Tag Archives: rain

Nanowrimo Day 4 ‘D’ for Dialogue with my cat

Day 4….#NaNoWriMo

I woke up to rain pelting my windows.  And, to my cat having a conversation with the raindrops running down -the outside- of my bedroom window. His nose was pressed to the glass, following the movement. Leaning away from the window, his furry cheeks puffed as he glared.  He let out a loud angry, ‘MEOW.”  Then he reared up and started pawing at the glass. He was trying to dig his way through the windowpane, to those raindrops. Raindrops with the audacity to thumb their wet noses at him.

 

“Stop,” I said.

My husband said, “your cat.”

“Yours too.”

The cat yowled, again.

Both of us yelled. “Shut up!”

 

What moved this dialogue?

Nothing. Unless we heard a noise outside the window.

 

“Stop,”  I said.

My husband said, “your cat.”

“Yours too.”

The cat yowled, again. Something large hit the window. Scaring the cat. He ran in the closet.

“What was that? Go look,” I said.

“Me! And be eaten by zombies. You look!”

 

What was at the window? It wasn’t a zombie but a raccoon. A raccoon with large claws that started pulling at the window frame. Guess he wasn’t happy being watched by a cat. (Note to self. Buy caulk.)

D is for Dialogue.

What do you need to write great dialogue?  Do you need to know where to put your noun? Where to add an action verb, how to be aware of prepositions?  Sentence structure?  Correct grammar?

Um, No.

Everyone knows someone who  habitually corrects spoken grammar … My husband is one of them. When writing, kick them out of your head.

Dialogue isn’t full sentences and correct grammar.

Dialogue’s function in a story is to reveal information, meaning, conflict, desire, and motivation, adds drama, and adds movement, creates a voice for your character making him/her real, and an IT scarier.

Drop extraneous words. If you are unsure which words to drop, then pretend you are physically in the scene and act it out.  Did it roll off your tongue? Or did zombies catch you while you were quoting the Gettysburg Address?

My example:

I want ice cream.”

“Later.”

“Now.”
“Can’t you wait?”

“No.”

 

I recommend reading Richard Ford. He is amazing at writing dialogue. He moves the story forward with subtext to imply motives. Pay attention to his dialogue tags.

 

“And I guess you’re married, too.”

“I was,” I said. “But not right now.”

“That’s fine, “ she said.

“You look fine.” She smiled at me. 

~(Page 189) Rock Springs stories, by Richard Ford

 

And this one:

 

“Did you happen, “ my mother said, “to find a pair of striped socks anywhere in this house today?”

“No,” I said.

“Well, “ she smiled. “Have you eaten anything?”

“No,” I said. “But, I’m hungry.”

“I’d fix something, “ she said. Then she looked around at the clock that was beside the door to the kitchen. “I’ll fix something in a while,” she said….”

~ pg. 134, Richard Ford, Wildlife.

Listen to how you talk. Record your voice. Ignore your, Um’s and huh’s. Listen to the words. Then write them down.

Then read them out-loud.

Flash from the past.

 

When the rain comes down in January

Day 22:

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” ~Bob Marley

My head is stuffed. I have a cold coming on, or I am reacting to the ‘interesting ‘ weather pattern. I heard on the ‘news’ that the temps had hit 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 °C)

Um! Hey guys. It’s January. What up!  

Right now, rains are pounding my roof. I heard that the weather would be turning colder – hitting the freezing mark tomorrow. And snow is rolling towards us from the west.

splitshire.com & pexels.com

I guess we are lucky, so far, that all this rain could be snow.

On the other hand, this is January and the ground in January is frozen solid to a depth of 3 feet or more.

So not so lucky.

All that rain coming down ‘will not’ be absorbed by the ground; instead, it will move along the surface causing a lot of flooding.

What will happen is in the middle of the night waters will rush over the farm fields from the west toward the east, until they hit the road, once there, they will blast past me along the north edge where the water will collect along the wetlands area.

Man the boats! But wait…

With the temps dropping all that water will freeze on the roads, in the fields,- ice rinks in the making.

So if you live in the mid-west, be careful driving and walking.

 

And yes! A Blah! Blah! Day.

Today I am reading: The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach by Robin Behn & Chas Twichell

I Stare Into A Place I Cannot Walk~The Ground Glistens With Temptation~

The world is covered in ice! 

I stepped outside to the sound of a thick rattling. Not a sweet musical pitch, more a deep thudding sound.

I tried to take a step forward and found myself without footing. I held tightly to my walking stick /ski poles they stopped me from taking a tumble.  Uriah was walking gingerly; he couldn’t get a foothold on the ice.  I decided, staying next to the door would be the safest place.

 It was ten o’clock in the morning. The temperature was over the freezing point.  Yet everywhere I looked my world was covered in a thick shiny ice…

This weather had started early yesterday.

By nine last night, when I took Uriah out for his last walk, I found the driveway coated with a ruff, white edged ice. At that time I was able to get a foothold, and take Uriah for a short walk.

