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

Archive for the ‘revising’ Category

Hidden

Sometimes, when Mom writes a story, it’s not the story she meant to write. When stories jump from her head to her hands to her computer, bad things can happen.

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The stories can go on and on and on. And on. The plot can go off track. The focus can go away…

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… and then come back again.

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And then go away again.

blurrybedCharacters can refuse to do what she wants them to do. BAD things can happen.

Remember this...?

Remember this…?

The story from Mom’s brain might be in there somewhere, but it’s hidden. When Mom gets to the end, she says, “It’s twice as long as it should be.” and “This sounded better in my head.” and “Where’s your other boot?”

missing boot

It snowed last weekend in my neighborhood. EVERYTHING was hidden under 28 inches of that cold, white stuff. I was hidden under the hood of my pink parka.

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Who turned out the lights?

My beautiful paws were hidden in boots to protect them from cold. And rock salt.

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A sofa near the dumpster was hidden under a snow drift.

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After a couple of days, I found some grass that was hidden near a disconnected snowplow that was hidden behind a building.

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A long time ago, I found a soggy potato chip bag hidden under the snow. So far, try as I might, I haven’t found any buried food.

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Maybe when Mom is finished searching for the elusive, amazing story from her head, we’ll take a walk and see if there’s an elusive, amazing McDonald’s wrapper hidden under the snow. Or maybe I’ll just rest for a little while…

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Dress Up Your Pet Day

January 14 was Dress Up Your Pet Day. I participated, of course…

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When I was first adopted, I resisted getting dressed. I even tried to eat my coat!

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But then I learned. Mom dresses me when we do therapy work at the veteran’s home or the library.

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It makes people smile and it also helps me not to leave too many furs on them when they cuddle with me.

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Plus it keeps me warm so I don’t shiver.

snow parkaI like dressing up. It usually means something fun is about to happen.

paw jacket

In between dressing me and posting me, Mom was busy dressing up one of her stories. The simple beginning, middle, and end needed a fancy title, some colorful words, something sweet to make people smile,

hawthornea sassy character,

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and some warmth and emotion.

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Mom calls dressing up her stories revising. She used to resist revising – I mean, she didn’t try to eat her coat or anything, but she fought making changes to dress things up. Now she likes revising. It usually means something fun is about to happen. At least we HOPE so!

accepted

happykids

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

2016

This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.
-David Nicholls-

2016 is a bright new year filled with hope and promise. After I recovered from all the celebrations…

all asleep

…I prepped myself for my first steps into the 365 days ahead of me.

blanket baby

First some beauty sleep…

Actually 366 days, since it’s a leap year. Leaping is something I love to do. I’m such a tiny girl, leaping makes me feel big and powerful.

Mom is starting off the year right with a story revision that she’s been doing for a few weeks, now. Her writing group gave her tons of good suggestions for ways to make her story better.

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She took things out, added things in, and moved things around. She used more words to show action, fewer words to make a punchier ending, and new words to say things in a more precise and fun way.

When Mom sent her story back to Rate Your Story, they gave it a score of 2…

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…AND gave her a couple more ideas for fixing it. A 2 is a big improvement from the 5 the story had the first time it was judged.

RYS scores

I’m pretty sure Mom would have done some leaping of her own, if she could. But that’s what she has me for, after all…

 

Work in Progress

Around my neighborhood, there are a few works in progress. This vine is definitely a work in progress – trying to grow something. Mom says, “Maybe pumpkins.” I hope not. *shiver* Either way, the flowers are there, but it looks like it needs another year (or ten) before anything will pop out to scare the daylights out of me.

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This pile of …. I don’t know what – is another work in progress. Sometimes it seems like road salt, but sometimes, it looks like mulch. I guess it’ll make up its mind eventually.

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When Mom was a teacher, she used to stamp her kids’ first drafts with a rubber stamp that read, “Under Construction.”

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The kids thought it was fun. Plus that stamp told them to work on revising and proofreading their stories for a little while longer so they would be ready to hang on the bulletin board.

This month, Mom is studying in Susanna Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class.

