The Story of NaNo In the Weirdest Words ~ A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Words, words, everywhere, yet none that seem to fit.
Words, words, worthless ware… NaNo’s hard. I quit.

Struggling with the English language? Finding it difficult to suss the perfect words from the inept, not just in your novel, but in your explanations of NaNoWriMo? You’re not alone. Here we are, more than three weeks into this crazy adventure to which we have (once again and with masochistic glee) subjected ourselves, and if you’re anything like me, you can’t help but consider how insufficient our vocabularies can be. How clumsy and inadequate our phrasing in describing this yearly ritual to anyone in the normal world, where staring at a blinking cursor with your hands in your hair is seen for the demented exercise it certainly is. How are we to explain why our socks don’t match, why we haven’t showered in four days, or why our families are giving us such a wide berth that friends are left questioning whether “WriMo” might be a euphemism for someone with a heavy meth problem?

We can say it’s a test of will. We can call it weary madness and ambition and SO MUCH COFFEE. But that doesn’t cover it by half, does it? And what of the secret to winning? If you were asked to condense the key to this month-long affair into a single word, could you do it?
Luckily, removing language barriers is one of the unspoken perks of being a veteran. (Not really, but take the journey with me anyway. It’ll be fun.)

Hot, Cold, and Cool ~ A Message from the Author of "The Adventures of Bob"

A guest post by Ryan Shea, author of The Adventures of Bob, to Doodledip for Soup.

Hi. My name is Ryan Shea and I am an elementary school counselor at a K-4 school. I've been in education for 15 years, and I'm still going strong because I love working with kids!  A big majority of my day at school is spent in the classrooms teaching kids how to control their feelings when dealing with difficult people, or in their world...teasers! I combine two programs that are available to any school district: "Bullies to Buddies" and the "Be Cool" program.

Most of what I do is from the Be Cool program and I pull bits from Bullies to Buddies. Basically the kids learn the phrase: DON'T BE HOT, DON'T BE COLD, BE COOL.

Students learn that kids tease in order to get a reaction. Getting mad at a bully/teaser is a HOT reaction, and getting sad/crying/begging to stop is COLD. Not giving a reaction is COOL. Being cool is as simple as ignoring teasers, walking away, laughing, and even saying "Hey thanks!"

But kids have to work at being cool. So many just give up and show the Hot Cold reactions, the bully is given the response they wanted. I tell the kids, if you show Hot or Cold reactions to someone teasing you, for example, "I hate your new haircut!" or making fun of your name, the bully wins; that's what a bully wants, is to win and see you react.

Giving no reaction and being Cool, is boring to the bully. Bullies want reactions. No reactions tells a bully they loose. Although, a bully/teaser will try a few times, but if they are getting bored with no reactions, they tend to move on.

Being COOL for kids is very easy to remember and reminding them they win and the bully loses. I have kids practice saying "Be Cool" to themselves when they feel Hot or Cold emotions in certain situations.
DON'T BE HOT, DON'T BE COLD, BE COOL: it's simple, straight to the point, and easy to remember; especially for little ones.

I'm also a published author. My very funny children's book is called: The Adventures of Bob, to Doodledip for Soup. A bad bowl of space soup, a fat purple servant space cat, and  space puppies called Froogaloogers, keep kids entertained through out the entire story. It's a great fit for 2nd and 3rd graders, and a fun read aloud to little ones.


You can learn more about Ryan Shea by following him on Twitter at:
And be sure to pick up your copy of The Adventures of Bob in paperback, audio, or kindle formats.

Jax and Mack ~ My First (Fully Illustrated) Picture Book *SQUEE!*

Though Chugga Train has been chugging the free corners of the interwebs for an age or so now, I'm so excited to announce the release of Jax and Mack as my first fully illustrated picture book. It is a rhyming children's story about two magical creatures who find their way (through their love of books) to an even more magical place called a library.

(Fans of The Sons of Masguard may recognize this story as told by McKinley the Marauder to a rapt group of orphans following a storm. He'd be so proud!)

Currently available for purchase on Amazon, and on YouTube for your viewing/listening pleasure.