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

Posts tagged ‘critique group’

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words come from one of the stories Mom is working on these days. Sadly, the story has no doggies in it. Just humans. And of course a cyclops. So, yeah… There’s that.

6. Sky – I watch the sky a lot. You never know when a blimp might fly over and try to kill you. I saw one once, and I barked at it a lot. Then when I was sure it was about to pounce, I hid behind Mom’s chair.

I also watch the ceiling when I’m in the elevator at my building. It’s dangerous like the sky.

Every single day, there’s a dog up there that looks EXACTLY like me! #it’sterrifying

48. Alone – Besides me and all of my valuable help (staring like a creeper), Mom writes alone.

You’re welcome.

She loves all of her stories, but she’s prejudiced. That’s why she has a critique group. Her online writing friends read her work and she reads theirs. Then they say ideas about what they like and tell each other how to make the stories better.

4. School – I studied at obedience school when I was first adopted.

Mom studied at webinar school last week. She studied Picture Books in Focus. Now she has some new and fresh ideas. I am not allowed to be fresh, but apparently, her ideas are.

I wonder if they’re allowed to be stubborn. I’m not!

96. Halloween – Halloween month is a tough gig. Mom yanks out all the old costumes and we have to decide which one I should wear to each of my therapy jobs. Why?

Why?

Why can’t I just be a dog…?

5. Panting – I am not a dog who does panting very often. Mostly, my mouth is shut. That’s why I look worried most of the time.

Can you blame me? Who’s not worried at the vet?! GAH!

Somehow, I still manage to drool a lot, and Mom is confused about how that even happens. Whenever I do pant, it looks like I’m smiling. Really, I’m just hot!

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Birthday

I wish (for Mom’s sake) that this was a post about a Book Birthday. It’s been flat-out ages since we’ve had one.But it’s not. She’s still a writer, though. She gets ideas, writes brand new stories, fixes up ratty old stories, works with her critique group, submits stories to publishers, agents, and Rate Your Story, and does author visits at schools. That’s pretty much what writers do, so there’s that.

The birthday today, is MINE. Actually, I’m counting this whole week as my birthday week. On September 25th, I turned 11 years old. I got to wear my birthday balloon/cupcake dress,

and got a new stuffed bunny with FIVE squeakers.

Mom enjoys it a lot and says the word, “Look at the cute bunny!” and “Do you like your new toy?” and “Stop it! SHUT THAT THING UP!” That’s good… Right…? She likes it so much that sometimes she threatens to throw it in the garbage. Wait. What?

Also, there was cake – whipped cream, strawberries, custard, the whole 9 yards.

For my birthday road trip, we went for a ride to the reservoir where I had a staring contest with a baby turtle, and met lots of people who petted me and said I was cute.

Get serious, turtle. I have never lost a staredown.

For Mom’s birthday writing time, she revised an old story about a birthday party gone wrong. She said that maybe my birthday will bring it some good luck.

I could use some luck, here, right about now…

My birthday has been so amazing that I’m planning to turn 11 again next year! Plus, when I blew out my candle (I think Mom did the actual blowing because the flame scared me), I wished for a Book Birthday real soon.

Nom, nom, nom…

 

 

Not What It Seems

In the three months we’ve lived in our new apartment, Mom and I have seen lots of deer,

a million birds, a ton of chipmunks, a spider, a bee,

*not the actual bee*

and three dead snakes.

*actual snake corpse*

Once I was in the dog park and there was a little brown dog in there with me. I wanted to play with him, but he kept ignoring me. When I sniffed him, he smelled like laundry detergent. Mom said, “Get it!” and “Fetch it!” and “Ugh. Why do I bother?”

What’s up with this guy?

This week, we ALMOST saw another dead snake, but then when we got closer, it was a shoelace.

Things are not always what they seem!

Recently, Mom got a critique of one of her stories.

The main suggestion was to “try putting some humor in.” GAH! She already thought there WAS humor in there!

Surprise! To her, it seemed funny, but it wasn’t what it seemed. Oh well. At least she knows what to work on.

First she will head to the library to read some of the books suggested to see the kind of humor she SHOULD have had in her story. Hopefully, she will be able to add in or switch out some of the events with the right humor that really IS what it seems.

Plus if we see another dead snake, I plan to roll on it and smear his guts all over my furs and smear my furs all over his guts. If I’m quick enough I may be able to pull it off this time. …unless it’s another shoelace.

*actual shoelace* Bummer…

 

 

 

Finished

I was tortured last week. First Mom lured me into the bathroom.

Oooh. A trail of chicken. Yes, please.

Oooh. A trail of chicken! Yes, please.

