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

Posts tagged ‘writing’

Two Sides

face2

My face is two different colors. Three actually, but down by my nose there’s a brown side and a white side.

face

They’re as different as different can be, right down to the whiskers. White on the white side…

white

…and black on the brown side.

black2

 

Mom’s writing has two different sides lately, too. Poetry and prose. She worked and worked on a story and kept getting stuck. She worked on other things, came back to the story, and got stuck again. And again.

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Today, she decided to take that stuck story idea and make it into a poem. As different as can be, but she’s not stuck anymore.

hike6

Let’s go!

Sometimes in hiking, there’s a special mark saying that the path splits.

turn

We’re careful to choose the right path. Usually it’s pretty easy to tell.

No...

No…

Yes...

Clear sailing…

For Mom, the correct path seems to be the poem for now. Clear sailing.

sailing

 

 

Starting Out

Spring is finally starting out around here. And by finally, I mean FINALLY!!

petals

Grass seeds are planted.

seeds

Flowerpots are hung.

sunny susy

Blossoms are popping out.

bud

And it suddenly got so warm out that I had to take a street nap under a truck.

underthetruck

Every couple of weeks, Mom starts out writing a new story. The start is important. It has to grab, grip, introduce a character, present a problem…

problems-3…state a situation, prepare, pop, draw in, jump out, and kick off – all in a few sentences.

once upon

Without a solid start, the story would be like a room without a floor. And what good is a room without a floor?

floor nap

Where would I nap? Where would my squirrels land? Where would my bed rest? Where would the peanut butter-bacon cookie crumbs wait for me to find them?

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Back off the treats, squirrel!

Back off the treats, squirrel!

Mom says, “A good opening makes the rest of the story easier to write.” and “I have to start strong.” and “Don’t lick the floor!”

floor licker

 

 

Countdown Wednesday

calendar

Today, we are counting down about Unexpected Surprises

Unexpected Surprises for Mom

3. Rejection – Two of Mom’s stories were rejected last week. They have been rejected before, so why is it unexpected? For some reason, Mom is ALWAYS surprised when she gets a rejection. That’s because she only sends out things she really likes and has really worked on for a long time – by herself and with other people. And she only sends them to places and people who seem to like work like hers. Oh well.

Surprise!

Surprise!

2. Snow – The first day of spring brought snow. Twelve hours of it. It was gloppy and wet, but snow nevertheless.

snowytree

1. What if…? – Stories need unexpected surprises to keep the reader off balance. One good way to decide on a twist is to ask the question, “What if…?” and make up crazy scenarios to throw a monkey wrench into the story. Monkey wrenches are good. Monkey toys are good, too.

monkey toy

Unexpected Surprises for Me

3. Snow – I wore my paw boots in the surprise snow. Mom said, “Hold still.” and, “Put your foot in.”

boots on

and “This is the LAST TIME we’re putting these on till next winter! …I hope.”

bootsplaid

2. Gifts from the plow guys – When the snow started to melt, surprises came out of the snow plow mountains – candy wrappers, tissues, cigarette butts, dirt clods, and water bottles… all kinds of goodies! Thanks snow plow guys!

snow surprises

72. Street Nap – I was halfway to my first street nap of the season, but Mom stopped me. She said the word, “Don’t you dare.” and “It’s 25 degrees! The ground is freezing!” and “The wind is blowing your ear upside down.”

flyingear

1. New clothes – Mom surprised me with a new spring dress from Fetch Dog Fashions. I think orange is my color.

flintstone sitting

I think Pebbles Flintstone is my look. And tutu skirts are my style.

flintstone standing

No surprise there….

 

 

 

Waiting and Waiting

Waiting is tough. It’s one more tough thing in my life along with the treat famine when I gain weight,

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the mailman trying to kill me, and being afraid to walk past scary things like pumpkins, the UPS truck, and the always deadly, frightening coffee lid in the street.

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Waiting is brutal. Here I am waiting for my turn to listen to a story at Read to a Pet Night at the library…

Am I next?

Am I next?

…waiting for Mom to carry me so I don’t have to walk in my paw boots , and…

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…waiting for Mom to come home.

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Mom entered a couple of stories in the Rate Your Story Writing Contest.