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Her new story is a work in progress and is under construction in a big way. Every morning, Susanna teaches Mom what to do next in order to have a finished story by the end of the month. Mom does each step and then posts it to their Facebook page so her classmates can see it and talk about it with her. She thinks it’s fun to have a work in progress that moves closer to completion every day.

Something else is a work in progress at our house. A whole box of orange snowball cakes.

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Mom is trying hard to eat them all herself. I offered to help, but she said, “No thanks.” and “Dogs can’t eat chocolate.”

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and “Your behavior is DEFINITELY under construction.”

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

Winston Churchill

Mom shows continuous effort in her writing. I guess writing for a little while each day is continuous effort…

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Just when she thinks she’s getting better, somebody tells her the word, “Too easy.” and “Not enough conflict.” and “The solution came too fast.” She’s using her continuous effort to listen and change the way her stories end. And to unlock her potential. Life needs to be tougher for Mom’s characters.

Not so with me. Life is tough enough for this doggie! Exhibit A – My PupJoy subscription box came the other day. Right on my birthday!

birthday box

It was filled with toys, treats, and surprises. I looked closely…

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and I sniffed and sniffed,

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but the box remained closed up tight.

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When Mom saw my helpless-hopeless-hapless-face, she got the box open and gave me the goodies. That guy, Winston has the right idea. I didn’t need any strength or intelligence at all to get that done.

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Martian toy!

I’m still learning to be well-behaved – with continuous effort. Mom says I am not as “responsive” in my new harness as I am with my Martingale collar.

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I think responsive is overrated. Look how cute I look!

Adorable? Yup.

Adorable? Yup.

No strength or intelligence needed here.

Watch me walk nicely, like a good girl, right next to Mom. Continuous effort…. Potential unlocked!

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about being sick. Sort of… Not really…

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Cone – I have been wearing the cone of shame for a week.

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I wasn’t really sick, but I had some allergies and couldn’t stop biting and scratching my tummy. The cone (and some medicine) made me better.

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Mmmm… Peanut butter! Wait. What?

Story-itis – One of Mom’s stories was feeling under the weather. Not really sick, but not up to par. Mom bit it and scratched it…. Not really. She actually fixed it and changed it A LOT and made it better.

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Vet – The vet checked me out and pronounced me good to go.

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RatingRate Your Story checked out Mom’s story and pronounced it ALMOST good to go. It’s just a little too long.

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Cutting – Mom is cutting words like crazy out of her story before she sends it anywhere. We hope it’ll have a happy and successful trip when it’s ready.

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Trip – We are cutting out the cone of shame and soon I’ll take my last pill. Then I’ll be ready for a happy and successful trip, too.

Road trip!

Road trip!

Maybe to the park.

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Or hiking.

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Or the reservoir.

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Or to breakfast.

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

quote

Writers see possibilities a lot. They imagine them and ask about them inside their heads when they’re making up a story. They especially need to consider them when they’re revising.  Mom had an old story that she liked a lot. She showed it to her writing group friends and they said SO many amazing things about it. Like, “There’s too much this.” or “Not enough that.” and “Maybe you can try some of this.” or “You may want to add some of that.” Mom considered the possibilities and tried some of the suggestions and guess what. The story is VERY different, and Mom loves it even more in its new form! Who knew?

Possibilities. I love those guys. I, for one, am happy to hear that they never run out.

Riding in the car opens a ton of possibilities.

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Mouth open, sunroof open, ready for the open road…

The car can lead to this…

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or this…

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or this…

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or this…

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New places, new sights, new peemail from new friends, and sometimes a tree-root nap…

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Now and then the car leads to this…

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Take it easy, lady. Leave me a nail or two to scratch my ears with!

Walking into the bathroom opens fewer possibilities. Maybe I’ll be able to sniff the shower gel and wait while Mom takes a shower. Unless she says the word, “That’s soap, not food.” or “That’s not a water bowl.” or “OUT. Can I have 5 minutes of privacy?”

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Sometimes it flat out leads to this…

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which leads to this…

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which leads to this

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Pardon my bits and pieces, but I’m trying to air condition my wet belly.

 

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