“Education is learning what you didn’t know you didn’t know.”
I’m pretty sure Mom doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. That’s probably because she thinks she knows everything. At least that’s how she acts sometimes!
Recently she signed herself up for a webinar called Picture Books in Focus, so I think she’s ready to learn something new. Ugh. Now she’ll REALLY think she knows it all! She says she’s hoping to learn how to focus and structure her stories better. Maya Angelou says, “When you know better you do better.” So, I guess that’s what Mom is after, because who doesn’t want to do better?!
I ALWAYS learn new things. Mostly because I forget what I knew yesterday. I can sit
and come and lie down and roll over.
I can beg
and high five and give my paw and dance.
I also knock down bowling pins
and pyramids of paper cups
and sniff out hidden dental treats when Mom says, “Find it.”
In case I accidentally forget one of my tricks,
Mom practices it with me till I remember.
Two tricks I don’t know and can’t seem to learn are fetch and hide and seek. When Mom hides from me, she stands there quietly like an idiot and I never bother looking for her. I just wait till she gets bored and comes out on her own. When she tells me to fetch something, I usually bring it on the couch and try to hatch it like an egg.
I wonder if there’s a webinar for that!
I love children (and also wet cement, but that’s another story for another time.). Mostly children are just my size. I love to taste them and snuggle up next to them (and also hump them, but that’s another story for another time.).
I see children at the library when they come to tell me stories at Read to a Pet Night.
Sometimes they taste like gum. And mac and cheese. A lot of them choose doggie books which I appreciate.
But I’m a good girl and listen politely, even when the book is about a C-A-T or FlyGuy or ToyStory.
Sometimes, I see children at the VA when they are visiting an old soldier that they know and love. I mean what’s not to love about an old soldier? They’re adorable. And more importantly, they think I’m adorable. #thingsthatmatter
Mom writes stories for children. Long ago, she took a class and tried to write an adult story. It FELT horrible when she was doing it, it SOUNDED horrible when she read it to herself, and everybody she read it to said it WAS horrible. So yeah. I guess spending 35 years surrounded by children makes your head work in a certain way that’s tough to fight and impossible to change.
She is always careful about what she writes and how she writes it because just like when she was a teacher, she wants children to remember her words in a good way that will stick with them (like cement) and make them grow up into better humans.
Mom has not forgotten about her dark-of-night challenge.
She has started her story and is wondering if it will ever make it to the night. So far, no. But her character named Martin might take it that way eventually… I’m hoping so, for Mom’s sake. And hoping not for mine. And Martin’s.
I am not much of a joiner. I do join up with some of my therapy dog friends at the veteran’s home and the library. But we don’t play much. Apparently, that’s not what we’re there for…
This is what I’m there for…
I got some new toys and a new coat from Santa. They have now joined up with my old toys
and my old coats and sweaters.
And sometimes, I join Mom for dinner. That never ends the way I imagine it will.
Mom is more of a joiner than I am. Now that it’s a new year, she has joined StoryStorm,
The 12 Days of Christmas for Writers,
and Rate Your Story.
That means she will get 30 story ideas in 30 days, will watch videos every day for 12 days to be inspired and learn new things, and can send her stories to RYS for evaluation and critique.
She has also joined the GoodReads 2017 Reading Challenge, with plans to read 200 picture books this year.
Maybe I will join her while she reads. There might be snacks….
Mom will be finishing her Picture Book Magic class this week. Next week, she’s starting PiBoIdMo!
Sheesh! She’s barely finishing one thing and she’s starting another!
I like finishing my dinner…
and then starting to beg for other people’s dinner.
And finishing a car ride…
and starting a street nap before Mom drags me into the house.
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,
take a nap,
take a 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!
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. …Pretty sure he’s trying to kill me.
And starting off for a road trip to the park.
Trees get started from these. Mom says the word, “Don’t eat the acorns!”
Fall colors are finally starting in my neighborhood.
And at the park…
Mom started a new story last week. She is working on it with her online writing class – Making Picture Book Magic.
She had to think up a bunch of different ways the story could start, and then pick the one she liked best.
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!”
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…
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.”
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.
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.”
Writers are always looking for inspiration. Mom is no exception. The other day, Mom and I took a ride to Meadowlands Environment Center for inspiration. She likes to be in nature to clear out her head.
Doggies like inspiration, too. I like to be in nature because it smells good!
The GPS lady told us we had arrived at our destination.
Mom said naughty words about her because we had so NOT arrived at our destination.
This looks like a good place to get murdered.
Mom drove and complained and drove some more and complained some more and somehow found the place anyway.
She was inspired by the beautiful flowers and the views and bunches of summer camp field trip kids scooping goop out of the swamp to study.”
I was inspired by the smelly old swamp. I was pretty sure I could swim in there, but Mom said the word, “Time to go home and write.” and “Inspiration has to find me working.” and “Don’t even think about it.”
Mom still only “works” for an hour a day, but she works very hard during that hour – doing her KidLit Summer School stuff, checking in on her critique group, and working on new things that she’s writing and old things that she’s fixing. I sure hope when Inspiration drops around it comes at the right time. Otherwise, it’ll find her eating a donut…
…or watching TV or reading her Kindle or talking on the phone or God forbid giving me a bath.