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

Archive for the ‘school visits’ Category

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

Lovely

My new kitty-friend, Samantha from the blog Musings of PuppyDoc sent me a lovely award called the Lovely Blog Award. I love being lovely, so thanks, PuppyDoc and Samantha! I think your blog is lovely, too!

lovely-blog-award-2

Now I need to follow the directions of the award. Following directions can be tough, sometimes.

climbing

Puppies!!

1-Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog in the post. DONE

2-Copy the rules and add the blog award badge as an image. DONE

3-Share 7 facts about yourself to your fellow bloggers. DONE

4-Nominate 15 people. (Of course I won’t do this, but feel free to nominate yourself. You know you’re lovely…)

Seven facts about me:

9. I lick the floor a lot, searching for something delicious. Delicious things include: crumbs, dropped scraps, errant kibbles, small pieces of paper, dirt or debris from outside, and lint.

licking floor

452. I love clothes. I wear a dress to visit old soldiers at the veteran’s home

va therapy

and young readers at the library when I do my therapy work.

library therapy

I get excited when Mom dresses me because I know the fun is about to begin.

7. I’m pretty sure my toy box is trying to kill me. I will not use it, even though I love to play. Every morning, Mom helps me by picking out some stuffed toys for me.

help me

Seven facts about Mom:

6. Mom writes for an hour a day. She stops when her timer goes off, no matter what. She thinks if she keeps writing till she runs out of ideas, she won’t know what to write the next day.

time

98. School visits are Mom’s favorite part of being an author. When she reads her books and talks about writing, she feels like a teacher again. She plays games and answers questions. Some of her favorite questions are: “How long does it take to write a story?” and “Where do you get your ideas?” and “My cousin Tommy has a pet hamster.” – which isn’t a question, but it makes her laugh.

Clifton

 

7. Mom and I are not good at math. Counting and figuring gives us a headache. Mom likes words, but hates numbers. I like barking, but hate numbers.

math mix

Countdown Wednesday

123

It’s back to school time around here. For 52 years of her life, Mom went back to school in September – sometimes as a student and sometimes as a teacher. Today we’re counting down about back to school.

back to school

My Back to School Countdown

3. Sleep – A good night’s sleep will make a better learner.

night night

So does a good morning’s sleep and a good afternoon’s sleep

raccoon nap

and a good floor sleep and a good street sleep.

street nap 92

I must be the best learner in the world!

2. Friends – When school starts I get to see lots of friends at the library. I am well-behaved and don’t knock over any chairs or bump any tables. I don’t lick the books or the kids’ shoes while they’re reading to me. …Actually I do all of those things, but just a little bit.

iselin library

1. School Visits – Once in while, one of Mom’s teacher friends tells her to bring me to school to play with the kids for a while. That is my dream come true.

hawthorne

Mom’s Back to School Countdown

3. School Visits – Mom loves visiting kids at school to show her PowerPoint, talk about being an author, and read her books to them. She says it’s the best part of being an author. Bar none.

IMG_6398

2. Friends – Now that she’s not a teacher anymore, Mom and a few of her retired teacher friends go out to breakfast on the first day of school and enjoy drinking lots of coffee and talking instead of working.

pancakes

1. Fear – Mom had a raging case of school phobia when she was in kindergarten. She cried and begged her mother every single day to let her stay home – not for the first few days, but EVERY SINGLE DAY from the first day of school in September till the last day of school in June. That might explain why she writes about being afraid so often. She has a million stories about fear in her computer. It’s apparently her favorite topic.

Luckily, I am much more courageous than she was….

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons...

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons… Help me.

 

GAH! It’s the deadly balloon of doom. *gulp*

 

Happiness

It would be silly for Mom to be a writer if writing didn’t make her happy. So I guess it makes her happy… At least most of the time.

image

She writes just about every day. When she works, she’s challenged, inspired, enthusiastic, and motivated. Except when she’s disappointed, hopeless, worried, and bummed out. Luckily, that’s not too often. Only when she thinks Print Book #2 and E Book #2 are taking too long to happen. Most of the time, she thinks they’re just around the corner….

My friend Lexi the Schnauzer tagged me to participate in the 8 Photos of Happiness Challenge. Since I am never disappointed, hopeless, worried, or bummed out, I would be able to post 8,000 photos of happiness. ….but I won’t. Here are my 8.

1. New toys from PupJoy.

1. New toys from PupJoy.

IMG_7649

2. Showing off.

IMG_7489

3. People watching.

IMG_7227

4. School visits with Mom. And KIDS!

IMG_7131

5. Listening to stories at the library.

6. A cool drink of water after a hike.

6. A cool drink of water after a hike.

FullSizeRender2

7. A nice, warm street nap.

FullSizeRender

8. Bringing smiles to my friends at the Veteran’s Home.

Did I say 8?

