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Author Archives: Cat Woods

About Cat Woods

I am a writer whose heart beats for juvenile literature. As a mother of four, a devoted wife and the half-owner of two dogs, I find more novel fodder on any given day than dust bunnies under the fridge. I'm also a strong advocate for literacy, family and unity. My life motto is that everybody deserves a chance.

How to Beat Bad Dreams

I love dreaming. I love meeting people and having strange adventures. I love flying and inventing amazing things. I love being able to solve any problem. I love being funny and happy and good at everything I do. Dreams grant us super powers and give us things we want.

But what happens when the nightmares hit?

In the second grade, I was bit in the foot by a wolf. It hurt so bad, it woke me up. When I tried to go back to sleep, I kept dreaming about the wolf biting me. This nightmare wouldn’t stop. Finally, I reached out and changed the channel on my dream. I don’t remember what I dreamed about next, but I do know that whenever that pesky wolf showed up, I clicked the remote and turned my dream tv to something else.

This ability is called lucid dreaming. It means you know you are dreaming. It also means you can do things in your dream on purpose.

Lucid dreaming takes practice. First you have to recognize that you are in a dream and not awake in real life. One way to get good at this is to create a dream journal. Keep a notebook by your bed and write down everything you remember from your dream when you wake up. As time goes on, you will remember more and more about your dreams.

Next, try to get your dream self to wave at you. Whenever you recognize that you are dreaming, tell your dream self to wave. If you are lucky, he will. This takes tons of practice and not everyone can do it. But, it is fun to try. In fact, studies show that kids have an easier time lucid dreaming than adults. I think this is because kids use their imagination more often than adults do when they are awake.

Once you get your dream self to move, ask him to do other things besides wave. Have him change the channel from the dream he is in and go to another place with the click of the button. If you don’t like television, you can try something different. Maybe your dream self can turn the page of a book or turn the corner to a different street. I’ve tried them all.

I dream all the time. Every morning I wake up with a new dream to add to my journal. Most of them are goofy or weird, like the time I was an octopus with tiny submarines for babies. Sometimes they are scary. When this happens, I turn the channel and make the bad dream disappear.

Sweet dreams~

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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Daily Log

 

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Dust Bunnies and Plot Bunnies: What are they?

Every spring our Labrador Retriever sheds all her winter fur. This fur swirls into corners and under tables with dirt from our shoes, hair from our heads, skin cells and just plain dust. Eventually, these things tangle together and form a kind of mat or ball. This ball is held together by static electricity. This ball is known as a dust bunny.

Dust bunnies collect in even the cleanest of houses. They can often be found behind dressers, under beds, in closets and behind knick knacks on the book shelf. They collect in places where vacuum cleaners, dust clothes and brooms don’t always reach. Also, air movement from people in the house or from fans pushes all these dust bunny particles to the outer edges of a room.

So, where does the dust bunny get its name?

Nobody knows for sure. Some believe it came from the idea that real bunnies multiply very quickly–just like dust bunnies do.

According to Mental Floss, one female rabbit can have as many as 1,000 babies–or kits–in her lifetime. That sounds a little bit like the number of dust bunnies under my refrigerator right now! As a writer, we can spend so much time writing that we forget to dust as often as we should. Because of this, dust bunnies hop up everywhere.

The same idea is true for plot bunnies. Plot bunnies are used to describe the ideas that writers have. They are inspiration for story plots. Many writers spend a lot of time jotting down ideas based on things that happen in their lives. Writers often say, “I collect plot bunnies from watching my kids.” As you can imagine, kids do lots of interesting things. In this way, they are like walking plot bunnies!

Another word for writing ideas, or plot bunnies, is novel fodder.

Think about your favorite story. Where might the author have gotten inspiration from? What was the author’s plot bunny?

Now, look around you and start collecting those little bits of inspiration (like the bits of fibers and dust and hair that make up a dust bunny) and start weaving them into an amazing plot bunny of your own.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Daily Log

 

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Dog Talk: how much do they understand?

