open, ready for the open road…

The car can lead to this…


or this…


or this…


or this…


New places, new sights, new peemail from new friends, and sometimes a tree-root nap…


Now and then the car leads to this…


Take it easy, lady. Leave me a nail or two to scratch my ears with!

Walking into the bathroom opens fewer possibilities. Maybe I’ll be able to sniff the shower gel and wait while Mom takes a shower. Unless she says the word, “That’s soap, not food.” or “That’s not a water bowl.” or “OUT. Can I have 5 minutes of privacy?”


Sometimes it flat out leads to this…


which leads to this…


which leads to this


Pardon my bits and pieces, but I’m trying to air condition my wet belly.



It would be silly for Mom to be a writer if writing didn’t make her happy. So I guess it makes her happy… At least most of the time.


She writes just about every day. When she works, she’s challenged, inspired, enthusiastic, and motivated. Except when she’s disappointed, hopeless, worried, and bummed out. Luckily, that’s not too often. Only when she thinks Print Book #2 and E Book #2 are taking too long to happen. Most of the time, she thinks they’re just around the corner….

My friend Lexi the Schnauzer tagged me to participate in the 8 Photos of Happiness Challenge. Since I am never disappointed, hopeless, worried, or bummed out, I would be able to post 8,000 photos of happiness. ….but I won’t. Here are my 8.

1. New toys from PupJoy.

1. New toys from PupJoy.


2. Showing off.


3. People watching.


4. School visits with Mom. And KIDS!


5. Listening to stories at the library.

6. A cool drink of water after a hike.

6. A cool drink of water after a hike.


7. A nice, warm street nap.


8. Bringing smiles to my friends at the Veteran’s Home.

Did I say 8?

I can't post about happiness without the baby swing at the park.

8 1/2. I can’t post about happiness without the baby swing at the park.

Here are the rules for the challenge:

Thank your nominator and link them in your post. (Thanks Lexi!)
Link the creator. (Ariel’s little corner of the internet)
Post your 8 photos of happiness. (or 8,000)
The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.
Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!
Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers! (I’m tagging all of my friends – if you want to share some happiness, jump in!)

Inspirational Quote of the Week


Writers are always looking for inspiration. Mom is no exception. The other day, Mom and I took a ride to Meadowlands Environment Center for inspiration. She likes to be in nature to clear out her head.


Doggies like inspiration, too. I like to be in nature because it smells good!


The GPS lady told us we had arrived at our destination.



Mom said naughty words about her because we had so NOT arrived at our destination.

This looks like a good place to get murdered.

This looks like a good place to get murdered.

Mom drove and complained and drove some more and complained some more and somehow found the place anyway.


She was inspired by the beautiful flowers and the views and bunches of summer camp field trip kids scooping goop out of the swamp to study.”


I was inspired by the smelly old swamp. I was pretty sure I could swim in there, but Mom said the word, “Time to go home and write.” and “Inspiration has to find me working.” and “Don’t even think about it.”


Mom still only “works” for an hour a day, but she works very hard during that hour – doing her KidLit Summer School stuff, checking in on her critique group, and working on new things that she’s writing and old things that she’s fixing. I sure hope when Inspiration drops around it comes at the right time. Otherwise, it’ll find her eating a donut…


…or watching TV or reading her Kindle or talking on the phone or God forbid giving me a bath.



Help me…




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