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

Posts tagged ‘characters’

Rules

Rules are everywhere. At the park, it’s “No dogs on the track.”

track

So I get as close as I can without breaking the rule.

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Sometimes, Mom flat-out makes up rules in her head like, “Don’t eat the acorns.”

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and “Keep out of the mud.”

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and “GAH! That stick is too big to carry!”

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And her all-time favorite “No sleeping in the street!”

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Most days, Mom has rules to follow in her writing. There are word count rules, and the rule of three, the rule of thinking with pictures in your head, and the rule of playing with wonderful words. And then there’s don’t make the book too quiet and don’t hit the kids over the head with a lesson, but do have fabulous characters with their own special voices and do surprise everyone with a twist at the end.

huh

Whew! That’s a LOT of rules…

Mom says, “Rules are important. ” and “The world would be mayhem without rules.” and her other all-time favorite, “Rules are made to be broken!” Wait. What?

Streetnap!

OK, then – it’s time for a streetnap!

Five Word Friday

If you know me, you know I’m afraid of lots of things – golf carts, ladders, airplanes, soccer players, election signs, solar panels, and balloons to name a few…. Today’s 5 words are about FEAR.

1. Vocabulary – You should never be afraid of words. Mom is using a ton of new vocabulary in her Lyrical Language Lab. Words like: iamb, meter, dactyl, trochee, and anapest (anaPEST! That’s my name sometimes.)…

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The words scared Mom at first, but when she learned about them, they helped her. I know a lot of words, too. Mostly: treat, dinner, park, out, ice cream, and naughty.

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2. Fixing up – Mom fixes me up with the Fur-min-a-tor brush. When I’m afraid of the brush, I run around in circles until Mom is too dizzy to un-fur me. Mom works a lot on fixing up her stories after she writes them. She says, “Too long.” and “Too boring.” and “OMG! Where does all this hair come from??”

Blah. Blah. Blah. Where's my treat?

Blah. Blah. Blah. Where’s my treat?

3. Ticking – Mom uses a timer to help me wait for my dinner. She soaks my food in water for a half hour because I don’t like to chew. The clock ticks the whole time, and when it rings, my kibbles are soft enough to eat. The timer is TERRIFYING!

clock

I won’t stay in the room alone with it, so as soon as it’s set, I get next to Mom and follow her like a shadow. The clock is also ticking for Mom to finish her August 12×12 manuscript. She is studying so much at her 2 summer schools that the story is slowing down. Tick. Tick. Tick. *shiver*

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4. Characters – I am always trying to be a character in one of Mom’s stories. A few times I made it, but nobody bought the stories, so I’m afraid you’ll never read about me.

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I’m changing my look so Mom will write about me again, after she finishes studying characters at Kidlit Summer School.

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5. HidingHiding is a good strategy for when you’re afraid. Always get where nobody will see you and stay still.

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I’ll be fine here. I’m pretty sure I’m invisible….

 

Mom can’t hide her summer school work. Both of her teachers say, “Now put your homework on the Facebook page.” Mom says, “I hope this is right.” and “I can’t wait to see what my classmates did.” and “Where are you?”

sheet hiding

Invisible.

Weekend Trouble

Weekends are for resting and chilling. Also riding in the car and playing with friends and walking at the park and going on the swings.

Weekends make me happy.

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This is my happy face.

There is no “writing time” on the weekends. No work allowed.

swing

This is also my happy face.

But all of a sudden, Mom is on the computer – burning daylight – reading and writing and printing and talking out loud to herself. badge Apparently there’s Summer School on Saturday and Sunday! Including homework and Facebook work! And I have to “stay quiet” and “be a good girl.” Wait. What? Huh??

huh

This is all wrong in at least 9 ways. Mom said, “It’ll only take a few minutes.” and “I will bang this out in no time.” and “Yes, that’s the doorknob. And no, I’m not ready to go.”

doorknob

How the heck does this thing work?

Picking and Choosing

It’s important for writers to have ideas. Lots of ideas! Mom saves her ideas in her phone, so she never feels blank or blocked or blah or bummed.

bummed

She types in plot ideas, character ideas, names, settings, situations, and titles whenever they pop into her head. Some of them come to life easily, and Mom chooses them for her stories. Some of them get left behind and probably won’t get selected. …unless they start looking good tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next month….

At the pet store there are millions of  chew sticks, rawhide chips, and bones.

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I look and sniff, but never choose any of them.

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I’m so excited to see them and smell them that my tiny brain doesn’t even know what to do.

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Mom chooses for me. She doesn’t choose the sticks, chips, or bones because apparently, I am too lazy to chew them. But after I get my nails trimmed, she picks a packge of treats for me.

dental chews

Also a toy. And sometimes a dress

peace dress

or a coat

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or a sun hat.

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Someday, I hope the sticks, chips, and bones will look good to Mom. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next month…..

Best Doctor Ever

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Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would’ve been 109 years old. He is the Best Doctor Ever on account of no needles, no looking into ears with a flashlight, no sticks stuck into forbidden places, and no touching of my bits and pieces.

Waiting for the doctor...

Waiting for the Doctor. Hoping for the Best.

Mom also loves Dr. Seuss for a million other reasons – his wild imagination, his silly rhyming, his crazy stories, and the fact that his first book was rejected 27 times before anybody said they liked it. Misery loves company.

