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

Posts tagged ‘writing class’

How It Starts

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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.

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

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Fall colors are finally starting in my neighborhood.

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And at the park…

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

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

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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…

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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and “Your behavior is DEFINITELY under construction.”

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Inspirational Quote of the Week

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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.

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Doggies like inspiration, too. I like to be in nature because it smells good!

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The GPS lady told us we had arrived at our destination.

Really?

Really?

Mom said naughty words about her because we had so NOT arrived at our destination.

This looks like a good place to get murdered.

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.

Meadowlands

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.”

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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.”

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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…

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…or watching TV or reading her Kindle or talking on the phone or God forbid giving me a bath.

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Help me…

 

 

Five Word Friday

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

waiting in the window

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!

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Helping. #notcreepy

 

Taking Your Time

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.

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Sometimes I get off on a tangent when I’m checking my pee-mail.

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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.”

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and “I wonder if that laughing monkey toy is out of the toy box waiting for me.”

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and “Squirrels look like monkeys running around in the trees.” and “Trees are…..”

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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.

still sniffing

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!

Five Word Friday

If you know me, you know I’m afraid of lots of things – golf carts, ladders, airplanes, soccer players, election signs, solar panels, and balloons to name a few…. Today’s 5 words are about FEAR.

1. Vocabulary – You should never be afraid of words. Mom is using a ton of new vocabulary in her Lyrical Language Lab. Words like: iamb, meter, dactyl, trochee, and anapest (anaPEST! That’s my name sometimes.)…

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The words scared Mom at first, but when she learned about them, they helped her. I know a lot of words, too. Mostly: treat, dinner, park, out, ice cream, and naughty.

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2. Fixing up – Mom fixes me up with the Fur-min-a-tor brush. When I’m afraid of the brush, I run around in circles until Mom is too dizzy to un-fur me. Mom works a lot on fixing up her stories after she writes them. She says, “Too long.” and “Too boring.” and “OMG! Where does all this hair come from??”

Blah. Blah. Blah. Where's my treat?

Blah. Blah. Blah. Where’s my treat?

3. Ticking – Mom uses a timer to help me wait for my dinner. She soaks my food in water for a half hour because I don’t like to chew. The clock ticks the whole time, and when it rings, my kibbles are soft enough to eat. The timer is TERRIFYING!

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I won’t stay in the room alone with it, so as soon as it’s set, I get next to Mom and follow her like a shadow. The clock is also ticking for Mom to finish her August 12×12 manuscript. She is studying so much at her 2 summer schools that the story is slowing down. Tick. Tick. Tick. *shiver*

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4. Characters – I am always trying to be a character in one of Mom’s stories. A few times I made it, but nobody bought the stories, so I’m afraid you’ll never read about me.

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I’m changing my look so Mom will write about me again, after she finishes studying characters at Kidlit Summer School.

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5. HidingHiding is a good strategy for when you’re afraid. Always get where nobody will see you and stay still.

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I’ll be fine here. I’m pretty sure I’m invisible….

 

Mom can’t hide her summer school work. Both of her teachers say, “Now put your homework on the Facebook page.” Mom says, “I hope this is right.” and “I can’t wait to see what my classmates did.” and “Where are you?”

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Invisible.

Unthinkable!

This is incredible! Unbelievable! Mind-boggling! Unthinkable! Inconceivable! It’s… it’s…. it’s… Summer School times TWO!

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Mom is smack in the middle of Kidlit Summer School

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and all of a sudden on August 1st Lyrical Language Lab started up.

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Do you see what’s happening here? She’s studying TWO summer schools at once! Reading stories, writing stories, reading poems, writing poems. It’s out of control!

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You’re probably wondering what I’m doing while all this reading and writing and writing and reading is going on. Nuthin’ that’s what.

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I just wait…

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and wait…

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and wait.

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For a whole HOUR – which feels like 2 hours or 8 hours or 67 hours. Ugh! Thank goodness Mom still sets the clock for her writing time, so when her iPad chimes, she can play with me again.

Anybody want to throw the squeaky corn on the cob toy? Anybody...?

Anybody want to throw the squeaky corn on the cob toy? Anybody…?

After what seems like 975 hours, we finally get to walk around outside, go to the park…

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and on Saturday (AFTER summer school), we even went to work at the Veteran’s Home so I could see all my old soldier friends and make them smile.

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Mom says, “I’m learning a lot.” and “School is fun.” and I say, “When the heck is summer VACATION!!??”

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