Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Winning NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2011 is over. Finally! I’m so happy to say that I wrote more than 50,000 words in the month of November. What did I win? The privilege of posting the winner badge on my page. I can also buy a winner a t-shirt. But I gained so much more than that.

I turned off my internal editor for an entire month. Her name is Mrs. Peabody and she’s loud and mean. (Do I sound like a nutcase for having named her?) She’s the reason it can sometimes take me two hours to write one paragraph only to delete it the next day. Without Mrs. Peabody, I worked faster and there were several days when I wrote 1,000 words in an hour.

I have a few more chapters to write before I reach The End of my NaNo manuscript. The 50,110 words I do have are rough, but I’m not stuck at the end of Chapter One, unable to move forward with my story. I have 165 pages for Mrs. Peabody to edit. I wish she’d be more gentle in her criticism, but she’s pretty good at her job.

She’s been on vacation for a month, so I’m hoping that she’ll come back to work with a better attitude. If she doesn’t, at least now I know how to shut her up. I’ll just give her more vacation time.


Filed under editing, free writing, Manuscript, NaNoWriMo, novels, Writing

Thanksgiving in Texas: a guest post by Lola

My person is still working hard on her NaNoWriMo project. I hope she is almost finished. Meanwhile, I’m helping out on her blog again with another guest post.

We went to Texas for Thanksgiving this year. It takes a long time to get there – we have to drive for two days across the desert and over mountains. The first day in the car is fine, but when we have to get in the car that second day, I’m feeling pretty stir crazy. It’s all worth it, though, to spend some time with some of my very favorite relatives.

The best part of being at G&G’s house is that there is always something happening, especially in the kitchen. If I sit politely, I get treats. My person’s mom is a dancer, too, and I love to watch her practice her clogging dances. She even had a performance while we were visiting. (She is the tall one who looks like my person.)

G&G live in a house with a really big yard. It has a tall fence to keep out the deer, so my person lets me run around as much as I want. There are lots of creatures that do come inside the fence, like a fox and raccoons and squirrels and birds, so I have plenty of scents to chase.

I like to follow my person’s dad as he works in the garden. He lets me help him dig and he doesn’t mind if I accidentally fill in a hole he is digging. He just chuckles and empties it out again. Sometimes he gives me empty flower pots to play with and he is always willing to pause in his work and throw a ball for me.

We go for long walks every day and we see lots of those deer that can’t come into the yard.

There is even a little pond that I can play in. Heaven!

The best part about this visit was when my favorite little person arrived with her family. We have so much fun playing together.

I do get a little time to myself for long naps on the couch when all of my people go places I can’t. This year, they went to the Texas Furniture Makers Show in Kerrville. Then they went to a place called Grape Juice that my person said was a wine bar. Another day, they went to the 11th Street Cowboy Bar to listen to music and dance. I don’t know why dogs can’t go to these places, but I will admit that after so much playing, I’m happy to have a little quiet time.

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to visit more relatives and my canine cousins.  Annie and Ranger are Wheaten Terriers and they are so pretty! They win prizes and everything.

Ranger is only two and he loves to play with me. We had a ball even though Annie, who is nine, sometimes had to bark at us to settle down.

After another long ride in the car, I’m home again. It’s good to be back at work patrolling my yard, but I sure did have a great time in Texas. I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as mine.


Filed under dog walking, Dogs, Gardening, Lola, NaNoWriMo, Travel

My Friends: a guest post by Lola

I am a lucky dog to have a lot of wonderful human and animal friends. Friends are what make life fun, so today, while my person is still busy working on her NaNoWriMo project,  I’d like to introduce you to my furry pals.

You might have read in one of my other posts about my best friend, Stella. She is a boxer and we met when I was a puppy. We love to walk, hike, jog and play together. We’ve even been sprayed by a skunk together. Life is so much more fun with Stella by my side.

Stella grew up with Lucy and Doc, both dachshunds. Sadly, Doc isn’t with us anymore. Lucy is getting older, but she is still in charge of the house.

Another friend from my puppyhood is Spencer, a cocker spaniel. We met at puppy class and played at the dog park together. Now, we mostly just meet for coffee. (We don’t drink the coffee… our people do.)

