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

Posts tagged ‘ideas’

Inspirational Quote of the Week

I love children (and also wet cement, but that’s another story for another time.). Mostly children are just my size. I love to taste them and snuggle up next to them (and also hump them, but that’s another story for another time.).

I see children at the library when they come to tell me stories at Read to a Pet Night.

Sometimes they taste like gum. And mac and cheese. A lot of them choose doggie books which I appreciate.

But I’m a good girl and listen politely, even when the book is about a C-A-T or FlyGuy or ToyStory.

Sometimes, I see children at the VA when they are visiting an old soldier that they know and love. I mean what’s not to love about an old soldier? They’re adorable. And more importantly, they think I’m adorable. #thingsthatmatter

Being adorable.

Mom writes stories for children. Long ago, she took a class and tried to write an adult story. It FELT horrible when she was doing it, it SOUNDED horrible when she read it to herself, and everybody she read it to said it WAS horrible. So yeah. I guess spending 35 years surrounded by children makes your head work in a certain way that’s tough to fight and impossible to change.

She is always careful about what she writes and how she writes it because just like when she was a teacher, she wants children to remember her words in a good way that will stick with them (like cement) and make them grow up into better humans.

Mom has not forgotten about her dark-of-night challenge.

She has started her story and is wondering if it will ever make it to the night. So far, no. But her character named Martin might take it that way eventually… I’m hoping so, for Mom’s sake. And hoping not for mine. And Martin’s.

Aargh…

 

 

Setting

I don’t like dark. Or storms. Or night. Our house is rarely ever completely dark. It has TV light ALL the time and a hundred night lights that switch on automatically as soon as night tries to sneak in.

Day is my favorite time. I’m all about sunshine and sparkle and bright and light.

Mom’s favorite time is morning. She is always up and att’em early. That’s her best time to write and her best time to do most everything – clean, swim, get ideas, take me for a walk, meditate, and cook.

Ugh… Not yet!

Her stories usually take place during the daytime. That is part of what is called setting. It sounds like sitting,

but apparently it’s not. When Mom said she was working on setting, I said, “…so am I!”

Nope.

Anyway, dark is scary and Mom doesn’t usually write scary things. But she has a challenging plan for herself. The next story she writes will take place at night or in a dark place.

*gulp*

Mom doesn’t have her next story idea, yet, but she will check her lists and choose an idea or two that she can mix together and take to the night. I typically like helping Mom work,

Helping.

but if there’s anything dark involved…

Nope.

She’s on her own.

 

 

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

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”
~Orson Scott Card~

Story ideas. Aargh. This month is all about ideas for Mom on account of StoryStorm. She was hoping to have 30 ideas by the 30th, and she is pretty flush with 39 so far. Way ahead of the game.

Still she continues to read the StoryStorm posts every morning and she adds an idea or two to her list, depending on what the post says to do.

storystorm_participant

Probably about 5 or 6 of the ideas on the list will turn into something. Maybe it will be exactly the something we need to finally see Book 2 or e-Book 2. Paws crossed.

2 books

It’s not only humans who walk past ideas every day. Just this morning, I walked past a McDonald’s bag that might’ve had a piece of burger in it.

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A stick that fell in the storm.

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And a cat waiting to kill me while he was hiding under a car.

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Mom said, “No litter-burgers.” and “That’s not a stick. It’s half of a tree.”

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and “Don’t even think about it.” Also, “Why do I take you anywhere?” She says that one a lot.

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I’m ready…

So if that Orson Card guy is right, I still have 997 ideas to walk past today. I’d better get back out there and get busy! Maybe I’ll catch a little nap first….

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

William Somerset Maugham

First of all, I love this guy. How could I not? His name is W. Somerset Mom. And just like Mom, he talks about rules. Mom has a lot of rules for me. Here are the top three:

14. Keep off the bed after it’s made.

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6. Always put the toys back in the toy box.

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97. Don’t eat garbage.

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Somethin’ smells good…

3. No begging.

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Mom doesn’t know the novel rules any better than Maugham does. Ditto the picture book rules.

books

I mean she knows there needs to be a great opening, unpredictable characters, conflict, voice, rising action, increasing obstacles, excitement, humor, emotion, lyrical language, plot twists, surprises, and of course a satisfying ending.

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Sometimes, when she reads picture books – which she does A LOT,

books3she says the word, “What? There’s no conflict here.” and “Aargh. That was SO predictable.” and “Get off the bed!”

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and “Ugh. Worst ending ever.” and “Meh.” and “Don’t even think about it!”

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So apparently, there are rules and there is reality. It’s tough to know what an editor will like. It’s much easier to know what Mom will like.

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What?

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,

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The 12 Days of Christmas for Writers,

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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,

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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…