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

Posts tagged ‘literature’

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about communicating.

16. Kids – Kids can be great communicators. When Mom visited a couple of schools  this month, kids talked to her a lot. Sometimes they asked questions like, “How long does it take to write a story?” and “How many stories have you written?” and “On Sunday, my Uncle Peter’s toilet overflowed!”

2. Kids – Lots of the kids made Mom thank you notes to say “Thank you for coming to our school.” and “We loved your book.”

and “My baby brother has a car seat with bunnies on it.”

73. My Face – Mom says my face communicates NOTHING.

It’s blank.

All the time.

She says, “Are you hungry?” and “Do you need to go out?” and “What? What?!! WHAT???”

What?

6. Body Language – I sometimes communicate through body language. When I’m scared, I shiver and tuck my tail between my legs. When Mom tries to put my boots on, I play dead and flop down on my pillow.

Also, my feet turn as mushy as pudding. Mom calls me the name “PuddingPaws.”

5. Show Don’t Tell – Everybody who’s anybody says writers must SHOW what’s happening in a story. Don’t just TELL it. That helps the reader stay engaged and gets them to do a little work while they’re reading. They will also feel closer to the characters in the story and more invested in the plot. Sometimes I need to SHOW Mom that she has put my food bowl too high for me to reach.

What’s my dinner doing up here?

Then she TELLS me I have to wait.

Seriously??

 

Countdown Wednesday

123

Today we are counting down things we believe.

Things Mom Believes

35. Writing is a tough job. Being a teacher was a tough job, too. And so is being a college supervisor…. The bottom line is – I guess all jobs are tough. That’s why they’re called work and not a party.

THIS is a party!

THIS is a party!

 2. Book 2 and/or e-Book 2 will happen eventually. Learning her craft, writing a lot, reading a lot, and submitting sometimes is what writers do. Getting rejected a lot is also what writers do. So, Mom is doing what writers do. Mission accomplished.

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16. Author visits are fun. Mom has 2 school visits scheduled in the next few weeks. She believes they are one of the best parts of being an author. She will talk, read, ask and answer questions, and play games. Author visits are not my favorite.

...bye... SERIOUSLY??

…bye… SERIOUSLY??

Things I Believe

6. Watching The Puppy Bowl is a tough job.

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I am sure I could’ve made a hundred touchdowns, spiked the ball, the pig, the monkey, and the rubber chicken, and done the victory dance like crazy. If only I could figure out how to get inside the TV.

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Hullo…?

21. Read to a Pet Night will happen eventually. All I need to do is look cute, wait for Mom to get ready,

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be a good girl on my ParkIt Mat, and soon the kids will come and read to me.

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Mission accomplished.

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3. Snow is fun. I like walking and running in the snow, as long as it doesn’t touch my belly. Sometimes the snow gets crazy and blows my ears out like wings and makes my eyes get all squinchy. Slightly less fun, but aside from street nap weather, snow is my next favorite.

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

William Somerset Maugham

First of all, I love this guy. How could I not? His name is W. Somerset Mom. And just like Mom, he talks about rules. Mom has a lot of rules for me. Here are the top three:

14. Keep off the bed after it’s made.

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6. Always put the toys back in the toy box.

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97. Don’t eat garbage.

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Somethin’ smells good…

3. No begging.

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Mom doesn’t know the novel rules any better than Maugham does. Ditto the picture book rules.

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I mean she knows there needs to be a great opening, unpredictable characters, conflict, voice, rising action, increasing obstacles, excitement, humor, emotion, lyrical language, plot twists, surprises, and of course a satisfying ending.

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Sometimes, when she reads picture books – which she does A LOT,

books3she says the word, “What? There’s no conflict here.” and “Aargh. That was SO predictable.” and “Get off the bed!”

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and “Ugh. Worst ending ever.” and “Meh.” and “Don’t even think about it!”

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So apparently, there are rules and there is reality. It’s tough to know what an editor will like. It’s much easier to know what Mom will like.

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What?

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.

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

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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…

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Hairbrush? Seriously???

…or indoors. But they’re always fun.

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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.

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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,

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and naps.

street nap2And did I say naps?

green dress sleeping

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,

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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.

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Busy Working Hard

Mom and I have been working hard.

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

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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.

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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,

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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…

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sleep

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Five Word Friday

five

Today’s 5 words are about A-Little-At-A-Time.

8. List – Mom is making a list of the things she will submit this month. She is determined to get 10 stories on the list, and then she will decide where to send them. So far the list has NINE titles! Day by day – story by story – a little at a time – almost there.

woman-making-list

17. WetFeet – I don’t like getting my feet wet. When Mom takes me out to check my pee-mail she says the word, “Why am I standing in the wet grass and you are not?” and “I am NOT the one out here to go potty.”

gutter walker

and “Get off the balance beam, Marylou.”

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Eventually, I inch into the wet grass, little by little, and take care of business. I’m not happy about it.

26. Walking – Getting from the garage to the house can be slow-going. I stop to sniff. I smell the flowers.

smelling flowers

I check the bricks. I hit the pavement.

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I stare at the air. Eventually, we arrive. Mom says the word, “Why do I take you anywhere?”

84. One – Last week, Mom got her first ever #1 from Rate Your Story. On a scale of 1-10, #1 is the best! Mom has received the occasional #2 rating, but usually, her work is a #4. We’re excited that she clawed her way to a #1 – little by little.

#15. Begging – Every day, I work on Mom… From here…

begging right

And here…

begging left

And even here…

begging LRCan you tell I am begging for ice cream? I think it’s pretty clear. She mixed up a batch of my special yogurt/peanut butter/applesauce/MilkBone frozen treats. And apparently, I can only eat one a day. GAH!

ice cream treatThey’re so yummy, it’s tough to eat them a little at a time. I lick and lick…

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…and lick.

icecream3And then I lose my mind and gobble the whole thing down. The ice cream headache is worth it!

Yum. Ouch...

Yum. Ouch…