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

Posts tagged ‘children’s literature’

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

~Christopher McDougall~

I run for my life pretty much every day. Well, not exactly for my life… But I run for my toys, and I run if Mom doesn’t hand over my cookie fast enough or if she tries to brush me. #donotbrushme

Mom hasn’t made much progress in her writing lately. And by not much, I mean none. Let’s just say if she were the gazelle, instead of COOKING breakfast she would BE breakfast.

It’s officially September, officially the day after Labor Day, so officially, it’s time to buckle down and get busy with writing work. I have done all I can to be inspiring.

Dressed up…

Gave knowing looks…

Showed off my skills…

Stayed quiet…

Tagged along on thinking walks

Nothing. So, fresh school year (with no school to go to),

fresh week (with four days left),

and hopefully a fresh attitude (with the lion and gazelle in mind).

Let’s run!

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”

~anonymous~

Not a lot of writing has been accomplished around here lately. Mom reads instead. Blog posts, web sites, her Kindle,

and she listens on Audible sometimes too, and calls that reading. The jury is out on that one.

I do not actually know how to read without help, but Mom let me look at the pictures in a book about one of our therapy dog friends.

Dog books are my favorites. Mom rarely reads dog books, in case she’s afraid the dog will die in the story. This wasn’t that kind of book.  

Unlike Mom, I never slack off on my jobs and responsibilities around the house. I watch for danger

(or the Amazon truck),

control the traffic,

Worst speed bump ever

help with the housework,

and make sure none of our drive-thru/curbside car food goes to waste.

We’re hoping that next week, Mom can get back to writing. She has an idea for a new piece to start, but she’s still mind-writing it instead of buckling down to work. I guess mind-writing is writing like Audible is reading.

Five Word Friday

Today’s 5 words are from an old story that Mom started working on recently. As always when she read it, she said out loud to herself, “Such a cute story.” And, “How can I make it better?” And, “Stop running so close to the….

…water dish. Ugh.” Then she said naughty words and, “I should buy stock in paper towels.” Then she called me the name, “Mental Case.” #rude

Friends – I have many dog friends at my apartment complex. They like to sniff me, and most of the time I turn to stone with fear or hide behind Mom for protection. Occasionally, I come out and sniff my friends. *shiver* Mom tells me I was brave and gives me a treat.

Jacket – I have a lot of jackets, sweaters, jammies, and t-shirts. I wear them all year round for cold protection, sun protection, and apparently filth protection in case I accidentally (on purpose) lie down in trash, dumpster spillage, or bird poop.

School – Mom says school visits are always fun and full of surprises.

She hasn’t been to any lately because of lockdown and the pandemic. Whenever book #2 comes out, the first thing she will do is schedule an author visit. I have been to school with Mom a bunch of times.

I liked the kids petting me, the teacher talking about me, and Mom letting me show off some of my tricks. But the absolute best part of school is named Lunchboxes. Oh boy – do they smell good.

Third – I am Mom’s 3rd doggie in her adult life. Before me there were Sandi and Smoki. I am the first doggie that Mom chose and trained and lived with all by herself. The elusive book #2 will really be Mom’s 3rd book if we count her e-book, which we do although it may or may not still be available on the platform that e-published it.

Halloween – Mom does not love Halloween at all. She has written one Halloween story in her life, and it isn’t one of her favorites. She says it’s PTSD from spending 35 Halloweens with 8- and 9-year-olds. #gofigure I love Halloween.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” 

~Stephen King~

Mom has started a list. It’s for a challenge that she does every January. The StoryStorm challenge is to write down 30 story ideas in 31 days. Then use those ideas to make stories all year.

Today is the 18th day of the month. Mom is on idea #24. We have a good feeling about finishing. Finishing the challenge is a good start to writing stories. See what I did there? Finishing. Starting. Yeah. That.

I am a great finisher. I always finish the kibbles, and treats in my IQ toys. The Tornado

 

and the Hide ‘n Slide.

I always finish the squishy snacks on my Licki-Mat.

I am finished trying to learn Fetch. What is that stupid game about, anyway?

I fetched it. Now it’s mine. What?

I am finished eating my toys. Mom said if she has to throw one more toy in the trash, she’s throwing me in there with it. #rude

So I’m pretty sure Mom can finish one simple list. Then she will start choosing, changing, mixing, nixing, writing, and revising stuff from the list to make stories. I will help by licking her shoes, staring at her,

begging for food,

PB&J? Yes, please. Please?

napping,

and…. did I say staring at her…? Yeah. That.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.”

~Alfred Lord Tennyson~

Pretty low bar after 2020, but we’ll take it. Everybody loves being happier. 

We are happy, but being happier is even better. Can’t have too many blessings! Am I right?

Writing and selling and sharing the elusive Book #2 will make Mom happier. 

So will good health, good friends, good luck, and plenty of creative ideas. Fingers crossed that some of them go somewhere.

More treats will make me happier.

So will more walks,

You call this a walk?

more kisses,

more toys,

These seem like fun….

and plenty of naps.

Paws crossed that some of them are in the blazing hot street.

Here’s to a dream-come-true holiday season and a new year filled with happiness, health, friends, luck, creativity, treats, walks, kisses, toys, and naps. 

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are from Mom’s June Challenge story, which she barely finished a couple of days ago. #junechallenge Yes, it’s the middle of July.

16. Bumblebee – Even though Mom is afraid of bees, she wrote a story about one. Sometimes, she tells me a bumblebee is going to sting my face off. I dare you, Bee.

