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

Posts tagged ‘children’s literature’

Plan B

We all need a Plan B sometimes. Mom had a new story going strong. But she got stuck. So she skipped a few lines and started the same story over again a different way. She liked it better! Plan B success. Then she got stuck again. She sat over it for a little while staring at the computer. Tomorrow, she is moving on to something else. I guess that’s Plan C. She’ll begin a new story and forget about this one for now.

abc

Sometimes, I need a Plan B, too. When Mom was walking with me in the field, we noticed that the soccer nets were all brand new. We walked closer to check them out. One of us got a little too close.

IMG_3490

I used to get caught like a tuna in the old nets a lot, so we stopped walking there. Mom said, “Again? Really??” and “Is your brain THAT tiny?” and “We’re done here.”

But I wasn’t “done here” so I gave it another shot. This time I tried to bite my way out.

#netfail

#netfail

In a little while, Mom showed me how to walk around the side of the net so I wouldn’t get stuck.

Freedom!

Freedom!

I wish I could show her how not to be stuck in her story… Before she gets to Plan Z. Oh! I know! How about a dog story?

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Five Word Friday

5

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.

IMG_3189

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.

gingham nap

…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…

icecream1

…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

pillow

Behind my blanket-bed

blanketbed

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

 

 

 

 

School Visits

Mom says that school visits are one of the absolute best perks of being an author.

barnes and noble

Talking, reading, and playing with bunches of kids is one of her favorite things to do, and being an author gives her a reason (excuse) to do it.

signing2

For 35 years, she didn’t need an excuse because she was a teacher.

Teacher-Mom

Teacher-Mom

I guess you can take the teacher out of the school, but you can’t take the school out of the teacher.

Mom has been to three author visits in the past month. At one of them, she helped kids understand how to accept and include differently-abled friends.

old bridge

Author-Mom

At another one, she taught about how an idea becomes a story and how that story becomes a book. And the third visit was just a quick stop to see the kids she taught and pick up a thank you note and gift that they made for her.

bulletin board note

Perfect fit on Mom’s inspiration board…

...and not a bad spot for a nap, either.

…and not a bad spot for a nap, either.

That quick stop included a cute little doggie in her flag dress who was invited along by the teacher, instead of being left behind watching out the window as the car pulled away.

looking

It was ME! I was invited to school!!

note at schoolI have dreamed about this for-like-EVER! I was petted and fussed over and had a captive audience to watch me do tricks and feed me treats. I tasted pretty much every single kid, and they were delicious! They tasted like crayons. And gum. And lunchroom pizza. And playground dirt. Everyone said I was well-behaved and cute as a buttermilk biscuit. Well, they didn’t exactly say that, but I knew it was true.

thinker

Being cute…

Mom even took a minute to talk to the kids about how to meet a new dog and how to avoid dog bites and keep from scaring or startling dogs.

school visit

And a little about the job that therapy dogs do.

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read 2 a pet

Did I mention how everyone loved me and said I was cute? Yeah… That.

desk dog2