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

Posts tagged ‘literature’

Inspirational Quote of the Week

“Write like nobody’s watching because – nobody’s watching.”
~Dan Brown~

Nobody is ever watching when Mom works on a story. She watches the words come onto the screen and she tells them to herself out loud and then she plays around with them till they make a story. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

When she finishes her stories, her online critique friends will look at them and tell ideas to make them better. But even they don’t watch. They say what they say and Mom decides what to do in the end. Nobody’s watching. Except me.

All day long and for some of the night, too, I watch.

Sometimes, Mom says I am a creeper or a stalker.

Who? Me?

The truth is – SHE is the creeper. Now that we are quarantined and doing our part to stay home and flatten the curve, Mom has become obsessed with me.

She takes me for walks around the neighborhood,

homeschools me with my IQ Puzzle,

I smell Cheerios!

teaches me tricks,

Knock them down??? But you just put them up!

practices my skills with me,

Face-and-Paw-Bowling. Who needs a bowling ball?

and barely ever gives me a chance to breathe.

I for one will be more than happy when coronavirus goes away and Mom can get back to being busy and I can get back to nobody watching – except me.

Five Word Friday

Our five words today come from Mom’s September draft which she finished this weekend.

16. Bunnies – There are lots of bunnies around my apartment complex. I don’t try to chase them, and they are not even afraid of me. Someday, I would like to taste one. #goals

47. Practice – Mom practices writing a lot. She studies about it and works on new and old stories all the time. Whenever Mom teaches me tricks, we also practice a lot.

Plus, I get Cheerios and chicken to help me learn. When Mom writes stories, she doesn’t even get Cheerios and chicken. Only coffee.

Sometimes she shares…

9. Sleep – Once in a while, when Mom and I are in bed, ideas come into her mind. Sometimes, she writes them down in her phone, but when she is absolutely, positively sure she will never, ever forget the perfectly amazing idea, she confidently goes to sleep. She does not remember anything in the morning.

51. School – When I wasn’t born, Mom worked at school for a long time.

Teacher-mom

Now, she only goes to school once in a while. On the happiest of happy days, she takes me with her.

School has tons of kids. Plus lunchboxes. Plus delicious pencils and crayons, and did I mention lunchboxes…?

I smell peanut butter….

99. Dark – I don’t like the dark. Mom tells Alexa to turn on the light and turn on the television. Nightlights are everywhere in our house. But Mom still makes me go outside in the dark.

 

I am skittish, hesitant, and edgy. Mom says, “You have to go out.” and “Toughen up.” and “Sorry, Charlie.” But Charlie isn’t even my name.

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words come from Mom’s July first draft.

6. Napped – Napping is an important part of being the doggie of a writing mom. Whenever Mom is busy talking to herself… I mean writing something, I nap to kill time.

Whenever she wants to think, we take a walk so I can do napping in the street

or the gutter

and Mom can stand there like a jackass waiting and thinking and waiting and waiting.

22. Rolled – Things roll around in Mom’s head in a jumble of amazing ideas, failed attempts, useless thoughts, wasted effort, and enormous dreams.

My head works differently. There are no ideas, attempts, thoughts, efforts, or dreams. There’s just… well… pretty much nothing in there. All my rolling is done outside my head.

34. Garbage – There’s nothing I don’t love about garbage. It smells good, looks great, and on the luckiest of my lucky days – it tastes delicious. Mom puts yummy things into the garbage – like pizza crusts, stale cake, and watermelon rinds. Such a waste.

Sometimes, Mom writes garbage. Also, such a waste. But it’s part of the process.

7. Car – I love the car.

It takes me to all my favorite places

Yay!

and a few of my less favorite places.

*gulp*

Last month when our old car floated away in a flood,

 

Still dripping after two days…

we had to get a new one.

It still takes me to all the fun and less fun places, but we’re going to try not to float away in this one.

5. Tougher – A few years ago, when I got my tail caught in the door,

Mom said, “You’re tougher than you look.” and “I could think of better ways to spend $2500.00.”

and “I’d write about this, but I don’t write HORROR STORIES!

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s 5 words come from Mom’s April 12×12 story.

17. Mother – We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday. I am not allowed to go shopping, so I gave Mom kisses and cuddles instead of a gift.

I also put my bony head on her arm for a while. She said, “Patooie. Dog spit.” and “Ouch. I think my arm is paralyzed.” and “I love you, Cupcake, but please get off me!”

98. Skinny – When Mom first found me at the rescue named Purrs and Pups I was kind of skinny. Plus kind of naughty and kind of nervous with lots of bite marks on my head and some bugs in my belly. Mom had a lot to work on.

