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

Archive for the ‘picture book writing’ Category

Five Word Friday

five5Today’s five words are about prizes.

3. Winner – Mom was one of a bunch of winners in a giveaway on Tara Lazar’s blog. She won the opportunity to have an agent look at her work. That’s a pretty huge jump out of the slush pile.

slush-pile

18. Slush – Once I played in snow and slush and it about froze my tiny paws to icicles.

snow3pink

Mom decided I would be safer with boots on my paws. Wrong. Just really wrong on so many levels.

boots2

6. Looking – Mom is excited that an agent will be looking at one of her new stories. I am always excited to be looking at something new. New things can be outdoors…

brush1

Hairbrush? Seriously???

…or indoors. But they’re always fun.

christmas-shopping

127. Entering – Mom and I enter lots and lots of contests, competitions, and giveaways. Mostly, we don’t win, but now and then we do. Once we won a box full of cat toys. It was fun to win, but we donated the toys back to a kitty who could use them. I don’t really need any toys…

toys5. Gratitude – We are grateful that Mom won this lucky prize. Gratitude is a big part of every day, but this is a special week for giving thanks.

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I have a ton to be grateful for – like treats,

101 treatslove,

kisshead

my furever home,

My first 5 minutes at my new home.

The first 5 minutes at my new home. #occupythecouch

walks,

park6

 

and naps.

street nap2And did I say naps?

green dress sleeping

Walking

Walking is a good way for Mom to tidy up her head and make room for ideas.

lightbulbThere are always interesting things to investigate on a walk. We walk at lots of different parks,

verona-stump

and also the reservoir,

reservoir walk

the 9/11 memorial,

IMG_7793

and the playing field.

#netfail

Other times we walk right in our neighborhood. Either way, walking is fun.
Mom likes it for the pretty flowers,
rosecrazy leaves, fresh air,
The fresh air is blowing my ear upside down!

The fresh air is blowing my ear upside down!

and exercise.
Sort of....

Sort of….

The change of scenery helps Mom hear what her characters are trying to tell her, see where her story is going, and figure out what might happen when she asks herself, “What if….”
I like it for the leftovers that somebody forgot in the parking lot,
Don't eat it.

It’s called a doggie bag for a reason.

the acorns,
Unless you're a pig or a donkey, those are not food.

Unless I’m a pig or a donkey, acorns are apparently “not food.”

the candy papers,

Halloween is not over...

the lost glove,

Somebody will be looking for this when it gets cold...

the mud puddle,
The mud puddle leads directly to the bathtub.

Stepping in the mud leads directly to the bathtub.

and the delicious poison that the lawn guys left for me.
The poison leads directly to the vet...

The poison leads directly to the vet…

Here’s hoping our walks lead directly to Book #2. Or indirectly to Book #2. Or to eBook #2. Or to McDonald’s for an ice cream cone.

helping eat the ice cream

 

Finished

I was tortured last week. First Mom lured me into the bathroom.

Oooh. A trail of chicken. Yes, please.

Oooh. A trail of chicken! Yes, please.

Then she tricked me into the tub and gave me a bath!

bath3There was splashing and shivering…

bath2

…water pouring, crazy amounts of soap suds, 5 entire minutes of standing still covered in sweet smelling conditioner…

conditioner…and 3 giant towels.

bath-towelI tried numerous times to shake the bath off of me, but only succeeded in sharing a little of the bath with Mom. And the walls. And the floor. And the vanity. And the door.

dog-shaking-cartoonOne thing I know for sure is that it was my LAST. BATH. EVER. I could tell because the shampoo bottle is empty.

shampoo

No more shampoo = No more baths

That’s what it means… Right…?

Mom finished her most recent story. She wrote it and wrote it, revised it like crazy, sent it to her critique group, and then revised it like crazy all over again. Now it’s finished. I’m pretty sure it’s her LAST. STORY. EVER.

endThat’s what it means… Right…?

Wait. What?

computerAarrrgh. She’s starting a BRAND NEW story!

*gulp* Does that mean…..

bath-closeup

Oh no!

 

Characters

Writers pretend a lot. Mom deals with pretend characters every time she sits at the computer. Characters can be tough to pin down. Just when Mom thinks she knows them, they take off in directions she didn’t expect. They can go caveman,

cavedog

nurturer,

nurse

superhero,

costume

evil,

devil

or sweet.

fairy

I can also go off in unexpected directions. I can go lazy,

belly-up-streetnap

friendly,

cupcake-and-gracie

relaxed,

bench-relaxing

happy,

happyface

confused,

blanket-mixup

or annoyed.

Why?

Why?

Mom keeps me on a leash everywhere we go, so I won’t go off and get lost. She does her best to keep me under control. Even though I am unpredictable, she does a better job with me than she does with her story characters.

weeds

Weirdness

Sometimes things can get weird. If you’re a writer, like Mom – weird is a good thing.

alien

If a story takes a weird turn, has a weird character, or a weird ending – all the better. Predictable stories are bad.

blahSomething got weird on my walk last week. Mom and I saw a freaky, alien, mutant mushroom growing like crazy under a tree.

mushroom1

Tasting it was not an option, apparently, but I gave it a good look and a really good sniff.

mushroom2

FYI – It was gross.

Weird things are happening to the trees in my neighborhood. The green leaves have started turning colors…

yellow-tree

…and falling all over the place. I don’t like the sound they make when I walk on them. Too crunchy! Sometimes, Mom says the word, “Sit” and I won’t lie. I hate it.

Make it stop!

Make it stop!

From now on, I hope Mom keeps all the weirdness in her computer and in her stories. I do not like weirdness….

Who turned off the lights?

As anyone can see, I am just a normal, regular doggie…

sunglass-hat

Inspirational Quote of the Week

brain-surgeon

I visited the brain surgeon last week. Not really. It was just the vet.

dressed-up-at-the-vet

I had to get a shot and a blood test. And some hugs and some treats. I cried a little from the blood test. Not really. I cried a lot. When the doctor steals blood it hurts!

I'd like to leave now, please...

I’d like to leave now, please…

Mom is not a brain surgeon, so when she works on her stories, the pressure is off. She can pretty much write any story no matter how terrible and then she gets a million chances to keep working on it, changing it, and fixing it, till she eventually gets it the way she wants it.

writing2

When I learn a new trick, I never get it right the first time. I start out clueless.

But then get a million chances to work on it, change it, and fix it till I eventually get it right.

In case you’re wondering – I am NOT a brain surgeon.

Busy Working Hard

Mom and I have been working hard.

img_3764

Mom is working hard on two new stories, as usual.

typing

What’s so difficult about this?

She writes a little bit of each one each day. When she gets to the end of them, she will put them away for a while and then revise the heck out of them to make them tight with no extra words. She will make sure they open with action and end with a twist. She will try to show and not tell. She will move the characters from place to place and keep the action coming so they aren’t talking heads.

computer kid (2)

Then she will send her favorite one of them to her critique group friends to see what else she needs to work on.

I have been working hard too –  at the library…

img_3765…and at the veteran’s home.

fullsizerenderI have dressed up, listened to stories, sat on laps,

lap

and given kisses. If you don’t think that’s hard work, think again. Sometimes I can barely stay awake on the ride home.

sleeping-in-the-carBesides my therapy work, I have begged for coffee. And it paid off.

img_3779I begged for a pancake on my 10th birthday. And got one of my very own.

img_3731I even fought the dreaded soccer net. Again. And won (with some help from Mom).

img_3776It’s a good thing I am a ball of energy…

img_3818

 

sleep

sleepy-flag-dog