Walking is a good way for Mom to tidy up her head and make room for ideas.
There are always interesting things to investigate on a walk. We walk at lots of different parks,
and also the reservoir,
the 9/11 memorial,
and the playing field.
Mom reads a lot. She reads picture books,
grown up books, blogs, websites, Instagram and Facebook posts,
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.
Sometimes 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.
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.
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.
But 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.
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.
Sometimes she brings them home from the library and reads them our house. I help her choose the best ones.
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…
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.
I try to figure out how my bed works…
And the chair at the library…
I try to stay where Mom can see me so I won’t get lost.
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…
…drinks coffee, takes me to the park,
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….
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.
Now I’m going to try and get a few treats out of my Petzi Treat Cam…
When Mom and I go for a walk, we are always prepared – treats in one pocket, plastic bag in the other.
Also, there are antibacterial wipes, house keys and the car key in my little penguin leash 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….
Some places we visit are also prepared. Like this… Just in case.
In the car, we are usually prepared with some coffee.
And my travel bowl for water.
Mom likes to be prepared. Her books are framed,
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.
She 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…
Supposedly there are only seven (or nine) basic story plots in the whole wide world. That means that the millions and millions of books that are written are just different twists on those plots. Mom has been twisting away on three different stories these past couple of weeks. She’s working to make them different and fun and unusual and original and able to stand out in the crowd.
It’s kind of like taking a street nap. I mean – a nap is a nap is a nap. It’s always a challenge to put a new twist on my favorite outdoor activity.
Sometimes I sit for a while before totally hitting the deck.
Sometimes, I lie on the sidewalk instead of the street. It’s made of the same surface material, so it feels just as good. Plus, no cars can interrupt my nap, and Mom doesn’t have to drag me into the gutter every five minutes to keep me from getting run over.
This was a nap I took as soon as I got out of Mom’s car. When I popped out, I felt that warm asphalt and just couldn’t help myself.
I especially like a street nap when the ground is extra filthy. Dumpster residue, oil stains, and gravel are some of my favorites. And I make sure to press my allergy spot into the dirt. Mom keeps the spot clean and dry and sanitized and tries very hard not to let it get infected. That’s why I have to take matters into my own paws and drag it through the dirt now and then. I’m pretty sure clean is overrated.
There is always another spin, a better way, a new approach, and a fresh twist – whether it’s for a tired story or a classic street nap. Mom says, “This is super cute!” and “I have a GREAT idea for the ending!” and “Where is the peroxide??”
….and, “Get in the tub.”
Mom strives to make her stories different from what she’s read or written in the past. Let’s face it nobody wants to read the same old same old thing. Sometimes Mom takes two or three ideas from her idea list, jumbles them up, spins them around, flips them over, and fits them into one story to make it different.
When you’re an author, different is always better. Different stands out to editors and agents, and eventually different stands out on the shelf at the bookstore.
No, they didn’t shrink. But there’s a bunch of baby socks in with the regular socks. They’re mine. I wear one on my scratching-foot so I don’t hurt my face if my allergies kick up. Kick up… See what I did there?
I saw something else that was different last week. Out in the field with my goose friends there was a white bird. It might have been a small, white goose, and it might have been a big, white duck. But it was different. Whatever it was, I hope it leaves me the same delicious candies as my other goose friends.
Mom and I went walking at a different park the other day. We saw white birds there, too, but they weren’t geese or ducks at all. They were boats shaped like swans.
I headed down the dock to catch a ride on one, but Mom said the word, “No boat.” and “Stay by me.” and “I wonder if a story called Dog on a Swan Boat is anything….”
My new kitty-friend, Samantha from the blog Musings of PuppyDoc sent me a lovely award called the Lovely Blog Award. I love being lovely, so thanks, PuppyDoc and Samantha! I think your blog is lovely, too!
Now I need to follow the directions of the award. Following directions can be tough, sometimes.
1-Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog in the post. DONE
2-Copy the rules and add the blog award badge as an image. DONE
3-Share 7 facts about yourself to your fellow bloggers. DONE
4-Nominate 15 people. (Of course I won’t do this, but feel free to nominate yourself. You know you’re lovely…)
Seven facts about me:
9. I lick the floor a lot, searching for something delicious. Delicious things include: crumbs, dropped scraps, errant kibbles, small pieces of paper, dirt or debris from outside, and lint.
452. I love clothes. I wear a dress to visit old soldiers at the veteran’s home
and young readers at the library when I do my therapy work.
I get excited when Mom dresses me because I know the fun is about to begin.
7. I’m pretty sure my toy box is trying to kill me. I will not use it, even though I love to play. Every morning, Mom helps me by picking out some stuffed toys for me.
Seven facts about Mom:
6. Mom writes for an hour a day. She stops when her timer goes off, no matter what. She thinks if she keeps writing till she runs out of ideas, she won’t know what to write the next day.
98. School visits are Mom’s favorite part of being an author. When she reads her books and talks about writing, she feels like a teacher again. She plays games and answers questions. Some of her favorite questions are: “How long does it take to write a story?” and “Where do you get your ideas?” and “My cousin Tommy has a pet hamster.” – which isn’t a question, but it makes her laugh.
7. Mom and I are not good at math. Counting and figuring gives us a headache. Mom likes words, but hates numbers. I like barking, but hate numbers.