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Archive for the ‘picture book writing’ Category

Five Word Friday

This month, Mom is challenging herself to get a story ready to submit somewhere. Our five words are from one of the stories that made the cut as a possibility.

Cloud – When clouds come and cover the sun, they interfere with my street naps.

Mom is always happy when the sun goes behind a cloud because then I get up and start walking. When the sun comes back, I hit the deck again.

Garden – Mom has a whole garden of stories and poems inside her computer. The challenge is to sort through them and pick a good one. Sometimes in a garden, the flowers die off. That happens with stories, too. Mom doesn’t want to submit a dud.

No duds here…

Popped – Last week, I had surgery to remove a bump from my chest. I had a bunch of staples in there to hold the cut together. The vet told Mom not to let me jump around. Mom and I both knew that was just crazy talk. As soon as I got home, I popped up onto the chair and have popped up and down all over the place ever since.

Mom did waste spend $70 on a ramp, but I only use it when she tells me to.

Puddles – I like puddles. Even though I dread bath day – leaving drippy, soapy, sloppy puddles everywhere almost makes it worth the torture.

Sky – Since we live on top of a hill, we look at the sky a lot. I mostly look for sunshine. Mom sees planets, stars, sunrises,

storms,

rainbows,

and sometimes, planets and the space station. Plus we always need a reminder about where we should be reaching.

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”

Hugh Laurie

In case Mom’s weekly writing challenge isn’t challenging enough this month, her writing group named LindaVijiConnieLaurieJenandOtherJen is also having a June Challenge. Everybody in the group is working on a new (or old) story and posting new versions each week for everybody to look at and share about. Ready or not!

Mom had a new story already started with 2 pathetic sentences. Two sentences! It sat there and sat there till the challenge. Now it is getting attention and making progress. It’s pretty lame, but it’s getting better.

Speaking of lame- I sniffed this gigantic, weird mushroom outside this weekend. I checked underneath it to see if any sprites or fairies lived there. They do not. It’s just a big, nasty mushroom – serving no purpose.

Mom thinks my street naps serve no purpose, but I say street naps warm me up.

Ditto my sidewalk naps,

grass naps,

and naps under cars.

I think learning new tricks serves no purpose, but Mom says tricks help my tiny brain stay sharp.

I smell Cheerios! How does this thing work?

So I bowl,

play Tic-Tac-Toe,

and ring my bell for cookies.

I guess purpose is relative. In Mom’s stories, her characters have to have purpose. So do their actions. Maybe they should take a street nap…

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

Mom has been writing a story a week with Susanna Hill’s Mix ‘N’ Match Mini Challenge. Today’s five words come from her first three stories.

Ball – I don’t care for the toys named Ball. They have a habit of rolling under the couch and then I have to wait for Mom to finish mumbling and get the yardstick and roll them back out. I prefer stuffed animals. They are much friendlier. Plus sometimes they look a little like me.

Birthday – I am 13. I have celebrated 10 birthdays since I was adopted. UPDATE: IT IS NOT MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY TILL SEPTEMBER (DARN IT), SO THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES, BUT I WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT BIRTHDAYS IN GENERAL RIGHT HERE. MEANWHILE, IF THERE’S ANYTHING WITH WHIPPED CREAM IN THE FRIDGE, I WOULDN’T MIND SLURPING SOME. JUST SAYING.

Mom and I love birthdays because there is cake. Sometimes there are hats and balloons, but I do NOT love them as much as cake. Because…. cake.

Downpour – In a downpour, I wear my raincoat.

I used to be afraid of the rain, then I was afraid of my raincoat. Now I am afraid of wet grass. And puddles. I am not afraid of mud.

Yay!

Mom writes lots of stories that involve fears of many kinds. I wonder why.

Delicious – Including the five senses is a good way to draw readers into a story. What things look like, feel like, smell like, sound like, and taste like show the audience what is going on in ways they can understand.

I like tasting things – treats, cheese, faces, cookies,

kibbles, chicken, cigar butts, acorns,

the floor, and my paws which may or may not be made of candy.

Dust bunny – FYI – Dust-Bunnies do not look like bunnies at all.

THIS is a bunny!

Around here, they are constructed mostly from my hair. Maybe they should be called Dust-Doggies.

