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Renn is a brave, little boy spending some not-so-fun time at the hospital this week. Mom and I are writing a special blog post today just for him. You can read about Renn at The Brain of a Jedi.
Mom’s author friend, Susanna Leonard Hill has links to lots more well wishes for Renn on her blog. Take a look, and while you’re at it, send along some prayers and happy thoughts for a tough, smart little Jedi and his family.
Mom is afraid of Jedi warriors (No, she’s not. I am…). In fact, she’s afraid of warriors of all kinds (No, she’s not. I am…). Light sabers scare her (No, they don’t. They scare me…). And forget about Darth Vader’s voice. She’s terrified of that guy (No, she’s not. I am…).
So, we’ll have to work with what we have. My cuteness!!
Here I am dancing like a cute ballerina.
If you want to see how smart I am, here I am solving a problem while looking cute.
If you’ve never seen a dog eat Cheerios, watch how cute I am using my Cheerios machine.
And if you need a laugh, watch me tame the laughing mechanical dog (still while looking cute).
We had an awesome snowstorm, last week. Mom took me for a lot of walks, and each time we went out, it got deeper and deeper. Here I am trudging through the snow.
It was almost up to my my belly, but not quite. That would’ve scared me! It was deep enough to make walking slow and difficult, but FUN!
Mom is working on two new stories at once. She’s in deep, just like I was. Each day she works for a little while on one of the stories and then she works a little while on the other one. It’s slow and it’s difficult, but she’s having fun. That’s because being an author is a blast! It’s just like being a dog in the snow!
|ink and pencil on paper|
Mom loves a happy ending. When she writes a story, she makes sure there’s a problem, and then her characters try to solve it, but they always face obstacles trying to get it done. Mom struggles with the conflict in her stories. She says, “I don’t like trouble.” and “Why can’t things just go smoothly?” and “GET DOWN!!”
I LOVE trouble. Sometimes I surf the top of the piano to see if there’s anything for me to play with or eat. Mom said, “You’re going to get a spankin’!” I thought she said, “You’re going to get some bacon.” I ran into the kitchen so fast, I crashed into the cabinet. No bacon. Why does life have to be so difficult?
At the end of Mom’s stories, the conflict is gone, the obstacles are overcome, and the problems are solved. I love a happy ending.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love love. I could kiss, cuddle, and snuggle 24 hours a day. Mom should’ve named me Valentine.
Even though Mom loves me a lot, she apparently does not have time to kiss, cuddle, and snuggle with me 24 hours a day. She says, “Sorry, Sweetie. I have things to do.” and “Go play with your toys.” and “Why are you staring at me?”
Mom loves her work, so she needs time to do that, too. When she was a teacher, she thought it was the best job in the world. Now that she supervises student teachers, she thinks that’s the best job in the world. She also thinks being an author is the best job in the world.
Somebody (Mom thinks it was Kathy Lee Gifford, but it was actually Confucious) said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I guess Mom has never worked a day in her life! Isn’t she lucky?
Have a super-special Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love, kisses, cuddles, and snuggles. xoxo
We had a blizzard this weekend.
The snow got really high, the wind blew really hard, and it was really cold. Even though I wore my heaviest jacket, I had to run around in a lot of circles to keep warm. And when the snow was deep enough to touch my belly, I wanted to come inside right away!
I couldn’t sniff the grass, because it was covered with snow. So I sniffed the snow instead. And guess what I found! An empty potato chip bag. It was hidden under the snow! Mom said the word, “Leave it.” before I could investigate and possibly taste some frozen potato chip crumbs, but it was an exciting find, anyway. In the morning, I tried to find the bag again, But the snow was too deep and I couldn’t even breathe in there.
Sometimes, Mom has a blizzard of ideas. But sometimes, her ideas are hidden. They’re not under the snow, or frozen, but they are buried in the back of her brain. When she studies at her online writing class, the hidden ideas start to pop out of her head. Mom says, “I’ve never tried that before.” and “That’s why this part wasn’t working.” and “Stop barking at the snowblower!”
Today I will ask 5 questions that have had me thinking lately.
1. Why is coffee so magical?
I think coffee makes people smart. Whenever Mom sits down to write, she always puts a cup of coffee next to the computer. I think it magically helps her brain.
2. Is a laundry basket a bed?
Bed is a good place to read books. Mom reads books a lot. A laundry basket is a good place to sleep. At least until Mom says, “OUT!”
3. Can a light chase away monsters in the dark?
When Mom writes about monsters, dragons, dinosaurs, or cats, I am afraid. I am also afraid of the dark. And balloons. And the golf cart. And pumpkins. And street signs. And soccer players. And….
4. Is a dog head good medicine for a sore knee?
This is how I help Mom when her knee hurts. I help her with her writing, too, mostly by staring at her when she’s trying to work.
