This post is not all about me for some reason.
It’s not even all about Mom. It’s not a birthday party for Mom’s old book, Keep Your Ear on the Ball.
Or her ALMOST new ebook, What If I Don’t.
Today, we want to say “Surprise!” and “Happy Birthday, Pam!” to our bloggy-friend Sammy’s Mom.
If you don’t know Sammy or Pam, you can visit them here. If you want to see ME (and a bunch of bloggy friends) in a special happy birthday video, click below. Hey, wait a minute…maybe this IS about me, after all!
This is my new bed. It fits me perfectly. Sometimes I rest in it, sometimes, I sleep, and sometimes I use it to stare at Mom while she works.
It beats this.
Mom has something new, too. It’s her new story that she’s working on for 12×12.
Well, she’s been working on it all month, but she’s not sure she’ll get it finished in time. If she doesn’t finish it by the end of the month, it will be the first time since 12x12in’12 that she missed doing a monthly manuscript.
We’re not sure what slowed this one down. Maybe because she was revising some old stories. Maybe because she entered a contest. Maybe because this story is written in a different format than she usually uses. Mom says, “This is all part of writing, so it’s time well spent.”
Maybe she’s behind because she is trying to teach me to “Park It” on my new mat.
I can’t always get that quite right.
Maybe because she’s teaching me to “Find it” when she hides a bacon treat. I used to know how to do that, but sometimes, I get hung up.
Maybe because she’s teaching me to knock down a tower of cups. Mom says, “Touch it!” and “Touch it!” and “TOUCH IT!!” and “Ugh. This is NOT time well spent.”
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
I use my imagination a lot. Mostly I imagine things that are trying to kill me and then I try to hide from them. Mom drags me near them to show me that they’re not dangerous. That makes me shiver. Sometimes, she picks me up and carries me, but sometimes she is just not in the mood, so we cross the street and decide to fight that battle another time.
I use my imagination to pretend things too. I pretend the street is my bed.
I pretend Mom is going to take me with her in the car.
And I pretend she won’t notice if I walk on the glass table as if it’s the floor.
Mom uses her imagination a lot, too. She tells the students she visits that they should always start with a tiny, little seed of an idea and make it grow by mind-writing. That’s because even though an idea is a good beginning, the best parts of the stories she writes come from her imagination.
Imagination comes easy for both of us, but knowledge is TOUGH. Mom has some knowledge, but not the kind that has to do with math. I have a tiny brain, so there isn’t a lot of room for knowledge in there. In spite of this, Mom insists on teaching me new things all the time. She says, “Find it!” and “Fetch it!” and “Drop it!” and “Touch it!” and “Leave it!” and “26+18?? GAH! Where’s the calculator?”
Lately, Mom is teaching me to find things by sniffing. Here I am trying to sniff out a bacon treat. I know it’s somewhere – In the boxes. Or near them. Or under the rug. Or behind the toy. Or…. GAH! Where’s the calculator?
I am celebrating Park Day with some blog friends named Finn and Gizmo. Mom takes me to the park a lot. I am very happy there. Yes, this is my happy face….
One of my favorite parks is in Nutley, NJ.
It has BABY SWINGS!
When I am on the swing, I think, “I can stay here forever.” and “I hope some of my friends see me over here.” and “I wish we had a swing at the house.” and “I wonder if I’ll ever be big enough for the grown-up swing…”
The park is a great spot for dogs, and also for writers. Ideas are all over the place. When Mom looks at the swing, she thinks, “What if….” there were an alien on the swing, or a bully or a fish or a clown. And “What if…” the swing were magic, or broken or a spaceship or a nest. And “What if the swing…” tossed a kid up into a tree, or started talking or had a fight with the slide or started growing. And “What if…” someone got stuck in the swing, or was afraid of it or wanted to build one or figured out a new way to use it.
I think Mom wants to stay there forever, too! But we can’t. We have other things to do….
It snowed again the other day. Just when we were getting ready for spring, and the flowers were starting to grow, snow tried to crush them! But those flowers are tough. They will keep trying.
I used to know how to bowl with 10 water bottles. Then Mom bought me bowling pins and I forgot what to do.
She practices with me a lot. Even though I still get confused, I’m tough. I will keep trying.
Mom writes, revises, and submits stories all the time. Some get rejected, some get ignored, and some get lost in the slush pile forever. Last week, she got a happy letter and sent a happy contract.
It’s not Book #2, but one of Mom’s stories will be published in Humpty Dumpty Magazine in May. We’re excited and happy to have an acceptance! But for Book #2, she’ll have to keep trying.