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Mom’s #1 favorite Dr. Seuss book is The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins from 1938.

500 hats

Normally, Mom and I steer clear of anything that smacks of numbers, but counting those hats is so much fun and so suspenseful that we can’t resist it. Also, a hundred years ago, Mom’s 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson read that story to her class and Mom and her friends giggled and counted and were afraid for poor little Bartholomew not being able to take his hat off for the king.

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As of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Mom is up to date on her 12×12 Challenge. She has written 2 new stories in the past 2 months. Now it’s a new month and time to start a new story.

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In which direction should she go?

Direction? Up, of course.

King of the Hill of Filth

King of the Hill of Filth

What will be original?

Original? It doesn’t get any more original than an old dog learning a new trick.

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Who will step out of her list of character ideas?

Character? This one.

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Or this one.

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Or this one.

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How will she make the story sparkle?

Sparkle? With a tiara, of course.

Am I sparkling, yet?

Am I sparkling, yet?

Prizes

The ALA Awards were presented last week. There were a LOT of winners. Mom wasn’t any of them. Not only did she not WRITE any of the winning books, she has barely READ any of the winning books. I think she needs to step up her game. She has printed out the list, so that’s a good start.

Meanwhile, I have been winning awards left and right over here.

Our friends Wallace and Samuel  and Coccolino gave us the Best Blog Around the World Award.

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Around the WORLD – Hear that, Mom?

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Our friend at Trifles gave us the Cracking Chrispmouse Bloggywog Award

christmas awardand the Opposites Attract Award

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See, Mom? I spread joy, peace, cheer, and stuff like that all over the place.

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And our friends Little B. and Granny at Angelswhisper gave us the Excellence Award. excellence-awardExcellence, Mom. Not just-OK or good-enough or kinda-nice or a Rate-Your-Story-4.

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Thanks to all of our bloggy friends for sharing these awards.

And Mom, it’s seriously time to step up your game.

Less this....

Less this….

...and more this!

…and more this!

Combinations

There are lots and lots of breeds of dogs.

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Nobody is really sure what combination I am. Part Jack Russell for sure, and maybe some Beagle or Dachshund or Dalmation or ….Monkey or Bobcat.

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Whatever the mix, I’ve turned out to be perfectly me. Not perfectly perfect, but with a bunch of good parts put together (and a little naughty streak for good luck).

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Is that…? Is he…? Am I…?

I’m an original.

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Wait. What?

Mom keeps idea lists in her phone. One of the lists is called PiBoIdMo2012. It has 32 ideas.

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One is called PiBoIdMo2013. It has 35 ideas.

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And one is called Story Ideas. It has 42 ideas. Some of the ideas are already used up, so Mom marked them with a star. She says, “An author needs lots of ideas.” and “My phone is always nearby, in case I think of anything.” and “Do you have the hiccups?”

what

Hic….

When Mom starts a new story, she doesn’t always pick one of the ideas from her phone. Sometimes, she picks two ideas or even three and puts them together to make a combination. It’s not perfectly perfect, but it’s perfectly her. Idea mixing makes stories have some surprises and some unexpected events and unique characters in odd places doing unusual things.

And yes, sometimes I have the hiccups.

Take-My-Picture-Tuesday

I have a lot of costumes. Costumes turn me into a character.

Mom has a ton of characters inside her head. She saves them up and puts them into her stories. She studied about developing her characters by writing character sketches of them. The character sketch helps Mom get to know her characters really well.  Really, REALLY well.

Really??

Really??

She needs to know things like: their favorite color, their best talent, their favorite food, their secrets, their favorite words to say, and a million other things. Once Mom knows about her character, then she knows how that character would work best in a story. If I were one of Mom’s characters, this is what she’d know about me….

Favorite color – Pink, what else? I’m a little girl.

pink

Talent – Bowling. Dog bowling…

Favorite food – Bacon treats. And dog food. And MilkBones. And yogurt. And chicken. And pizza. And apples. And peanut butter. And goose poop. And cigar butts. And paper. And dirt.

treats

Secrets – I’m not as dumb as I look. Sssshhhh.

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Favorite thing to say – “Wait! What??”

Wait! What??

Wait! What??

Characters

Mom writes about characters – human, animal, bug, and imaginary characters. Usually they’re silly or funny or goofy. Sometimes, she tells me that I’m a character. That’s a good thing, right…? Everything Mom’s characters do and say helps us get to know them. We also learn about characters by their body language, gestures, speech patterns, and how they look.

How I look helps people learn about me, too. My face speaks volumes. There’s my happy face,

tulips

my other happy face,

park bench

and my face at the vet waiting for my rabies shot. Go figure…

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My favorite way of showing my personality is by the things I wear. People ask how I feel about dressing up. Whenever Mom dresses me, I get very excited because I know that something fun is going to happen. Sometimes, we’re going to work at the VA

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or the library.

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Sometimes, we’re getting company. And sometimes, she’s just going to take pictures of me and give me lots of treats.

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This week, I was featured on a blog called Dear Bliary. If you visit there, you will see a lot of my best looks, and also a couple of looks from Mom’s old dog named Smoki (who lives inside me). You can get to know more about both of us in just one click!

Bliary