Speaking of cake and coffee… Thanks to our friends at DogDaz for inviting us to coffee and our friends at Bumpy Road to Bubba and Angels Whisper for including us in their coffee party. Definitely take a visit to their blogs, if you haven’t already. Also, we will include ALL our blog buddies in our coffee party, so feel free to take the badge and answer the questions if you’d like to join us.
1) How many cups of coffee per day? Mom has 2 or 3. I have as many slurps as I can beg, borrow, or steal.
2) What is your favorite caffeine delivery system? Mom likes her Keurig. I like when she leaves her cup on the table and doesn’t push in her chair.
3) What was your best cup of coffee? They are all perfect.
4) What was your worst cup of coffee? No such thing. Even the stale, strong coffee in the teacher’s lounge at Mom’s old school, was delicious to her.
5) What does your favorite mug say? Mom’s favorite has a c-c-c-cat on it.
6) How do you take your coffee? Cream and sugar – very light and very sweet, just like me!
7) When was your first cup? Mom drank coffee flavored milk when she was little. My first taste was the morning after Mom found me at the rescue event.
8) Have you ever gone on a coffee tea date? We’re on one right now!
Mom finished her January story for 12×12. Whew! That was the closest she ever came to the end of the month. Her story is a first, first, FIRST draft, and it will need a LOT of editing before it sees the light of day. Mom said, “You have to start somewhere.” and “Writing it is the first step.” and “Do NOT eat the hat!”
Soon (Eventually), Mom will look closely at her January story and fix it up till it’s ready to show her writing group named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid. She said, “I’ll probably have to cut about 100 words.” and “I’ll streamline the dialog.” and “The ending needs lots of work.”
Bob said my picture didn’t need too much work. I guess that’s because of my extreme cuteness. Check here to see Bob’s comments about what he did to it. Also look here to see more of Bob’s work, or here to enter his Sunday Frameable Keepers Challenge.
Mom said the new picture is brighter and sharper and my fur and the teddy bear’s fur look fluffier. Thanks, Bob!
Here I am enhanced!
Mom’s friend Bob at Northwest Photographer is an artist. He is crazy-skilled at taking pictures, and goes around to a lot of places getting amazing shots of animals and scenery and all sorts of wonderful things….including a cat named Jack! Bob is having a challenge called Frameable Keepers every Sunday at his blog. He wants to see photos that you’d love to see framed, and then he will fix them up so they look perfect.
I have begged and begged Mom to submit a picture of me. She says I can’t compete with all that beauty. That’s a good thing, ….right? I think it means I’m ….um…extra-pretty….??? And she should give me bacon….???
Anyway, I finally talked her into it, so here I am.
Each time Mom finishes a story, she ALWAYS works on it some more, like Bob does with his pictures. I think she’s trying to make her stories even cuter, like me. She rephrases and revises and cuts and clips and elaborates and embellishes. When mom thinks her picture is frameable, then she’ll talk about it at her writing group and maybe submit it.
I wonder what she’ll do when my picture is frameable…. She framed this one, so I guess anything can happen!
By the way, check my Awards Page to see my newest bling. It’s the Shine On Award from our friends at Angels Whisper. Thanks, A.W.!
Mom and I are counting down to the end of the month.
My January Countdown
3. Snow! We need more snow before January is finished! I love snow… As long as it isn’t deep enough to touch my belly. That scares me. Mom digs it with the shovel so I won’t be afraid.
2. Learning. Mom teaches me and teaches me every day. I am getting better with fetching, as long as there are Cheerios. I am still confused about bowling, though.
1. Work. Mom is working hard to finish her January story for 12×12. Tick. Tick. Tick. She’s really cutting it close.
Mom’s January Countdown
3. No snow! Mom doesn’t want snow because it is too much mess and trouble. But if it snows, she will have to stay home and work on her stories (and play with me). C’mon snow!
2. Learning. Mom will study at an online writing class in February. Tick. Tick. Tick. Soon, I will not be the only one learning.
1. Work. Mom will work with her writing group named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid next week. They will talk about stories and eat cookies and drink coffee. How does that count as work??
I would like to introduce you to the newest members of the family.
Pip, a silky soft spunky dwarf rex velveteen rabbit, and Sparkles (6 year old naming job), a sweet netherland dwarf. We spent a crafty but cramped new years weekend under the deck building them a nice place to live.
Those are the perks of living in a small town, nobody objects, and there isn't really anything better to do. Let me tell you, those are some happy bunnies.
"Wait", you say, "don't you already have a Beagle?" - Why yes we do. Poor pet planning? Maybe, but it sure is exciting around here. The dog loves the bunnies, but we are not letting them play together in the backyard.
|meet Pip and Sparkles|
|bunny paradise under the deck|
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
I’m pretty sure this guy Stephen King knows a thing or two about writing. Mom believes him and takes his advice. She also forgives him for Cujo. I am not sure I do, though. *shiver*
Mom reads a lot and writes a lot every day. Well, maybe not a LOT…. But some every day. Well, maybe not EVERY day, but most days.
