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

Archive for the ‘submitting’ Category

Joining

I am not much of a joiner. I do join up with some of my therapy dog friends at the veteran’s home and the library. But we don’t play much. Apparently, that’s not what we’re there for…

This is what I'm here for...

This is what I’m there for…

I got some new toys and a new coat from Santa. They have now joined up with my old toys

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and my old coats and sweaters.

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And sometimes, I join Mom for dinner. That never ends the way I imagine it will.

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Wait. What?

Mom is more of a joiner than I am. Now that it’s a new year, she has joined StoryStorm,

storystorm_participant

The 12 Days of Christmas for Writers,

12-days-of-christmas

and Rate Your Story.

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That means she will get 30 story ideas in 30 days, will watch videos every day for 12 days to be inspired and learn new things, and can send her stories to RYS for evaluation and critique.

She has also joined the GoodReads 2017 Reading Challenge, with plans to read 200 picture books this year.

2017-read

Maybe I will join her while she reads. There might be snacks….

*sigh*

*sigh*

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
~Anne Lamott~

Starting can be a tough gig.

traffic-light-go

Writers start new things all the time. If they stick with their start, they end up with a story. That’s a happy ending – with a happy ending. See what I did there?

happy

If they bail, they end up with a sad, unfinished, possibly terrible first effort. But that’s not to say they can’t yank that ugly, old thing out of the depths of the computer hard drive, Dropbox, cloud, or OneDrive and use it as a starter on a new day or a new month or a new year sometime. Old ideas are not always bad ideas.

computer

When I am doing something new I sometimes have a few (or 90) false starts or terrible efforts.

Fetch? Wait. What??

Fetch? What does that even mean??

My first efforts at getting my picture taken with Santa were confusing. Mom said, “Look at me.” and “Do you want chicken?” and “Wanna go in the car?” and “Ugh. Why do I do this to myself”

I looked this way.

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And that way.

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And this way again.

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Santa didn’t give up, though. He held me in the squeeze-grip till I looked where Mom and the photographer wanted me to look and I was publisher-ready.

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I am proof positive that sticking with a rough first effort can pay off. You need to start somewhere.

lights-row

Let’s get going…

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Wait What?

Five Word Friday

five5Today’s five words are about prizes.

3. Winner – Mom was one of a bunch of winners in a giveaway on Tara Lazar’s blog. She won the opportunity to have an agent look at her work. That’s a pretty huge jump out of the slush pile.

slush-pile

18. Slush – Once I played in snow and slush and it about froze my tiny paws to icicles.

snow3pink

Mom decided I would be safer with boots on my paws. Wrong. Just really wrong on so many levels.

boots2

6. Looking – Mom is excited that an agent will be looking at one of her new stories. I am always excited to be looking at something new. New things can be outdoors…

brush1

Hairbrush? Seriously???

…or indoors. But they’re always fun.

christmas-shopping

127. Entering – Mom and I enter lots and lots of contests, competitions, and giveaways. Mostly, we don’t win, but now and then we do. Once we won a box full of cat toys. It was fun to win, but we donated the toys back to a kitty who could use them. I don’t really need any toys…

toys5. Gratitude – We are grateful that Mom won this lucky prize. Gratitude is a big part of every day, but this is a special week for giving thanks.

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I have a ton to be grateful for – like treats,

101 treatslove,

kisshead

my furever home,

My first 5 minutes at my new home.

The first 5 minutes at my new home. #occupythecouch

walks,

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and naps.

street nap2And did I say naps?

green dress sleeping

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

John F. Kennedy

I always try my very best. Well, maybe not my very best, but I always try hard. Well, maybe not hard, but I always try. Well, maybe not always, but sometimes. So, yeah – Once in a while, I try a little bit.

I try not to get caught in the soccer net.

Close enough...unless...

Close enough…unless…

 

NO!

NO!

I try to figure out how my bed works…

bedfail

Nailed it.

And the chair at the library…

Backwards? No. This seems right...

Backwards? No. This seems right…

I try to stay where Mom can see me so I won’t get lost.weeds

And I try to play gently with my toys and not accidentally rip their heads off.

Mom tries her best waaaay more than I do. She has to! That’s what writers do. She writes, revises, submits, mind writes, edits, gets ideas, rewrites, reads, critiques, does author visits

computer kid (2)…drinks coffee, takes me to the park,

swing

cuddles with me, teaches me, goes shopping, talks on the phone, throws my baseball, has lunch with her friends…. Wait. What? I think I got off the topic there for a minute….

