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

Posts tagged ‘revising’

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

Inspirational Quote of the Week

brain-surgeon

I visited the brain surgeon last week. Not really. It was just the vet.

dressed-up-at-the-vet

I had to get a shot and a blood test. And some hugs and some treats. I cried a little from the blood test. Not really. I cried a lot. When the doctor steals blood it hurts!

I'd like to leave now, please...

I’d like to leave now, please…

Mom is not a brain surgeon, so when she works on her stories, the pressure is off. She can pretty much write any story no matter how terrible and then she gets a million chances to keep working on it, changing it, and fixing it, till she eventually gets it the way she wants it.

writing2

When I learn a new trick, I never get it right the first time. I start out clueless.

But then get a million chances to work on it, change it, and fix it till I eventually get it right.

In case you’re wondering – I am NOT a brain surgeon.

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….

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do,

long after the mood you said it in has left you.

~Orebela Gbenga~

Mom ambitiously told herself that she would submit 10 stories this month.

10

That seemed like a good idea at the time. She revised and listed and revised and researched and revised and submitted and revised and revised. There are 6 days left in the month, and Mom still has three of her selected stories hiding in her computer. She’s getting tuckered out, but we’re hoping her commitment will take her to the finish line.

finish ahead

I’ve been tuckered out on occasion…

bed blob

Indoors…

tired inside

Outdoors…

street nap 92

 

In the car

tired car dog

When I work…

wheel chair paws up

Even early in the morning…

sleepy

When you start getting worn down, you must dig deep, keep your eye on the prize, and follow through.

VA thinker

When Mom brought me to PetSmart, last week, I turned to stone from fear in the parking lot. She was SO committed to getting me inside, that even when the traffic started backing up waiting for me to move, and people started calling out of their car windows, she got me inside.

cars

Of course, she had to pick me up and carry me, but desperate times call for desperate measures. She said the word, “Embarrassing” which means she was happy to help. And the word, “Screwball” which means I was very brave. And the word, “Why do I take you anywhere” which she says every single day.

petsmart bone aisle

Even when I wear my new PetSmart dress, I get tuckered out.

gingham nap

…probably from playing with my new PetSmart toy.

Secret Life of Pets

Mom promised to take me back to PetSmart when hell freezes over. Yay! Wait. What??

cars2

 

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.”

gutter walker 2

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.

pavement2

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…

icecream1

…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…

Flapping in the Wind

Some kite flying kids had an early end to their fun spring day. Their kite got stuck in a tree.

kite

They threw stuff at it, but no luck. It just stayed up there, flapping in the wind. Of course they didn’t throw as much stuff at it as the kid in the book Stuck (one of Mom’s all-time favorites), but they gave it a shot.

kite2

I get stuck sometimes. Never in a tree – not yet, anyway. But stuck nonetheless.

In the back seat

seatbelt

Between pillows

pillow

Behind my blanket-bed

blanketbed

Below the dugout bench

dugout

On a wall

onthewall

Inside the sheets

starsheet

Or under the bed

underbed

Mom isn’t stuck with her writing, but she’s stuck in a rut of not submitting anything. Since, apparently, nothing gets published on the dining room table, she has a plan. She will submit 10 stories and/or poems in the month of July.

mailbox

Once things are “out there” then we will have some suspense and something to look forward to. Book 2? Maybe. Ebook 2? Possibly. Something fun is bound to happen.

mailbox with hearts

Meanwhile, I will look forward to ….cake

cake

and kisses.

kisshead

 

 

 

 

Unexpected

Stories should always include the unexpected – unexpected events, unexpected characters or characters traits, unexpected plot twists, and of course unexpected endings. Mom is working on endings to three stories right now, and she’s revising two more stories at the same time. That’s a LOT of surprises, but predictably, she’s plugging along and trying not to be predictable.

surprise

Things in my life are always unexpected. Mom says it’s because my brain is so tiny, it can’t store things from the past. So every day, I act like I was just born. Personally, I think that’s a GREAT way to live!

Hullo....

Hullo….

When I smell bacon, I can’t always remember how to find the source of it. Where can it be? In the car? Across the street? Bacon mystery…. Hmmm….

bagel shop

Mom bought me a new blanket-bed. It seemed easy enough to figure out the first day.

understanding the bed

Then I forgot how it worked.

not understanding the bed

My positions are unexpected, but any way I twist it – it works. Confusing blanket-bed…. This seems right….

really not understanding the bed

This past weekend, I was surprised to discover that I was going along on an unexpected road trip to Mom’s BFF’s yard sale.

bench

No wonder my travel crate was in the living room for a couple of days.

cratecrate2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got to play outside in the yard for a long time, and then I rested in the shade on the porch.

porch crate

Can you see me keeping cool?

