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Archive for the ‘revising’ Category

Twist

Supposedly there are only seven (or nine) basic story plots in the whole wide world. That means that the millions and millions of books that are written are just different twists on those plots. Mom has been twisting away on three different stories these past couple of weeks. She’s working to make them different and fun and unusual and original and able to stand out in the crowd.

It’s kind of like taking a street nap. I mean – a nap is a nap is a nap. It’s always a challenge to put a new twist on my favorite outdoor activity.

street3Sometimes I sit for a while before totally hitting the deck.

street6Sometimes, I lie on the sidewalk instead of the street. It’s made of the same surface material, so it feels just as good. Plus, no cars can interrupt my nap, and Mom doesn’t have to drag me into the gutter every five minutes to keep me from getting run over.

street10This was a nap I took as soon as I got out of Mom’s car. When I popped out, I felt that warm asphalt and just couldn’t help myself.

street8I especially like a street nap when the ground is extra filthy. Dumpster residue, oil stains, and gravel are some of my favorites. And I make sure to press my allergy spot into the dirt. Mom keeps the spot clean and dry and sanitized and tries very hard not to let it get infected. That’s why I have to take matters into my own paws and drag it through the dirt now and then. I’m pretty sure clean is overrated.

There is always another spin, a better way, a new approach, and a fresh twist – whether it’s for a tired story or a classic street nap. Mom says, “This is super cute!” and “I have a GREAT idea for the ending!” and “Where is the peroxide??”

cone and doggie

….and, “Get in the tub.”

bath

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

weed quote

Mom’s computer is FILLED with weeds! There are six, seven, sometimes ten versions of each weed. She works hard to get the virtues of her weeds discovered. So far, no good. But she is never discouraged. Mom loves weeds. She works with them and revises them, and the whole time she appreciates their beauty. …because why be a writer if you’re not enjoying the writing and not loving what you write?!

Mom appreciates her weeds AND the ones that grow on the lawns around our building.

weeds2

She says, “OMG. This story is so cute.” and “I should send this out somewhere.” and “Don’t eat the flowers. I mean weeds. I mean flowers.”

weeds

They’re weeds….

Weeds are relative.

white weeds

Definitely weeds….

Sometimes, Mom sends her ugly weed stories to her critique group or RYS. They are helpful and encouraging. Then she gets more ideas and she either fixes the weeds to make them bloom into flowers, or she digs into a new piece and starts nurturing it along.  Book #2 or ebook #2 might be right around the corner.

Right around the corner from the purple weeds, are probably…

purple weeds

….more weeds….

dandy

But that’s OK. One man’s weed is another man’s flower.

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

five

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.

street4

Sometimes Mom lets me play on the baby swing,

swing

…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

 

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.

computer kid (2)

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

blurry

… and then come back again.

clearsleeper

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.

hood problem

Who turned out the lights?

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

boots are killing me

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

sofa

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

plow

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.

looking in snow

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…

clearbed

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.

lap

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.

lightbulb

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…

RYS2

…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.”

under construction

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.

pb magic

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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