Loud and Proud #amediting

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This is Stitch and Chewie’s favourite part of the whole writing process (next to making the material of course!). Yep it’s time to read that story out loud. Now my dogs love to come down for story time and they are wonderful, but they don’t fix holes in the plot. Stitch groans – not sure if that’s because it’s bad or because Chewie is usually lying on him… So I have two other willing recruits for this part of the editing process. My girls. No one can pick a hole in you plot like six and five year olds. I read them the story and they tell me what they think. This works two ways.

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The first is when you read a loud you tend to read what is actually written. Well more closely that when you read in your head. Often reading to yourself is a case of what your brain tells you it says, not what it actually says. So reading out loud is important. Plus if you write children’s books you want parents or teachers to read your stories out loud. The need to flow nicely.

Second: I write for kids, so if my kids don’t get it then I’m not on the right track. It helps that my girls are book worms and have always had a love for story time. They are never backward at telling me when something doesn’t work.

The down side… well it’s not really a downside, just an interesting note. Since I have been reading my manuscripts out loud to the girls I have generated many more writing ideas. How so… well they come up with great suggestions. They even use my characters in their own creative play. At the moment they are sharing an imaginary friend. A fairy named Fidget…. Who I created… Needless to say Fidget now has a whole host of stories I need to write.

The only other issue is my girls don’t quite understand how long it takes to publish a book. So after I read it to them they want to take the finished product to school to share… I’m not that quick, sorry girls!

I recommend reading out loud. Either to yourself or someone else.. give it a try oh and as always have fun!

Writer’s Reveal December: Christmas #holidayspirit

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My topic this month is Christmas!
Such a large topic. However I have two little girls who love Christmas. So I thought I’d blog about some of our family traditions that we have built over the year. These are the things that make Christmas for them:
1. The tree – always the first sign of Christmas. It goes up on Pageant day (usually the second weekend in November).
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Over the years they have managed to put up more of the decorations, with only minor adjustments. Of course the really special decorations I still do, but they are the ones that we can’t replace and the girls are happy with that. I have never dog or kid proofed the tree. It goes up, all the decorations go on. The train goes around the tree and no one dog or child enters the train tracks without permission. Actually the only one who has ever gone under the tree was Obi. He however only ever removed his own presents, just to check there were enough.
2. Stories and songs – the Christmas books and music also come out around pageant day. This means lots of nights singing and reading. Their favourite songs are the Aussie Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. As for books, they love anything that shows them Santa’s village Still the night before Christmas is one of their best books.
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3. Santa – we visit Santa and they ask for one special toy. They also write letters to Santa and the Elves collect them from under the tree. The Elves bring a Turkey Neck for Stitch and return a reply letter the next night. Santa fills their sacks on Christmas Eve and of course that one special present usually appears.
4. Preparing for the big day – the girls decorate the yard. I have painted Disney Christmas characters that go on a fence. They also make the front yard into a Sleigh landing area and leave Santa’s magic Key somewhere for him to find.
My girls love to bake. So we make Chocolate Marshmallow truffles, reindeer biscuits, cake pops, gingerbread (house or sleigh). The house collapsed this year, but we still got to eat the gingerbread. We basically have one day just before Christmas when we bake our hearts out and make a huge mess. They love it. The best part is I pack up all the goodies and give them to everyone for Christmas.
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5. Christmas Eve – we put the Santa Sacks out, leave chocolate chip cookies for the big guy, carrots and a bucket of water for the reindeer (the girls once wanted to leave one bucket for each reindeer, but I reminded them that the dogs can share, so the reindeer could too!). Finally before going to bed we read The Night Before Christmas and then it is time for sleep!
6. Christmas day – an absolute whirl of excitement. My girls get excited over the littlest things, so this day is just pure overload and it is fantastic. They love every second. We generally spend the day with family, but it is them moments when the four of us are together (with the dogs of course) that are always the best.
This year we will have our little Chewbacca for the first time. We are also looking after Stitch’s brother Tug. So the dogs will also have a great day. It’s going to be a lot of fun. There is still lots to do and a little fuzz ball to collect!!!! Before everyone gets too hectic and wrapped up in Christmas fun I’d like to say a big Merry Christmas and Good on ya Mates to all!!!!
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To checkout all the other Writer’s Reveal posts go to:
http://networkedblogs.com/RVsuG

http://emilymorganwrites.com/

http://emhawker.blogspot.com.au/

http://jaycwolfe.com/

http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com.au/

http://www.jfgibson.com.au

http://www.aparentinglife.com/

http://havealaughonme.com/

while you’re doing that put on some Christmas songs and have fun!

