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

Posts tagged ‘children’s literature’

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Mom strives to make her stories different from what she’s read or written in the past. Let’s face it nobody wants to read the same old same old thing. Sometimes Mom takes two or three ideas from her idea list, jumbles them up, spins them around, flips them over, and fits them into one story to make it different.

ebookcover with border

When you’re an author, different is always better. Different stands out to editors and agents, and eventually different stands out on the shelf at the bookstore.

Book #1

 When Mom pulled her socks out of the dryer, something looked different about them.

socks

No, they didn’t shrink. But there’s a bunch of baby socks in with the regular socks. They’re mine. I wear one on my scratching-foot so I don’t hurt my face if my allergies kick up. Kick up… See what I did there?

owl sock

I saw something else that was different last week. Out in the field with my goose friends there was a white bird. It might have been a small, white goose, and it might have been a big, white duck. But it was different. Whatever it was, I hope it leaves me the same delicious candies as my other goose friends.

white bird

Mom and I went walking at a different park the other day. We saw white birds there, too, but they weren’t geese or ducks at all. They were boats shaped like swans.

swan boat dog

I headed down the dock to catch a ride on one, but Mom said the word, “No boat.” and “Stay by me.” and “I wonder if a story called Dog on a Swan Boat is anything….”

If it starts with the word Dog, it's probably something.

If it starts with the word Dog, it’s probably something…

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

5

Today’s 5 words are about Little by Little.

5. My face – After visiting 4 different parks in a week,

double slide

I may have picked up some allergens which made me itchy. REALLY itchy. So itchy that I tried to scratch my face off.

face1

Little by little, it’s getting better.

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4. The vet – The vet gave me 2 shots and said Mom needed to keep the cone on my head so I could get better.

vet

*gulp*

Little by little I am allowed some cone-free time each day as long as Mom is home to watch me like a hawk.

cone sad

3. Beginning to End – Mom is working on a new story. It usually takes a week or two to get from the opening to the ending. She’s still way at the beginning, but tries to move it along some each day – little by little.

once upon

2. Visits – Little by little the springtime school visits are getting scheduled and done. Mom visited a super fun school last week for their Discovery Day. It was hard work and a longer day than she’s used to, but the kids and teachers made it a great time. I waited at home…

left alone

1. Bunny and Carrots – Mom is eating one of her chocolate Easter bunnies little by little. First the bunny went deaf,

earless bunny

Huh??

then he totally lost his head.

headless bunny

I am afraid to see what happens to the poor guy next.

bunny butt

GAH! Where’s his tail??

No chocolate bunnies allowed for me, but I got a toy bunny

bunny

and every day Mom puts some carrots into my kibbles. Little by little the carrots run out.

carrots please

Then we switch to green beans. Yum.

green beans

16. And also, spring is coming little by little. Some flowers started growing already!

chalk flowers

Wait. What?

 

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.”

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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

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

 

Stuckness

“Do you ever get writer’s block?”

block

People ask Mom that question a lot. Writer’s block means a writer is stuck and can’t write.

Mom doesn’t get writer’s block. When one of her stories gets stuck, she works on a different story, just so she can keep writing. Or she goes to the bookstore and reads a bunch of books.

book pile

Or she helps a writing group friend fix up one of their stories. Or she writes a poem. Or she fixes one of her own stories. When it’s writing time, it’s writing time. No stuckness allowed.

time

Tick. Tick. Tick. Is it almost time to play?

Sometimes, though, writing time just doesn’t come. At this time of year, there’s lots to do, so writing time can get lost in the busy-ness of shopping, wrapping, lunch with friends, photo shoots, and decorating. She’s not stuck, she’s living her life. That’s where stories come from, after all. And busy-ness doesn’t last forever.

sneaky under the tree

I’ve been kind of busy, too…

Sometimes, I get stuck. Whenever I pass by the soccer field near my house, I can’t resist sticking my tiny head through the net. I do it every time we get close enough. I know Mom will get me out. Eventually.

net

Put down the camera and unstick me!

When Mom wants to make the bed each morning, I stay stuck right in the middle. I know Mom will chase me out.

naughty on the bed

When I work at the library for Read to a Pet Night, I am stuck on my Park-It Mat waiting for somebody to read me a story.

parkit

I know Mom will give me treats for being a good girl.

cookie please

I don’t let the stuckness bother me. Stuckness happens, but it doesn’t last forever. Somebody always comes.

reading

Inspirational Quote of the Week

quote owl

Wait. What? I’m pretty sure it IS about how you look. Why else would I dress like this

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or this

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or this?

FullSizeRender

Why else would I wear costumes like this

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or this

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or this?

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And why else would I change my expression from this

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to this

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to this?

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Well, maybe I don’t change my expression very much, but still…

Mom is finished with her PiBoIdMo challenge. She listed 30 story ideas in 30 days. Actually in 28 days, but who’s counting? Plus I hate counting. It flat out gives me a headache.

In order to get those ideas, Mom had to look at things AND see things in special and unusual ways. A saying on a doggie t-shirt was suddenly an idea. A type of book was suddenly an idea.

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A trip to the library was suddenly an idea.

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Christmas decorations, food shopping, and a TV commercial were suddenly ideas. Two ideas even joined together to suddenly become another new idea! Looking at things differently and seeing things differently made ideas appear in the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times.

tree huh

Now the list in Mom’s phone will be the perfect place to look for inspiration. Or she can get inspired by looking at me like this

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or like this

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or like this…

Back Camera

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

 

quote

Um… No. Not EVERY leaf is a flower. Some are crunchy, brown, dead things that need to be raked up or blown away with noisy machines that I’m pretty sure are trying to kill me.

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Some of them, though ARE flowers! They’re blindingly colorful and drift softly down from the trees and glitter and glow right in the middle of all the ugly ones.

leaf face

Autumn leaves are kind of like ideas. Mom is collecting ideas this month and writing them into her phone.

PiBo badge 2015

Some are already crunchy, brown, and dead. Some have mold….

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…or holes in them.

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Some are all wet.

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These will most likely not go any farther than the list.

meh

But every now and then, there are some beautiful, colorful ones floating down and sparkling in the sunshine. Mom needs to jump on those before they get away.

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Got ’em!

 

 

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