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

Posts tagged ‘children’s literature’

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

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train.”

~unknown~

When you have to write a story a month, there is no time to wait – for a train, a plane, or an inspiration! Mom is 28 words into her June story for the 12×12 Challenge. OK. It’s not 228 or 428, but 28 is a start. Plus she is busy Mind Writing.

Whenever we are out walking she Mind Writes about her main character, his goals, his issues, his problem, and how she will increase tension and take the story where it needs to go. Also, when we are out walking – while she’s Mind Writing – she watches me like a hawk. She says, “Don’t eat from the ground.” and “Don’t go near the edge or you’ll fall in.”

and “Oh, $#%@! Not another street nap!” But of course it is.

It always is…

Mom’s June idea came from her list of Storystorm ideas.

It’s an old one, but caught her eye, got her thinking, and surprised her a little. It’s fun when that happens.

At the park, a duck caught my eye. I watched it swimming. Then it surprised me a little. It wasn’t even a duck. It was a cormorant! It dove deep, swam a long time, made a hundred splashes, came up with a fish in its mouth, and ATE IT in one gulp!

Not the actual cormorant.

Truth be told, I didn’t know whether to be happy for the cormorant, sad for the fish, or sorry for myself because once Mom shared her tuna sandwich with me, but it didn’t look like that was about to happen at all.

Not the actual tuna sandwich.

I’m glad I wasn’t standing at the airport waiting for a train when all that cormorant excitement happened. I think I’ll wait at the kitchen counter for some tuna now. Can’t hurt…

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s 5 words come from Mom’s April 12×12 story.

17. Mother – We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday. I am not allowed to go shopping, so I gave Mom kisses and cuddles instead of a gift.

I also put my bony head on her arm for a while. She said, “Patooie. Dog spit.” and “Ouch. I think my arm is paralyzed.” and “I love you, Cupcake, but please get off me!”

98. Skinny – When Mom first found me at the rescue named Purrs and Pups I was kind of skinny. Plus kind of naughty and kind of nervous with lots of bite marks on my head and some bugs in my belly. Mom had a lot to work on.

My Gotcha Day.

She fixed me up, just like she fixes up some of her stories that have bugs in their belly.

33. Dolls – I like to play with dolls. They’re actually more like stuffed (or unstuffed) animals, but I like them better than bones or tennis balls. I cuddle with them

and act like they’re my babies.

Plus sometimes I try to hatch them like eggs.

2. Running – I do running a lot. It’s for protection. Moving target and all that… Mom says, “These floors don’t stand a chance.” and “This is why we can’t have nice things.” And then she calls me the name of Psycho Crackpot.

 

146. Hiding – When running doesn’t work, I do hiding.

Stranger danger!

It also keeps me safe from scary things.

Mom is not hiding from her 12×12 Challenge this month. She started a new story for May and even though it’s not quite halfway through the month, she’s halfway through the story.

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“What is this character thinking?”

“How does she feel about this?”

“Why is he afraid of that?”

“Who makes her happy?”

These are questions that Mom’s critique group named ConnieLindaJenVijiLaurieandOtherJen ask her about her work. They ask these and many other questions to help Mom to investigate deeper into her characters, their motivations, their feelings, and their goals.

Mom is clearly in the branches, but she needs to dig way down there in the roots.

I am not a doggie who digs – at least not outside.

What?

Sometimes, I dig the pupper cover on the sofa to get it out of the way.

And sometimes, I dig the covers on the bed to make a comfy nest for sleeping while Mom is in the shower.

Of course, as soon as I get the pile just right, Mom comes out of the shower, gets dressed, and chases me off the bed.

Seriously? WHY??

Then I am forced to dig the blanket in my own bed.

Today, Mom dug into the robot vacuum. She dumps the trash cup every day. But just like with her critique partners – when the app told her to – she had to dig deeper. Extractors, filters, edge sweepers, contacts, and sensors were removed, checked, cleaned, wiped, polished, and returned.

Apparently, some of this grossness (ALL of this grossness) is my fault.

*gulp*

I’d like to speak with my lawyer…

Mom says, ” I’m ankle-deep in dog hair, here!” and “How can you shed so much and still have fur?” and “I’m going to save all this hair, make a new dog, and throw you in the garbage.” and…  well, after that I stopped hearing her. I have ALWAYS wanted to get into the garbage. This may be my big chance!