One book leads to another...

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG - Filling An Empty Shelf

Welcome Readers and fellow Writers, to the August 2018 virtual meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Founded by author Alex Cavanaugh and comprised of writing members just like you (and me), featuring writing tips, resources, articles, contests and IWSG swag! See what we’re all talking about here and join us as we share our writing journeys.

*We meet on the first Wednesday of every month – join us and enjoy!

As for me:
July was incredibly eventful. Between praying for rain and teaching my Summer Kids about the (then) upcoming Hunter/Buck moon and lunar eclipse, incidents and accidents flew around my universe as if a poltergeist had been set loose in a shoe store. 

But, in the midst of it all, some rather outstanding events coalesced into half a dozen new characters on my creativity shelf. 

 In lieu of a traditional rain dance, I experienced my first ‘Splash and Dash’ carwash. I thought sure panic would set it. Instead, I was reminded of the only cat (of many) I ever knew that actually hated water. Cha Cha, the Garden Thief, was already on my shelf but now she has a second chapter.

About a week later, I reached for what appeared to be a used fireplace matchstick; lying on the carpet, only to have it zip out of the room - with me in hot pursuit. Though I couldn’t remember not wanting to find something quite as much, I found the antagonist in the foyer, on the tile. It was moving in that lazy, wavy motion reserved for all sidewinders – no matter the age. Unaccustomed as I am to heroics, I threw the nearest, biggest coloring book I could reach on it, and requested a “bigger book” (I know, I should be shot) for back up. Only after I’d thrown the second book did I wail in dismay “Aw, that’s a classic!”. The youngster who had provided the book pointed to the coloring book and replied: “That’s a classic, too.” Touché 😉

Two days after that, when my heart rate had returned to normal, I caught a glimpse of a fuzzy brown branch; bobbing outside a window where only cactus grows. Dare I even look? I wondered. This time I called for backup first, and he brought his camera. It was not one, but two velvet-antlered bucks; admiring themselves in the glass – just in time for the full Buck moon!

Creativity ebbs and flows in a writer’s world, and while dusting an empty shelf can be disheartening, there are wisps of literary magic floating everywhere, waiting for us to grasp them. My shelf is almost full again. How’s yours? Can a shelf of creativity ever be too full?

Happy Writing!


  1. Hi, diedre!

    I am happy to know you survived the month of July and its myriad incidents and accidents. I often catch myself saying "thank goodness that dreadful month is over" and, at year's end, "thank goodness that dreadful year is over." A gentle reframing allows me to acknowledge myself for summoning the resources to handle the problems and crises that inevitably arose and to cope with situations over which I have no control.

    I do not relish the thought of finding a snake in the house, even a baby reptile. Did the cute little thing rattle as you approached? :) The first year in our new house we found a scorpion in Mrs. Shady's nightgown and a large frog swimming in our toilet bowl. Both discoveries are guaranteed to give you a thrill. :)

    How lucky you were to have velvet antlered bucks wander onto your property. I hope you snapped some pictures.

    It makes me happy to know that your creative juices are flowing and your pensive pen is writing, dear friend diedre. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Ha! You know what they say: What doesn't kill us gives us something new to write about ;-)
      The little snake actually assumed the position (coiled up)at me once he knew I meant business. I see I neglected to mention I did get him out of the house with a broom.
      Leapin' Lizards! We've had scorpions in the house, but in Mrs. Shady Nightie? I'd have insisted on moving, I imagine.
      Hubs did get a few good pictures of the bucks. I forgot to ask him to send them to my computer in time for the post. It was indeed a treat to see them so close - in fairly broad daylight! I'm thinking of a later post on the year in retrospect, which would include snapshots ;-)
      Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. See you soon!

  2. A snake in your house? Now that's no fun. Good thing you didn't pick it up. At least the deer stayed outside.

    1. Hi Alex!
      Nah, no fun. But it sure was exciting ;-) Had they not seemed in such a hurry, I might have invited the deer inside.

  3. Sounds like you're experiencing lots of restless energy. I'm glad it's triggering your muse. Happy writing in August!

    1. Hi Rhonda!

      I think you're right, and I'm glad too! Happy writing to you, as well ;-)

  4. So true about the ebbs and flows. I've had highs and lows this July concerning life in general as well as my creativity. Mostly after my vacation ended it's been mostly a big low which is partly the coming down from the excitement of vacation along with other life hassles.

    My wife would have a heart stoppage if she found a snake in the house or even just saw one somewhere. She's got a huge fear of snakes. I wouldn't want to find one myself, but they are fascinating to watch.

    I wish us all an abundance of creative flow.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee!

      Coming home from vacation - especially an exceptionally good one, can be quite a let down. Have you started plans for the next one yet?
      I do hope none of those fires are effecting you.
      I'm used seeing snakes outside, around the desert. I feel like that's where they ought to stay ;-)
      I'm with you, my friend, let's all have an abundance of creativity!

  5. That’s so true! Literary magic is all around us and i loved the way you handled the snake. I am happy
    You are all safe and you’ve managed to develop some fantastic new writing ideas out of all of your adventures :) Happy IWSG day :)

    1. Hi Erika!

      Yes, we're all just fine and the kids think I'm not afraid of anything - ha!
      You're right, I did catch a few fantastic wisps of creativity this month ;-)
      Happy IWSG day!

  6. Wow - that's some cosmic energy bouncing around. Glad you got the snake out. The snake is less terrifying to me than Lynn La Vita's scorpion. Must be something in the air.

    1. Hi Lee!

      I'll say! But it sure shakes the cobwebs off the humdrums ;-)
      Thanks for leading me to Lynn's blog. She's as interesting as you are!

  7. >>... a poltergeist had been set loose in a shoe store.

    Ha! That's a terrific line, dIEDRE. It really "conjures up" a vivid mental image!

    Just last month I encountered a rattlesnake crossing my path in the Virginia City (Nevada) cemetery at about 9:00 AM. (If a black cat crossing your path is bad luck, what is it if it's a rattler crossing your path?)

    At least he was outdoors, where God intended him to be. And it was a good reminder for me to be more careful about where I put my foot down. I've done a LOT of hiking in the mountains around Virginia City, and I'll admit I've gotten kind of lax about it. Mr. Rattler put it in my mind not to forget that this is "real life" and "really wild" countryside, not some Disney-like amusement park.

    I love your way with words. (I know I've said that before, but now I've said it again.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

    1. Hi Reno!
      A rattler, in a cemetery, at 9:00 AM is quite an unsettling way to start a day, my friend. Then again, the same thing could happen in Tombstone, Arizona ;-) I'm curious as to whether you were visiting, or just passing through the cemetery? The weather-beaten sign at Boot Hill doesn't mention a thing about slithering residents, yet there are a mind-rattling few. May I suggest a walking stick?
      Thanks for chiming in, it's always good to hear from you ;-)
      Happy (and safe) Adventures!

  8. Your book-throwing story made me LOL! ☺ I would have had a similar reaction to anything moving on the floor indoors. We get those horrible centipede things and they are lightning-quick! Here's hoping this month will be calmer for you, but at least all the turmoil restocked your creativity shelf. Have a fabulous August!

    1. Hi Debbie!
      It was eventful, alright ;-) And oddly invigorating. I'm ready for whatever August brings. May your month be full of pleasant surprises!


Any thoughts? Join the conversation, comments welcome here!