Learning Social Media, The Babbling Brook, Uncategorized

Land of the Coots

Two white contrails sliced the cloudless blue sky as planes rumble past each other. The sound carries easily across the desert and down into the gully. The travelers are glad to leave the winter winds of Canada behind. They will rush from the planes to their hotels, to the restaurants, to play the slots, and maybe, if time permits, see a show. Most will stay the weekend, or a couple of days more for the lucky ones. Then, onto outbound planes, returning from the Sin City, back to the cold, snow and work.

They won’t see the soft, beige Pampas grass that grows tall along the edge of the gully.  Their large feathery heads bright against the tall red walls of the riverbanks. Six-foot-high reeds swaying, releasing their seeds into the gentle breeze. The skeleton of a Creosote tree firmly planted along the shore, its roots no longer reaching the life-giving water, is a look-out for the small Sagebush sparrows.

They won’t see the sand and desolation that surrounds a small, lush oasis, created by eons of flash floods. Bright snippets of green peeking out as the Mesquite Honey bushes attempt to set roots in the sandy soil.

They won’t hear the water, a wandering minstrel, that begins its song from far away.

We hear the soft melody that transforms into a deep throated song as the creek flows through the Vegas Wash, tumbling over the dark, jagged river rock.

We see two Mallards, drake and hen, sitting on a craggy boulder in the middle of the creek. The couple preens, pulling the oils along their feathers, waterproofing their wings.

We see a blue heron fly low over the water as we climb along the dusty riverbank. It lands on a nearby sandbar, and waits, silently, for us to leave. The shadow of a cormorant glides past as it lands in a nearby eddy, perhaps to steal the heron’s deserted catfish.

We see four young Coots, frolic in the small whirlpools. Their ivory beaks bright against their ebony bodies as they plunge into the depths, hunting for snails or maybe a tadpole. They dive into the smooth pool at the top of a gentle cascade, popping up in the white foamy bubbles, to join the raft of Coots downstream. Shaking water from their sleek heads, they dance through the rapids back to the headwaters of their playground.

Soon, we also must leave, to catch the plane, to return to the cold and snow.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

February 5 – Supporting Cast 

Support. To keeping something going. Your supporting cast moves the protagonist’s story forward, or backward, or perhaps slides it sideways.

DIY MFA Radio Episode 103 (sorry, I cannot get the links to work)

Writing  the Multiple Point of View novel with Emma Staub.

My WIP has many characters, but it is not a multi-character story. It has  one main character, with the story told in many POV’s. Each character moves my protagonist closer to his goal, even when he is not in that particular scene. The supporting characters’ views, on achievement and success, impacts my protagonist.

“adulthood is a moving target” – Emma Staub (Episode 103)

This is the theme of my story. I didn’t have one until I listened to this podcast. But I digress……

Back to the supporting cast.

the Fool – the protagonist’s cousin. She introduces Love Interest (2) and moves the story along when it gets stuck.
the Love Interest (1) she is toxic, pulls down the protagonist. She is messy, not good for him and bad things happen to her all the time.
the Love Interest (2) she is “normal”, has normal issues.
the Side Kick (1) he is toxic, messy, pulls down the protagonist, he causes bad things to happen.
the Side Kick (2) he is “normal”, has normal issues
(ahh, I see what is happening here)
the Mentor – his grandfather, a man who has lived life, made his mistakes, sharing what he has learned.
and of course, the Puppy, because all stories should have a puppy.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

February 3 – Ohm’s Law
Resistance = Voltage/Intensity

R= V/I


Ohm’s definition – the potential difference in charge between two points in an electromagnetic field.
My definition – the objective – getting a the first round of revision done by the end of February.


Ohm’s definition – the measure of difficulty of passing an electric current through a substance. 
My definition – the difficulty of sitting down and working on the revisions of my WIP


Ohm’s definition – the measurable amount of force used to affect change.
My definition – the amount of effort I put into my WIP at any given time.

To reduce Resistance, you must increase Intensity. The Voltage is the constant.