We have a tiny dog who looks–and acts–a bit like the monkey on The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. She’s feisty and fun. She also knows when it’s time to “get your boys”, “go outside”, “eat”, or “walk.” She knows “where’s Bailey?” and will head off in search of her pack mate when you ask this question.

She’s not quite a genius, but she’s pretty good at understanding the things that are important to her.

Bailey, on the other hand, knows an entirely different set of words since she never, ever gets to climb in the car and “get your boys” after school. Instead, she responds to things like “where’s your toy?”, “get your ball”, “on your rug”, and “kennel up.”

Our grandma dog, Kallie, would hear the word “naughty” and slink off to the laundry room just in case we were talking about her. The poor thing took the blame for things she never did.

We even had a dog once who would “pick up” her toys and put them in a pile under one of the tables in the living room.

So, just how many words does the average dog know? Dog experts say ruff-ly 165, while some well-trained dogs have been known to learn over 250 words. This means they can understand as many words as the average toddler. That’s a big vocabulary!

What words does your dog know? How did you train him/her?

Curious minds want to know.

 

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Daily Log

 

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Tales from the Bully Box: short stories on bullying

Tales from the Bully Box is finally here!

BullyBox_FrontCover-3Bullying stinks, but knowing what to do about it can make things better. In Tales from the Bully Box, you will find short stories about kids just like you. They get bullied, and sometimes they even bully. But most of the time, they are bystanders who have to figure out what to do when they witness the bullying all around them. In “Hailey’s Shooting Star,” one-handed Hailey proves her worth on the basketball court and as a friend. In “The Eyes on the Back of My Head,” you’ll get to stare straight into Mike Mansky’s soul with a pair of super-secret laser eyes. Filled with stories that take readers on a journey from the classroom to summer camp and the basketball court to the mall, Tales from the Bully Box inspires kids to be the best friends they can be.

If you want to know more about the authors and what they are doing to help stop bullying, visit them at The Bully Box by clicking here.

I hope you have as much fun reading this anthology as I had helping write and edit it.

Cat~

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Daily Log

 

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So you want to be a Writer: NaNo for Kids

Click to Join!

So many writers I know said they have always loved writing. They knew from elementary school on that they wanted to be an author.

True story, I wasn’t one of them.

But once I decided to be a writer, I had a lot to learn. For instance, there are two kinds of editing: copy editing and content editing. They are very different, and every story or novel requires a bit–or tons of–both. Yet before a writer can even think about editing, s/he needs to get a rough draft onto paper.

November is a great month to get this done thanks to a group of silly people called NaNoers. You see, National Novel Writing Month occurs in November. It is also known as NaNoWriMo. Big people write 50,000 word stories in 30 days. It’s totally crazy, I know.

True story, I’m one of the crazy big people.

Another true story? Kids can NaNo, too.

Thanks to the Young Writers Program, you pick your word count. So, if you want to be a writer, check it out. Talk to your teacher, your librarian, or gather a group of writerly friends. Click here to join NaNoWriMo and get your first draft on paper. After that, we’ll talk editing.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in News

 

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The Bully Box: a cool, new website

If you have a bully in your life, you’re not alone. If you don’t know what to do about the bully, you are in good company. Nearly 1/3 of kids are bullied at some time in their lives. And trust me, not very many know how to get the bully to back down.

That’s why I am part of a cool, new website called The Bully Box where teachers, parents and authors give tips on dealing with the big bad in your life. They also give tips to parents and teachers to help make your life a little easier at school or on the playground.

If you want to unlock the box on bullying and find out what you can do to make your school a safer, better place, click the picture above and visit The Bully Box.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in News

 

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Cover Revealed for Tales from the Bully Box

 

Thanks to author/illustrator, Sarah Tregay, the collection of short stories I helped pick and edit has a super awesome cover.

Stay tuned for its publication date, then ask mom or dad or your teacher to buy a copy asap–which means as soon as possible–because behind the super awesome cover are ten super awesome tales that can help you deal with the bully in your life. Even if that bully is you.

 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Book Blurbs

 

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