I can't post about happiness without the baby swing at the park.

8 1/2. I can’t post about happiness without the baby swing at the park.

Here are the rules for the challenge:

Thank your nominator and link them in your post. (Thanks Lexi!)
Link the creator. (Ariel’s little corner of the internet)
Post your 8 photos of happiness. (or 8,000)
The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.
Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!
Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers! (I’m tagging all of my friends – if you want to share some happiness, jump in!)

Countdown Wednesday

She finally did it! Mom brought me with her to a school visit. Well… It wasn’t actually a school visit where she had to talk to kids about being an author. She already talked to these kids a few weeks ago. On Monday, we were just picking something up and dropping something off for the kids.

We are counting down about our awesome school visit.

What Mom loved…

3. The teacher used to be Mom’s student a long time ago. Now she is a super-teacher.

class pic

That’s her. She’s the first one on the left in the pink jumper –  right next to Young-Mom.

2. The kids made a cute card for us to take home.

FullSizeRender

1. I was a good girl.

IMG_7227

What I loved…

3. Everyone fussed and fussed over me.

IMG_7230

2. Through the window, I spotted a playground with swings and slides.

IMG_7233

1. Lots of kids gave me treats.

Over here, kids! Mom brought my treat pouch!

Over here, kids! Mom brought my treat pouch!

27B. I wore my sailor dress.

IMG_7225

67. I ALMOST got to play in the playground. Then I got afraid. So Mom said the word, “Forget it.”

*gulp*

*gulp*

52. I relaxed in the back seat all the way home.

IMG_7236

6. I didn’t take a street nap, but Mom let me rest for a few minutes in the parking lot.

IMG_7242

I’m worn out from all that love. Plus my belly is full of treats.

21W. School visits are the BEST!

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.

IMG_6397

Dogs do not.

IMG_4411

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.

IMG_6465

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.

IMG_6788

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.

IMG_6793

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

IMG_6783

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?

 

 

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….

New

bitsnpieces

This is new. In case you don’t recognize it, it’s called sunshine. On my belly. And my face. And my bits and pieces.

hotcross

This is new, too. It’s a new treat for me to try. I only got a little piece (and no raisins!), but oooh it was yummy. It’s a hot cross bun – it was not hot and Mom ate the cross, but I got a hunk of the bun. Awesome.

hotcross2

Yes, please…

Here I am “working” with some old friends at the Veteran’s Home.

teacherdog

But I was really teaching someone new. A new friend will be joining Mom and me at work there soon. I was showing her the ropes. I can’t wait to work with the new therapy pet team!

Mom is doing something new this week, too. It’s a different kind of school visit. Usually, she reads her book and talks about being a writer.

school visit

But since her book is about a blind boy in a sighted classroom, this week, she’ll be attending an event called Disability Awareness Day.

Book #1

She’ll play games and talk to small groups of kids and help them understand how to be a friend to all kinds of differently-abled people.

Mom said, “This will be fun.” and “I love a new experience.” and “BEHAVE while I’m gone!”

trouble1

trouble2

…. Don’t I always?

All of her supplies are packed up and ready to go.

supplies

She named them Keep-Away and Do-Not-Touch. I call them…

foundabear

Hey-Wait-a-Minute-There’s-a-Teddy-Bear-in-Here!

foundabear2

 

Birthday

birthdaycake

Yesterday was Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would’ve been 111 years old. That’s a lot of red fish and blue fish and a ton of hops on pops, and a million cats in a billion hats old.

catbook

Humans celebrate Dr. Seuss’s life by reading stories to little kids all over America on his birthday.

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

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

Mom loves Dr. Seuss. And reading stories. And little kids. So she is on board with this. Yesterday, she left me alone while she read her ebook What If I Don’t? (MeeGenius, 2014) to some super cute kindergarten kids.

ebookcover with border

I was worried the whole time she was gone, because once when Mom visited a school, she was approached by a giant cat! In a giant hat!

GAH!

GAH!

Yesterday, she was only approached by one of her favorite teachers and giant bunch of kindergarten kids in giant hats.

IMG_6398

Whew!

Mom had fun reading and talking and laughing with the kids. They were great listeners and laughed at all the right times, gasped at all the right times, repeated some of the words from the story, and made funny faces whenever Mom asked them to.

funnyface

They also answered a bunch of questions and asked a few of their own. Mom’s favorite question was, “Once I drew a picture of King Kong on the Empire State Building.” which isn’t actually a question, but it was fun anyway.

I waited at home and was mostly a good girl……

Cat in the Hat

Cat in the Hat

Dog in the Hat

Dog in the Hat