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Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Best Doctor Ever

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Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would’ve been 109 years old. He is the Best Doctor Ever on account of no needles, no looking into ears with a flashlight, no sticks stuck into forbidden places, and no touching of my bits and pieces.

Waiting for the doctor...

Waiting for the Doctor. Hoping for the Best.

Mom also loves Dr. Seuss for a million other reasons – his wild imagination, his silly rhyming, his crazy stories, and the fact that his first book was rejected 27 times before anybody said they liked it. Misery loves company.

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Mom’s #1 favorite Dr. Seuss book is The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins from 1938.

500 hats

Normally, Mom and I steer clear of anything that smacks of numbers, but counting those hats is so much fun and so suspenseful that we can’t resist it. Also, a hundred years ago, Mom’s 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson read that story to her class and Mom and her friends giggled and counted and were afraid for poor little Bartholomew not being able to take his hat off for the king.

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As of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Mom is up to date on her 12×12 Challenge. She has written 2 new stories in the past 2 months. Now it’s a new month and time to start a new story.

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In which direction should she go?

Direction? Up, of course.

King of the Hill of Filth

King of the Hill of Filth

What will be original?

Original? It doesn’t get any more original than an old dog learning a new trick.

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Who will step out of her list of character ideas?

Character? This one.

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Or this one.

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Or this one.

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How will she make the story sparkle?

Sparkle? With a tiara, of course.

Am I sparkling, yet?

Am I sparkling, yet?

Frenzy

Sometimes, when I play with my monkey in a barrel, it puts me into a frenzy. There’s just too much going on! Too much to do. Too many possibilities. Bite the barrel? Tear off the lid? Growl at the talking? Rip the monkey’s face off? Chew his arm till he stops laughing? Shake the whole thing till I’m dizzy? I don’t know what to do first.

Since NewYears, Mom has also been in a frenzy. She’s not biting, tearing, growling, ripping, chewing, or shaking, like me. But she does have a lot going on, a lot to do, and a lot of possibilities. She may have bitten off more than she can chew. I’ve done that occasionally, too…. (And by “occasionally” I mean every day.)

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Gah! Why is my mouth so tiny?!

Mom has entered a ton of challenges, and made a bunch of goals for herself this year. She will read 200 picture books in the Goodreads Challenge again,

2014 goodreads

she joined 12×12 for 2014, which means she needs to write a new first draft in the next few weeks,

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she’ll get 30 new ideas when PiBoIdMo starts,

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and she will write 30 poems this year.

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In between all those jobs (and a bunch of others – if you can believe such a thing), Mom decided to enter the Highlights Annual Fiction Contest this month, AND take Susanna Hill’s Making Contest Magic class this week.

So Mom is learning, mind-writing, registering, paypal-ing, reading, commenting, revising, studying, listing, rhyming, critiquing, and ….do you see what’s missing here??

Snow pea?? Blech! I may have bitten off (stolen) more than I can chew again.

Snow pea?? Blech! I may have bitten off more than I can chew again.

Rocky, over at my friend Bacon’s blog told me that January 6 was National CuddleUp Day. So I made sure Mom took some time out to celebrate. Actually, I will make sure we celebrate that thing EVERY day!!

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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.

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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…

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…and my face.

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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.

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*Not actual fly tombstone

Switcheroo Day

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This is how my toy box has looked for the past couple of months. This morning, Mom decided to switch out these toys for the bag of toys that was hidden in the closet.

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She does that every now and then. So half of my toys are always out and ready for me and half are always hidden away. On Switcheroo Day, it feels like Mom went shopping and bought me a big bunch of new toys!

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Yay! Hello, peppermint ball. I’ve missed you… Plus I forgot I ever even had you!

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Mom plays Switcheroo Day with her stories, too. She is working on two stories and a poem at the same time. She switches back and forth and back and forth between them each day. She says, “This one is flying along.” and “GAH! I only wrote 6 words in a half hour.” and “Who’s going to clean up this mess?”

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The stories (if she ever finishes them) will be her November and December 12×12 stories. Neither story is about me. One is about pajamas and one is about a cyclops. Maybe the poem will be about my peppermint ball. In fact, I can write that poem myself….

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….I want it to say, “Peppermint ball, peppermint ball,

You make my breath smell sweet.