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Huh???

Anyway, The point is – she tries, just like she’s supposed to. She also hopes for the best and prepares for Book2 and/or Ebook2.

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Now I’m going to try and get a few treats out of my Petzi Treat Cam

petzi

Hello in there….

 

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

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Today’s five words come from one of Mom’s new stories.

16. Gum – I love gum. Yes, it’s true that I have never had gum and Mom says I never will, but I’m pretty sure I love it. Gum hides in Mom’s purse sometimes and once in a while it’s in the grocery bag, or in drawers that I can’t reach.

can't reach

8. Crashing – I crash land a lot. It happens when I run and slide and when I try to fly across the room or leap onto something I can’t reach. Mom crashes when a story or poem she wrote gets rejected. After her crashes she rallies by making revisions and trying again. After my crashes,  I run to Mom and beg for a treat to make me feel better.

cookie

720. Eggs – Once Mom wrote a poem about an egg that wasn’t an egg. It was really just a rock. So yeah. She wrote a poem about a rock. That’s how rejection happens… I’m just sayin’. I like to collect toys and things (like Mom’s glasses) and tuck them under my tummy on the couch. I try to hatch them like eggs. So far, nothing has hatched.

hatching

47. Tricks – I know lots of tricks. I can roll, bowl,

bowling pins

high five, sniff out a hidden treat, knock down a pile of paper cups,

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and of course, dance.

Mom uses tricks a lot in her writing. She tries to make interesting characters have unusual goals, encounter a bunch of obstacles, and in a tricky ending, she surprises the reader.

cups down

knock em down

5. Sleep – I sleep in Mom’s bed. She says, “Move over, chubby.” and “How can such a tiny dog take up so much space?” and sometimes, “This is my worst story ever. It will put editors to sleep!”

Seriously. A whole poem about a rock?

Seriously, though. A whole poem about a rock?   Z-z-z-z-z…

 

 

 

Being Prepared

When Mom and I go for a walk, we are always prepared – treats in one pocket, plastic bag in the other.

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Also, there are antibacterial wipes, house keys and the car key in my little penguin leash pouch.

penguin pouch

I wear a harness AND a Martingale collar. Mostly, I’m fine with my harness, but if I get scared of something, Mom switches the leash to my collar so I won’t pull away. I am more obedient with my collar. Eventually….

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Nope. I’m not going in…

Some places we visit are also prepared. Like this… Just in case.

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In the car, we are usually prepared with some coffee.

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And my travel bowl for water.

Nope. I'm not going in...

Nope. I’m not going in…

Mom likes to be prepared. Her books are framed,

shadow boxes

and just to be ready – a couple of her favorite manuscripts are framed too. She’ll replace them with actual books as soon as book #2 or ebook #2 happen.

shadow boxes2She thinks a lot and plans a lot for the future. By thinking and planning I mean visualizing and hoping. When she talks about her writing future, she says “when” instead of “if” and always tells herself (and me), “This is it” when she submits something. Mom thinks it’s better to be prepared, positive, and hopeful than surprised, negative, and demoralized. Me too…

Prepared, positive, and hopeful...

Prepared, positive, and hopeful…

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do,

long after the mood you said it in has left you.

~Orebela Gbenga~

Mom ambitiously told herself that she would submit 10 stories this month.

10

That seemed like a good idea at the time. She revised and listed and revised and researched and revised and submitted and revised and revised. There are 6 days left in the month, and Mom still has three of her selected stories hiding in her computer. She’s getting tuckered out, but we’re hoping her commitment will take her to the finish line.

finish ahead

I’ve been tuckered out on occasion…

bed blob

Indoors…

tired inside

Outdoors…

street nap 92

 

In the car

tired car dog

When I work…

wheel chair paws up

Even early in the morning…

sleepy

When you start getting worn down, you must dig deep, keep your eye on the prize, and follow through.