My Gotcha Day.

She fixed me up, just like she fixes up some of her stories that have bugs in their belly.

33. Dolls – I like to play with dolls. They’re actually more like stuffed (or unstuffed) animals, but I like them better than bones or tennis balls. I cuddle with them

and act like they’re my babies.

Plus sometimes I try to hatch them like eggs.

2. Running – I do running a lot. It’s for protection. Moving target and all that… Mom says, “These floors don’t stand a chance.” and “This is why we can’t have nice things.” And then she calls me the name of Psycho Crackpot.

 

146. Hiding – When running doesn’t work, I do hiding.

Stranger danger!

It also keeps me safe from scary things.

Mom is not hiding from her 12×12 Challenge this month. She started a new story for May and even though it’s not quite halfway through the month, she’s halfway through the story.

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

 

I’m glad our quote this week isn’t, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Mom has been teaching me a new trick for a few days now. I’d hate to think she’s just banging her head against the wall with it.

Wait. What?

She wants me to learn to stand on a little bench so when we visit the VA, my wheelchair friends will be able to reach me better. (Also, Mom won’t have to pick me up 859 times because apparently I am a fat, overgrown meatloaf, and I’m breaking her back.)

So I study.

Just like I studied my IQ treat hider.

And I practice.

Just like I practiced bowling.

And I’m learning.

Just like I learned to fly a plane.*

*Not an actual plane. And I’m not actually flying.

Next week, Mom will also be learning. She will be attending a webinar called The Heart of Picture Books where she will learn a new trick.

She will learn to have more heart in her writing. #olddognewtrickforsure Stories with heart are more likely to connect with readers and agents and editors. Heart is good in stories. Also in real life. Heart is good everywhere.

Learning is good everywhere, too. Even old dogs can learn new tricks.

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Mom’s mom would’ve been my Grammy if I had every met her. I never did.

I know her through Mom, though. My Grammy worked hard at a sewing factory, but was a teacher at heart. AND she was a storyteller. Like Mom, she would never say 5 words if she could say 50. Every story was a loooong story. She always had something to say and always said it with joy and excitement and gusto and loved the whole process of weaving a tale and watching her audience react to it. They really are a lot alike.

Sometimes, people say, “To make a long story short….” Mom never says that. And she never does that. She is more likely to make a long story longer!

Mom is a writer because she writes her stories down while she’s weaving them. Grammy never had that luxury, although she did tell stories in the letters she wrote. So Mom has heard and read many, many stories since she was a little girl. Storytelling is in her blood and her skin and her bones. And in her fingers, because that’s where the stories come from as far as I can see.

I don’t have fingers, but once I made a “story” when I fell asleep on Mom’s iPad and typed QQQQQ with my ear.

Storytelling also came from Mom’s mom and her mom’s story and the tapestry of how they came together and grew and flourished and continued and will continue forever. Meanwhile, long after my Grammy and Mom jig-sawed their stories together, my own doggy mama taught me to survive as a stray

puppies

Me at the shelter with my puppies.

on the mean streets till I could be rescued, fostered, and then FINALLY adopted by Mom. My doggy mama’s lessons are where my story began.

First day at my forever home.

tiara

Queen of the world. My story continues…

 

Five Word Friday

Today’s 5 words were taken from Mom’s newest story. The story is finished, but not finished. It’s resting until she opens it again to change things – especially the ending. Mom likes when her stories end with a laugh or a gasp or a smile

or an unexpected pop. When she tucked this one away, the ending was more of a fizzle. Not cool.

Z-z-z-z-z-z…..

16. Wiggle – Stories usually wiggle around from place to place to keep the reader guessing. I usually wiggle around soaking up the street heat and getting dirt into my furs.

42. Giggle – Ending a story with a giggle is always a goal for Mom. Sometimes it takes a few tries or a little advice from her critique partners. I don’t giggle, but I am pretty good at making people smile.

9. Color – Stories should have color: colorful characters, colorful language, colorful pictures, and a long colorful life in the hands of children. Since we have lots of color in our home

and our lives,

Mom hopes to transfer that color to her work every day.

82. Sun – I love sunshine. It makes me feel like taking a street nap,

hitting the park,

or just basking.

5. Broom and dustpan – Because of my white furs, and apparently my spitting, drooling, sneezing, and floor-licking, Mom uses her broom and dustpan a lot. Also her microfiber mop, Swiffer Sweeper, big vacuum, small vacuum, Swiffer Duster, sponge mop, dustcloths, and Mr.Clean Magic Eraser.

Filthy??? Who? Me?

She thinks I have a problem. I think she has a problem.