Then she tricked me into the tub and gave me a bath!

bath3There was splashing and shivering…

bath2

…water pouring, crazy amounts of soap suds, 5 entire minutes of standing still covered in sweet smelling conditioner…

conditioner…and 3 giant towels.

bath-towelI tried numerous times to shake the bath off of me, but only succeeded in sharing a little of the bath with Mom. And the walls. And the floor. And the vanity. And the door.

dog-shaking-cartoonOne thing I know for sure is that it was my LAST. BATH. EVER. I could tell because the shampoo bottle is empty.

shampoo

No more shampoo = No more baths

That’s what it means… Right…?

Mom finished her most recent story. She wrote it and wrote it, revised it like crazy, sent it to her critique group, and then revised it like crazy all over again. Now it’s finished. I’m pretty sure it’s her LAST. STORY. EVER.

endThat’s what it means… Right…?

Wait. What?

computerAarrrgh. She’s starting a BRAND NEW story!

*gulp* Does that mean…..

bath-closeup

Oh no!

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action till all factors are favorable do nothing.
~William Feather~

Writers know that they have to write whether they feel like it or not. Well, maybe not write – but they need to do writer-adjacent activities, no matter what.

Classroom visit

Classroom visit

Mom knows this, so when conditions are not favorable, she reads picture books or writing blogs, lists ideas, researches agents or publishers, submits stories or poems, critiques work in her writing group, or fixes up a story she wrote a long time ago.

napper

Ho-hum…

There are plenty of actions she can take. And she does… But somehow, when that part of her day is finished, she turns her sights to me. Sometimes this is a plus. We ride in the car,

cardress

hit the park,

park bench

walk around the neighborhood, or play with toys.

toys

But sometimes, she says the word, “Want to learn?” *cue scary music here*

The newest trick Mom is trying to teach me is called Shell Game. We use bathroom cups instead of shells and a Cheerio instead of a pea.

Smart!

Smarter!!

Duh…

And the only gambling involved is the fact that I may or may not lose my mind and just eat the cups.

cup eater

I would like to delay this learning (and ALL learning) till factors are favorable, but Mom says, “All factors will NEVER be favorable – for either one of us.” and “Now is as good a time as any – for both of us.” and “GAH! What are those jackasses in your head telling you???”

Huh??

Huh??

Inspirational Quote of the Week

2016

This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.
-David Nicholls-

2016 is a bright new year filled with hope and promise. After I recovered from all the celebrations…

all asleep

…I prepped myself for my first steps into the 365 days ahead of me.

blanket baby

First some beauty sleep…

Actually 366 days, since it’s a leap year. Leaping is something I love to do. I’m such a tiny girl, leaping makes me feel big and powerful.

Mom is starting off the year right with a story revision that she’s been doing for a few weeks, now. Her writing group gave her tons of good suggestions for ways to make her story better.

lightbulb

She took things out, added things in, and moved things around. She used more words to show action, fewer words to make a punchier ending, and new words to say things in a more precise and fun way.

When Mom sent her story back to Rate Your Story, they gave it a score of 2…

RYS2

…AND gave her a couple more ideas for fixing it. A 2 is a big improvement from the 5 the story had the first time it was judged.

RYS scores

I’m pretty sure Mom would have done some leaping of her own, if she could. But that’s what she has me for, after all…

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

quote

Writers see possibilities a lot. They imagine them and ask about them inside their heads when they’re making up a story. They especially need to consider them when they’re revising.  Mom had an old story that she liked a lot. She showed it to her writing group friends and they said SO many amazing things about it. Like, “There’s too much this.” or “Not enough that.” and “Maybe you can try some of this.” or “You may want to add some of that.” Mom considered the possibilities and tried some of the suggestions and guess what. The story is VERY different, and Mom loves it even more in its new form! Who knew?

Possibilities. I love those guys. I, for one, am happy to hear that they never run out.

Riding in the car opens a ton of possibilities.

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Mouth open, sunroof open, ready for the open road…

The car can lead to this…

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or this…

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or this…

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or this…

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New places, new sights, new peemail from new friends, and sometimes a tree-root nap…

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Now and then the car leads to this…

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Take it easy, lady. Leave me a nail or two to scratch my ears with!

Walking into the bathroom opens fewer possibilities. Maybe I’ll be able to sniff the shower gel and wait while Mom takes a shower. Unless she says the word, “That’s soap, not food.” or “That’s not a water bowl.” or “OUT. Can I have 5 minutes of privacy?”

IMG_7887IMG_7882

Sometimes it flat out leads to this…

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which leads to this…

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which leads to this

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Pardon my bits and pieces, but I’m trying to air condition my wet belly.