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

Posts tagged ‘kidlit’

Five Word Friday

five5Today’s five words are about prizes.

3. Winner – Mom was one of a bunch of winners in a giveaway on Tara Lazar’s blog. She won the opportunity to have an agent look at her work. That’s a pretty huge jump out of the slush pile.

slush-pile

18. Slush – Once I played in snow and slush and it about froze my tiny paws to icicles.

snow3pink

Mom decided I would be safer with boots on my paws. Wrong. Just really wrong on so many levels.

boots2

6. Looking – Mom is excited that an agent will be looking at one of her new stories. I am always excited to be looking at something new. New things can be outdoors…

brush1

Hairbrush? Seriously???

…or indoors. But they’re always fun.

christmas-shopping

127. Entering – Mom and I enter lots and lots of contests, competitions, and giveaways. Mostly, we don’t win, but now and then we do. Once we won a box full of cat toys. It was fun to win, but we donated the toys back to a kitty who could use them. I don’t really need any toys…

toys5. Gratitude – We are grateful that Mom won this lucky prize. Gratitude is a big part of every day, but this is a special week for giving thanks.

img_4219

I have a ton to be grateful for – like treats,

101 treatslove,

kisshead

my furever home,

My first 5 minutes at my new home.

The first 5 minutes at my new home. #occupythecouch

walks,

park6

 

and naps.

street nap2And did I say naps?

green dress sleeping

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,

IMG_7793

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

 

Characters

Writers pretend a lot. Mom deals with pretend characters every time she sits at the computer. Characters can be tough to pin down. Just when Mom thinks she knows them, they take off in directions she didn’t expect. They can go caveman,

cavedog

nurturer,

nurse

superhero,

costume

evil,

devil

or sweet.

fairy

I can also go off in unexpected directions. I can go lazy,

belly-up-streetnap

friendly,

cupcake-and-gracie

relaxed,

bench-relaxing

happy,

happyface

confused,

blanket-mixup

or annoyed.

Why?

Why?

Mom keeps me on a leash everywhere we go, so I won’t go off and get lost. She does her best to keep me under control. Even though I am unpredictable, she does a better job with me than she does with her story characters.

weeds

Weirdness

Sometimes things can get weird. If you’re a writer, like Mom – weird is a good thing.

alien

If a story takes a weird turn, has a weird character, or a weird ending – all the better. Predictable stories are bad.

blahSomething got weird on my walk last week. Mom and I saw a freaky, alien, mutant mushroom growing like crazy under a tree.

mushroom1

Tasting it was not an option, apparently, but I gave it a good look and a really good sniff.

mushroom2

FYI – It was gross.

Weird things are happening to the trees in my neighborhood. The green leaves have started turning colors…

yellow-tree

…and falling all over the place. I don’t like the sound they make when I walk on them. Too crunchy! Sometimes, Mom says the word, “Sit” and I won’t lie. I hate it.

Make it stop!

Make it stop!

From now on, I hope Mom keeps all the weirdness in her computer and in her stories. I do not like weirdness….

Who turned off the lights?

As anyone can see, I am just a normal, regular doggie…

sunglass-hat

Busy Working Hard

Mom and I have been working hard.

img_3764

Mom is working hard on two new stories, as usual.

typing

What’s so difficult about this?

She writes a little bit of each one each day. When she gets to the end of them, she will put them away for a while and then revise the heck out of them to make them tight with no extra words. She will make sure they open with action and end with a twist. She will try to show and not tell. She will move the characters from place to place and keep the action coming so they aren’t talking heads.

computer kid (2)

Then she will send her favorite one of them to her critique group friends to see what else she needs to work on.

I have been working hard too –  at the library…

img_3765…and at the veteran’s home.

fullsizerenderI have dressed up, listened to stories, sat on laps,

lap

and given kisses. If you don’t think that’s hard work, think again. Sometimes I can barely stay awake on the ride home.

sleeping-in-the-carBesides my therapy work, I have begged for coffee. And it paid off.

img_3779I begged for a pancake on my 10th birthday. And got one of my very own.

img_3731I even fought the dreaded soccer net. Again. And won (with some help from Mom).

img_3776It’s a good thing I am a ball of energy…

img_3818

 

sleep

sleepy-flag-dog

 

Countdown Wednesday

Mom reads a lot. She reads picture books,

book-pile

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

ig

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….

???

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….