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.
There’s some new stuff going on around here. Today’s five words are all about new stuff.
1. Toys. Mom bought me some new toy hot dogs for Fourth of July. Apparently, these were supposed to take the place of having a delicious REAL hot dog at a delicious ACTUAL barbecue.
Fun, but not delicious.
68. Group. Mom joined a new online writing critique group. There’s a bunch of smarty, creative, friendly, and helpful people who will talk with Mom about her stories and their stories. It seems like fun, because who doesn’t love talking to smarty, creative, friendly, and helpful people. I wish I could sit on their feet, cuddle up with them, and lick their teeth. Yeah – that’s a thing, and I’m pretty good at it.
33. Clothes. Mom and I had to stay away from the house for a few hours because of workmen putting in a new front window. Plus power tools and glass breaking could scare a little doggie. We spent some time looking around at the pet store. Mom picked out this new shirt for me. It tells a true fact.
97. Window. Our new front window works great.
I can watch Mom leave and wait for her to come back. Also, Mom gets to wash my nose prints and spit off the glass every single day of her life.
5. Summer School. Mom will start studying in Kidlit Summer School at the end of the month. Every day she will read posts, get ideas, do assignments, and share her work with her cyberclassmates. I’m hoping it’ll be fun for her. I know it’ll be fun for me because she has to stay here with me to do it. It’s school, but it’s home! Yay!
Mom has to take her time when she makes a story. It’s OK to write it quickly, but then comes the hard work, which is revising, and that part is slow. Fixing the word choices in poems or stories makes the right mood and the right voice and the right feel. In her Lyrical Language Lab Class, Mom learned to look again at every word in a story to make it sound better and flow better without slowing the story down or going off on a tangent.
Sometimes I get off on a tangent when I’m checking my pee-mail.
When I’m sniffing out a message, I will say, “This is from my friend, Mocha.” and “I wish I could jump on his head right now.” and “His mom always says the furs on my head are soft.” and “My squirrel toy is really soft.”
and “I wonder if that laughing monkey toy is out of the toy box waiting for me.”
and “Squirrels look like monkeys running around in the trees.” and “Trees are…..”
And then Mom says, “Let’s go.” and “Let’s GO!” and “LET’S GO!!” Apparently, sniffing the same blade of grass all day is not an option for me.
I am learning to take my time when I eat my dinner. I didn’t learn it in Lyrical Language Lab – it’s because of my new slow-feeder bowl!