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

Posts tagged ‘writing’

Countdown Wednesday

Mom reads a lot. She reads picture books,

book-pile

grown up books, blogs, websites, Instagram and Facebook posts,

ig

kiddie magazines, and of course CATalogs. *shiver* I don’t know how to read, but people read to me a lot. Today, Mom and I are counting down about reading.

My Reading Countdown

3. Read-to-a-Pet-Night – Kids come to the library to read to me at Read-to-a-Pet-Night. Sometimes they read dog books, which make me very happy.

happy-with-dog-bookSometimes they read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?. The purple cat scares me, but I try to be brave.

2. Waiting – When Mom is reading, I wait. Eventually, she finishes and then we play or cuddle or go to the park.

verona-stump

At Read-to-a-Pet-Night, I wait for a reader like a good girl – no crying, no playing with the other therapy pets, and no begging for treats when apparently I didn’t do anything to earn them.

Empty chair. Bummer...

Empty chair. Bummer…

8. Listening – When Mom works on her writing, she reads out loud to herself. I listen very carefully, in case there’s anything in there I need to know. Once, I heard the word “dog boots” which scared me because I hate my boots.

boots-and-bellyBut it made me happy at the same time because it meant Mom was writing about a dog!

Mom’s Reading Countdown

3. Read-to-a-Pet-Night – Mom has fun at Read-to-a-Pet-Night. She loves hearing the kids read stories. It reminds her of her teacher days, but without any of the teacher stress or responsibility.

tennis-dress-reading

Stress-free-chillin’. Like a boss…

2. Picture books – Mom reads 200 picture books every year. She rates them and keeps count of them on her Goodreads page. Sometimes she reads them at Barnes and Noble.

books-and-drinkSometimes she brings them home from the library and reads them our house. I help her choose the best ones.

This one!

This one!

74. Listening – Mom is always listening for story ideas. She listens extra hard to moms and kids. She learns names, interests, slang, quirks, and speech patterns from them. She never knows when something will kick in and give her a new story idea. Meanwhile, I can give her all the story ideas she needs…

Me.

Me.

Me.

Me.

ME!

ME!

 

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

John F. Kennedy

I always try my very best. Well, maybe not my very best, but I always try hard. Well, maybe not hard, but I always try. Well, maybe not always, but sometimes. So, yeah – Once in a while, I try a little bit.

I try not to get caught in the soccer net.

Close enough...unless...

Close enough…unless…

 

NO!

NO!

I try to figure out how my bed works…

bedfail

Nailed it.

And the chair at the library…

Backwards? No. This seems right...

Backwards? No. This seems right…

I try to stay where Mom can see me so I won’t get lost.weeds

And I try to play gently with my toys and not accidentally rip their heads off.

Mom tries her best waaaay more than I do. She has to! That’s what writers do. She writes, revises, submits, mind writes, edits, gets ideas, rewrites, reads, critiques, does author visits

computer kid (2)…drinks coffee, takes me to the park,

swing

cuddles with me, teaches me, goes shopping, talks on the phone, throws my baseball, has lunch with her friends…. Wait. What? I think I got off the topic there for a minute….

???

Huh???

Anyway, The point is – she tries, just like she’s supposed to. She also hopes for the best and prepares for Book2 and/or Ebook2.

quote

Now I’m going to try and get a few treats out of my Petzi Treat Cam

petzi

Hello in there….

 

 

 

 

Plan B

We all need a Plan B sometimes. Mom had a new story going strong. But she got stuck. So she skipped a few lines and started the same story over again a different way. She liked it better! Plan B success. Then she got stuck again. She sat over it for a little while staring at the computer. Tomorrow, she is moving on to something else. I guess that’s Plan C. She’ll begin a new story and forget about this one for now.

abc

Sometimes, I need a Plan B, too. When Mom was walking with me in the field, we noticed that the soccer nets were all brand new. We walked closer to check them out. One of us got a little too close.

IMG_3490

I used to get caught like a tuna in the old nets a lot, so we stopped walking there. Mom said, “Again? Really??” and “Is your brain THAT tiny?” and “We’re done here.”

But I wasn’t “done here” so I gave it another shot. This time I tried to bite my way out.

#netfail

#netfail

In a little while, Mom showed me how to walk around the side of the net so I wouldn’t get stuck.

Freedom!

Freedom!

I wish I could show her how not to be stuck in her story… Before she gets to Plan Z. Oh! I know! How about a dog story?

IMG_2954

 

 

 

 

Being Prepared

When Mom and I go for a walk, we are always prepared – treats in one pocket, plastic bag in the other.

IMG_3189

Also, there are antibacterial wipes, house keys and the car key in my little penguin leash pouch.

penguin pouch

I wear a harness AND a Martingale collar. Mostly, I’m fine with my harness, but if I get scared of something, Mom switches the leash to my collar so I won’t pull away. I am more obedient with my collar. Eventually….

IMG_3219

Nope. I’m not going in…

Some places we visit are also prepared. Like this… Just in case.

IMG_3024

In the car, we are usually prepared with some coffee.

IMG_3143

And my travel bowl for water.

Nope. I'm not going in...