All the kings horses… #christmas

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I did it! I made gingerbread house from scratch!

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No one ever said how long it had to last… Unfortunately all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put it back together again!!!! It is rather smashed now. Still I can say I made it. I have the photographic evidence. We also get to eat the gingerbread and it tastes pretty awesome. I should probably stick to writing! Just wish it had lasted as a house. There is always next year I guess. Until next time – have fun!

Stitch Reporting #labslife

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Stitch here, I hijacked Mum’s blog tonight to report on my weekend. It’s time I spoke up. I mean I do everything around here. I even help Mum sell her books. Yes that’s me at her book launch and in her author photo.

My next character - Stitch!

My next character – Stitch!

Yep that is me and she uses me because I’m cute. Not complaining, it means I get to go everywhere and meet all these cool kids. Still I work really hard. Anyway that’s not why I have stolen the blog. I stole it because this is how I get repaid. Friday night my bed was moved. Taken from my comfy spot with the best view of the TV and put in another room. No TV in there. then to make matters worse a tree was put in its place. Then They got up at a ridiculous hour Saturday morning and made me eat breakfast. then they left me all by myself for most of the day. When they returned did I get to go for a walk??? NO! They decorated the tree. This also included the girls wearing silly hats and singing a lot. Finally they put this really noisy train around the tree and let it run and run and run. I’m telling you there needs to be lots of Stitch gifts under this tree!

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It didn’t end there though. We all had to wear sully hats, yes me included and get our annual Xmas photo taken. No I didn’t smile, I learnt that from Obi. Still I did look pretty, well I always look pretty!

To make matters worse there is talk of a puppy! Not sure what that’s all about!

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I guess Mum tried to make up to me, I got to play at work today and lots of cuddles. Must mention my couch is still in prime position, right in front of the TV. So not all bad I guess. Also some mention of a holiday with Tug, that sounds like fun. Speaking of which I believe Mum finishes this with the words – have fun!

Well that’s it from me – for now, so Woof oh and have fun!

Not So Boring #amwriting #mum

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One of my pet hates as a Mum is hearing the words “I’m bored!” Now it is fundamentally impossible to be bored in our house. There is always craft to make, stories to write, things to bake, bikes to ride, trampolines to jump on, Stitch to play with and so many other things to do. Still from time to time my girls will utter those two words. I have decided that attack is the best policy here. We are into our last term of school and then its six weeks off. While we have Christmas and possibly a really exciting gift early in January (more later) I do not wan to hear those words. I have decided to make both my girls a Not So Boring Book.

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Essentially it’s a writing journal, but with a lot of fun things to do. Yes I am a teacher, but this is not about teaching. This is about fueling my girl’s creativity and their enjoyment of writing stories. As a plus if they ever utter those words I will simply pull out the book! Will it work? Only time will tell, but if it does I may publish a not so boring book next year! Wish me luck – until next time have fun!

Happy Birthday!!!

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Just a Quick blog today to say Happy Birthday to my husband – Ross!

the girls ordered that I make this:

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Yep that’s what you get when your birthday is two days before Halloween. Oh well it should taste good. Until next time have fun!

It’s a Dog’s Life #labslife

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I have come to the conclusion that Stitch really has a divine existence. He goes to work three days a week, gets walked on all the other days and then today he has his sister over for a playdate!

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Funny how on the rare occasion when he is home by himself or doesn’t get out for a walk he gives you that look. The one that says “I’m bored, nobody loves me!” Seriously when I think about how other dogs live I know he has nothing to complain about!

Between organising his social life and running around after Munchkin and Smudgekin where is my life??? I guess that’s why I write. That way I can create my own life without actually having one??? anyway better get back to it, until next time – have fun!

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