Animal Encounters – NY

Lately I’ve been recalling several wild animal encounters our family has had over the years. I started writing some of them down. I’m only to 10K so far, so not sure it would be enough to make a book. But I thought I’d share one of the encounters here.

In the late 1980s and early 1990’s, we lived in Cheektowaga, NY. We were a fifteen-minute drive west to a bridge to Canada, and a half-an-hour drive north to Niagara Falls.

There was a lovely eatery in Tonawanda called Mississippi Muds. It overlooked the Niagara River. We went there a few times for their fabulous ice cream. The entire other side of the road was dedicated to a riverwalk park with several playground areas scattered throughout. Next to the path on the river side, the bank was piled with large rocks to keep the water back and keep the land from slipping into the river. Bikers, runners, strollers, fishermen…the path and park was well used.

We’d gone to Mississippi Muds for an after supper dessert treat. We decided to walk the pathway at sunset while we ate our ice cream. We walked the path in the growing dusk. As it got darker, people began leaving the parkway. We kept on walking, appreciating the time as a family and the fact that there were less and less people to avoid. After a while, we were the only people on the path.

One of the boys spotted a black creature along the rocks which they had been earlier leaping from one to another upon. It looked like a small dog or large cat. We naturally stayed away from it and kept walking, telling the boys to stay on the path now. We came to a small arched bridge going over a narrow runoff leading into the river. We stood on the top of the arch and looked around us in the gathering dark. It felt great to have the park entirely to ourselves. Then I looked down and found we were not alone.

The bank edges and the water below us was alive with movement. It took only a few seconds to realize the movement was not running water, but scrambling animals. The gully was alive with rats, big black rats.

We turned and started jogging the mile or two back to our car. We no longer stuck to the path, for more and more rats appeared from the rocky barrier next to it. We ran parallel to the path, about twenty feet inland, jumping through the playground areas, keeping ever alert and minding our distance from the nighttime creatures of the Niagara River. They were not small dogs. They were not large cats. They were very, very, very big rats.

What inspires me as a MG/Tween writer?

My publisher, MuseItYoung, has a blog for MG/Tween/YA/NewYA. We authors are presented with a topic and asked to respond. The topic for this Saturday is “What inspires me as a MG/Tween/YA/NewYA writer.” I responded. So this is a reprint part of a future blog post. I added one more thing in this post.
What inspires me as a MG/Tween writer:
I write what I like to read, or what I like to do…even though I don’t actually, however much I wish I could, ride unicorns through mountains nor eat with dragons in their fall caves.
I’m inspired by people around me – the best and the worst.
I’m inspired by silence.
I’m inspired by shortness of breath on a mountaintop or by nearly tumbling off a dock into the sea during a raging storm.
I’m inspired by stories of real life heroes, those who make me cry and cheer.
I’m inspired by seven deer leaping a fence in the colorful fall, and by tiny stalks and flowers bursting through the snow in early spring.
I’m inspired by elderly people with all their experiences, and by newborn babies continuing the circle of hope.
What inspires me? Life inspires me. Hope inspires me. You reading this inspires me.

Post-Post NaNoWriMo — Step One

Yes, it’s a busy time of year between the holidays, family time, and end-of-year necessities. But you still must be writing! Never give up the quest.

Hopefully, for those who wrote words during November’s NaNoWriMo, that was only the start of a long process which you will see to the end.

The first step is to look over what you wrote last month, and to dump/delete/trash all the unnecessary words, scenes, chapters, characters, and unrelated stuff. The first year I did this, I cut 47K of my 50K NaNo words. I confess. I am a NaNoWriMo babbler.  In my defense, by forcing myself to babble I often come up with some surprising to me things. One year, I gave my middle school characters an assignment by their teacher to write their autobiographies. Of course, none of those autobiographies made it into the final story, but it was a great writing exercise for this author to get to know her characters better.

Delete. Delete. Delete.

By getting rid of your babble (excess words), you will find that what’s left is a very nice skeleton of plot and character to soon start fleshing out.

NaNoWriMo Day 28, second attempt

Here’s your photo challenge of the day. Apologies if it’s doubled:

IMG_5066 A

Even our big-boy computer doesn’t seem to want to publish my blog posts today. So I try again from fresh, v.s. draft post. Perhaps it’s the CRAZY weekend with lots and lots of people on the Internet?

Three more days of NaNo writing. If you haven’t made the 50K mark, there’s still time. If you know you aren’t going to make it, but have written something fresh this month, hurray! That’s that much more you’ve written and thought about on your story, or stories. Don’t give up.

 

 

Missing Photo Challenge Posts for NaNoWriMo 2015

Yes, I have indeed been pressing the “publish” button for my daily posts for a different photo/day during this month of NaNoWriMo, intended as a visual for a challenge or aid or encouragement for your story, picture book idea, or illustration. And, yes, even today I posted day #21…but it, too has gone into Internet Ether.

As each prewritten post and photo disappear as I press it to be published, the action sucks my writing time. Or is this merely another excuse or procrastination for my writing 1,700 daily words during this month-long challenge? I know I’ve used others excuses. I’m sure you could add your personal ones as well.

So when I’m done here, I’m going to get my jumpdrive plugged in and notes set up and get ready to type my little old heart out before the winter storm today dumps too much wet snow on our tree limbs and takes out our power, photo challenge and/or this post gone to Internet Ether, or not. (Oh. And did you just see that? I used no electricity as yet another excuse for not writing! How easy it is to do. Silly me. I do own paper and pens.)

Now, go write.