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

Posts tagged ‘children’s literature’

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about Following Directions.

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Good. Sometimes it’s good to follow directions. When Mom made Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, she followed the directions and those swirly beauties came out of the oven smelling and tasting PERFECT!

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And yes – she shared!

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Ridiculous. Some directions are just plain silly. Somehow, Mom wrestles me into my snow boots before we go outside.

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There’s a lot of twisting and a little tumbling and some saying of the word, “Ouch.” and the word, “Stay still.” and the word, “Don’t bite your shoes.”

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Neither of us knows exactly how the boots get on my paws, but it certainly isn’t the ridiculous way the directions say to do it.

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Ha!

Helpful. When Mom’s stories are critiqued by her friend or her critique partner or RateYourStory, the suggestions help her make the story better. Following those directions makes sense and they help a “Meh” story become more of a “Wow” story.

wow

Submitting. When Mom submits a story to a publisher or an agent, she has to follow directions to be sure to do it right. She needs to know how to format her story, whether to send it electronically or hard copy, and of course, there are always directions about what to do (or not to do) after the story is sent.

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Behavior. Mom has a billion directions for me to follow when I go to work at Read To A Pet Night. There are directions like, “Don’t pull.” and “No jumping up.” and “Stop licking the books. And the kids. And the chairs. And the floor.”

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Following directions…

Apparently it is also bad manners to jump on the heads of the other dogs, knock over a table of books, and steal treats out of Mom’s treat pouch.

Not following directions...

Not following directions…

Some directions just don’t make any sense at all…

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…Maybe I’ll just lick her foot… It looks delicious!

 

Leaving

Last week, Mom left me. She was gone for hours and hours. She gave me my special see-you-later-be-a-good-girl-no-cuckoo-behavior-cookie, and disappeared in her car.

special cookie

She said the word, “School visit.” and “This will be fun.” and “No barking while I’m gone.”

Usually, Mom visits schools to talk about being an author…. and where to find ideas and how an idea becomes a story and how a story becomes a real, live book. But this one was different.

Book #1

Since Mom’s book is about a blind boy in a sighted classroom, she was invited to speak about Disability Awareness and how important it is to accept differently-abled people in all situations. I stayed home and had some situations of my own…

Mom drove miles and miles. I cruised around the house checking the floor for crumbs.

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Mom met some new people. I hung out with some new toys.

new toys

Mom talked to 400 kids and sold a bunch of books. I yelled at the mailman…

mailman mess

…and took a bunch of naps.

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I never want to be left alone again.

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Mom is going to another school visit next month. Gah!

Mom said, “I love school visits.”

I hate school visits.

I hate school visits.

 

Old and New

Mom bought me something new.

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It’s an IQ toy that helps me be smart. I learned all my old IQ toys…

…so now I am studying my new one. It has blocks, a spinning layer, and TREATS hidden inside. Sometimes new things are better than old things.

Sometimes they’re not! My old snowman used to look like this.

Awesome snowman!

Awesome snowman!

Then he looked like this.

Less awesome snowman.

Less awesome snowman.

And now he looks like this.

Wait. What?

Worst. Snowman. Ever.

The new snowman has no rock buttons (that looked like cookies), no stick arms with twig hands, and no carrot nose. He’s barely a snowman at all.

These days, Mom is working on some old stories…

Old.

Old.

.. and some new stories.

New!

New!

She writes her new story for a while, then she yanks out an old story and punches it. I mean punches it up. She adds in some new things, takes out some old things, and moves some things around.

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That’s called punching. ….Up. It makes old things new and new things old – till they get punched up too.

Mom says, “What was I thinking?” and “This sounds SO much better.” and “GAH! Toy squirrels are everywhere!”

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Countdown Wednesday

2015

It’s that wonderful (terrifying) time when we look back on what’s been accomplished in the year past and set some new goals for the future. Today, we are counting down about resolutions.

Mom made a ton of resolutions last year. Some were successful, some went bust. ‘Nuff said about those clunkers.

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Mom’s 2015 Resolutions

 3. Read 200 more picture books and rate them on Goodreads.

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2. Revise and submit 12 manuscripts that she’s written recently.

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1. Draw and color 100 pictures – hopefully some will be pictures of me!

Mom did NOT draw this one....

Mom did NOT draw this one….

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She drew this one… Ugh.

My 2015 Resolutions

3. Develop a relationship with my toybox. In 5 years, I have never taken a toy out of my toybox (That’s been Mom’s job.). But last week, I decided to see what this toybox thing was all about. Guess what! It really is filled with TOYS!

