I was tortured last week. First Mom lured me into the bathroom.
Oooh. A trail of chicken! Yes, please.
Then she tricked me into the tub and gave me a bath!
There was splashing and shivering…
…water pouring, crazy amounts of soap suds, 5 entire minutes of standing still covered in sweet smelling conditioner…
…and 3 giant towels.
I 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.
One thing I know for sure is that it was my LAST. BATH. EVER. I could tell because the shampoo bottle is empty.
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.
That’s what it means… Right…?
Aarrrgh. She’s starting a BRAND NEW story!
*gulp* Does that mean…..
Conditions are never just right. People who delay action till all factors are favorable do nothing.
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.
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.
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,
hit the park,
walk around the neighborhood, or play with 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.
And the only gambling involved is the fact that I may or may not lose my mind and just eat the cups.
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???”
This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.
2016 is a bright new year filled with hope and promise. After I recovered from all the celebrations…
…I prepped myself for my first steps into the 365 days ahead of me.
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.
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…
…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.
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…
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.
Mouth open, sunroof open, ready for the open road…
The car can lead to this…
New places, new sights, new peemail from new friends, and sometimes a tree-root nap…
Now and then the car leads to this…
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?”
Sometimes it flat out leads to this…
which leads to this…
which leads to this…
Pardon my bits and pieces, but I’m trying to air condition my wet belly.
Writers are always looking for inspiration. Mom is no exception. The other day, Mom and I took a ride to Meadowlands Environment Center for inspiration. She likes to be in nature to clear out her head.
Doggies like inspiration, too. I like to be in nature because it smells good!
The GPS lady told us we had arrived at our destination.
Mom said naughty words about her because we had so NOT arrived at our destination.
This looks like a good place to get murdered.
Mom drove and complained and drove some more and complained some more and somehow found the place anyway.
She was inspired by the beautiful flowers and the views and bunches of summer camp field trip kids scooping goop out of the swamp to study.”
I was inspired by the smelly old swamp. I was pretty sure I could swim in there, but Mom said the word, “Time to go home and write.” and “Inspiration has to find me working.” and “Don’t even think about it.”
Mom still only “works” for an hour a day, but she works very hard during that hour – doing her KidLit Summer School stuff, checking in on her critique group, and working on new things that she’s writing and old things that she’s fixing. I sure hope when Inspiration drops around it comes at the right time. Otherwise, it’ll find her eating a donut…
…or watching TV or reading her Kindle or talking on the phone or God forbid giving me a bath.
There’s some new stuff going on around here. Today’s five words are all about new stuff.
1. Toys. Mom bought me some new toy hot dogs for Fourth of July. Apparently, these were supposed to take the place of having a delicious REAL hot dog at a delicious ACTUAL barbecue.
Fun, but not delicious.
68. Group. Mom joined a new online writing critique group. There’s a bunch of smarty, creative, friendly, and helpful people who will talk with Mom about her stories and their stories. It seems like fun, because who doesn’t love talking to smarty, creative, friendly, and helpful people. I wish I could sit on their feet, cuddle up with them, and lick their teeth. Yeah – that’s a thing, and I’m pretty good at it.
33. Clothes. Mom and I had to stay away from the house for a few hours because of workmen putting in a new front window. Plus power tools and glass breaking could scare a little doggie. We spent some time looking around at the pet store. Mom picked out this new shirt for me. It tells a true fact.
97. Window. Our new front window works great.
I can watch Mom leave and wait for her to come back. Also, Mom gets to wash my nose prints and spit off the glass every single day of her life.
5. Summer School. Mom will start studying in Kidlit Summer School at the end of the month. Every day she will read posts, get ideas, do assignments, and share her work with her cyberclassmates. I’m hoping it’ll be fun for her. I know it’ll be fun for me because she has to stay here with me to do it. It’s school, but it’s home! Yay!
There has been some learning going on around here lately. Mom taught me the word, “Roll over.” It’s something like, “Down.” But more squiggly and flippy and thumpy and spinny. At first, Mom grabbed as many of my little legs as she could and twisted them like spaghetti till she got me upside down. Then I learned to tuck my back legs under and make myself turn to stone, so she couldn’t roll me. Eventually, she learned to show me a treat which made me melt into submission. That is called Learning. Plus Bribery. Mom said, “Whatever works.” and “By the time you learn this, you’ll be too fat to do it.” and “I need a break.” Then she made a s’more and didn’t share it with me. Mom will be learning around here, too. She joined Summer School! She’ll be studying online with two amazing teachers, a talented group of guest teachers, and a Facebook group filled with classmates. In Summer School, she’ll think up new characters. Then, she’ll grab their little legs and twist them like spaghetti till they squiggle, flip, thump, and spin. Then she’ll make a story about them. The bribery won’t work, so she’ll have to read a lot of posts, talk to herself, pay attention to her teachers, and be inspired. After that, she’ll probably make a s’more and not share it with me.