The accumulation of unnecessary projects or distractions (resistance) dilutes the effort I put into my WIP (intensity).  My objective is to revision 1000 words per day (voltage)

My Resistance/day: I joined a 6-week prompt challenge. My online writing group starts a new project, requiring writing, revision, rewriting. It is year end for our “real-life” business . I plan a holiday, no, wait… two holidays. I visit with a friend, it’s because it is her birthday. I started the diyMFA Book Club, WIP,  etc. etc.
R= V/I = 1000 words for WIP/8 projects or distractions = 122 words


My Resistance/day: My online writing group starts a new project, requiring writing, revision, rewriting. It is year end for our “real-life” business. I started the diyMFA Book Club (30 minutes) WIP, etc. etc.
R=V/I = 1000 words for WIP/6 projects or distractions = 166 words


My Resistance/day: My online writing group starts a new project, requiring writing, revision, rewriting. I started the diyMFA Book Club 
R=V/I 1000 words for WIP/3 projects or distractions – 333 words

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

I have already spent way to much time on this blog and not my WIP
………proving the power of resistance.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 31 – “Best Practice(s)” ~that didn’t work for me~

  • 1. Write “X” number of words everyday.   This is the worst. I will write, count (14 words) write, count again (17 words) and then write some more and count AGAIN.(25) I get nothing done, I become consumed with the words. I have tried NaNoWriMo four times and “won” once. 1666 words everyday was just too stressful. I was constantly in catch-up mode.  Solution: I write by time. I always set a timer, deciding on how much time I have to devote at the beginning of each session. More often than not, I overwrite my time, but I am liberated and know I can stop when I need to because I have met my criteria. (NaNo Camp in July is perfect for me.)
  • 2. Work from an outline. Nope!. I write organically, often unaware of where my characters are going to take me. I can’t outline something that does not yet exist. Solution: Once I have written a story, short or long, and extremely messy and disjointed, I return to the beginning of the journey. Then, I do character sketches and outline.
  • 3 Revision – Reread your scene and then set it aside and rewrite it from memory. I have tried to do this several time. Again. Nope! “Why,” yells Gnome, “would you try to write something you have already written?” Solution: Thank goodness for ~cut and paste~. Now I take a sentence or a paragraph, write it down on the top of a fresh page and run away with the story, organically.  It is the same thing you say? According to Gnome it is not and that is what counts.

PS. I set a 15 minute timer and have gone over that by 16 minutes and have written approximately 300 words. This includes taking a picture of Gnome. (note to self – Gnome needs a photoshoot)

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 29 – Feed Your Creativity

I have tried several times to make an oracle, mood board and angst jar. My attempts seemed contrived and forced. It just wasn’t working for me. Then, after a particularly, and rare, bad day in the office, my husband brought me a new tea cup in a pretty gift box and a bouquet of flowers. (Even though he had nothing to do with that particularly rare bad day.) I had my box, my treasure chest! A few days later, my mom called and said she had found a little two inch gnome that had hung on my door knob throughout my childhood. She, who saves nothing, had saved my gnome. He now resides in my treasure box. I have yet to learn if he is my outer muse or inner critic, or perhaps a bit of both. Then, I found, and I don’t remember where, a giant red die. It sits beside Gnome in the treasure box.

My creativity is fed by my family, my friends, my environment, my dogs and cats, but mostly by me. I love to set challenges for myself. For instance, my current challenge is a  weekday challenge. Fifteen minutes each day, Monday to Friday, of new content for my WIP. I cannot write “X” number of words. I spend the whole time counting and not writing. (so far….7/30 days – haven’t missed a day.) I have done NaNoWriMo  four times, and only succeeded once. NaNo Camp is more my style.

Finding Word Nerd Unite and other Facebook groups has inspired me to keep going. I have met people on these sites from all over the world. I am spurred on by the positive feedback and constructive critique, by watching others with the same fears and onstacles power through and succeed.

There is no velvet rope, no exclusive club. My creativetiy is just that, MINE.

DIYMFA - Book Club

diyMFA101 – Book Club

January 25 – Story Telling Super Power

Photo by Elias Castillo on Unsplash

The Underdog

You are the quintessential underdog storyteller and your superpower is creating relatable characters who have a deep desire to change something in themselves or in the world around them. From rages-to-riches narratives to epic David- and-Goliath style battles you craft stories with high stakes and compelling characters your readers can’t help but love.