I’ll toss you, chew you, roll you around,

And hold you with my feet.”

On second thought, I’ll leave the poetry writing to Mom….

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

~Franklin D. Roosevelt~

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Trying something is important. This Roosevelt guy knows what he’s talking about. What would life be like if we didn’t try? Mom tries all the time. She tries to write awesome stories.

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She tries to write funny poems.

loose tooth

She tries to get unusual ideas and to dream up unique characters.

perfect friend

Even though Roosevelt says to – she doesn’t frankly admit failure, but she does keep on trying something.

I try all the time, too. I try to sit on my ParkIt Mat.

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This is boring…

I try to reach things on the table.

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I try to fetch the ball and to walk past things even if they’re scary.

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Like Mom, I never admit failure. I only admit, “Oh well.” and “Maybe next time.” and “Is that pumpkin trying to kill me?”

*gulp*

*gulp*

Take-My-Picture-Tuesday

I have a lot of costumes. Costumes turn me into a character.

Mom has a ton of characters inside her head. She saves them up and puts them into her stories. She studied about developing her characters by writing character sketches of them. The character sketch helps Mom get to know her characters really well.  Really, REALLY well.

Really??

Really??

She needs to know things like: their favorite color, their best talent, their favorite food, their secrets, their favorite words to say, and a million other things. Once Mom knows about her character, then she knows how that character would work best in a story. If I were one of Mom’s characters, this is what she’d know about me….

Favorite color – Pink, what else? I’m a little girl.

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Talent – Bowling. Dog bowling…

Favorite food – Bacon treats. And dog food. And MilkBones. And yogurt. And chicken. And pizza. And apples. And peanut butter. And goose poop. And cigar butts. And paper. And dirt.

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Secrets – I’m not as dumb as I look. Sssshhhh.

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Favorite thing to say – “Wait! What??”

Wait! What??

Wait! What??

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….

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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….

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Unexpected

Picture books and poems work better if they have something unexpected in them. Besides originality, an opening that captures the reader, complex characters, conflict, cause and effect, solution, setting, wordplay, rising stakes, humor, a satisfying ending, and a dog….

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… (OK. I made that last one up.), a story needs a surprise. It could be a dragon who likes to cook, crayons that make magic drawings, baby birds hatching inside a motorcycle helmet,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Photos courtesy of Gemma – http://firstandfabulous.wordpress.com

a super hero baby, or a dog who paints like an artist….. Unexpected surprises. They help make stories and poems more FUN.

I found an unexpected surprise outside by the laundry room stairs, yesterday.

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A hairbrush. Why?

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Wait! What??

Why is there a hairbrush in the grass outside? Were neighbors fixing their hair before doing laundry? Was a student walking to school doing her hair because she was late? Is the groomer from Petco hiding behind a tree waiting to brush my fur?

groomer

What will happen to the hairbrush? Will spiders move in between the bristles and build webs? Will grasshoppers walk through and think they’re in a forest? Will a baseball fly over the garages and land on top of it? Will the lawn guys mow it?

If it’s still there tomorrow, I am going to taste it. I hope the super doesn’t come by and put it in the garbage when he cleans up…. That would be NO FUN.

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10,000

10000

Last week, we reached 10,000 views on our blog. I’m not much with the math, but 10,000 seems like a lot, seeing as how Mom only lets me post once or twice a week. I am excited that so many people and pets wanted to see what we were up to.

Of course, about 9,000 of the views were probably Mom, looking for mistakes and reading comments and stuff. She is my biggest fan. I am her biggest fan, too!

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A long time ago, Mom got a fan letter from a little girl who read one of her poems in Spider Magazine. The little girl said that Mom’s poem made her laugh.

fan letter

I’d like to say Mom was excited about the fan letter, but excited doesn’t even begin to express how she felt. That letter was her favorite piece of mail of her life, until she got the contract for her first book years and years later.

Even though Mom’s book had a ton of good reviews and won The Moonbeam Award, she has never received a fan letter from any of her readers. She has lots of thank you letters from the kids at the schools she visited…

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….but no fan letters.

If I could write, I’d send her one, but paws aren’t much good with a pencil.

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Thanks to all my fans for visiting Cupcake Speaks. Every Visit, every Comment, and every Like feels like a fan letter to me!! xoxo

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.

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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).

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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!

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