Renn is a brave, little boy spending some not-so-fun time at the hospital this week. Mom and I are writing a special blog post today just for him. You can read about Renn at The Brain of a Jedi.
Mom’s author friend, Susanna Leonard Hill has links to lots more well wishes for Renn on her blog. Take a look, and while you’re at it, send along some prayers and happy thoughts for a tough, smart little Jedi and his family.
Mom is afraid of Jedi warriors (No, she’s not. I am…). In fact, she’s afraid of warriors of all kinds (No, she’s not. I am…). Light sabers scare her (No, they don’t. They scare me…). And forget about Darth Vader’s voice. She’s terrified of that guy (No, she’s not. I am…).
So, we’ll have to work with what we have. My cuteness!!
Here I am dancing like a cute ballerina.
If you want to see how smart I am, here I am solving a problem while looking cute.
If you’ve never seen a dog eat Cheerios, watch how cute I am using my Cheerios machine.
And if you need a laugh, watch me tame the laughing mechanical dog (still while looking cute).
And when it’s time to sleep, stop by my booth for the cutest kiss you can get for a nickel…
Hang in there, buddy! xoxo
There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.
There seems to be a crack in the head of my laughing dog. Plus his ear is missing.
I think his head accidentally cracked open because Mom turned on the switch and he started laughing too much. I’ve heard of “laughing your head off,” but I’ve never heard of “laughing your head open so the light can get in.”
Mom is always looking for where the light gets in. She says if her story is tight enough, nothing can crack it open. So she checks it and checks it. She says she’s troubleshooting. I don’t like trouble and I don’t like shooting, so I hope she is just kidding. But she reads her story out loud to herself all the time. She says, “Does the ending match the beginning?” and “Is my character believable?” and “How much does the problem really matter?” and “Where is the laughing dog’s ear?!”
Mom keeps deleting and rewriting sections of her story trying to make it perfect before she brings it to show her writing group named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid. She says, “Am I telling too much?” and “Am I showing enough?” and “I guess I’ll have to sew up the rip in his head.”
Mom might be able to make her story perfect, but as you can see, the laughing dog’s head will never be perfect again. I wonder where his ear went…..
Click the video to hear the laughing dog laugh.
Thanks to our writer friend, Chelsea at Jenny Mac Book Blog for giving us the Sunshine Award and to Bubba and Mumma and the gang at Bumpy Road to Bubba for giving us the Why I Love Thee Award. Click here for our Sunshine questions and answers, and here or here for the story of how Mom and I found each other. We love all our sunshiny blogging friends, so feel free to take an award or two and list your own Sunshine answers or Love Story.
Move over Rudolph! I’m Santa’s new right hand man.
Mom saw this at her friend, John’s blog called Native Michigander. It’s the most adorable Christmas Story ever!
Merry Christmas, everybody!
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
Did somebody say, “FUN?” I love fun!
Toys are fun,
and new toys are even more fun.
Treats are fun,
and new toys that have treats in them are the MOST fun.
Mom has fun being a writer. It’s fun getting a new idea, fun mind-writing about the idea, fun typing the title and her name, and fun getting from the beginning to the end of the story by typing and talking to herself every day. It’s also fun working on the story with DavidLaurieandOtherDavid, which is the name of Mom’s writing group.
It’s NOT a lot of fun for Mom when she has to change her story after she reads it for a while, talks about it at her group, and tries not to look at it for a few days. That part makes her talk to herself even more, sit and stare at the computer for long amounts of time without typing, and drink a lot of coffee. Sometimes she says, “I may have to start from scratch.” She doesn’t say that in a fun way, but I wait nicely right next to her because if there’s scratching involved, I am on board!
Mom has finished writing nine stories for her 12×12 challenge. She is ready to start something new. That’s always fun. Something new for a writer is exciting because they get to start with a clean page and have millions and millions of possibilities in front of them, just ripe for the picking (like when somebody spills a whole bag of popcorn in the field where I walk). One of those possibilities might be The Idea that leads to THE ONE.
For Mom THE ONE means the elusive Book #2. She will look at the list of ideas in her phone for a long time. She will probably mumble to herself for a while. When she starts typing, she will stall around, looking for just the right names for her characters. She’ll look in her phone at her list of names, and maybe look online at a name-your-baby website (or a name-your-puppy website if it’s a dog story – which I hope it is). From start to finish, she’ll mind write a lot, talk to herself a lot, type on the computer, and drink coffee (that’s my favorite part).
Yesterday, I did something new, too. If I were a writer, this might become my Favorite Idea for MY elusive Book #2.