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

Posts tagged ‘ideas’

Countdown Wednesday


It’s back to school time around here. For 52 years of her life, Mom went back to school in September – sometimes as a student and sometimes as a teacher. Today we’re counting down about back to school.

back to school

My Back to School Countdown

3. Sleep – A good night’s sleep will make a better learner.

night night

So does a good morning’s sleep and a good afternoon’s sleep

raccoon nap

and a good floor sleep and a good street sleep.

street nap 92

I must be the best learner in the world!

2. Friends – When school starts I get to see lots of friends at the library. I am well-behaved and don’t knock over any chairs or bump any tables. I don’t lick the books or the kids’ shoes while they’re reading to me. …Actually I do all of those things, but just a little bit.

iselin library

1. School Visits – Once in while, one of Mom’s teacher friends tells her to bring me to school to play with the kids for a while. That is my dream come true.


Mom’s Back to School Countdown

3. School Visits – Mom loves visiting kids at school to show her PowerPoint, talk about being an author, and read her books to them. She says it’s the best part of being an author. Bar none.


2. Friends – Now that she’s not a teacher anymore, Mom and a few of her retired teacher friends go out to breakfast on the first day of school and enjoy drinking lots of coffee and talking instead of working.


1. Fear – Mom had a raging case of school phobia when she was in kindergarten. She cried and begged her mother every single day to let her stay home – not for the first few days, but EVERY SINGLE DAY from the first day of school in September till the last day of school in June. That might explain why she writes about being afraid so often. She has a million stories about fear in her computer. It’s apparently her favorite topic.

Luckily, I am much more courageous than she was….

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons...

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons… Help me.


GAH! It’s the deadly balloon of doom. *gulp*


Inspirational Quote of the Week

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

Leonardo DaVinci

I would love to be a doggie who “happened to things.” But unfortunately, most of the time, things happen to me. I blame this on my leash. One of Mom’s friends pointed out that in every single picture of me – there’s the leash. How can I make things happen when I’m tethered to Mom all the time?

Posed in front of the flowers.


Plopped on a bench.


Placed on a chair.


Pulled from a street nap.


Propped on a rock.


Plunked on an examining table.

vet table

This is an issue in some of Mom’s stories, too. Her characters are sometimes called “slight” because they aren’t doing enough. Things are happening to them, instead of them happening to things like Leonardo said. Mom has to look for this slightness every single time she works on a story. When she spots it, she has to fix it up to make the story more meaty and less slight.

Did somebody say "meaty?"

Did somebody say “meaty?”

Mom says, “It’s easy enough to spot this problem.”

ladybug (2)

and “It’s tougher to fix it.”


and “Do NOT dig a hole in that garden!”


Leash! GAH!


Last week, Mom left me. She was gone for hours and hours. She gave me my special see-you-later-be-a-good-girl-no-cuckoo-behavior-cookie, and disappeared in her car.

special cookie

She said the word, “School visit.” and “This will be fun.” and “No barking while I’m gone.”

Usually, Mom visits schools to talk about being an author…. and where to find ideas and how an idea becomes a story and how a story becomes a real, live book. But this one was different.

Book #1

Since Mom’s book is about a blind boy in a sighted classroom, she was invited to speak about Disability Awareness and how important it is to accept differently-abled people in all situations. I stayed home and had some situations of my own…

Mom drove miles and miles. I cruised around the house checking the floor for crumbs.


Mom met some new people. I hung out with some new toys.

new toys

Mom talked to 400 kids and sold a bunch of books. I yelled at the mailman…

mailman mess

…and took a bunch of naps.

pillow nap

I never want to be left alone again.

inside window

Mom is going to another school visit next month. Gah!

Mom said, “I love school visits.”

I hate school visits.

I hate school visits.



I have been awarded a couple of prizes by my bloggy friends recently. My Quirky Writer friend named Sandra thinks I’m Really Neat.

Neat Blog Award

And one of my doggie friends named Noodle thinks I’m Inspiring!

inspiring award

Thanks, friends! I think you are neat and inspiring, too!

For the Inspiring Award, I must tell 7 things about myself.

