Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.
Thinking is SO overrated. I avoid it at all costs. Mom asks me “What were you thinking?” all the time. I try to tell her, “Nuthin'” but I’m not sure she understands. What is she thinking I’m thinking? She needs to stop thinking.
Head caught in a shopping bag?
Too close to the edge?
It’s really pretty simple, actually. Don’t think. Just do.
Mom is doing things these days, too. Just doing. Not thinking. She’s partway through a new story and partway through a new poem. And she submitted a couple of things last week, too. She found them in the computer, fixed them up all shiny and new and sent them on their way out into the world for people to judge. She will do the same when she gets to the end of her latest story and poem. First she will make sure there’s enough conflict and a surprise ending twist. Then off they go. Not thinking is fun.
Except when you head face first into the sticker bush by the lake….
Ouch. Not fun…
Mom has been looking up at the stars a lot lately.
She imagines getting her next acceptance letter/email/phone call/telepathic message. She visualizes how it will play out and exactly how it will feel.
When a rejection comes instead, she visualizes the acceptance even harder.
Meanwhile, she reads, writes, revises, edits, critiques, and submits. She has to. That’s what writers do.
…in between playing with the peppermint ball…
I look up at the stars, too. I don’t imagine anything or visualize anything – or read or write or edit or critique or submit anything. I just look at the stars or stare at the air. Mom says, “Are you daydreaming?” and “Are you sightseeing?” and “Enough, weirdo! We’re going home!”
She is long on patience waiting for Book #2 to be accepted, but short on patience waiting for me. When she gets publisher mail, she says, “This is it!” When I am star gazing, she says, “That is it!” They are really very different…
Mom and I agree on one thing. Stephen Hawking was a pretty smart guy. Keeping your head up and your eye on the prize matters. Aiming for the stars is never a bad idea. And when you can’t take time to smell the flowers
because the flowers are sleeping under the snow, keep your head up. Stare at the air. Or look up at the stars!
Mom and I are connected. Wherever she is, that’s where I am. Our connection is strong. Sometimes she leaves me behind and goes out without me. In that case, I am just sad and waiting for her to come back to me. …But I still feel connected.
Mom has been working with some of her new story ideas. She is trying to get some of them to connect to each other. Putting a random character into a random setting is always fun, so Mom does that a lot. Walking them into a problem and then getting them to struggle their way to a creative solution is also fun, but more difficult.
I have been stuck in some situations now and then, myself. Sometimes, I can get myself out, but sometimes, I straight-up need help.
Strange doggie staring at me. Stay strong.
Opening the treat drawer – Wait for Mom to help.
Hat falling off…
Stuck under the bed…
Settle in for the long haul.
Lost a shoe – cross your paws that it’s never found…
FYI – It’s ALWAYS found…
Caught in the soccer net – “MOM!”
2018 is here. We’re all in it – like it or not. I like it.
New year, fresh start, bright future. IN.
I’m not as thrilled to be IN my sweater most days.
And IN my parka some days.
And IN my fleece-lined coat other days.
And IN my paw-boots every single day!
Sometimes I’m IN a pile of snow
or IN a puddle of slush
or IN the path of a powerful wind.
Mom says, “If we’re in it, we’re in it.” and “It’s winter in NJ – that’s how winter works.” and “Sorry, Charlie, you can’t just stay IN bed all day.”
Mom is in it too. One thing she’s IN in 2018 is the StoryStorm Challenge.
She has to get 30 ideas in 31 days. She’s making a list on her phone, like she always does. Every day, she reads an inspirational post about ideas and writing, and that helps her meet the challenge and keeps her on track generating ideas…
…so I can sleep.
As long as she’s focused on story ideas, maybe she will ease off getting ideas about me!
Oh no. Not the pawboots again…
It’s tough to wait. Waiting to have time to write, waiting to get an idea, waiting to hear what the characters want to do, waiting for a story to be finished – They’re all tough.
Waiting for a response from a publisher or an agent – also tough. But Mom does it. All writers do.
Sometimes she waits by reading picture books at home. Sometimes, she visits the bookstore.
She talks to kids and listens to kids. She does work with her critique group online. And of course, she watches TV. That’s a great waiting activity – especially this time of year.
Mom always has the choice of playing with me while she waits. I like practicing my tricks and walking around the neighborhood
And of course, I watch TV. And I watch Mom watch TV.
For the next couple of weeks I will be waiting in overdrive. Waiting for Santa!
I hope he brings treats and toys and maybe a new dress for me. I’m sure most of my furfriends and humanfriends are also waiting for Christmas. And if The Big Guy brings an opportunity for Mom, that would be good, too. Either way, the working and playing and talking and listening and practicing and napping and watching and waiting will continue…
Today, Mom and I are counting down about poetry.
3. Words – Mom has lots of special words for me. Some of them are “leave it,” “stop it,” and “get down.”
Aren’t they sweet? I’m pretty sure they all mean I’m being a good girl. Other special words are, “wanna come?” “treat,” and “car.” Mom and I really understand each other.
6. Names – I have a LOT of names besides Cupcake. Some of them are “WhatInTheWorld,” “DoYouWantASpankin?” “Naughty,” and “Stubborn.”
16. Funny – Sometimes I am hilarious. I’m sneaky, playful, and mischievous. I know Mom loves all of that. Most of the time she says, “That’s not funny anymore.” But I’m pretty sure she doesn’t mean that the way it sounds. I am a riot.
3. Words – Poems have lots of special words. They rhyme, they sing, and they rock and roll. That’s what makes poetry poetry.
Rock and what…?
26. Names – Mom has been working on some poems this week. Sometimes she changes the titles over and over to make them more fun and unusual. She also changes other things in the poems to make them more poetic and sillier. Silly is a good thing in a poem. And in a doggie.
9. Funny – Funny poems are Mom’s favorite kind. The best ones are a little funny along the way, with a crazy twist at the end. No twist. No good.
Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.
Erasing is easy when you’re a writer who uses the computer. Mom is all Tap. Tap. Tap.
And bingo, things she doesn’t want in her story are gone for good. And replaced by something better. It’s important that writers don’t get too attached to the words they write because anything may need to go at any given time.
Some of Mom’s critique partners thought one part of her latest story was too mean for little kids. Mom took a deep breath and erased two whole paragraphs of meanness. Now the story is nicer.
Being nice is…. um… nice!
Mom had to erase our balcony flowers already.
They’ve been replaced with something better (and more alive).
I’m glad erasing can’t happen to me. I’d have been gone for good a long time ago. Mom might have replaced me with a better doggie! Whenever she brushes me, she says, “Now you look pretty.” and “Maybe you’ll stop shedding all over the place.” and “I’m going to make a new dog out of all this hair and THROW YOU IN THE GARBAGE.” Gah! She can’t do that. Can she…?
Mom has to erase my furs from the floor and rugs all the time. Also my drool.
And crumbs. And the spit marks I make when I lick the floor.
I don’t mind when she erases them. I can always make more.