Nope. I’m not going in…

Mom likes to be prepared. Her books are framed,

shadow boxes

and just to be ready – a couple of her favorite manuscripts are framed too. She’ll replace them with actual books as soon as book #2 or ebook #2 happen.

shadow boxes2She thinks a lot and plans a lot for the future. By thinking and planning I mean visualizing and hoping. When she talks about her writing future, she says “when” instead of “if” and always tells herself (and me), “This is it” when she submits something. Mom thinks it’s better to be prepared, positive, and hopeful than surprised, negative, and demoralized. Me too…

Prepared, positive, and hopeful...

Prepared, positive, and hopeful…

 

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do,

long after the mood you said it in has left you.

~Orebela Gbenga~

Mom ambitiously told herself that she would submit 10 stories this month.

10

That seemed like a good idea at the time. She revised and listed and revised and researched and revised and submitted and revised and revised. There are 6 days left in the month, and Mom still has three of her selected stories hiding in her computer. She’s getting tuckered out, but we’re hoping her commitment will take her to the finish line.

finish ahead

I’ve been tuckered out on occasion…

bed blob

Indoors…

tired inside

Outdoors…

street nap 92

 

In the car

tired car dog

When I work…

wheel chair paws up

Even early in the morning…

sleepy

When you start getting worn down, you must dig deep, keep your eye on the prize, and follow through.

VA thinker

When Mom brought me to PetSmart, last week, I turned to stone from fear in the parking lot. She was SO committed to getting me inside, that even when the traffic started backing up waiting for me to move, and people started calling out of their car windows, she got me inside.

cars

Of course, she had to pick me up and carry me, but desperate times call for desperate measures. She said the word, “Embarrassing” which means she was happy to help. And the word, “Screwball” which means I was very brave. And the word, “Why do I take you anywhere” which she says every single day.

petsmart bone aisle

Even when I wear my new PetSmart dress, I get tuckered out.

gingham nap

…probably from playing with my new PetSmart toy.

Secret Life of Pets

Mom promised to take me back to PetSmart when hell freezes over. Yay! Wait. What??

cars2

 

Five Word Friday

five

Today’s 5 words are about A-Little-At-A-Time.

8. List – Mom is making a list of the things she will submit this month. She is determined to get 10 stories on the list, and then she will decide where to send them. So far the list has NINE titles! Day by day – story by story – a little at a time – almost there.

woman-making-list

17. WetFeet – I don’t like getting my feet wet. When Mom takes me out to check my pee-mail she says the word, “Why am I standing in the wet grass and you are not?” and “I am NOT the one out here to go potty.”

gutter walker

and “Get off the balance beam, Marylou.”

gutter walker 2

Eventually, I inch into the wet grass, little by little, and take care of business. I’m not happy about it.

26. Walking – Getting from the garage to the house can be slow-going. I stop to sniff. I smell the flowers.

smelling flowers

I check the bricks. I hit the pavement.

pavement2

I stare at the air. Eventually, we arrive. Mom says the word, “Why do I take you anywhere?”

84. One – Last week, Mom got her first ever #1 from Rate Your Story. On a scale of 1-10, #1 is the best! Mom has received the occasional #2 rating, but usually, her work is a #4. We’re excited that she clawed her way to a #1 – little by little.

#15. Begging – Every day, I work on Mom… From here…

begging right

And here…

begging left

And even here…

begging LRCan you tell I am begging for ice cream? I think it’s pretty clear. She mixed up a batch of my special yogurt/peanut butter/applesauce/MilkBone frozen treats. And apparently, I can only eat one a day. GAH!

ice cream treatThey’re so yummy, it’s tough to eat them a little at a time. I lick and lick…

icecream1

…and lick.

icecream3And then I lose my mind and gobble the whole thing down. The ice cream headache is worth it!

Yum. Ouch...

Yum. Ouch…

Countdown Wednesday

calendarToday, Mom and I are counting down about finishing.

end

Things I Finish

3. Eating – I always finish my morning dinner and my evening dinner. Usually in about 45 seconds.

dinner

2. Playing – It’s easy to tell when I am finished playing. I stop tossing, biting, shaking, throwing, and catching my toys. Then I flop down and give Mom the skunk-eye.

fave toys

1. School – I studied hard at obedience school when Mom first adopted me. I am a brilliant graduate of Hal Wheeler.

diploma

I also passed the CGC testing in order to become a therapy pet.

FullSizeRender

I know Mom is proud of me because she says I ‘have my moments’ and I’m ‘unpredictable.’ That’s good…. Right…?

stuck under the walker

“Under the walker…. next to the walker… Whatever… Same thing.”

Things Mom Finishes

3. Eating – I can always tell when Mom is finished eating. Usually there’s ice cream or cookies or cake.

rainbow cake

I know sharing is caring. And I know Mom loves me. But she doesn’t always share.

"Hello."

“Hello.”

2. Working – When Mom “works,” she writes, revises, revises, revises, revises, and …revises. Sooner or later, she has to say, “I’m finished.” and “There’s nothing else I can do here.” and “What do you plan to do with that?”

flip flop

“Eat it? Hide it? Take it on the couch and hatch it like an egg? The possibilities are endless….”

1. School – Mom is finished with being a teacher.

teacher at desk

She retired from that work in 2007. Now she is finished with school visits – for the summer, anyway. We are also finished with library therapy dog visits for the summer. Read to a Pet Night will start up again in September.

reading dog

27. And yes, when enough is enough, I make it clear that I am finished walking….

potato dog