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

Posts tagged ‘reading’

Countdown Wednesday

Mom reads a lot. She reads picture books,


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


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.


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.


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…









Five Word Friday


Today’s 5 words are about Little by Little.

5. My face – After visiting 4 different parks in a week,

double slide

I may have picked up some allergens which made me itchy. REALLY itchy. So itchy that I tried to scratch my face off.


Little by little, it’s getting better.


4. The vet – The vet gave me 2 shots and said Mom needed to keep the cone on my head so I could get better.



Little by little I am allowed some cone-free time each day as long as Mom is home to watch me like a hawk.

cone sad

3. Beginning to End – Mom is working on a new story. It usually takes a week or two to get from the opening to the ending. She’s still way at the beginning, but tries to move it along some each day – little by little.

once upon

2. Visits – Little by little the springtime school visits are getting scheduled and done. Mom visited a super fun school last week for their Discovery Day. It was hard work and a longer day than she’s used to, but the kids and teachers made it a great time. I waited at home…

left alone

1. Bunny and Carrots – Mom is eating one of her chocolate Easter bunnies little by little. First the bunny went deaf,

earless bunny


then he totally lost his head.

headless bunny

I am afraid to see what happens to the poor guy next.

bunny butt

GAH! Where’s his tail??

No chocolate bunnies allowed for me, but I got a toy bunny


and every day Mom puts some carrots into my kibbles. Little by little the carrots run out.

carrots please

Then we switch to green beans. Yum.

green beans

16. And also, spring is coming little by little. Some flowers started growing already!

chalk flowers

Wait. What?


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.”


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,


my teeny tiny 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.


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


225602-Colorful-Happy-New-Year-QuoteIt’s the time of year when everyhuman thinks about resolutions. They want to climb higher, do better, get healthier, and be happier. They swear they’re going to eat right, get organized, be creative, and break all their bad habits.

I’m here to say, resolutions can be fun. I resolve to:

Knock over the garbage pail.


Steal food from the table.
Nip the mailman.
Pull my head out of my leash.
Get into the cabinet where my food is.

in the cabinet

Push through the baby gate.


Sleep on top of the bedspread when Mom isn’t home.


Eat a shoe.

Drink from the toilet.

And bite my winter coat AND BOOTS.




Mom’s resolutions are a little more modest. She will:

Read 200 picture books again (and drink 200 chai lattes).


Submit 10 stories to publishers, agents, RYS, or her online writing group.

Write 10 brand new stories.


I got this…

And meditate 4 times a week (she’ll need it).




“Do you ever get writer’s block?”


People ask Mom that question a lot. Writer’s block means a writer is stuck and can’t write.

Mom doesn’t get writer’s block. When one of her stories gets stuck, she works on a different story, just so she can keep writing. Or she goes to the bookstore and reads a bunch of books.

book pile

Or she helps a writing group friend fix up one of their stories. Or she writes a poem. Or she fixes one of her own stories. When it’s writing time, it’s writing time. No stuckness allowed.


Tick. Tick. Tick. Is it almost time to play?

Sometimes, though, writing time just doesn’t come. At this time of year, there’s lots to do, so writing time can get lost in the busy-ness of shopping, wrapping, lunch with friends, photo shoots, and decorating. She’s not stuck, she’s living her life. That’s where stories come from, after all. And busy-ness doesn’t last forever.

sneaky under the tree

I’ve been kind of busy, too…

Sometimes, I get stuck. Whenever I pass by the soccer field near my house, I can’t resist sticking my tiny head through the net. I do it every time we get close enough. I know Mom will get me out. Eventually.


Put down the camera and unstick me!

When Mom wants to make the bed each morning, I stay stuck right in the middle. I know Mom will chase me out.

naughty on the bed

When I work at the library for Read to a Pet Night, I am stuck on my Park-It Mat waiting for somebody to read me a story.


I know Mom will give me treats for being a good girl.

cookie please

I don’t let the stuckness bother me. Stuckness happens, but it doesn’t last forever. Somebody always comes.


Countdown Wednesday


It’s back to school time around here. For 52 years of her life, Mom went back to school in September – sometimes as a student and sometimes as a teacher. Today we’re counting down about back to school.

back to school

My Back to School Countdown

3. Sleep – A good night’s sleep will make a better learner.

night night

So does a good morning’s sleep and a good afternoon’s sleep

raccoon nap

and a good floor sleep and a good street sleep.

street nap 92

I must be the best learner in the world!

2. Friends – When school starts I get to see lots of friends at the library. I am well-behaved and don’t knock over any chairs or bump any tables. I don’t lick the books or the kids’ shoes while they’re reading to me. …Actually I do all of those things, but just a little bit.

iselin library

1. School Visits – Once in while, one of Mom’s teacher friends tells her to bring me to school to play with the kids for a while. That is my dream come true.


Mom’s Back to School Countdown

3. School Visits – Mom loves visiting kids at school to show her PowerPoint, talk about being an author, and read her books to them. She says it’s the best part of being an author. Bar none.


2. Friends – Now that she’s not a teacher anymore, Mom and a few of her retired teacher friends go out to breakfast on the first day of school and enjoy drinking lots of coffee and talking instead of working.


1. Fear – Mom had a raging case of school phobia when she was in kindergarten. She cried and begged her mother every single day to let her stay home – not for the first few days, but EVERY SINGLE DAY from the first day of school in September till the last day of school in June. That might explain why she writes about being afraid so often. She has a million stories about fear in her computer. It’s apparently her favorite topic.

Luckily, I am much more courageous than she was….

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons...

Uh-oh! Pumpkin demons… Help me.


GAH! It’s the deadly balloon of doom. *gulp*


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.