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Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Five Word Friday

5

Today’s 5 words are about Little by Little.

5. My face – After visiting 4 different parks in a week,

double slide

I may have picked up some allergens which made me itchy. REALLY itchy. So itchy that I tried to scratch my face off.

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Little by little, it’s getting better.

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4. The vet – The vet gave me 2 shots and said Mom needed to keep the cone on my head so I could get better.

vet

*gulp*

Little by little I am allowed some cone-free time each day as long as Mom is home to watch me like a hawk.

cone sad

3. Beginning to End – Mom is working on a new story. It usually takes a week or two to get from the opening to the ending. She’s still way at the beginning, but tries to move it along some each day – little by little.

once upon

2. Visits – Little by little the springtime school visits are getting scheduled and done. Mom visited a super fun school last week for their Discovery Day. It was hard work and a longer day than she’s used to, but the kids and teachers made it a great time. I waited at home…

left alone

1. Bunny and Carrots – Mom is eating one of her chocolate Easter bunnies little by little. First the bunny went deaf,

earless bunny

Huh??

then he totally lost his head.

headless bunny

I am afraid to see what happens to the poor guy next.

bunny butt

GAH! Where’s his tail??

No chocolate bunnies allowed for me, but I got a toy bunny

bunny

and every day Mom puts some carrots into my kibbles. Little by little the carrots run out.

carrots please

Then we switch to green beans. Yum.

green beans

16. And also, spring is coming little by little. Some flowers started growing already!

chalk flowers

Wait. What?

 

Five Word Friday

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Spring is coming soon!

park equipment

I love change, so changing to a new season makes me happy. Today’s 5 words are about change.

daffodil

Weather – When spring comes, winter goes away and the weather gets warm and sunny and nice. Some days, I can take a springtime street nap.

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Sometimes Mom lets me play on the baby swing,

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…or explore the park.

rock pose

Cutting – This week, Mom changed one of her stories from having 790 words to having 501 words. In picture books, 500 words need to tell the whole story. That’s not to say some stories aren’t 700 or 800 words. And at the other end of the spectrum some stories are 11 words or 26 words. That’s a totally different kind of “picture” book than the ones Mom writes.

2 books

Outfits – Mom ordered me a new raincoat and new collars for spring.

blue collar flowerleather collar

 

 

 

 

 

 

I change outfits a lot. It keeps things interesting.

cupcake dress party dress

Visit – Mom will do a school visit next week. It’s a change from the usual visits that she does. At this school visit, instead of a big bunch of students, Mom will meet with 6 or 7 small groups of kids. She will talk to them, read to them, and play with them. It will be fun.

waiting

I’ll just wait here…..

Toys – It’s been ages since Mom changed up my toybox. She thinks I forgot that there’s a bag of toys in the top of the closet. Truth be told, I kind of did forget what’s in there. So when she switches out the toys in the box for the toys in the bag, I will be as excited as if she went shopping at Petco, Target, and PetSmart and shopped till she dropped – all for me!

toy switch

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action till all factors are favorable do nothing.
~William Feather~

Writers know that they have to write whether they feel like it or not. Well, maybe not write – but they need to do writer-adjacent activities, no matter what.

Classroom visit

Classroom visit

Mom knows this, so when conditions are not favorable, she reads picture books or writing blogs, lists ideas, researches agents or publishers, submits stories or poems, critiques work in her writing group, or fixes up a story she wrote a long time ago.

napper

Ho-hum…

There are plenty of actions she can take. And she does… But somehow, when that part of her day is finished, she turns her sights to me. Sometimes this is a plus. We ride in the car,

cardress

hit the park,

park bench

walk around the neighborhood, or play with toys.

toys

But sometimes, she says the word, “Want to learn?” *cue scary music here*

The newest trick Mom is trying to teach me is called Shell Game. We use bathroom cups instead of shells and a Cheerio instead of a pea.

Smart!

Smarter!!

