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

Archive for the ‘rejection’ Category

Five Word Friday

five

Looking over her stories, Mom is noticing she has three different kinds – some that aren’t ready yet, some that are old and worn out, and some that are just about right. Today’s five words are about growing and changing. It’s good for characters, good for stories, good for authors, good for butterflies, …and good for me.

butterfly

1. Unripe – New stories need time to ripen up.

Ugh! Green and underdone.

Ugh! Green and underdone.

Whenever Mom finishes a story she tucks it away and doesn’t look at it or think about it for a few weeks. It sits in the computer until it gets ripe.

2. Learning – When Mom first adopted me, I apparently did not know how to conduct myself. She had to teach me A LOT of things. Plus she took me to obedience school so she could learn how to make me learn. Wait. What?

CGC diploma

3. Overripe – Some of Mom’s stories have been around for years and years. And YEARS. She has revised them and revised them and edited them and overhauled them and submitted them and revamped them. She’s done everything but run them over with her car.

dog in car

She hasn’t totally ruled that out because they’re going nowhere.

I think this one has been run over by a car...

I think this one has been run over by a car…

4. Waiting – Writers do a LOT of waiting. So do I. I wait for Mom to share her breakfast,

Did somebody say pancake?

Did somebody say pancake?

wait for her to come home, wait for her to go walking with me, wait for her to take me in the car, and wait for my dinner.

dinner

5. Just Right – Like the porridge, the chairs, and the beds in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, some of Mom’s stories are just right. They’re not too old and not too new. They’re not too long and not too short. They’re not too blah and not too way out there.

Perfect!

Perfect! May I eat it??

Inspirational Quote of the Week

There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.

~Garth Stein~

Writers cannot be afraid to lose. Rejection is part of the game plan. Rejections happen so that a writer’s work can improve. Rejections are also the path to finding the right home for a piece of writing. Rejection = wrong home. Acceptance = right home. (That goes for shelter dogs too! Just sayin’.)

My first day at my forever home.

My first day at my forever home.

Mom is not afraid. I mean, yes – she’s afraid of bugs. And spiders. And the dark. And germs. And Chinese restaurants (long story). And earthworms (don’t ask). But when it comes to being an author, NOTHING scares her.

Last week, she did a different kind of author visit. She was a guest at Disability Awareness Day. She talked to over 200 kids – a group at a time – at her table.

table

They also touched the pages of Mom’s book in Braille, typed their names into the iPad to see how they look in Braille, solved puzzles, tested their sense of touch with the objects in Mom’s Touch Box , and walked with their eyes closed using the cane to feel their way around.

Type your name at Braillebug.

Type your name at BrailleBug.

Mom signed books for a bunch of kids, teachers, and parents.

signing2

It was a LOT of fun. Plus a LOT of talking, so Mom needed some tea with honey and a few gingersnaps when she got home. And yes – she shared a gingersnap with me!

cookie

Last month, Mom tried to take me hiking. Talk about a losing proposition. The trail we tried was icy, muddy, overgrown, and STEEP. But did that scare us away? ….Yes!

yikes

…But not for long. Today we tried again – on a different trail.

log dog

It was sunny, well-marked, flat, clear, and wide. We didn’t win any races, but we are in the game. And not afraid to lose.

Hitchhiker butterfly - also in the game....

GAH! Hitchhiker butterfly – also in the game….

Countdown Wednesday

calendar

Today, we are counting down about Unexpected Surprises

Unexpected Surprises for Mom

3. Rejection – Two of Mom’s stories were rejected last week. They have been rejected before, so why is it unexpected? For some reason, Mom is ALWAYS surprised when she gets a rejection. That’s because she only sends out things she really likes and has really worked on for a long time – by herself and with other people. And she only sends them to places and people who seem to like work like hers. Oh well.

Surprise!

Surprise!

2. Snow – The first day of spring brought snow. Twelve hours of it. It was gloppy and wet, but snow nevertheless.

snowytree

1. What if…? – Stories need unexpected surprises to keep the reader off balance. One good way to decide on a twist is to ask the question, “What if…?” and make up crazy scenarios to throw a monkey wrench into the story. Monkey wrenches are good. Monkey toys are good, too.

monkey toy

Unexpected Surprises for Me

3. Snow – I wore my paw boots in the surprise snow. Mom said, “Hold still.” and, “Put your foot in.”

boots on

and “This is the LAST TIME we’re putting these on till next winter! …I hope.”

bootsplaid

2. Gifts from the plow guys – When the snow started to melt, surprises came out of the snow plow mountains – candy wrappers, tissues, cigarette butts, dirt clods, and water bottles… all kinds of goodies! Thanks snow plow guys!

snow surprises

72. Street Nap – I was halfway to my first street nap of the season, but Mom stopped me. She said the word, “Don’t you dare.” and “It’s 25 degrees! The ground is freezing!” and “The wind is blowing your ear upside down.”

flyingear

1. New clothes – Mom surprised me with a new spring dress from Fetch Dog Fashions. I think orange is my color.

flintstone sitting

I think Pebbles Flintstone is my look. And tutu skirts are my style.

flintstone standing

No surprise there….

