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

Posts tagged ‘editing’

Unexpected Things

Rate Your Story Rating Scale:
10 – Consider this story as practice.
9 – This story is best saved for reading to your family.
8 – If at first you don’t succeed…rewrite, rewrite again.
7 – Your idea has merit, but the story needs a lot of revision.
6 – Not bad, but doesn’t stand out.
5 – Better than average, but still needs work.
4 – A decent story. Could be great with a few revisions.
3 – Good story! Get a critique or two and polish before submitting.
2 – A very good story with the potential to be outstanding! Nearly submission-ready!
1 – Great story! You should consider submitting this!

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Usually, things go just as you expect them to go. When Mom sends her work to Rate Your Story, lots of times it gets rated a 4 or a 5.

But unexpected things happen all the time. Recently, one of her stories was rated a 2.

Also, recently, one of her stories was rated a 7. Mom works equally as hard on each of them, and feels equally good when she sends them in, but there’s no way to know what clicks and what clunks.

Speaking of clunking, the front door at my house where I have lived for the past 7 years clunks shut on its own every time Mom and I go into or out of it. We expect the clunk and usually things go as we expect them to go.

But unexpected things happen all the time. Last week, I unexpectedly hesitated in the doorway, and the door clunked shut ON MY TAIL. I screamed and pulled it free, but the last little bit of my long, monkey tail didn’t make it out. It was left behind on the living room floor!

Yikes!

When Mom gets her scores, she looks carefully at what went wrong and fixes the story up. There are little changes like tweaking the opening to make the conflict clearer. And big changes like changing the entire point of view of the story. Whatever she does, the story is never the same again.

Doctors looked at what was left of my tail and decided how to fix it up. I slept peacefully through my surgery, and have been sporting a series of adorable bandages…

and the cone of courage.

This week, my stitches will be removed and I will be back to my old self. But my tail will never be the same again.

*sigh* Good times….

Soon, we will move to our new house. And yes, as I expected, that door also clunks shut on its own.

I’ll just wait right here. Thank you very much.

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about communicating.

16. Kids – Kids can be great communicators. When Mom visited a couple of schools  this month, kids talked to her a lot. Sometimes they asked questions like, “How long does it take to write a story?” and “How many stories have you written?” and “On Sunday, my Uncle Peter’s toilet overflowed!”

2. Kids – Lots of the kids made Mom thank you notes to say “Thank you for coming to our school.” and “We loved your book.”

and “My baby brother has a car seat with bunnies on it.”

73. My Face – Mom says my face communicates NOTHING.

It’s blank.

All the time.

She says, “Are you hungry?” and “Do you need to go out?” and “What? What?!! WHAT???”

What?

6. Body Language – I sometimes communicate through body language. When I’m scared, I shiver and tuck my tail between my legs. When Mom tries to put my boots on, I play dead and flop down on my pillow.

Also, my feet turn as mushy as pudding. Mom calls me the name “PuddingPaws.”

5. Show Don’t Tell – Everybody who’s anybody says writers must SHOW what’s happening in a story. Don’t just TELL it. That helps the reader stay engaged and gets them to do a little work while they’re reading. They will also feel closer to the characters in the story and more invested in the plot. Sometimes I need to SHOW Mom that she has put my food bowl too high for me to reach.

What’s my dinner doing up here?

Then she TELLS me I have to wait.

Seriously??

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mom is working on 3 different stories that she’s not crazy about. She is certain that they WILL get better, just like Janet says they will, so she keeps going back and forth from one to the other and moving them forward. Paws crossed that they’ll get better real soon.

Packing for our move to the new apartment is also coming along. Mom is feeling on top of the whole thing and not frazzled at all.

Wait. What? Uh…. Mom? A little help here, please…

I’m on top of everything, too….in my own way.

Mom works on one story and when she gets stuck, she switches to another one till she gets stuck. Then she switches again and works on the third one for a while. Little by little, things are getting done.

Around here, Mom also goes from one thing to another. She empties a cabinet and then switches to the bookshelf and packs up some of that stuff. Then she switches again and packs up the stuff in a desk drawer. Little by little, things are getting done.

With my help, of course…

Mom mind-writes about her stories, too, so by the time she sits down to write, she knows a few ideas to help her get going.

I mind write in my special doggie way.

And when I wake up I have LOTS of ideas to help me get going.

I smell gum.

What?

I smell cookies.

I smell outside.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
~Anne Lamott~

Starting can be a tough gig.

traffic-light-go

Writers start new things all the time. If they stick with their start, they end up with a story. That’s a happy ending – with a happy ending. See what I did there?

happy

If they bail, they end up with a sad, unfinished, possibly terrible first effort. But that’s not to say they can’t yank that ugly, old thing out of the depths of the computer hard drive, Dropbox, cloud, or OneDrive and use it as a starter on a new day or a new month or a new year sometime. Old ideas are not always bad ideas.

computer

When I am doing something new I sometimes have a few (or 90) false starts or terrible efforts.

Fetch? Wait. What??

Fetch? What does that even mean??

My first efforts at getting my picture taken with Santa were confusing. Mom said, “Look at me.” and “Do you want chicken?” and “Wanna go in the car?” and “Ugh. Why do I do this to myself”

I looked this way.

img_4334

And that way.

img_4337

And this way again.

img_4338

Santa didn’t give up, though. He held me in the squeeze-grip till I looked where Mom and the photographer wanted me to look and I was publisher-ready.

img_4332

I am proof positive that sticking with a rough first effort can pay off. You need to start somewhere.

lights-row

Let’s get going…

img_4347

Wait What?

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

brain-surgeon

I visited the brain surgeon last week. Not really. It was just the vet.

dressed-up-at-the-vet

I had to get a shot and a blood test. And some hugs and some treats. I cried a little from the blood test. Not really. I cried a lot. When the doctor steals blood it hurts!

I'd like to leave now, please...

I’d like to leave now, please…

Mom is not a brain surgeon, so when she works on her stories, the pressure is off. She can pretty much write any story no matter how terrible and then she gets a million chances to keep working on it, changing it, and fixing it, till she eventually gets it the way she wants it.

writing2

When I learn a new trick, I never get it right the first time. I start out clueless.

But then get a million chances to work on it, change it, and fix it till I eventually get it right.

In case you’re wondering – I am NOT a brain surgeon.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

John F. Kennedy

I always try my very best. Well, maybe not my very best, but I always try hard. Well, maybe not hard, but I always try. Well, maybe not always, but sometimes. So, yeah – Once in a while, I try a little bit.

I try not to get caught in the soccer net.

Close enough...unless...

Close enough…unless…

 

NO!

NO!

I try to figure out how my bed works…

bedfail

Nailed it.

And the chair at the library…

Backwards? No. This seems right...

Backwards? No. This seems right…

I try to stay where Mom can see me so I won’t get lost.weeds

And I try to play gently with my toys and not accidentally rip their heads off.

Mom tries her best waaaay more than I do. She has to! That’s what writers do. She writes, revises, submits, mind writes, edits, gets ideas, rewrites, reads, critiques, does author visits

computer kid (2)…drinks coffee, takes me to the park,

swing

cuddles with me, teaches me, goes shopping, talks on the phone, throws my baseball, has lunch with her friends…. Wait. What? I think I got off the topic there for a minute….

???

Huh???

Anyway, The point is – she tries, just like she’s supposed to. She also hopes for the best and prepares for Book2 and/or Ebook2.

quote

Now I’m going to try and get a few treats out of my Petzi Treat Cam

petzi

Hello in there….