1. I like getting dressed up because it usually means something fun is going to happen.

dressed up

82. I shiver when I am cold, afraid, or when Mom is about to leave me alone to live her life for a while.


35. I was afraid of my toybox for 5 years, but now I can actually take out a toy or 2 or 58.


941. Sometimes, I need a toy to help me sleep.

sleepy owl

7. Mom bought a PetziConnect camera to check on me when she’s gone.


I’m afraid of it. I’m pretty sure it wants to kill me.


I’m not sure when the checks or the prizes will arrive for these awards, but I can’t wait. Wait. What? Oh. No checks. No prizes. But certainly feel free to share these with me if you don’t already have them.

For some reason, Mom DOES think I’m inspiring,

VA petting

Working at the VA.

but does NOT think I’m neat. Go figure….


Every writer needs inspiration. I am that for her. But when I am not enough, she leaves me here and gets out into the world, sometimes in a school or with other humans

Human friends...

Human friends…

…or in a spot that will give her ideas or will let ideas float into her head.

lincoln center

Personally, I get ideas from this.


The woods by my house. Mom says the word, “Off limits.” and “Too dark.”


And this.


Mud puddle. ‘Nuff said.


Inspirational Quote of the Week

Start before you’re ready.

~Steven Pressfield~

When you’re an author, getting started can be tough. Blank screen. Blank mind. Blank look in your eyes.

Wait. What?

Wait. What?

Blankness happens to me a lot. It also happens to Mom when she’s starting a new story. She’s never REALLY ready to write. So she has to take Steven Pressfield’s advice and start anyway. She doesn’t start at the computer, though. She starts in her head. Mom always lets ideas sit up there inside her brain for a while before she starts something new. Mind-writing.


She mind-writes while we’re walking,


while we’re cuddling,


while we’re decorating,


and she even did some mind-writing while we visited Santa.

cupcake with santa 2014

Mom says, “It’s not about how you start.” and “It’s not about when you start.” and “All that matters is that you start….and finish.”

the end

And I say, “Maybe we can just mind-write a little more…”

bed (2)

Five Word Friday

5 cards

Today’s 5 words are about forgetting.

1. Rollerblades – Somebody forgot about their rollerblades at the park. I tried to encourage Mom to give them a spin, but she wasn’t interested.

Wanna race?

Wanna race?

2. Dinner – Forgetting my dinner is just plain wrong on all levels. I save this face for those occasions when dinner is “a little late.”

wheres dinner

Not cool…


3. Ideas – Mom has so many lists of story ideas, that she sometimes forgets what she wrote. She gets very surprised when she looks down the lists. She says, “This sounds fun.” and “This is genius.” and “Ugh! WHAT was I thinking?” and “Forget it. You’ve had enough treats for one day.”

treats please

4. Rules – Once in a while I forget the rules, especially the rule called don’t-mess-with-Christmas-stuff.

house huhtree trouble

5. Chairs – Mom has been busy decorating and shopping after the painters got finished and decorating and shopping for our new furniture and decorating and shopping before Christmas comes.



So lots of times, she forgets to sit in her chair and work on writing, because of too much decorating and shopping.


I may have to take over this chair….

92. Chairs – That being said, sometimes, I completely forget how chairs work….

lawn chair huhchair huh

Change of Scenery

Sometimes a doggie needs a change of scenery. New chair,

hotel chair

new bed,

hotel bed

new place.

hotel sheet

Yeah. That happened. While there were painters at my house trying to kill me, Mom and I got out of the way and stayed at a hotel. It was a whole new place to be. It’s scary, but if you tuck in your tail and slick back your ears, you can get through it and even settle in, lie down, and rest up after a while.

hotel nap

A change of scenery is good for getting ideas.

sand field

Since Mom is up to her eyeballs in PiBoIdMo, she needs ideas to keep trickling into her head so they can be typed into the list on her phone. A change of scenery is the perfect way to make that happen. Sometimes it’s as simple as a walk in the park.

park bench

Sometimes it’s a ride in the car.

sunny car

Or shopping. Or the gym. Or a visit to the *gulp* vet


or *yay* Petco.


Or a short-stay at a pet-friendly hotel.

hotel rest

As far as ideas go, change is good. And it can’t hurt to have a special idea-getting-coffee-mug …with a picture of an idea-getting-dog that looks suspiciously like ME!

dog mug

Wait. What?


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