I’ve lost a few of my first friends. That is one of the saddest things about being a dog. We get old fast. Of course there was Doc, who loved to play ball even more than I do.

Mandi was a Rottweiler and she was the queen of my universe. She loved going for rides in the car, but don’t worry, she didn’t really drive. Nala, a calm and wise Rhodesian ridgeback, lived across the street from Mandi and we all took many early morning walks together.

Now I take my morning walks with my best pal Stella and with Clara and Pete. They are sister and brother Rhodesians. They are two years old and they are really big, especially Pete. They love to sleep, but they are also very good hunters. Every small movement catches their attention. Once, Pete spotted a fox, but since we walk on leashes, we couldn’t chase it. My person says we would never have caught it, but I’d have liked to try.

I have one tiny friend, Sparky. She is a Maltese and she’s white and fluffy. We don’t get to see each other very often, but she is a super fun doggy dog. There is nothing small about her personality.

My other really close friends that I play with a lot are Sydney, an Aussie shepherd/springer spaniel and Regal, a Labrador retriever/golden retriever mix.

Sydney is the boss and sometimes she has to remind me of that, but she watches out for me. Regal trained to be a service dog to help a disabled person through Canine Companions for Independence, but unfortunately, she didn’t pass the test. They said she liked toys too much. Loving to play seems like a good thing to me, but I guess if you have a job helping a special person, you have to be serious.

You may have noticed that most of my friends are canines, but I do have one feline friend. As a general rule, I view cats as the enemy, but my kitty cousin, Einstein, is an exception. If we ever met face to face, the fur would fly, but we have a great virtual relationship.

Telling you about all of my pals makes me feel happy and reminds me of how much I am loved. I hope you have good friends like I do. If you need a friend, look for a furry one. We are very entertaining and we have lots of love to share. You might even find a sidekick who can help you with your work.


Filed under Dogs, Friendship, Lola, NaNoWriMo

School for Dogs: a guest post by Lola

My person is still working on that NaNoWriMo project, so I’m back to write a little more about my life. I am a busy dog and I like it that way. I patrol the house and yard and I’m also in charge of rodent abatement. It’s a fun job and I’m good at it. I’ve also taken a few classes to learn things that don’t come quite so naturally.

My teacher is Aleita Downer at Cape-Able Canines. She is a smart person who knows more about dogs than any human I’ve ever met. She teaches many regular dogs like me, but her specialty is training dogs to help people with disabilities. She learned how to do that by studying with Bonnie Bergin, the founder of Canine Companions for Independence.

My first class with Aleita was Puppy Class. I learned Sit, Down, Come, Heel and Stay and I learned how to walk on my leash. When I got older, I took General Obedience where we worked on some of the same things, but it was all just a little harder. Once I could do all of the things I learned in Obedience, I got to take Intro to Agility.  That was fun!

We jumped over obstacles, ran through tunnels, walked on boards that were high off the ground, raced up and down a ramp, went over a teeter totter, and leapt through a hoop. I was very good at agility because I am super fast. I won the race on the last day of class.

I'm very proud of my first place medal.

Next, I took a class called Tricks and Games. I learned to do things like Shake, High Five, Wave, Speak, Crawl and lots more. I love to do my tricks because I get yummy rewards when I do a good job.

Finally, my person signed me up for a class called Canine Freestyle. My person loves to dance and in Canine Freestyle, we dance together. We learned to do some basic movements with music. On the last day of class, we had to perform a short dance for the teacher and the other students.

My person and I are about to perform in class. My teacher and her canine assistant are watching.

This is a short video of my person and me practicing our beginner level dance in our costumes. You may notice that there are plenty of treats involved so I was happy to practice a lot.

If you want to watch an advanced Canine Freestyle dance team, take a look at this amazing video of Carolyn Scott and her dog Rookie dancing to “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease.

My person and I haven’t taken a new class for a while, but we still practice at home. It’s a fun way to spend time together and when we do our tricks for our human friends, it always makes them smile. What better reason could there be for doing anything?


Filed under Dance, dog training, Dogs, Lola, NaNoWriMo