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

Posts tagged ‘magazines’

Inspirational Quote of the Week


Mom does writing just about every day – but only for one hour. After one hour, her brain is fried, so she spends the rest of the day dreaming, talking, and wishing about writing. Also, she does mind-writing, watching and listening for ideas, reading picture books, and generally living her life.

On certain days she sends a story to Rate Your Story,


reads books and drinks coffee at Barnes and Noble,


and sometimes she submits stories to agents or publishers.


There are some things I do just about every day, too. I watch Mom watch TV,


This is fascinating…


snoopervise the hanging plants out front,


take a walk – or a hike,


and get my teeth brushed.


Also, I do street napping,

or grass napping....

or grass napping….

therapy dog work at the library


and VA,


and go to the park.


On certain days, I celebrate,


dress up,


and sometimes, I get hiccups.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.
Vaclav Havel


Mom’s Highlights Contest story is finished resting, and thanks to her Contest Magic classmates giving her tons of help, she revised it –  AGAIN – cutting and adding and switching and tightening and tweaking (not twerking – trust me – nobody wants to see that).

 Yesterday, we went to the mailbox


and Mom unceremoniously dropped it in. She said, “I could work on this thing for the rest of my life.” and “It’s time to stop staring up the steps and step up the stairs.” and “Where do you think you’re going?”


Mom is hoping to win big, but she is also hoping for her cyberclassmates to win big right along with her. She said, “Their stories are amazing.” and “Can I even compete with these people?” and “There’s nothing up there for you.”

Is she talking to me??

Is she talking to me??


quote pic

When I first came here, I had to be fixed. I wasn’t broken, but getting fixed was about not getting any more puppies in my belly. That’s fine with me.


My puppies were adopted at the shelter where I “lived” (and by lived, I mean barely existed) before I was rescued. Nowadays, I feel that puppies would take away some of Mom’s attention – which belongs 100% on ME. Plus, I use my belly for other things, named treats.


Mom’s story for the Highlights Annual Fiction Contest wasn’t broken, either.


But, boy oh boy, did it need to be fixed. Mom’s cyberclassmates and her cyberteacher from the Contest Magic class gave suggestion after suggestion and asked important questions that made Mom think of important answers and make important changes. At the end of it all, the story was a LOT better than it started out. Like me!





Some things Mom learned were:

1. She is a mental case when it comes to commas.  (She, kind, of, already, knew, that,,,)


2. The story problem needs to be close to the beginning of the story.



3. Readers need to learn about characters by what they say and what they do.

photo 5

4. A problem can’t solve itself. Characters need to work at it and make the solution happen. And it can’t be too easy.

photo 4

5. Conflict and tension are important. (Mom stinks at both of them.)

photo 3

6. Sometimes, even your favorite parts of a story need to be cut. It might be scary and hurt a little, but it has to be done.

...has to be done...

It’s like getting my nails trimmed. Like it or not, it has to be done….


Sometimes, when I play with my monkey in a barrel, it puts me into a frenzy. There’s just too much going on! Too much to do. Too many possibilities. Bite the barrel? Tear off the lid? Growl at the talking? Rip the monkey’s face off? Chew his arm till he stops laughing? Shake the whole thing till I’m dizzy? I don’t know what to do first.

Since NewYears, Mom has also been in a frenzy. She’s not biting, tearing, growling, ripping, chewing, or shaking, like me. But she does have a lot going on, a lot to do, and a lot of possibilities. She may have bitten off more than she can chew. I’ve done that occasionally, too…. (And by “occasionally” I mean every day.)


Gah! Why is my mouth so tiny?!

Mom has entered a ton of challenges, and made a bunch of goals for herself this year. She will read 200 picture books in the Goodreads Challenge again,

2014 goodreads

she joined 12×12 for 2014, which means she needs to write a new first draft in the next few weeks,


she’ll get 30 new ideas when PiBoIdMo starts,


and she will write 30 poems this year.


In between all those jobs (and a bunch of others – if you can believe such a thing), Mom decided to enter the Highlights Annual Fiction Contest this month, AND take Susanna Hill’s Making Contest Magic class this week.

So Mom is learning, mind-writing, registering, paypal-ing, reading, commenting, revising, studying, listing, rhyming, critiquing, and ….do you see what’s missing here??

Snow pea?? Blech! I may have bitten off (stolen) more than I can chew again.

Snow pea?? Blech! I may have bitten off more than I can chew again.

Rocky, over at my friend Bacon’s blog told me that January 6 was National CuddleUp Day. So I made sure Mom took some time out to celebrate. Actually, I will make sure we celebrate that thing EVERY day!!



I have been honored again! I’m sure I don’t deserve it, but I LIKE it! My friends at Praying for One Day nominated me for the Shine On award. I think it’s because my fur is so shiny.


And my friends at Collies of the Meadow nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I think it’s because I’m sweet.


Thanks, guys! If any of my bloggy friends would like to share these awards, feel free!

I have also been honored to be the Fur Friend of the Month at My Three Moggies. What an honor to actually be featured after reading the stories of other fascinating Fur Friends there. The moggies told my story and also showed my cuteness in pictures. Wow!


Mom has been honored, too. She has received letters from an agent, a couple of magazines, and a picture book publishing company. All rejections. Yay. That’s a good thing…. Right….?


At any rate, Mom has finally decided she hates the mailman. I been trying and trying to tell her he was evil….

sad window


Mom went to a school visit last week to share her book with some 5th graders.

book cover w border2

They were a wonderful audience and asked lots of fun questions. They are also writers and are working on writing their very own pictures books! Mom wasn’t too surprised by this because their teacher used to be one of Mom’s students, way back when Mom was a teacher. She was a smart little girl and lots of fun. Now she is a smart 5th grade teacher and still lots of fun. Here she is when she was little – she’s the one in the pink dress standing right next to Mom.


In fact – when that 5th grade teacher was in Mom’s class, she brought a praying mantis egg case to school for show and tell and it opened up and released tons of praying mantis babies all over Mom’s classroom! And THAT’S what Mom wrote about in Humpty Dumpty Magazine this month in her story called Show and Tell Surprise.


She shared that story with the 5th graders and gave them a copy of the magazine to keep in their classroom.

Joan and me

Mom loves sharing. Sometimes she shares with me. We share the big chair in the living room,


we share the bed,


she shares her coffee,


and her car.


And if I beg hard enough, sometimes she shares her food with me.


On Monday, Mom will share ME with the 5th graders! Yes, it’s true. They invited me to come along for the ride when Mom goes back to visit them and deliver some books. Road trip!




It’s FINALLY spring around here – complete with warm air and tulips at the park. Actually there are some crazy thunderstorms and flash floods, too. Next stop – Butterflies.

Soon it will FINALLY be tennis season. Actually, I don’t play and Mom doesn’t either, but I’m pretty sure that other people do. I have a tennis dress and a tennis ball, so I will look good while I’m not playing.


Next stop – Mom will probably try to teach me to hold a racket.


And by the way… FINALLY, Mom has Book #2 out for people to read.


Actually, it’s not the Book #2 she was hoping for. It’s her story in Humpty Dumpty Magazine! They made it the May/June Build a Book Activity.


When kids tear out the page and follow the directions – cut the dotted lines / fold the solid lines – bing, bang, boom, Book #2. Yay!


Next stop – Book #3. Wait. What??



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