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2. Meditate. Sometimes when I’m walking with Mom, she tries to make me walk into areas that scare me. I usually turn to stone and refuse to move. Sometimes she picks me up and carries me. This year, I will turn that paralyzing fear into a meditation. I will hear babbling brooks, the wind in the trees, and the sound of birds – not the words, “Come on.” or “Let’s go.” or “Heel.” or “Keep moving.” or “COME ON!” Meditation is good for my soul.

Ooohhhmmmm.....

Ooohhhmmmm…..

1. Grow taller. Being tiny has its advantages when it comes to hiding. But when it comes to stealing food, it’s a problem. I can’t reach the table, the counters, or the garbage pail.

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I can only hope somebody forgets to push in their chair or doesn’t notice I am a few inches away from the gingerbread house on the coffee table.

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When?

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Lots of leaves are falling all over my neighborhood. Big fluffy piles of them.

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The lawn guys come every week and take them away. But somehow, there are more leaf blankets the next week and the next and the next. I can’t figure out how to know when they’ll be finished.

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Almost…

Sometimes it’s difficult for Mom to know when a story is finished. It’s NOT finished when she writes the last word. That’s a no-brainer.

But what about these?

But what about these?

Is it finished when she reads it out loud 5,700 times and changes the language and order of events, adds details to develop the characters and setting, and deletes every word that doesn’t move the story along?

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Is it finished when her critique partner sends her comments and she fixes the things she hadn’t noticed before? Is it finished when it comes back from RYS with a score and some more suggestions? Nope.

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Not yet…

It isn’t even finished after Mom submits it to an agent or publisher, because if it comes back rejected, she will start editing like she just wrote the last word all over again.

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Here we go again…

Being finished for sure is a tough call….

Surgery

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I’m having surgery today. It’s nothing big, just a little wart sort of thing on my back. The vet said bing, bang, boom, she’ll give me a tranquilizer, take the bump off, and put in a staple.

Wait. What? *gulp*

Wait. What? *gulp*

I’m not sure whether there will be a cone involved, but we’ll see… We’ll ALL see. I have a feeling if I’m wearing a cone, the camera will be out in a nanosecond.

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Sometimes Mom does surgery on her work. When she reads the story over for the 98th time, she notices something unsightly or unnecessary and bing, bang, boom, she cuts it and staples the story back together.

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Last week, Mom was working on a story about a little girl named Pinky, when all of a sudden, she went insane and deleted the whole first page. Suddenly the story was better and started off with something way more important, on what was formerly the second page. No cone necessary – surgery done and the story was absolutely fine.

visualize

I’m planning to be absolutely fine and back in the swing of things (See what I did there?) by this afternoon, so think happy thoughts about me, cross your paws that I don’t have to wear a cone, and feel free to throw in a happy thought for Mom and her Pinky story, too. Thanks!

swingsmile

UPDATE: THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVELY AND SUPPORTIVE COMMENTS. MY SURGERY WENT WELL. I WAS VERY WELL BEHAVED AND EXTREMELY BRAVE. I WAS HOME BY NOON AND ATE AND DRANK AND DIDN’T BOTHER MY STAPLES (TILL LATER). I DIDN’T NEED A CONE, BUT I’M WEARING A DRESS WHEN MOM CAN’T WATCH ME SO MY STAPLES ARE COVERED. I GOT A LOT OF COOKIES AND A NEW HEDGEHOG TOY TO AID IN MY HEALING.

patchget well toy

 

We’re In!

On November 1 PiBoIdMo started around here.

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(BTW – If you click the link, you’ll see a dog that looks a little like me. Thanks, Tara – I think PiBoIdMo is all about me! It is…. Isn’t it?)

Mom has been in it since 2012. It makes her list of story ideas grow by leaps and bounds, so she joined up again this year. She keeps the list in her phone so she doesn’t lose it. And so nobody accidentally eats it.

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Accidents happen…

Every single day this month, she will write down a new idea for a book she might want to write.  One of her PiBoIdMo ideas from 2012 became Mom’s first ebook this year!

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Authors need a lot of ideas, just like doggies need a lot of toys.

too manytoys

I have no shortage of ideas in my tiny brain, either, FYI. Here are 12 of my favorites…

1. Snuggle on a rainy day.

chicken snuggle

6. Eat the sprinkles first.

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41. Wear velvet at Christmas time.

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9. Check the garbage can for pizza crust.

trash

and 12. SMILE!

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