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

Posts tagged ‘ideas’

Joining

I am not much of a joiner. I do join up with some of my therapy dog friends at the veteran’s home and the library. But we don’t play much. Apparently, that’s not what we’re there for…

This is what I'm here for...

This is what I’m there for…

I got some new toys and a new coat from Santa. They have now joined up with my old toys

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and my old coats and sweaters.

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And sometimes, I join Mom for dinner. That never ends the way I imagine it will.

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Wait. What?

Mom is more of a joiner than I am. Now that it’s a new year, she has joined StoryStorm,

storystorm_participant

The 12 Days of Christmas for Writers,

12-days-of-christmas

and Rate Your Story.

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That means she will get 30 story ideas in 30 days, will watch videos every day for 12 days to be inspired and learn new things, and can send her stories to RYS for evaluation and critique.

She has also joined the GoodReads 2017 Reading Challenge, with plans to read 200 picture books this year.

2017-read

Maybe I will join her while she reads. There might be snacks….

*sigh*

*sigh*

 

Countdown Wednesday

123 blocksToday, Mom and I are counting down about Different Things.

Mom’s Different Things

3. School Visit – Mom took her Powerpoint to a different school in a different town and talked to a different class of 4th graders about writing, being an author, and her book.

img_44752. Ideas – Every November for the past few years, Mom has participated in PiBoIdMo with her writing cyberfriends. They each try to make a list of 30 story ideas in 30 days. This time, PiBoIdMo will have a different name, a different logo, and will take place in a different month. January! Almost time to kick it into high gear.

PiBo badge 2015

1. 2017 – In a few days, it’ll be a whole different year. Different resolutions will be made, old resolutions will be reviewed, and new and different hopes and dreams along with unfulfilled old hopes and dreams will wake up and get a fresh start.

2017

My Different Things

3. 2017 – I have big plans for the new year. In 2017, I will take naps, play with my toys, eat lots of treats, and do therapy work with my grown-up friends at the Veteran’s Home and my little friends at the public library. Wait. What? That’s no different than 2016…

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va therapy

2. School Visit – I put on my begging face, but Mom wouldn’t take me to school with her.

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So, I waited at home while she was at her school visit. I slept in my chair, looked out the window,

window

ate the treats that came out of my spy camera,

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Treats stuck inside! GAH!

and tried to be a good girl. Wait. What? That’s no different than every other day…

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1. Ideas – Mom won’t be the only one generating ideas this January. I have a few different ideas that I plan to execute soon:

Don't I know it!

67. Eat my pawboots once and for all.

GAH! I'm crippled!

Aarrgh! I can’t feel my feet!

48. Dig under the snow to see if there are any French fries under there.

My feet are too cold to dig right now...

My feet are too cold to dig right now…

9. Flat-out refuse to go inside when I want to play in the snow.

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No.

27. Nap in odd places.

or grass napping....

10. And ban antlers from my wardrobe. Forever.
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Not cool…

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.

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And that way.

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And this way again.

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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.

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

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Let’s get going…

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Wait What?

Walking

Walking is a good way for Mom to tidy up her head and make room for ideas.

lightbulbThere are always interesting things to investigate on a walk. We walk at lots of different parks,

verona-stump

and also the reservoir,

reservoir walk

the 9/11 memorial,

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and the playing field.

#netfail

Other times we walk right in our neighborhood. Either way, walking is fun.
Mom likes it for the pretty flowers,
rosecrazy leaves, fresh air,
The fresh air is blowing my ear upside down!

The fresh air is blowing my ear upside down!

and exercise.
Sort of....

Sort of….

The change of scenery helps Mom hear what her characters are trying to tell her, see where her story is going, and figure out what might happen when she asks herself, “What if….”
I like it for the leftovers that somebody forgot in the parking lot,
Don't eat it.

It’s called a doggie bag for a reason.

the acorns,
Unless you're a pig or a donkey, those are not food.