Duh…

And the only gambling involved is the fact that I may or may not lose my mind and just eat the cups.

cup eater

I would like to delay this learning (and ALL learning) till factors are favorable, but Mom says, “All factors will NEVER be favorable – for either one of us.” and “Now is as good a time as any – for both of us.” and “GAH! What are those jackasses in your head telling you???”

Huh??

Huh??

Teeny Tiny

Seven years ago, Mom almost passed me up at the pet rescue event where I was waiting. She said, “She’s too tiny.”

cage2

Her old dog, Smoki, was a German Shepherd mix,

smoki on the sofa

and before Smoki there was Sandy, a Golden Retriever mix.

Sandy in the snow

She didn’t know what to do with such a teeny tiny dog like me. When I finally willed her to choose me, she thought I’d need a set of doggie stairs to get on the bed. That was before she saw that I could fly. I’m small, but mighty.

Since then, Mom has faced down my teeny tiny feet,

oneboot

my teeny tiny belly,

belly

and my teeny tiny brain.

Mom will be facing down another teeny tiny dilemma, soon. She’s invited to read to a couple of classes at a local school for Dr. Seuss‘s birthday – Read Across America Day.

I can't read, but I'm celebrating my own way.

I can’t read, but I’ll celebrate my own way.

The dilemma is that the children she’ll be reading to are teeny tiny pre-k kids. They’re small, but mighty.

happykids

Mom’s print book, Keep Your Ear on the Ball is way over their heads – more for 2nd-4th graders.

Book #1

Her e-book, What If I Don’t? is slightly over their heads – more for kindergarten-2nd graders.

ebookcover with border

So she headed off to the bookstore. She sat in the cafe and read and read and read.

kiddie books

When her chai latte was finished, she went back to the shelves and read some more.

She’s very happy with her choices: Duck, Duck, Dinosaur for the teeniest of the teeny tiny kids

duck dinoduck duck dino

and My Dog’s a Chicken for the less teeny of the teeny tiny kids.

dog chickendog chicken2

She giggled when she read them and said, “These are short and sweet.” and “This will be super fun.” and “Why are you hiding under the bed?”

under the bed

Inspirational Quote of the Week

quote owl

Wait. What? I’m pretty sure it IS about how you look. Why else would I dress like this

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or this

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or this?

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Why else would I wear costumes like this

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or this

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or this?

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And why else would I change my expression from this

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to this

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to this?

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Well, maybe I don’t change my expression very much, but still…

Mom is finished with her PiBoIdMo challenge. She listed 30 story ideas in 30 days. Actually in 28 days, but who’s counting? Plus I hate counting. It flat out gives me a headache.

In order to get those ideas, Mom had to look at things AND see things in special and unusual ways. A saying on a doggie t-shirt was suddenly an idea. A type of book was suddenly an idea.

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A trip to the library was suddenly an idea.

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Christmas decorations, food shopping, and a TV commercial were suddenly ideas. Two ideas even joined together to suddenly become another new idea! Looking at things differently and seeing things differently made ideas appear in the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times.

tree huh

Now the list in Mom’s phone will be the perfect place to look for inspiration. Or she can get inspired by looking at me like this

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or like this

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or like this…

Back Camera

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

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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.

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

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

Really?

Really?

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.

Meadowlands

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.”

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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.”

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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…

donut2

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

bathgirl

bathface

Help me…

 

 

Five Word Friday

5 cards

There’s some new stuff going on around here. Today’s five words are all about new stuff.

1. Toys. Mom bought me some new toy hot dogs for Fourth of July. Apparently, these were supposed to take the place of having a delicious REAL hot dog at a delicious ACTUAL barbecue.

Fun, but not delicious.

Fun, but not delicious.

68. Group. Mom joined a new online writing critique group. There’s a bunch of smarty, creative, friendly, and helpful people who will talk with Mom about her stories and their stories. It seems like fun, because who doesn’t love talking to smarty, creative, friendly, and helpful people. I wish I could sit on their feet, cuddle up with them, and lick their teeth. Yeah – that’s a thing, and I’m pretty good at it.

tooth kiss2

 

33. Clothes. Mom and I had to stay away from the house for a few hours because of workmen putting in a new front window. Plus power tools and glass breaking could scare a little doggie. We spent some time looking around at the pet store. Mom picked out this new shirt for me. It tells a true fact.