VA thinker

When Mom brought me to PetSmart, last week, I turned to stone from fear in the parking lot. She was SO committed to getting me inside, that even when the traffic started backing up waiting for me to move, and people started calling out of their car windows, she got me inside.

cars

Of course, she had to pick me up and carry me, but desperate times call for desperate measures. She said the word, “Embarrassing” which means she was happy to help. And the word, “Screwball” which means I was very brave. And the word, “Why do I take you anywhere” which she says every single day.

petsmart bone aisle

Even when I wear my new PetSmart dress, I get tuckered out.

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…probably from playing with my new PetSmart toy.

Secret Life of Pets

Mom promised to take me back to PetSmart when hell freezes over. Yay! Wait. What??

cars2

 

Five Word Friday

five

Today’s 5 words are about A-Little-At-A-Time.

8. List – Mom is making a list of the things she will submit this month. She is determined to get 10 stories on the list, and then she will decide where to send them. So far the list has NINE titles! Day by day – story by story – a little at a time – almost there.

woman-making-list

17. WetFeet – I don’t like getting my feet wet. When Mom takes me out to check my pee-mail she says the word, “Why am I standing in the wet grass and you are not?” and “I am NOT the one out here to go potty.”

gutter walker

and “Get off the balance beam, Marylou.”

gutter walker 2

Eventually, I inch into the wet grass, little by little, and take care of business. I’m not happy about it.

26. Walking – Getting from the garage to the house can be slow-going. I stop to sniff. I smell the flowers.

smelling flowers

I check the bricks. I hit the pavement.

pavement2

I stare at the air. Eventually, we arrive. Mom says the word, “Why do I take you anywhere?”

84. One – Last week, Mom got her first ever #1 from Rate Your Story. On a scale of 1-10, #1 is the best! Mom has received the occasional #2 rating, but usually, her work is a #4. We’re excited that she clawed her way to a #1 – little by little.

#15. Begging – Every day, I work on Mom… From here…

begging right

And here…

begging left

And even here…

begging LRCan you tell I am begging for ice cream? I think it’s pretty clear. She mixed up a batch of my special yogurt/peanut butter/applesauce/MilkBone frozen treats. And apparently, I can only eat one a day. GAH!

ice cream treatThey’re so yummy, it’s tough to eat them a little at a time. I lick and lick…

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…and lick.

icecream3And then I lose my mind and gobble the whole thing down. The ice cream headache is worth it!

Yum. Ouch...

Yum. Ouch…

Flapping in the Wind

Some kite flying kids had an early end to their fun spring day. Their kite got stuck in a tree.

kite

They threw stuff at it, but no luck. It just stayed up there, flapping in the wind. Of course they didn’t throw as much stuff at it as the kid in the book Stuck (one of Mom’s all-time favorites), but they gave it a shot.

kite2

I get stuck sometimes. Never in a tree – not yet, anyway. But stuck nonetheless.

In the back seat

seatbelt

Between pillows

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Behind my blanket-bed

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Below the dugout bench

dugout

On a wall

onthewall

Inside the sheets

starsheet

Or under the bed

underbed

Mom isn’t stuck with her writing, but she’s stuck in a rut of not submitting anything. Since, apparently, nothing gets published on the dining room table, she has a plan. She will submit 10 stories and/or poems in the month of July.

mailbox

Once things are “out there” then we will have some suspense and something to look forward to. Book 2? Maybe. Ebook 2? Possibly. Something fun is bound to happen.

mailbox with hearts

Meanwhile, I will look forward to ….cake

cake

and kisses.

kisshead

 

 

 

 

Resolutions

225602-Colorful-Happy-New-Year-QuoteIt’s the time of year when everyhuman thinks about resolutions. They want to climb higher, do better, get healthier, and be happier. They swear they’re going to eat right, get organized, be creative, and break all their bad habits.

I’m here to say, resolutions can be fun. I resolve to:

Knock over the garbage pail.

trash

Steal food from the table.
 cocoa
Nip the mailman.
Pull my head out of my leash.
Get into the cabinet where my food is.

in the cabinet

Push through the baby gate.

gate

Sleep on top of the bedspread when Mom isn’t home.

bedspread

Eat a shoe.

Drink from the toilet.

And bite my winter coat AND BOOTS.

boot

 

new_year_quotes_02

Mom’s resolutions are a little more modest. She will:

Read 200 picture books again (and drink 200 chai lattes).

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Submit 10 stories to publishers, agents, RYS, or her online writing group.

Write 10 brand new stories.

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I got this…

And meditate 4 times a week (she’ll need it).

CALM