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Write like nobody’s watching because – nobody’s watching.”
~Dan Brown~

Nobody is ever watching when Mom works on a story. She watches the words come onto the screen and she tells them to herself out loud and then she plays around with them till they make a story. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

When she finishes her stories, her online critique friends will look at them and tell ideas to make them better. But even they don’t watch. They say what they say and Mom decides what to do in the end. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

All day long and for some of the night, too, I watch.

Sometimes, Mom says I am a creeper or a stalker.

Who? Me?

The truth is – SHE is the creeper. Now that we are quarantined and doing our part to stay home and flatten the curve, Mom has become obsessed with me.

She takes me for walks around the neighborhood,

homeschools me with my IQ Puzzle,

I smell Cheerios!

teaches me tricks,

Knock them down??? But you just put them up!

practices my skills with me,

Face-and-Paw-Bowling. Who needs a bowling ball?

and barely ever gives me a chance to breathe.

I for one will be more than happy when coronavirus goes away and Mom can get back to being busy and I can get back to nobody watching – except me.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Last week was Abe Lincoln’s birthday. He was a pretty smart guy and has many inspiring quotes on his resume. I like this one because preparing for your Big Chance is an important part of getting your Big Chance and taking your Big Chance and appreciating your Big Chance. And making the best of your Big Chance.

Big Chance – Book 1.

While Mom waits for her Big Chance – Book2, she prepares. Her two recent writing challenges helped her prepare with webinars, daily posts, and Facebook entries. They stressed getting ideas, listening and thinking like a writer, and putting her butt in the chair.

Following the writing rules to create a story is important – catchy opening, problem/conflict/goal to be reached, attempts at solving/alleviating/reaching it, increasing tension, success, and a surprise ending with a twist. Breaking the writing rules happens once in a while, too – word count issues, the rule of 3 becoming the rule of 5, extra characters popping up, and not enough conflict. Breaking rules can be cool sometimes.

Rules are for chumps.

But other times, it’s just not OK. Hopefully, when Mom’s chance comes, she will be following the rules or breaking them in a good way.

I smell candy.

I have been preparing for my big chance for many years. I have eaten cigar butts from the gutter,

gotten my head stuck in a take-out bag,

 

and a grocery bag,

and a Macy’s bag,

tasted the floor,

licked cakes during photo shoots,

and once I even swallowed one of Mom’s pills.

All this in preparation for the day I finally get big enough to eat from the garbage pail. #growlegsgrow When my chance comes, I. Will. Be. Ready.

So close…

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Happy New-ish Year! 2020 feels like it’s going to be a great year for all of us. So far, it’s been pretty good for me – lots of treats,

a bunch of car rides,

some naps and cuddles,

and a few walks at the park in the cold.

So far, it’s been pretty good for Mom – leftover Christmas gingerbread men,

gift card shopping trips, a few walks at the park in the cold,

and a new writing challenge called Storystorm.

Storystorm lasts only a month. All Mom has to do is get 30 new story ideas during January and boom – the challenge is met. Simple, right?

 

Not always. She’s 3 ideas behind already, but she is hoping to catch up soon.

Mom is trying something new this January for Storystorm. Usually, she reads the Storystorm daily post and types her ideas into her phone. This year she is writing them with a pencil like in the olden days.

She is also drawing a picture for each idea. AND she is using that as an excuse in her head for falling behind. #pathetic

I am not allowed to make excuses. That is fine with me. I embrace ALL of the things I do,

and I act like they’re right whether they’re right or not.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mom is a big believer in this. She’s more of a writer than a waiter. Waiter? Wait. What? We need a waiter here…

Bacon and eggs, please.

Anyway, Mom jumps in and writes stuff every chance she gets – almost every day. Almost. Once a story gets into the computer, it’s fair game to be tweaked, tightened, talked through, and sadly – sometimes, tossed. But having a new story is always good, even if it comes to a tragic ending.

The 12×12 Challenge encourages her to write a lot. With a couple of months to go, she is in the middle of a couple of stories that may – for the record – become her November and December drafts. They won’t count if they’re only half finished, though, so she needs to get that faucet turned on and get that water flowing. I hope no puddles are left behind. Once, I almost stepped in a puddle. Almost.

Whoa. Close call…

I am not a fan of water. Bath day is not my idea of fun.