Mom reads children’s books, young adult books, grown-up books, blogs, magazines, websites, email, reviews, and books about being a writer. She takes some time to play bowling with me, take me for walks around the neighborhood, throw my toys, clean up piles and piles of dog hair from around the house, and dress me up.
She also works on new stories, old stories, stories about dogs, kids,and animals, stories from her November idea list, and poems. She takes some time out to cuddle with me, brush my teeth, give me treats, teach me tricks, and take me to Petco to have my nails cut.
It’s times like this that I wish she’d concentrate on her work…..
Move over Rudolph! I’m Santa’s new right hand man.
Mom saw this at her friend, John’s blog called Native Michigander. It’s the most adorable Christmas Story ever!
Merry Christmas, everybody!
5 stars Whoever Heard Of A Fird? Othello Bach Shann Hurst 60 Pages Ages: 7+ ………….. Back Cover: If you haven’t heard of a fird, part fish, part bird, you don’t know that he’s looking for a head of fird. He wants to find out if he’s “firding” right. You see, Fird was raised by [...]Add a Comment
Cat Writers' Association Muse Medallion Winner World's Best Litter-ary Award Winner Nebraska Golden Sower Award list 2012-13 Illinois Monarch K-3 Readers' Choice Award list 2012-13 NY State Charlotte Award list 2011-12 Delaware Diamond Award list 2011-12 Storytelling World Award Honor Title 2011 Bank Street Best Books for Children 2011 Wanda Gág Best Read Aloud Book Award 2011 Honor Book Society of School Librarians International Honor Book 2010 Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2010 NSW Premier Reading Challenge Book (Australia) 1st grade Read-Aloud Choice, 25th Annual Read-Aloud Day, Bridgeport, CTAdd a Comment
It’s October. Today we’re counting down about Halloween.
Things I Love About Halloween.
3. Costumes. This year I’m dressing as a nurse. We waited a long time for my costume to come in the mail. We’re also waiting a long time for an acceptance letter in the mail, but that’s a whole different story.
2. Candy. I’m not allowed to eat candy, but if I get lucky, I’ll get to eat a wrapper or two (or 6). And maybe Mom will let me lick a lollipop for a while. Those things are yummy. Even the stick is delicious!
1. Trick or Treaters. I love when kids come to trick or treat at my house. I know they kind of want candy, but I also think they’re mostly coming to see ME!
Things Mom Hates About Halloween.
3. Costumes. When Mom was a teacher, she learned that kids in costumes were WAAAY more difficult to handle than kids in regular clothes. She learned a lot from the kids, and got a lot of ideas from them, but along the way, they taught her how to HATE Halloween. A lot.
2. Candy. Mom buys tons of candy, but we don’t have tons of trick or treaters. That means she has to eat a lot of the candyherself. I can’t remember why this is a bad thing, but apparently, it is…
1. Stories. Mom doesn’t hate Halloween stories. She actually wrote a couple of them. But they’re sitting in her computer going nowhere. And she hates that! Now that Halloween is on its way, Mom is in the mood to dust off those stories and get back to work on them. They need to be cut, edited, critiqued, cut, and edited. …And critiqued. Then they’ll be ready to hit the road and knock on a few doors, like a couple of little trick or treaters.
42. There is one October HAPPY thing that Mom LOVES. Her story Fly Fishing is published in the last ever issue of Stories for Children e-Magazine. Click the link to get your very own e-copy!
Today is my birthday!
I’m SIX years old. I think that is the perfect age. Mom agrees. She says if I could go to school, I’d be a first grader, and would be learning to read. How fun would THAT be? Then, I would help Mom with her writing work. Sometimes, she writes stories that are perfect for first graders, but they’re not books, yet. It’s just as well, since I can’t read yet.
To celebrate my birthday, I will have treats,
and I’ll finally get to play with my new birthday hedgehog, which has been hidden in the closet.
I knew about the hedgehog, because I picked it out at Petco last week. It’s been a looong wait, but I am sure it will be a blast to bite it and throw it and catch it and lick it and cuddle with it.
Mom says, “Writers are experts at waiting.” and “We have to wait for our big break. And then wait for our big break again!” and “Don’t break your new toy!”
I don’t know about Mom, but I’m tired of waiting!
REALLY tired of waiting. Let’s party!!
Andrea has gotten it spectacularly right! The CEO of Tell Me a Story launched 10 new titles on 30th June, this year. I was privileged to be guest speaker at an event that had even seasoned politicians, Ian Rickuss, MP Lockyer, and Steve Jones, Mayor, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, commenting on attendance numbers!