RYS_2015_Contest_logo

She also sent a story to an agent who showed interest in it during #PitMad on Twitter. Now she is waiting for results. For her the waiting is fun and exciting. She says, “Once you do your best, there’s nothing else to do.” and “Gotta be in it to win it.” and “Seriously?? It’s a cardboard chef! He’s not going to hurt you!”

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Birthday

birthdaycake

Yesterday was Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would’ve been 111 years old. That’s a lot of red fish and blue fish and a ton of hops on pops, and a million cats in a billion hats old.

catbook

Humans celebrate Dr. Seuss’s life by reading stories to little kids all over America on his birthday.

I can't read, but I'm celebrating my own way.

I can’t read, but I’m celebrating my own way.

Mom loves Dr. Seuss. And reading stories. And little kids. So she is on board with this. Yesterday, she left me alone while she read her ebook What If I Don’t? (MeeGenius, 2014) to some super cute kindergarten kids.

ebookcover with border

I was worried the whole time she was gone, because once when Mom visited a school, she was approached by a giant cat! In a giant hat!

GAH!

GAH!

Yesterday, she was only approached by one of her favorite teachers and giant bunch of kindergarten kids in giant hats.

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Whew!

Mom had fun reading and talking and laughing with the kids. They were great listeners and laughed at all the right times, gasped at all the right times, repeated some of the words from the story, and made funny faces whenever Mom asked them to.

funnyface

They also answered a bunch of questions and asked a few of their own. Mom’s favorite question was, “Once I drew a picture of King Kong on the Empire State Building.” which isn’t actually a question, but it was fun anyway.

I waited at home and was mostly a good girl……

Cat in the Hat

Cat in the Hat

Dog in the Hat

Dog in the Hat

Five Word Friday

Today’s five words are about Following Directions.

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Good. Sometimes it’s good to follow directions. When Mom made Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, she followed the directions and those swirly beauties came out of the oven smelling and tasting PERFECT!

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And yes – she shared!

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Ridiculous. Some directions are just plain silly. Somehow, Mom wrestles me into my snow boots before we go outside.

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There’s a lot of twisting and a little tumbling and some saying of the word, “Ouch.” and the word, “Stay still.” and the word, “Don’t bite your shoes.”

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Neither of us knows exactly how the boots get on my paws, but it certainly isn’t the ridiculous way the directions say to do it.

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Ha!

Helpful. When Mom’s stories are critiqued by her friend or her critique partner or RateYourStory, the suggestions help her make the story better. Following those directions makes sense and they help a “Meh” story become more of a “Wow” story.

wow

Submitting. When Mom submits a story to a publisher or an agent, she has to follow directions to be sure to do it right. She needs to know how to format her story, whether to send it electronically or hard copy, and of course, there are always directions about what to do (or not to do) after the story is sent.

maildog

Behavior. Mom has a billion directions for me to follow when I go to work at Read To A Pet Night. There are directions like, “Don’t pull.” and “No jumping up.” and “Stop licking the books. And the kids. And the chairs. And the floor.”

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Following directions…

Apparently it is also bad manners to jump on the heads of the other dogs, knock over a table of books, and steal treats out of Mom’s treat pouch.

Not following directions...

Not following directions…

Some directions just don’t make any sense at all…

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…Maybe I’ll just lick her foot… It looks delicious!

 

Leaving

Last week, Mom left me. She was gone for hours and hours. She gave me my special see-you-later-be-a-good-girl-no-cuckoo-behavior-cookie, and disappeared in her car.

special cookie

She said the word, “School visit.” and “This will be fun.” and “No barking while I’m gone.”

Usually, Mom visits schools to talk about being an author…. and where to find ideas and how an idea becomes a story and how a story becomes a real, live book. But this one was different.

Book #1

Since Mom’s book is about a blind boy in a sighted classroom, she was invited to speak about Disability Awareness and how important it is to accept differently-abled people in all situations. I stayed home and had some situations of my own…

Mom drove miles and miles. I cruised around the house checking the floor for crumbs.

crumbscrumbs2

Mom met some new people. I hung out with some new toys.

new toys

Mom talked to 400 kids and sold a bunch of books. I yelled at the mailman…

mailman mess

…and took a bunch of naps.

pillow nap

I never want to be left alone again.

inside window

Mom is going to another school visit next month. Gah!

Mom said, “I love school visits.”

I hate school visits.

I hate school visits.

 

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