4. Swing – I never miss a chance to show my baby swing picture. Now that I am older and fatter… I mean more dignified (and more stubborn), I will NOT let Mom squish me into the swing anymore. Sometimes you just have to put your paw down.

22. Colors – Mom never plans her stories before she starts writing them. She just jumps in and types and follows the characters, hoping they will grow and change and get more colorful as the plot develops.

Sometimes, she doesn’t plan what I’m going to wear. She just picks random things and puts them on me. Then I end up wearing so many colors, I look like a hobo clown.

It’s not polite to stare…

8. Froze – In the winter, everything around me froze,

This guy…

but I stayed toasty warm.

95. Flowers – Like flowers, story ideas start out as tiny seeds. If they get the right attention, they grow into something awesome. Flowers in my neighborhood look amazing.

Certainly too amazing to harbor bumblebees that will sting my face off. I hope…

Bring it on, Bee.

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.”

Hugh Laurie

In case Mom’s weekly writing challenge isn’t challenging enough this month, her writing group named LindaVijiConnieLaurieJenandOtherJen is also having a June Challenge. Everybody in the group is working on a new (or old) story and posting new versions each week for everybody to look at and share about. Ready or not!

Mom had a new story already started with 2 pathetic sentences. Two sentences! It sat there and sat there till the challenge. Now it is getting attention and making progress. It’s pretty lame, but it’s getting better.

Speaking of lame- I sniffed this gigantic, weird mushroom outside this weekend. I checked underneath it to see if any sprites or fairies lived there. They do not. It’s just a big, nasty mushroom – serving no purpose.

Mom thinks my street naps serve no purpose, but I say street naps warm me up.

Ditto my sidewalk naps,

grass naps,

and naps under cars.

I think learning new tricks serves no purpose, but Mom says tricks help my tiny brain stay sharp.

I smell Cheerios! How does this thing work?

So I bowl,

play Tic-Tac-Toe,

and ring my bell for cookies.

I guess purpose is relative. In Mom’s stories, her characters have to have purpose. So do their actions. Maybe they should take a street nap…

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Write like nobody’s watching because – nobody’s watching.”
~Dan Brown~

Nobody is ever watching when Mom works on a story. She watches the words come onto the screen and she tells them to herself out loud and then she plays around with them till they make a story. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

When she finishes her stories, her online critique friends will look at them and tell ideas to make them better. But even they don’t watch. They say what they say and Mom decides what to do in the end. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

All day long and for some of the night, too, I watch.

Sometimes, Mom says I am a creeper or a stalker.

Who? Me?

The truth is – SHE is the creeper. Now that we are quarantined and doing our part to stay home and flatten the curve, Mom has become obsessed with me.

She takes me for walks around the neighborhood,

homeschools me with my IQ Puzzle,

I smell Cheerios!

teaches me tricks,

Knock them down??? But you just put them up!

practices my skills with me,

Face-and-Paw-Bowling. Who needs a bowling ball?

and barely ever gives me a chance to breathe.

I for one will be more than happy when coronavirus goes away and Mom can get back to being busy and I can get back to nobody watching – except me.

Five Word Friday

It’s official! Mom has finished her 12th first draft of 2019.

Challenge complete. Of course the stories are very new and are nowhere near ready for primetime, but they’re done.

We chose 5 words from this month’s story.

16. Busy – Mom is busy a lot. She can be busy talking to friends, cleaning up, or “working” on her computer. I like to keep busy, too. I can be busy playing with my toys,

begging for food,

or exercising.

What a workout!

Sometimes, we’re busy together at the park

or walking around the neighborhood.

42. Kids – Kids are delicious. Usually they taste like gum or sweat or chicken nuggets. I see kids when Mom takes me to a school visit and when I work at the library.

Read it again!

9. Shoes – Sometimes I love shoes. I lick them, sniff them, and when I was little, I used to carry them around. Other times, I do NOT love shoes.

Embarrassing…

86. Teacher – Mom used to be a teacher.

Now she only has me to teach. She has discovered you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Meanwhile, it’s all on me to learn the stuff. #somuchresponsibility

 

357. Floor – Like kids, floors are also delicious. I like the floor a lot. Mom says, “Don’t lick it.” and “Stop being a weirdo.” and then when she’s cooking and she drops something, she’s all, “Oh, look, Cupcake. Here’s a treat for you. Clean up the floor like a good girl.” #makeupyourmind

What?

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mom is a big believer in this. She’s more of a writer than a waiter. Waiter? Wait. What? We need a waiter here…

Bacon and eggs, please.

Anyway, Mom jumps in and writes stuff every chance she gets – almost every day. Almost. Once a story gets into the computer, it’s fair game to be tweaked, tightened, talked through, and sadly – sometimes, tossed. But having a new story is always good, even if it comes to a tragic ending.

The 12×12 Challenge encourages her to write a lot. With a couple of months to go, she is in the middle of a couple of stories that may – for the record – become her November and December drafts. They won’t count if they’re only half finished, though, so she needs to get that faucet turned on and get that water flowing. I hope no puddles are left behind. Once, I almost stepped in a puddle. Almost.

Whoa. Close call…

I am not a fan of water. Bath day is not my idea of fun.

When I’m waiting for my conditioner to work, Mom says, “I don’t like it any more than you do.” and “You will smell so pretty.” and “NO! Don’t jump out of the tub!”

At the park, I like to go as close to the edge of the water as possible. NOT so close that I get my feet wet, though.

Mom says, “Not too close.” and “Stay by me.” and “If you fall in, you’re on your own.” So far, I haven’t fallen in, but as long as the water is flowing

and flying,

there’s always still a chance. #daringdoggie