Assembled authors, illustrators and guest panelists with Andrea Kwast
Muza Ulasowski [Panelist] and Guest Speaker, J.R.Poulter
The audience was rapt. I have seldom been at a publishing event where everyone’s eyes shone! Andrea has the devoted support of her very wide community of readers and growing. She also has the good fortune to have a very devoted group of assistants in administrator, Rel, and local photographer and budding author herself, Jenni Smith.
Research and innovation, preparedness to think out of the box, are hallmarks of Andrea and her team. She believes stories are lurking everywhere and it just takes the right determination, editing and dedication to bring them out. That she is succeeding over and above expetaction is more than demonstrated by the sellout and reprint, within the first few weeks since the launch, of no fewer than 3 titles!
Hearty Congratulations Andrea and Team and to all her authors – keep writing!Click to view slideshow.
But before that...
I love competitions and find it pretty hard to resist entering a writing one, even if I hardly ever win. I think they're a great way to practice writing and beat the dreaded writers block and you never know when that story might come in useful.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered some of the recent ones there's been for 'The Great Escape.'
5 Stars The Stray Dog Marc Simont HarperCollins Children's Books 978-0-0644-3669-4 No. Pgs. 32 ….. Ages 4 and up ……………….. Inside Jacket: When a little dog appears at a family picnic, the girl and boy play with him all afternoon, and they name him Willy. At day’s end they say good-bye. But the dog has won their [...]Add a Comment
Today, I’m counting down things that are important.
Important things for dogs are:
3. Toys – Stuffed animals are my favorite, but squeaky toys, rope toys, and balls are fun, too. Avoid anything mechanical – those things are terrifying.
2. Treats – All treats are delicious. Since it’s summer, frozen treats are the yummiest. Mom makes them for me with yogurt, banana baby food, honey, and peanut butter.
1. Cuddling – I love cuddling and snuggling – anytime, anywhere, with anybody.
Important things for writers are:
3. Writing every day – Mom writes for a whole hour every day. That means no playing, no being sneaky, and no being naughty. The hour flies by for her, but it’s the longest hour of the day for me.
2. Ideas – Ideas are everywhere. Mom and I get ideas at the park, in the car, when we stop for ice cream, near the garbage dumpster, in the supermarket, and while we’re walking around the neighborhood.
1. Patience – Writers have to wait a lot. They wait for a good idea to come. They wait to start writing while they mind-write for a while. They wait to see what the characters want to do. They wait to show the story to their writing group (which is sometimes named DavidLaurieandOtherDavid). They wait till they find someplace to send the story, and then they wait to see if it gets accepted. If it does, they have to wait some more to see it in print. They don’t get bored while they’re waiting because they keep getting ideas and they write every day (see #2 and #3).
Writers may not get bored with waiting, but I do. A whole hour? Really??
Today’s five words are about back-to-school.
2. Learning – Soon, Mom will go to a writing class to learn about writing picture books. She says, “Learning is fun.” and “There’s always something new to learn.” and “When are you going to learn to fetch?” Ugh. This is embarrassing!
4. Recess – Mom liked recess when she was a teacher. It was one hour to do whatever she wanted (mostly eat peanut butter and jelly and talk to her friends). Recess is all day for her, now, except for one hour when she works on writing stories. It’s like things have turned upside down.
A big thank you hug and cuddle to my friend Misaki and my friend AngelsWhisper for passing me The Addictive Blog Award. That means they are ADDICTED to me. That’s a good thing… I hope…. I think it means they want to give me treats.
For this award I need to:
I can do this.
In case you haven’t noticed, Mom is a writer. She writes a lot on her computer AND even more in her head. Because of that, she’s also a reader. She reads grown-up books on her Kindle, picture books from the library, directions, cereal boxes, websites, and junk mail.
Back in December, 2010 she started reading blogs. Mom said, “I can do this.” and “I have plenty to say.” and “Get off my lap. I can’t even see the screen.”
Turns out Mom did not have plenty to say at all, but I did. I watch her all the time (she thinks it’s actually kind of creepy),
so I know what it’s like to be a writer, and what it’s like to be the dog of a writer. So in January, 2011, she said Bye-Bye to her blog and we started mine. I will admit, she does the typing, because I’m too little to reach the computer on my own, and the keys are not correctly paw-sized. But I’m the one who tells her what to say. We’ve been blogging about Mom’s writing and about ME, ever since. We’ve learned a lot along the way and made a ton of human and furry friends. Someday, we’re hoping to get to 100 followers. That’s a nice round number, and we’re almost there!
Now, let’s see if I can find 10 fun blogs that you should become addicted to and that hopefully don’t already have the Addictive Blogger Award.
1. Bassas Blog
Yup. That’s 10! Check them out for laughs and learning, and maybe some treats, because they’re addictive!