Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You never know-at least I never do!

   I took a walk with coffee cup in hand, to check out the wild blackberries on our property. I knew they must be close to picking, but not this close.
   It's a pretty big patch and easy access, so I finished the coffee and filled the cup with the beautiful black beauties that are just ripening.

   and then...
       Right beside the blackberry patch is another wild crop, milkweed.
           ....and on that milkweed was a caterpillar, a black and white and yellow caterpillar.

      ...and beside the caterpillar was a ...

     So in my backyard I discovered the near beginning of a story and the very end of the same tale, but no middle this time. I promised myself early on that I wouldn't capture the things and watch the middle and end evolve-again! But, I did capture a few of the caterpillars and took then out back to the "boys". (twin nephews). I got report this morning that there's already a J hanging from the netting cover. That means with some luck, the kids will "see" the whole story....a show not tell thing!!!!! ((Couldn't help myself last night, but to go out and gather a few more for the little niece next door.)))
    Okay writers, we all know the basics of story writing, but this whole gathering thing is just a reminder for us-
       All stories must have:
           Ending (with a surprise twist)
   In this case, the butterfly is surely the suspenseful surprise ending for the kids (big and small)....and then it flies away and a new chapter begins. In the meantime, don't give up!
    Whoops! I almost forgot my own surprise ending in my search for caterpillars...I came upon a scary looking porcupine! Let me tell you, I didn't hang around to see what came next. That was enough of a page turner for me. I spun around and followed the path back to the house as fast as my feet would take me!!!

      It's no wonder that almost everything I write has a little sprinkling of nature thrown in, whether it be fiction or non-fiction story. My days are filled with so many things of nature, even when I go kayaking (yes, that was yesterday) Maybe, especially when I go out in the kayak.

   What lurks amongst the lily pads and pickerel weeds? We heard bull frogs croaking and a great blue flew out, only to change his position so there was no photo shots of him. But this guy let me get close. I paddled around him while he stood on guard but didn't plop into the water.
A turtle standing like this always makes me think of one of those water type hunting dog...feet in position and the hind leg pointed out, ready for action. (I don't really know. Is that kind of how a dog stands waiting?)

So those are my stories for this week. Or maybe the story seeds that are never ending around here.
This all reinforces my idea of what "nature" themed story to submit to one of our NESCBWI conference editors-today.

Just one more thing, and I've posted this place many times. It always amazes me as we kayak under. I wonder how the "old timers" positioned that granite to form the arch and make it stay, and how they even got those chunks up there without all the power equipment of today. I think I must ask my friend "google"
Have a happy week. Look around, what do you see? Dance-tonight's one of my nights. (Zumba of course!)

Friday, July 20, 2012


   I have been MIA, as has been my writer's muse. Few new words have flowed and not new story ideas until last night in the middle of it. It was an exciting PB idea, even had the main character (animal) going to different places, thus a series of fun stories. Yay! Except I only remember "it" was an animal, and the adventures were exciting!!!!
    I don't believe in writer's block, more like writer's rest, so I think we both may have waken up-finally. So what does this children's writer do when the words won't flow? Well write of course! The old stories come out and get reviewed, the online friends send their words over for critique, and another friend sent a reminder that deadline is looming for submitting to  a few conference editors. Deadline time-so I squeaked in the nick of time to send off a few polished manuscripts.
   The vacation from words is over for me and that muse and I have an idea brewing, as I type, from an interesting story I heard on the news.
   But I'll let you know that the rest of my life is on vacation most of the time. Not the go away kind, but the look around and plunge into what's available kind... Like,  last week my daughter called at 6:00 am and asked if I'd help her give out flowers in our 'ville parade. She was able to come over from work and  participate in the 200 year celebration of her hometown. So after my Sat morning Zumba class, I helped! Lots of roses for lots of lovely people.

   I thought that the whole little 'ville was in the parade so was surprised to see so many spectators along the mile stretch. After the parade, there were games for all the "kids" all day long (including horseshoes and volley ball), a supper and an amazing display of fireworks to end the festivities.


Then there was the 4 1/2 hour kayaking paddle around Friendship Long Island with daughter and sister-in-law the other day. It was so beautiful with the droning hum of the lobster boats in the water. The lobstermen had parked their boats for a few days because the price is way down and gas and bait prices aren't costing any less. It was good to see them out and about doing what they love best-their job.
We all shared the sea.
 All of the sternmen aren't men!

Then there was the community walk/dance through Camden to benefit the Community Cares (for kids) program. (I volunteered for the kiddos in the 5 surrounding communities)
Babysitting the niece on the spur of the moment. 
But now, it's off to write that great story!
So, as usual, "there's nothing to do" way out here in the country!!!