As I walked out of the garage, I turned to the right, and chambered up the slight incline using my ski poles and Uriah, as a support.

The snow looked like butter crème frosting!  While the night before it resembled powdered sugar. I crunched though the top ice layer, and walked towards the vegetable garden and Uriah’s kennel.

Before I came outdoors, I had turned on the outside light above the garage door. That lit up the driveway and set a glow around the house.  

Once in the yard, I turned and faced the house.  On the northeast side of the roof I watched as water, illuminated as silver sheen, ran down the roof and over flowed from the frozen gutters. From there, it traveled down the light pole.  The water never made it to the ground.  It froze solid in mid-run, and coated the pole, and the light in clear ice.  

 The deck was an ice rink, thick as twenty coats of varnish. The frozen clothes line was still stretched above the lower deck and connected to the upper side rails. I had forgotten to take in the aluminum pole I used to raise up those lines. That pole was more than covered in ice. It looked like it was dipped over and over like a giant clear candle, its center a soft fuzzy grey.

The grill that sat on a square pattern of pavers was sealed and enclosed in ice.

I was outside only ten minutes. During that time it snowed big flat flakes.  Then changed to an ice storm of painful pellets, and then changed into cold rain, only to start all over again, with the snow.

This morning, I stood outside the garage door and worried about the trees!  Then the electrical lines!  If the winds picked up, before the temperatures rose enough to melt the ice, I will have broken tree limbs and no heat.

Suddenly, the grey skies opened and it rained. Hard!  Only for a minute and then stopped.   

Uriah, oblivious!  Happily drank up some of the rainwater.  Carefully picking his way around the ice, he walked over to me.  Without sitting on his hindquarters, he waited for me to open the door. He had enough of this wet, icy world!  

I laughed as he waddled inside. He will forget and ask to be let out. That should happen in about an hour…

My One Month Blog Anniversary ~ Or Is That Called An ‘Blogiversary?’

December 2nd, 2009. I have had this Blog up one month, today. And I enjoyed writing every post. There aren’t any free downloads to commemorate the occasion, just this new Blog post. Enjoy! I love to hear your comments, or just say, ‘Hi,’ as you pass through.

Be careful don’t step in a muskrat hole! 

Today may be overcast and slightly cooler than yesterday, with the temperatures in the forties.  For some reason it just doesn’t feel cold to me.

As I walked around the back path, I stopped and listened to the small, black and grey, birds they fluttered and chirped angrily at me in the trees. These little guys jump around so fast and keep inside the tree branches it is hard to see specific markings. I will keep guess and searching for their names. Chickadee, maybe, they are in the order of Passeriformes.

Uriah kept his nose to the ground pointing out each new muskrat hole and scat droppings. I called to him and he sat at my side.

I closed my eyes and listened to the wind. That’s when I realized the breeze was moving in low from the Northwest, but along the ground. My coat fluttered and I felt the gentle breeze on my chin, and that’s where it stopped. The low grass rustled, but not the taller, dried beige tops of the Goldenrod. This wind was skimming the ground, sneaking around the base of the trees, chasing pieces of corn husks, and an odd leaf or two.

Sounds were muffled; I opened my eyes and looked up at the grey overcast sky. Today’s cloud cover  pulled in a heavy, thick silence, that precedes a storm, rain or snow.

I heard a motorized buzzing, I looked up and around. From the east, a small helicopter flew towards me, high above the plowed fields.  I watched as it approached, and passed overhead quickly.

When I looked down Uriah was gone. Little bugger! I couldn’t hear him nosing around anywhere and I wasn’t in the mood to start calling for him. I decided to continue on with my walk, he will find me this time.

I took my time walking back and as I hoped, Uriah was nervously waiting for me at the edge of the path. He wiggled into my leg to have his head patted, and nuzzled my coat pocket for a treat.

“Silly dog! Why should I give you a treat when you run off?”

My half hearted attempt at scolding him didn’t work; he just stared at me smiling. I gave him a Liver Snap biscuit.

Uriah tried to get me to look inside a large animals burrow by digging around it and crying.  Stupidly I approached, the subtle smell of a skunk wafted around me, I stopped, then slowly backed away and whistled for him to follow.   

 I walked along the tree line, as we headed back to the house. I saw the old pair of jeans that had been in Uriah’s kennel.  I mentioned them here:  http://gerardinebaugh.wordpress.com/?s=Magical+Gnomes.

They were bunched up against the base of a tree, nearly fifty feet inside the tree line.  I wondered, if  it was the coyotes who moved them around.

 Entering the backyard, we were greeted with the excited clicking of the Northern Cardinal; I saw four males, bright red, hopping from branch to branch in the old apple tree. More answered from deeper in the trees. Only one Sparrow showed his feathered features. I only saw him because I tried to look around the base of the apple tree for the female Cardinals. 

The air was getting heavier, and the cloud cover thickened almost instantly.  Rain is coming…