When I’m waiting for my conditioner to work, Mom says, “I don’t like it any more than you do.” and “You will smell so pretty.” and “NO! Don’t jump out of the tub!”

At the park, I like to go as close to the edge of the water as possible. NOT so close that I get my feet wet, though.

Mom says, “Not too close.” and “Stay by me.” and “If you fall in, you’re on your own.” So far, I haven’t fallen in, but as long as the water is flowing

and flying,

there’s always still a chance. #daringdoggie

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Albert Einstein. Pretty smart guy.

Sometimes Mom calls me a pretty smart girl.

Solving IQ puzzles like a boss… (There are treats inside these things!!)

Other times, she reminds me that my brain is the size of a marble.

Genius at Work…

 

Once in a while, I remind HER – Look who’s talking. I mean, I’m no mathematician, but we are 7 days into the new month and there is no new draft in Mom’s computer. What happened to her 12×12 Challenge – one new story a month for 12 months?

Usually a week into the month, she has at least chosen an idea or named a character or written a cute title. So far this month – nothing.

I, on the other hand, have eaten a bank lollipop,

fought the windy wind at the park,

Ears flapping in the wind…

tested out my winter leg warmers,

worked at the library

and the VA,

shopped for treats,

and got myself blessed at church.

Not bad for a doggie with a marble-sized brain…

Brain at Rest

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

–Fred Rogers–

We think of helpers a lot during the Labor Day season. I mean, they’re around 24/7/365, but they are especially honored at this time of year. Plus lots of them have the day off to relax and recharge. And eat burgers.

Mom and I met a lot of the helpers Mr. Rogers talked about when our car floated away in the storm a couple of months ago. A nearby family invited us into their house to dry off and warm up, some teenagers pushed our soggy car out of the water, the police called for the tow truck to take the car to a safe place, our Uber driver took us home through the storm, and the insurance lady helped us figure out how to get a rental and then a new car. We appreciated all of them and lots more helpers in between.

I’m sure the Hurricane Dorian people down south will be finding the helpers today and for a bunch more days in the future. We are all, always ever-grateful for the helpers.

As a doggie, I appreciate helpers a lot. The vet

and people at Petco keep me happy and healthy with medicines, treats, toys, and neat nails on my paws.

The park and highway workers help me have fun adventures with Mom. And of course, Mom is a helper by holding the end of my leash to keep me safe from cars, big dogs, scary statues, and delicious poisons on the ground which I really want to eat.

Wait. What? Is that Teddy Roosevelt?? Please don’t make me walk near him.

As a writer, Mom appreciates helpers a lot, too. Everywhere she goes she hears, sees, and meets people and pets who give her ideas just by being their own original selves. Her critique group named LindaVijiLauriConnieKellyJenandOtherJen help her see what’s good and what needs work in her stories.

And of course, I am a helper by staring at her and giving my full support. She calls it “creeping her out.” That’s good… Right..?

 

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words come from Mom’s July first draft.

6. Napped – Napping is an important part of being the doggie of a writing mom. Whenever Mom is busy talking to herself… I mean writing something, I nap to kill time.

Whenever she wants to think, we take a walk so I can do napping in the street

or the gutter

and Mom can stand there like a jackass waiting and thinking and waiting and waiting.

22. Rolled – Things roll around in Mom’s head in a jumble of amazing ideas, failed attempts, useless thoughts, wasted effort, and enormous dreams.

My head works differently. There are no ideas, attempts, thoughts, efforts, or dreams. There’s just… well… pretty much nothing in there. All my rolling is done outside my head.

34. Garbage – There’s nothing I don’t love about garbage. It smells good, looks great, and on the luckiest of my lucky days – it tastes delicious. Mom puts yummy things into the garbage – like pizza crusts, stale cake, and watermelon rinds. Such a waste.

Sometimes, Mom writes garbage. Also, such a waste. But it’s part of the process.

7. Car – I love the car.

It takes me to all my favorite places

Yay!

and a few of my less favorite places.

*gulp*

Last month when our old car floated away in a flood,

 

Still dripping after two days…

we had to get a new one.

It still takes me to all the fun and less fun places, but we’re going to try not to float away in this one.

5. Tougher – A few years ago, when I got my tail caught in the door,

Mom said, “You’re tougher than you look.” and “I could think of better ways to spend $2500.00.”

and “I’d write about this, but I don’t write HORROR STORIES!