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

Posts tagged ‘kidlit’

Inspirational Quote of the Week

weed quote

Mom’s computer is FILLED with weeds! There are six, seven, sometimes ten versions of each weed. She works hard to get the virtues of her weeds discovered. So far, no good. But she is never discouraged. Mom loves weeds. She works with them and revises them, and the whole time she appreciates their beauty. …because why be a writer if you’re not enjoying the writing and not loving what you write?!

Mom appreciates her weeds AND the ones that grow on the lawns around our building.

weeds2

She says, “OMG. This story is so cute.” and “I should send this out somewhere.” and “Don’t eat the flowers. I mean weeds. I mean flowers.”

weeds

They’re weeds….

Weeds are relative.

white weeds

Definitely weeds….

Sometimes, Mom sends her ugly weed stories to her critique group or RYS. They are helpful and encouraging. Then she gets more ideas and she either fixes the weeds to make them bloom into flowers, or she digs into a new piece and starts nurturing it along.  Book #2 or ebook #2 might be right around the corner.

Right around the corner from the purple weeds, are probably…

purple weeds

….more weeds….

dandy

But that’s OK. One man’s weed is another man’s flower.

 

 

 

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

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.

ebookcover with border

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.

Book #1

 When Mom pulled her socks out of the dryer, something looked different about them.

socks

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?

owl sock

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.

white bird

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.

swan boat dog

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….”

If it starts with the word Dog, it's probably something.

If it starts with the word Dog, it’s probably something…

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

five

Spring is coming soon!

park equipment

I love change, so changing to a new season makes me happy. Today’s 5 words are about change.

daffodil

Weather – When spring comes, winter goes away and the weather gets warm and sunny and nice. Some days, I can take a springtime street nap.

street4

Sometimes Mom lets me play on the baby swing,

swing

…or explore the park.

rock pose

Cutting – This week, Mom changed one of her stories from having 790 words to having 501 words. In picture books, 500 words need to tell the whole story. That’s not to say some stories aren’t 700 or 800 words. And at the other end of the spectrum some stories are 11 words or 26 words. That’s a totally different kind of “picture” book than the ones Mom writes.

2 books

Outfits – Mom ordered me a new raincoat and new collars for spring.

blue collar flowerleather collar

 

 

 

 

 

 

I change outfits a lot. It keeps things interesting.

cupcake dress party dress

Visit – Mom will do a school visit next week. It’s a change from the usual visits that she does. At this school visit, instead of a big bunch of students, Mom will meet with 6 or 7 small groups of kids. She will talk to them, read to them, and play with them. It will be fun.

waiting

I’ll just wait here…..

Toys – It’s been ages since Mom changed up my toybox. She thinks I forgot that there’s a bag of toys in the top of the closet. Truth be told, I kind of did forget what’s in there. So when she switches out the toys in the box for the toys in the bag, I will be as excited as if she went shopping at Petco, Target, and PetSmart and shopped till she dropped – all for me!

toy switch

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action till all factors are favorable do nothing.
~William Feather~

Writers know that they have to write whether they feel like it or not. Well, maybe not write – but they need to do writer-adjacent activities, no matter what.

Classroom visit

Classroom visit

Mom knows this, so when conditions are not favorable, she reads picture books or writing blogs, lists ideas, researches agents or publishers, submits stories or poems, critiques work in her writing group, or fixes up a story she wrote a long time ago.

napper

Ho-hum…

There are plenty of actions she can take. And she does… But somehow, when that part of her day is finished, she turns her sights to me. Sometimes this is a plus. We ride in the car,

cardress

hit the park,

park bench

walk around the neighborhood, or play with toys.

toys

But sometimes, she says the word, “Want to learn?” *cue scary music here*

The newest trick Mom is trying to teach me is called Shell Game. We use bathroom cups instead of shells and a Cheerio instead of a pea.

Smart!

Smarter!!

