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

Posts tagged ‘school’

Finishing and Starting

Mom will be finishing her Picture Book Magic class this week. Next week, she’s starting PiBoIdMo!

PiBo badge 2015

Sheesh! She’s barely finishing one thing and she’s starting another!

I like finishing my dinner…

dinner done

and then starting to beg for other people’s dinner.


And finishing a car ride…

car ride

and starting a street nap before Mom drags me into the house.

street sleeper

In the month of November, people like Mom in the PiBoIdMo challenge have to think of a new idea for a new picture book every day of the month. That’s 30 new ideas in 30 days.


I haven’t had 30 ideas since I was born! Mostly my ideas are all the same. Eat treats,

101 treats

take a nap,


steal food,


take a walk.

reservoir walk

Well, I’m finished with my latest car trip and ready to start Read to a Pet Night at the library . Let’s do this!

do it

How It Starts

ready set go

Starting is always an exciting adventure.

Here I am starting to head into the veteran’s home to do my therapy work.

This is as close as I'm getting to that guy...

This is as close as I’m getting to that guy. …Pretty sure he’s trying to kill me.

And starting off for a road trip to the park.

road trip

Trees get started from these. Mom says the word, “Don’t eat the acorns!”

acorn eater

Fall colors are finally starting in my neighborhood.

fall tree

And at the park…

park leaves

Mom started a new story last week. She is working on it with her online writing class – Making Picture Book Magic.

pb magic

She had to think up a bunch of different ways the story could start, and then pick the one she liked best.

once upon

Probably should keep trying…

She had to do a few more things before she started writing, but then she started. She wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. Then she said, “I have written over 500 words and I’m nowhere near finished.” and “I feel like I’m drowning.” and “Why would you steal blueberries? You don’t even LIKE blueberries!”

Who? Me?

Who? Me?

After Mom was finished drowning and finished cleaning up the berries that I chewed and spit out, she started her story all over again. So, that’s how it starts. …and starts again…

park trees



Work in Progress

Around my neighborhood, there are a few works in progress. This vine is definitely a work in progress – trying to grow something. Mom says, “Maybe pumpkins.” I hope not. *shiver* Either way, the flowers are there, but it looks like it needs another year (or ten) before anything will pop out to scare the daylights out of me.


This pile of …. I don’t know what – is another work in progress. Sometimes it seems like road salt, but sometimes, it looks like mulch. I guess it’ll make up its mind eventually.


When Mom was a teacher, she used to stamp her kids’ first drafts with a rubber stamp that read, “Under Construction.”

under construction

The kids thought it was fun. Plus that stamp told them to work on revising and proofreading their stories for a little while longer so they would be ready to hang on the bulletin board.

This month, Mom is studying in Susanna Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class.

pb magic

Her new story is a work in progress and is under construction in a big way. Every morning, Susanna teaches Mom what to do next in order to have a finished story by the end of the month. Mom does each step and then posts it to their Facebook page so her classmates can see it and talk about it with her. She thinks it’s fun to have a work in progress that moves closer to completion every day.

Something else is a work in progress at our house. A whole box of orange snowball cakes.


Mom is trying hard to eat them all herself. I offered to help, but she said, “No thanks.” and “Dogs can’t eat chocolate.”


and “Your behavior is DEFINITELY under construction.”



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*


Five Word Friday


Looking over her stories, Mom is noticing she has three different kinds – some that aren’t ready yet, some that are old and worn out, and some that are just about right. Today’s five words are about growing and changing. It’s good for characters, good for stories, good for authors, good for butterflies, …and good for me.


1. Unripe – New stories need time to ripen up.

Ugh! Green and underdone.

Ugh! Green and underdone.

Whenever Mom finishes a story she tucks it away and doesn’t look at it or think about it for a few weeks. It sits in the computer until it gets ripe.

2. Learning – When Mom first adopted me, I apparently did not know how to conduct myself. She had to teach me A LOT of things. Plus she took me to obedience school so she could learn how to make me learn. Wait. What?

CGC diploma

3. Overripe – Some of Mom’s stories have been around for years and years. And YEARS. She has revised them and revised them and edited them and overhauled them and submitted them and revamped them. She’s done everything but run them over with her car.

dog in car

She hasn’t totally ruled that out because they’re going nowhere.

I think this one has been run over by a car...

I think this one has been run over by a car…

4. Waiting – Writers do a LOT of waiting. So do I. I wait for Mom to share her breakfast,

Did somebody say pancake?

Did somebody say pancake?

wait for her to come home, wait for her to go walking with me, wait for her to take me in the car, and wait for my dinner.


5. Just Right – Like the porridge, the chairs, and the beds in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, some of Mom’s stories are just right. They’re not too old and not too new. They’re not too long and not too short. They’re not too blah and not too way out there.


Perfect! May I eat it??

Countdown Wednesday

She finally did it! Mom brought me with her to a school visit. Well… It wasn’t actually a school visit where she had to talk to kids about being an author. She already talked to these kids a few weeks ago. On Monday, we were just picking something up and dropping something off for the kids.

We are counting down about our awesome school visit.

What Mom loved…

3. The teacher used to be Mom’s student a long time ago. Now she is a super-teacher.

class pic

That’s her. She’s the first one on the left in the pink jumper –  right next to Young-Mom.

2. The kids made a cute card for us to take home.


1. I was a good girl.


What I loved…

3. Everyone fussed and fussed over me.


2. Through the window, I spotted a playground with swings and slides.


1. Lots of kids gave me treats.

Over here, kids! Mom brought my treat pouch!

Over here, kids! Mom brought my treat pouch!

27B. I wore my sailor dress.


67. I ALMOST got to play in the playground. Then I got afraid. So Mom said the word, “Forget it.”



52. I relaxed in the back seat all the way home.


6. I didn’t take a street nap, but Mom let me rest for a few minutes in the parking lot.


I’m worn out from all that love. Plus my belly is full of treats.

21W. School visits are the BEST!

Going and Staying

Mom has been going out a lot lately. And I have been staying home a lot.



Last week, she visited her old school for Career Day.



She talked to thirty 2nd graders about being an author. They liked when she said she went to work in her pajamas.

Author in PJs

They laughed when she said she wishes she could tear up each rejection letter, jump up and down on it, run to her room, and slam the door. They said, “Eeeewwww” when she told them ideas are everywhere, and if they see a dead squirrel squished in the street, they can write a story about it.


Wait. What?

A bunch of the kids said they like to write stories and may want to be authors when they grow up.


This week, Mom visited a 5th grade class in a different school to talk about being an author.

...bye... SERIOUSLY??


She told them about the pajamas and the rejections and the squished-squirrel stories.



Mom also told them how their teacher used to be her student and how she brought a praying mantis egg case to class and how it HATCHED in their classroom and how hundreds of mantis babies overran the library corner and how Mom had nightmares for weeks.


Mom wrote a story about the classroom egg case and it was published in Humpty Dumpty Magazine. I guess that’s worth a few nightmares.


I did not go to either one of the school visits, but I did have a few nightmares of my own.


They are named the LawnGuys, the Mailman, the FedExDude, and OutsideCats. I had some good dreams, too…

101 treats


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