Unless I’m a pig or a donkey, acorns are apparently “not food.”

the candy papers,

Halloween is not over...

the lost glove,

Somebody will be looking for this when it gets cold...

the mud puddle,
The mud puddle leads directly to the bathtub.

Stepping in the mud leads directly to the bathtub.

and the delicious poison that the lawn guys left for me.
The poison leads directly to the vet...

The poison leads directly to the vet…

Here’s hoping our walks lead directly to Book #2. Or indirectly to Book #2. Or to eBook #2. Or to McDonald’s for an ice cream cone.

helping eat the ice cream

 

Countdown Wednesday

Mom reads a lot. She reads picture books,

book-pile

grown up books, blogs, websites, Instagram and Facebook posts,

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kiddie magazines, and of course CATalogs. *shiver* I don’t know how to read, but people read to me a lot. Today, Mom and I are counting down about reading.

My Reading Countdown

3. Read-to-a-Pet-Night – Kids come to the library to read to me at Read-to-a-Pet-Night. Sometimes they read dog books, which make me very happy.

happy-with-dog-bookSometimes they read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?. The purple cat scares me, but I try to be brave.

2. Waiting – When Mom is reading, I wait. Eventually, she finishes and then we play or cuddle or go to the park.

verona-stump

At Read-to-a-Pet-Night, I wait for a reader like a good girl – no crying, no playing with the other therapy pets, and no begging for treats when apparently I didn’t do anything to earn them.

Empty chair. Bummer...

Empty chair. Bummer…

8. Listening – When Mom works on her writing, she reads out loud to herself. I listen very carefully, in case there’s anything in there I need to know. Once, I heard the word “dog boots” which scared me because I hate my boots.

boots-and-bellyBut it made me happy at the same time because it meant Mom was writing about a dog!

Mom’s Reading Countdown

3. Read-to-a-Pet-Night – Mom has fun at Read-to-a-Pet-Night. She loves hearing the kids read stories. It reminds her of her teacher days, but without any of the teacher stress or responsibility.

tennis-dress-reading

Stress-free-chillin’. Like a boss…

2. Picture books – Mom reads 200 picture books every year. She rates them and keeps count of them on her Goodreads page. Sometimes she reads them at Barnes and Noble.

books-and-drinkSometimes she brings them home from the library and reads them our house. I help her choose the best ones.

This one!

This one!

74. Listening – Mom is always listening for story ideas. She listens extra hard to moms and kids. She learns names, interests, slang, quirks, and speech patterns from them. She never knows when something will kick in and give her a new story idea. Meanwhile, I can give her all the story ideas she needs…

Me.

Me.

Me.

Me.

ME!

ME!

 

 

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….

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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….

 

 

 

 

Being Prepared

When Mom and I go for a walk, we are always prepared – treats in one pocket, plastic bag in the other.

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Also, there are antibacterial wipes, house keys and the car key in my little penguin leash pouch.

penguin pouch

I wear a harness AND a Martingale collar. Mostly, I’m fine with my harness, but if I get scared of something, Mom switches the leash to my collar so I won’t pull away. I am more obedient with my collar. Eventually….

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Nope. I’m not going in…

Some places we visit are also prepared. Like this… Just in case.

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In the car, we are usually prepared with some coffee.

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And my travel bowl for water.

Nope. I'm not going in...

Nope. I’m not going in…

Mom likes to be prepared. Her books are framed,

shadow boxes

and just to be ready – a couple of her favorite manuscripts are framed too. She’ll replace them with actual books as soon as book #2 or ebook #2 happen.

shadow boxes2She thinks a lot and plans a lot for the future. By thinking and planning I mean visualizing and hoping. When she talks about her writing future, she says “when” instead of “if” and always tells herself (and me), “This is it” when she submits something. Mom thinks it’s better to be prepared, positive, and hopeful than surprised, negative, and demoralized. Me too…

Prepared, positive, and hopeful...

Prepared, positive, and hopeful…