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

Posts tagged ‘halloween’

Something I’m Not

On Halloween, people and pets pretend to be something they’re not. I’m not a ladybug…


or a nurse…


or a Halloween prisoner…

hallowen prisoner

or a turtle


For the past couple of months, Mom has been trying to be something she’s not. Since nonfiction picture books seem to be getting more and more popular, she thought she’d dip her toe into the nonfiction water.


She started out by reading a few nonfiction picture books each week. And she wracked her brain trying to think of a topic that she could actually write about.


She read and read and – UGH. She thought and thought and – NUTHIN’. Some of the nonfiction books were actually pretty good.

Super-cute nonfiction!

Super-cute nonfiction!

But still, the only things she really wanted to read were fiction books, and the only things she really wanted to write were fiction stories.

…maybe a fairy tale about a dog princess!

…maybe a fairy tale about a dog princess!

So this Halloween week, Mom decided to stop trying to be something she’s not. She’ll be what she is – a writer of fiction picture books.

ebookcover with borderBook #1

And I’ll be what I am – the witch in the rearview mirror headed to the library for Read to a Pet Night….

rearview witch


witch face


Sometimes, my food dish gets away from me.


It slides off my placemat and I slurp it across the kitchen.

kitchen bowl

Then it slips into the living room and tries to escape behind the rocking chair.


I keep my eye on it and chase it and keep eating without missing a beat.

rug bowl

Sometimes, Mom’s story ideas get away from her. She thinks she has an idea, and then she starts writing and suddenly the idea she thought she had escapes behind the rocking chair and a new idea takes over without missing a beat. A story about a funny looking creature sitting next to a regular little girl starts out silly and funny and light and crazy, and then the creature gets bullied! Wait! What?

fish bed

That’s not silly or funny or light or crazy.

Mom wonders, “Do I keep writing this new story?” and “Do I backtrack and go back to my original idea?” and “Where are you going with that?”

running bowl

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about autumn.

1. Leaves – Leaves are falling everywhere. Some of them are dull and brown. Some are gorgeous and brightly colored. They remind Mom of ideas. Ideas come in all shades, too. Some are brilliant. Some crumble when you touch them.


2. Cool – Mornings and nights have been cool lately. Sweater weather for sure.


3. Ready – Fall reminds us that winter is coming. We need to be ready. Mom is getting ready for PiBoIdMo. It’s a whole month when she has to write down a new picture book idea every single day. She’ll type them into her phone, and then try to make each one into a story.


4. School – Kids go back to school in the fall. That means I go back to working at Read-To-A-Pet-Night at the library. Sometimes, Mom and I listen to 7 or 8 stories. Some are awesome. Some are …meh.

pet night

5. Halloween – Halloween is in the fall. Mom got me 2 costumes. One of them is a turtle costume. We used to have a turtle named Leave-the-Turtle-Alone. I hope Mom doesn’t change my name to Leave-the-Dog-Alone. That would be too lonely!


Does anybody want to play with me?


I have a lot of costumes. Costumes turn me into a character.

Mom has a ton of characters inside her head. She saves them up and puts them into her stories. She studied about developing her characters by writing character sketches of them. The character sketch helps Mom get to know her characters really well.  Really, REALLY well.



She needs to know things like: their favorite color, their best talent, their favorite food, their secrets, their favorite words to say, and a million other things. Once Mom knows about her character, then she knows how that character would work best in a story. If I were one of Mom’s characters, this is what she’d know about me….

Favorite color – Pink, what else? I’m a little girl.


Talent – Bowling. Dog bowling…

Favorite food – Bacon treats. And dog food. And MilkBones. And yogurt. And chicken. And pizza. And apples. And peanut butter. And goose poop. And cigar butts. And paper. And dirt.


Secrets – I’m not as dumb as I look. Sssshhhh.


Favorite thing to say – “Wait! What??”

Wait! What??

Wait! What??

Countdown Wednesday

It’s October.  Today we’re counting down about Halloween.

Things I Love About Halloween.

3. Costumes.  This year I’m dressing as a nurse. We waited a long time for my costume to come in the mail.  We’re also waiting a long time for an acceptance letter in the mail, but that’s a whole different story. 

2. Candy.  I’m not allowed to eat candy, but if I get lucky, I’ll get to eat a wrapper or two (or 6). And maybe Mom will let me lick a lollipop for a while. Those things are yummy. Even the stick is delicious!

 1. Trick or Treaters.  I love when kids come to trick or treat at my house. I know they kind of want candy, but I also think they’re mostly coming to see ME!

 Things Mom Hates About Halloween.

3. Costumes.  When Mom was a teacher, she learned that kids in costumes were WAAAY more difficult to handle than kids in regular clothes. She learned a lot from the kids, and got a lot of ideas from them, but along the way, they taught her how to HATE Halloween. A lot.

2. Candy. Mom buys tons of candy, but we don’t have tons of trick or treaters. That means she has to eat a lot of the candyherself. I can’t remember why this is a bad thing, but apparently, it is… 

1. Stories.  Mom doesn’t hate Halloween stories. She actually wrote a couple of them. But they’re sitting in her computer going nowhere. And she hates that! Now that Halloween is on its way, Mom is in the mood to dust off those stories and get back to work on them. They need to be cut, edited, critiqued, cut, and edited. …And critiqued. Then they’ll be ready to hit the road and knock on a few doors, like a couple of little trick or treaters.

42. There is one October HAPPY thing that Mom LOVES.  Her story Fly Fishing is published in the last ever issue of Stories for Children e-Magazine.  Click the link to get your very own e-copy!

Countdown Wednesday

This Wednesday (or whatever day this is), Mom and I are counting down to Halloween. I’m counting in a good way, but Mom is not a fan.

Things I Love About Halloween.

3. Costumes! I love love LOVE dressing up. This year, I’m going to be a ladybug. I was a ladybug last year, too, but Mom says we can recycle that costume because it’s so cute.  Plus, I never grow, so it will always fit. Maybe I’ll be a ladybug next year, too!

2. Candy. I am not allowed to eat candy, but just knowing it’s here makes me feel happy (and hyper).

1. Kids. Kids are the perfect size for licking and snuggling. Lots of kids will be looking for me on Halloween. Kids like dogs… And ladybugs.

Things Mom Doesn’t Love About Halloween.

3. Costumes! Mom says she hasn’t dressed up for Halloween in ages. She bought an orange ‘Happy Halloween’ shirt, and said, “This is as good as it gets.”

2. Candy. Mom buys TONS of candy for the trick or treaters.  When tons of trick or treaters don’t come, she has to eat ALL the leftover candy herself! I think she secretly likes this, because every time I try to help her eat the candy, she chases me away.

1. Halloween stories that get rejected. Mom has written a poem called The 13 Days of Halloween. It’s kind of like The 12 Days of Christmas, but …well, scary. And longer because of the 13th day.  Mom also wrote a story called Halloween Headache. It’s about a boy who’s afraid of wearing a Halloween costume. Both the story and the poem have been rejected a time or two, but Mom says, “We can work on them some more.” and “Maybe I’ll submit the poem as a song.” and “Don’t eat your antennae!!”