 

 

 

Waiting and Waiting

Waiting is tough. It’s one more tough thing in my life along with the treat famine when I gain weight,

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the mailman trying to kill me, and being afraid to walk past scary things like pumpkins, the UPS truck, and the always deadly, frightening coffee lid in the street.

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Waiting is brutal. Here I am waiting for my turn to listen to a story at Read to a Pet Night at the library…

Am I next?

Am I next?

…waiting for Mom to carry me so I don’t have to walk in my paw boots , and…

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…waiting for Mom to come home.

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Mom entered a couple of stories in the Rate Your Story Writing Contest.

RYS_2015_Contest_logo

She also sent a story to an agent who showed interest in it during #PitMad on Twitter. Now she is waiting for results. For her the waiting is fun and exciting. She says, “Once you do your best, there’s nothing else to do.” and “Gotta be in it to win it.” and “Seriously?? It’s a cardboard chef! He’s not going to hurt you!”

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Believing

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There would be no point to sending out stories if Mom didn’t believe somebody would love her work and will publish it. She believes like crazy. Part of the fun of setting goals and striving to get better at your craft is believing. She says, “I believe this is one of my best stories yet.” and “I believe this is the one.” and “I don’t believe you can’t find a better place to sit!”

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Two pieces of tissue paper. Perfect place to plop down and snoopervise.

Believing doesn’t mean dreaming (not that there’s anything wrong with dreaming), and it doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go wrong. Sometimes things go wrong.

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Things that go wrong are called Rejections. They’re also called I’m-Stuck. And Where’s-the-Conflict. And What’s-the-Point-of-This. When these things go wrong, Mom revises, switches to a different project, adds in a new problem for her character, or takes away some paragraphs and starts in a spot that makes the point clear.

Then she sweeps the broken glass off the floor and throws away my tissue paper bed. Go figure.

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Unbelievable…

 

When?

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Lots of leaves are falling all over my neighborhood. Big fluffy piles of them.

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The lawn guys come every week and take them away. But somehow, there are more leaf blankets the next week and the next and the next. I can’t figure out how to know when they’ll be finished.

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Almost…

Sometimes it’s difficult for Mom to know when a story is finished. It’s NOT finished when she writes the last word. That’s a no-brainer.

But what about these?

But what about these?

Is it finished when she reads it out loud 5,700 times and changes the language and order of events, adds details to develop the characters and setting, and deletes every word that doesn’t move the story along?

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Is it finished when her critique partner sends her comments and she fixes the things she hadn’t noticed before? Is it finished when it comes back from RYS with a score and some more suggestions? Nope.

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Not yet…

It isn’t even finished after Mom submits it to an agent or publisher, because if it comes back rejected, she will start editing like she just wrote the last word all over again.

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Here we go again…

Being finished for sure is a tough call….

Macaroni

Mom says, “No garbage.” a lot. I’m not allowed to lick the floor or eat from the garbage pail (I can barely reach it, anyway).

garbage

When we walk around the neighborhood or go to the park, I’m not allowed to eat banana peels or sunflower seed shells or pick up empty pudding cups or coffee lids. I’m not allowed to have candy wrappers or eat goose poop or sniff around by the dumpster.

lid

Apparently, garbage is a bad thing. Sometimes, Mom writes a word or a sentence or a story that’s garbage. She doesn’t mince words about it. She says, “This stinks!” and “What am I talking about?” and “Are you eating a napkin?”

napkin

Mom is not worried when she writes garbage. She thinks if she “gets the garbage out” the good stuff will come next.

garbage2

Let’s get the garbage out!

I know this is true because after Mom and I took the garbage out once, we walked around the back of the dumpster, and I found the good stuff! Macaroni noodles!!

macaroni2

Before Mom could say the word, “Leave it,” I ate one!

macaroni

Garbage. Mmmmm…

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