Duh…

And the only gambling involved is the fact that I may or may not lose my mind and just eat the cups.

cup eater

I would like to delay this learning (and ALL learning) till factors are favorable, but Mom says, “All factors will NEVER be favorable – for either one of us.” and “Now is as good a time as any – for both of us.” and “GAH! What are those jackasses in your head telling you???”

Huh??

Huh??

Teeny Tiny

Seven years ago, Mom almost passed me up at the pet rescue event where I was waiting. She said, “She’s too tiny.”

cage2

Her old dog, Smoki, was a German Shepherd mix,

smoki on the sofa

and before Smoki there was Sandy, a Golden Retriever mix.

Sandy in the snow

She didn’t know what to do with such a teeny tiny dog like me. When I finally willed her to choose me, she thought I’d need a set of doggie stairs to get on the bed. That was before she saw that I could fly. I’m small, but mighty.

Since then, Mom has faced down my teeny tiny feet,

oneboot

my teeny tiny belly,

belly

and my teeny tiny brain.

Mom will be facing down another teeny tiny dilemma, soon. She’s invited to read to a couple of classes at a local school for Dr. Seuss‘s birthday – Read Across America Day.

I can't read, but I'm celebrating my own way.

I can’t read, but I’ll celebrate my own way.

The dilemma is that the children she’ll be reading to are teeny tiny pre-k kids. They’re small, but mighty.

happykids

Mom’s print book, Keep Your Ear on the Ball is way over their heads – more for 2nd-4th graders.

Book #1

Her e-book, What If I Don’t? is slightly over their heads – more for kindergarten-2nd graders.

ebookcover with border

So she headed off to the bookstore. She sat in the cafe and read and read and read.

kiddie books

When her chai latte was finished, she went back to the shelves and read some more.

She’s very happy with her choices: Duck, Duck, Dinosaur for the teeniest of the teeny tiny kids

duck dinoduck duck dino

and My Dog’s a Chicken for the less teeny of the teeny tiny kids.

dog chickendog chicken2

She giggled when she read them and said, “These are short and sweet.” and “This will be super fun.” and “Why are you hiding under the bed?”

under the bed

Lovely

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!

lovely-blog-award-2

Now I need to follow the directions of the award. Following directions can be tough, sometimes.

climbing

Puppies!!

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.

licking floor

452. I love clothes. I wear a dress to visit old soldiers at the veteran’s home

va therapy

and young readers at the library when I do my therapy work.

library therapy

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.

help 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.

time

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.

Clifton

 

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.

math mix

Hidden

Sometimes, when Mom writes a story, it’s not the story she meant to write. When stories jump from her head to her hands to her computer, bad things can happen.

computer kid (2)

The stories can go on and on and on. And on. The plot can go off track. The focus can go away…

blurry

… and then come back again.

clearsleeper

And then go away again.

blurrybedCharacters can refuse to do what she wants them to do. BAD things can happen.

Remember this...?

Remember this…?

The story from Mom’s brain might be in there somewhere, but it’s hidden. When Mom gets to the end, she says, “It’s twice as long as it should be.” and “This sounded better in my head.” and “Where’s your other boot?”

missing boot

It snowed last weekend in my neighborhood. EVERYTHING was hidden under 28 inches of that cold, white stuff. I was hidden under the hood of my pink parka.

hood problem

Who turned out the lights?

My beautiful paws were hidden in boots to protect them from cold. And rock salt.

boots are killing me

A sofa near the dumpster was hidden under a snow drift.

sofa

After a couple of days, I found some grass that was hidden near a disconnected snowplow that was hidden behind a building.

plow

A long time ago, I found a soggy potato chip bag hidden under the snow. So far, try as I might, I haven’t found any buried food.

looking in snow

Maybe when Mom is finished searching for the elusive, amazing story from her head, we’ll take a walk and see if there’s an elusive, amazing McDonald’s wrapper hidden under the snow. Or maybe I’ll just rest for a little while…

clearbed

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