When things get too serious it’s time to break out my Drawlings! Today’s post has put them to work and so…on with the show!
Sometimes we just can’t physically get there, so this was the next best thing; a virtual expedition!
At first glance one would think that there was no life at the Djuma Game Preserve watering hole. Over eight thousand miles away, however, I was able to look through the lens of a camcorder and peek into the private moments of the South African wilderness. 16:39 Central African Time Zone (CAT), which is Greenwich Mean Time plus two hours had earned me a new title; I had become ‘the armchair naturalist’.
An oblong watering hole flanked by mounds of grey dirt and shrubby trees came into view. There was a slow almost deliberately lazy flow of water, which I sensed was rather shallow. Every now and again a disturbance by some water insect would set the surface in motion with the same rings that are set off by someone skipping a rock across a lake; and from the center outward small ripples ruffled the otherwise tranquil water. The background trees, some sparse of leaves while others like a full head of green hair were mixed together. I found myself being very still, as though my movement would rouse any animal or creature that might choose to make itself present. There was a constant caw of birds and the buzzing of insects; however, they knew when it was their turn to make a sound for not one seemed to interrupt the other. Crickets perhaps, and the coming and going of feathered fowl, some in flight and others taking a leisurely paddle in the grey murky water gave life to what seemed to be an uninhabited spot.
Yet, out of the background, as though the spindly tress had suddenly sprung legs, there was definite movement; not that of a bird, but yet a larger and more deliberate force that one could only assume was a mammal. Several tall and graceful beasts made their appearance, and though they were not easy to see, my knowledge of zoo animals clearly identified them as giraffes. Their colors were hazy and though these creatures came upon the screen ashen and white; apparitions they were not for the outline of slender necks reaching almost as high as the tallest branches gave way to their distinctly original features.
Within only a few moments, as if by invitation from the giraffes, a half a dozen shy nyala, appeared. Not taking any risks, they remained half hidden by the scruffy brush as they half-heartedly scurried about, only to be upstaged by a rather bold and curious water fowl that found a sumptuous meal by dining upon the very muddy banks of the shore. Its grey and white feathers blended in with its surrounding, while the only lively color on the shore was verdant green lichen attached to a rock that the water bird found flavorful; for between sips it pecked favorable at the mossy fauna with its long pale yellow beak.
And then, just as quickly as the watering hole had invited life, so did it abruptly become dormant. For suddenly the only conceivable measure of being came from a listless breeze, which carried the hum of insects and the startled cry of birds across the hemispheres while the view from my corner of the world once again became a game of hide and seek.
Here’s the site! Djuma waterhole
Old fashion words never go out of style, they just seem to be brushed aside. However, from Old-English to around your grandmother’s kitchen table, a person comes across these once familiar words like old friends. Although language is evolving, and word mutations have entered modern day language, it is not uncommon, especially for writers who wish to authenticate their jargon, to add flair and accuracy to their works.
And so, today’s blog plays tribute to the retired words, and like good soldiers they should not be forgotten. Whether you express yourself with brevity or tend to be long-winded, there is always room to rediscover.
Shameful perhaps, however, I hope it is more thought of as a helpful guide, I have slipped into my blog conversation my title, Once Upon a Time Words: Definitions of Often Read but Seldom Spoken Words. As you might imagine, I am a word lover.
Writing styles are affected by various attributes such as genre, time and culture settings, social backgrounds, personalities of the characters, and the mood of a scene. Fiction offers a distilled representation of the ways in which writers are among the most significant touchstones in another’s life. However, as much as a writer may have the zest and passion to write, there is always that time in the day when she or he asks “is this story any good?”
Today’s post is dedicated to those writers that could use a bit of push in the right direction. The rubric below may help you get back your confidence. Getting opinions are helpful, but self-guided direction may be the first step to improving your story.
Directions: Reread your story. What do you need to do to make it better? Use this rubric to help you decide. Check the sentences that describe your story.
The beginning makes my audience want to read more. It introduces the characters, the setting, and the problem.
The middle shows how the characters deal with the problem.
All of the events are in order and are important to the story.
The ending shows how the problem works out.
Details make the story come alive!
My characters have a voice, and the story sounds the way I wanted.
There are almost no mistakes in capitalization, punctuation, or spelling.
The beginning could be more interesting.
I haven’t told how the characters deal with the problem.
I forgot to include some important events.
The story doesn’t sound finished.
Details need to show, not tell, about the characters, events, and setting.
My story doesn’t sound the way I wanted.
There are a few mistakes.
Back to the drawing board
The beginning is boring.
There is no clear problem.
The story is confusing. Important events are left out.
The ending just stops. How does the problem work out?
Where can I add details?
My story is written in a dull, flat voice.
There are a lot of mistakes.
Wouldn’t it be nice if life had a rubric…but then perhaps it would be boring!