97. Window. Our new front window works great.

new window

I can watch Mom leave and wait for her to come back. Also, Mom gets to wash my nose prints and spit off the glass every single day of her life.

waiting in the window

5. Summer School. Mom will start studying in Kidlit Summer School at the end of the month. Every day she will read posts, get ideas, do assignments, and share her work with her cyberclassmates. I’m hoping it’ll be fun for her. I know it’ll be fun for me because she has to stay here with me to do it. It’s school, but it’s home! Yay!

watching work

Helping. #notcreepy

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

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Mom does writing just about every day – but only for one hour. After one hour, her brain is fried, so she spends the rest of the day dreaming, talking, and wishing about writing. Also, she does mind-writing, watching and listening for ideas, reading picture books, and generally living her life.

On certain days she sends a story to Rate Your Story,

RYS

reads books and drinks coffee at Barnes and Noble,

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and sometimes she submits stories to agents or publishers.

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There are some things I do just about every day, too. I watch Mom watch TV,

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This is fascinating…

 

snoopervise the hanging plants out front,

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take a walk – or a hike,

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and get my teeth brushed.

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Also, I do street napping,

or grass napping....

or grass napping….

therapy dog work at the library

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and VA,

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and go to the park.

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On certain days, I celebrate,

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dress up,

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and sometimes, I get hiccups.

Going and Staying

Mom has been going out a lot lately. And I have been staying home a lot.

....bye...

….bye…

Last week, she visited her old school for Career Day.

career-day-welcome-page

nurse

She talked to thirty 2nd graders about being an author. They liked when she said she went to work in her pajamas.

Author in PJs

They laughed when she said she wishes she could tear up each rejection letter, jump up and down on it, run to her room, and slam the door. They said, “Eeeewwww” when she told them ideas are everywhere, and if they see a dead squirrel squished in the street, they can write a story about it.

squirrel

Wait. What?

A bunch of the kids said they like to write stories and may want to be authors when they grow up.

writing

This week, Mom visited a 5th grade class in a different school to talk about being an author.

...bye... SERIOUSLY??

Again? SERIOUSLY??

She told them about the pajamas and the rejections and the squished-squirrel stories.

 

hawthorne3

Mom also told them how their teacher used to be her student and how she brought a praying mantis egg case to class and how it HATCHED in their classroom and how hundreds of mantis babies overran the library corner and how Mom had nightmares for weeks.

mantis

Mom wrote a story about the classroom egg case and it was published in Humpty Dumpty Magazine. I guess that’s worth a few nightmares.

photo

I did not go to either one of the school visits, but I did have a few nightmares of my own.

sleeping2

They are named the LawnGuys, the Mailman, the FedExDude, and OutsideCats. I had some good dreams, too…

101 treats

Five Word Friday

5

Today’s five words are about reading. Writers do reading all the time – out loud, in their heads, on the Kindle, at the library, on the iPad…. ALL the time.

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Dogs do not.

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Push me!

 1. Picture Books – Mom reads 200 picture books a year. There’s usually a pile of library picture books on the piano bench at home and a pile of bookstore picture books on Mom’s table at Barnes and Noble.

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2. Goodreads – Mom keeps track of the books she reads on her Goodreads Challenge.

2015 goodreads3. Drooling – Drooling on the books is “not cool.” But how can I help it? They smell delicious! …Like kids’ hands. And dirt. And gum.

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4. Writer’s Eye – When Mom reads, she tries to do it with a writer’s eye. She pays attention to what works, how it works, and why it works. She also notices what stinks, what’s boring, what’s dumb, what’s a waste of time, and what makes no sense. She hopes it’ll help her be a better writer.

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5. Studying – Yesterday, I studied some reading, which said the word, “No Barking.”

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I was exhausted from reading so hard, so I parked myself on the street for a quick nap. Mom said, “I guess you just can’t read. Can you?”

Well, I'm not barking. Am I?

Of course I can read – I’m not barking. Am I?