And VERY predictably, I napped all the way home. Surprise road trip… Yay…

car nap

Lots of times, Mom drives through McDonald’s and gets me an ice cream cone.

ice cream cone

Actually, she gets it for herself, but she shares it with me.

helping eat the ice cream

Some days at the drive thru, things get unpredictable and we drive out with a salad! Or coffee!! Or a cup of oatmeal!!!

wheres the ice cream

Wait. What?

Usually, unpredictability is good. Sometimes it’s bad. Very, very bad.

Hey! Where's my ice cream?

Hey! Mister! Where’s my ice cream?

Inspirational Quote of the Week

weed quote

Mom’s computer is FILLED with weeds! There are six, seven, sometimes ten versions of each weed. She works hard to get the virtues of her weeds discovered. So far, no good. But she is never discouraged. Mom loves weeds. She works with them and revises them, and the whole time she appreciates their beauty. …because why be a writer if you’re not enjoying the writing and not loving what you write?!

Mom appreciates her weeds AND the ones that grow on the lawns around our building.

weeds2

She says, “OMG. This story is so cute.” and “I should send this out somewhere.” and “Don’t eat the flowers. I mean weeds. I mean flowers.”

weeds

They’re weeds….

Weeds are relative.

white weeds

Definitely weeds….

Sometimes, Mom sends her ugly weed stories to her critique group or RYS. They are helpful and encouraging. Then she gets more ideas and she either fixes the weeds to make them bloom into flowers, or she digs into a new piece and starts nurturing it along.  Book #2 or ebook #2 might be right around the corner.

Right around the corner from the purple weeds, are probably…

purple weeds

….more weeds….

dandy

But that’s OK. One man’s weed is another man’s flower.

 

 

 

Five Word Friday

five

Spring is coming soon!

park equipment

I love change, so changing to a new season makes me happy. Today’s 5 words are about change.

daffodil

Weather – When spring comes, winter goes away and the weather gets warm and sunny and nice. Some days, I can take a springtime street nap.

street4

Sometimes Mom lets me play on the baby swing,

swing

…or explore the park.

rock pose

Cutting – This week, Mom changed one of her stories from having 790 words to having 501 words. In picture books, 500 words need to tell the whole story. That’s not to say some stories aren’t 700 or 800 words. And at the other end of the spectrum some stories are 11 words or 26 words. That’s a totally different kind of “picture” book than the ones Mom writes.

2 books

Outfits – Mom ordered me a new raincoat and new collars for spring.

blue collar flowerleather collar

 

 

 

 

 

 

I change outfits a lot. It keeps things interesting.

cupcake dress party dress

Visit – Mom will do a school visit next week. It’s a change from the usual visits that she does. At this school visit, instead of a big bunch of students, Mom will meet with 6 or 7 small groups of kids. She will talk to them, read to them, and play with them. It will be fun.

waiting

I’ll just wait here…..

Toys – It’s been ages since Mom changed up my toybox. She thinks I forgot that there’s a bag of toys in the top of the closet. Truth be told, I kind of did forget what’s in there. So when she switches out the toys in the box for the toys in the bag, I will be as excited as if she went shopping at Petco, Target, and PetSmart and shopped till she dropped – all for me!

toy switch

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action till all factors are favorable do nothing.
~William Feather~

Writers know that they have to write whether they feel like it or not. Well, maybe not write – but they need to do writer-adjacent activities, no matter what.

Classroom visit

Classroom visit

Mom knows this, so when conditions are not favorable, she reads picture books or writing blogs, lists ideas, researches agents or publishers, submits stories or poems, critiques work in her writing group, or fixes up a story she wrote a long time ago.

napper

Ho-hum…

There are plenty of actions she can take. And she does… But somehow, when that part of her day is finished, she turns her sights to me. Sometimes this is a plus. We ride in the car,

cardress

hit the park,

park bench

walk around the neighborhood, or play with toys.

toys

But sometimes, she says the word, “Want to learn?” *cue scary music here*

The newest trick Mom is trying to teach me is called Shell Game. We use bathroom cups instead of shells and a Cheerio instead of a pea.

Smart!

Smarter!!

Duh…

And the only gambling involved is the fact that I may or may not lose my mind and just eat the cups.

cup eater

I would like to delay this learning (and ALL learning) till factors are favorable, but Mom says, “All factors will NEVER be favorable – for either one of us.” and “Now is as good a time as any – for both of us.” and “GAH! What are those jackasses in your head telling you???”

Huh??

Huh??