Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Acorn (#atozchallenge)

Welcome to my 1st post on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. My challenge, as I have chosen to accept it, is thus: I have asked on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for people to contribute random words beginning with the letter A (as well as B, C, etc.). From Random.org, I have selected one of these words, and will below challenge myself to connect said word to writing.

For the letter A, I received 46 suggestions. Random.org selected number 33: Acorn.


Image courtesy of Wiki Commons
I love squirrels.

I realize that I am in the minority of the population with this, as they rummage through planters, dig holes in the middle of your lawn, and potentially drive your pets (dogs, cats, iguanas, etc.) berserk with their romping and their erratic tail-flipping.

But just take a moment to consider the life of a squirrel. A squirrel's average life span is six years (source), and so they've got jam pack their lives with food and fun (and probably work on that whole continuation-of-the-species schtick, but that's beside the point).

Now, squirrels can't eat cellulose (i.e., the green in plant leaves), and need food full of protein, fat, and carbs (just like us, unless you're on Atkins) (source). Squirrels spend the summer months storing food so they can survive the winter, burying several sources of food--among them, the acorn.

Why's the acorn so great? As any seed, it's high in protein, but it's also high in fat to help keep those little rodents warm through the winter. It's packed with all the good stuff squirrels need for endurance through the cold, winter months. An acorn has all the vital goodness a squirrels needs in order to be successful in its main purpose--survival.

And this relates to writing... How?

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons
Let's talk about the acorn as a story idea.

What's necessary in that little acorn to make a successful story? Well developed characters (the main building block, i.e., the protein) and a plot with continual rising tension (the slow-burning endurance, i.e., the fat).

This is getting a little foodie. Anyone else hungry?

This tiny little seed with a cute hat can sustain the squirrel for a long time. A good idea, rich with character and plotty goodness, can lead the writer to beautiful novel, short story, poem, or even song lyrics. The build blocks are there. It's up to the writer to use them.

Sure, writing takes so much more than the seed to be successful. It takes the endurance to get through the winter (drafting, editing, honing style, discovering voice) and the early spring (querying) to get to the beautiful summer. With that endurance, which can come with the writer's belief in the strength of that little acorn, and faith in one's self, we can all make it to summer.

What do you do with your acorns? Do you have an ideas file? A notebook in your back pocket? A hole in the tree in your backyard where you hide them?

PS--I am also taking suggestions for the letter D. Got any? Leave them below. Thanks!


Carole Anne Carr said...

Loved the post, I have a squirrel as one of the main characters in my fantasy novel and he's always causing trouble! Carole.

Anonymous said...

Love the pics, and how you relate acorns to writing!

Jules said...

Immediately I thought of what that Acorn thinks of each time it sees your squirrels :)

And the squirrels ate my acorns :D
Great start!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Sylvia Ney said...

I like squirrels! ;-) I keep an idea file - a must since I have more ideas than completed projects. I really like your blog and I look forward to reading more from you.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Absolutely awesome association!

Kris Yankee said...

Wonderful start to the A to Z challenge. I, for one, like squirrels. We have one that hangs out on a tree limb very close to our upstairs bathroom window. I'll often see him when I'm brushing my teeth and wonder what he thinks of me watching him. I love the idea of an acorn (seed) as a visual for the story problem. Writers need those little seeds to help grow our plots. Without them, we'd wouldn't have a start.

Carol Riggs said...

Heeey, great comparison and analogy to writing. Ha, the "seed with the cute hat"--when I was young I used to play "house" with them, pretending they were people, and they all had little hats to wear. Fun! At any rate--let's all keep enduring, and make it to summer!!!

Grammy said...

I thought of what Jesus had to say about a grain of wheat, and how it has to die to produce growth of new wheat which then produces many grains. Your little acorn has to die in order to provide food for the squirrel to live. Our little ideas provide new ideas that grow into stories, don't they? I love words and the stories they can produce.
I enjoyed your post. Ruby

baygirl32 said...

I've been visiting quite a few blogs today for the A to Z, and yours is the first post I've seen about acorns!

for D - Decency, Delectable, Dreamy or Dynamic


Joe Richardson said...

Smashing post, Rosie! It was creative, thoughtful, fun.

Bookmarked your site. You'll be one of the crew I follow through the alphabet.

I look forward to seeing what you bring to the remaining 25.

Joe Richardson

Hart Johnson said...

I like squirrels, too, even if they dig up my bulbs... now I know I just need to put a nice oak in my yard to keep them distracted! (only said oak would blog sun so bulbs have another sort of trouble)

Hey, thanks for the aardwolf! I found a pic of a pup an added it to my A animals!

The Book Gatherer said...

What a fun way to choose a topic! Love the little squirrel - very cute.
Here's my first post for April:

Jan Morrison said...

absolutely awesome and accurate!

D words - dumpster-diving, divination, derring-do, dappled
Jan Morrison

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I squirrel away my story ideas in a digital folder to munch on later. (Sorry for the horrible puns :D)

I love how you've decided to choose your A-Z topics. Very clever!! Looking forward to future posts :)

Laura M. Campbell said...

I fall into the category of disliking squirrels, little interlopers. I do leave out in-shell peanuts on my deck for them, in hopes they will stay out of my herbs.

Acorns? I keep a little flip notepad in my purse just incase an idea strikes me when I'm away from home.

An idea for D? Dating

allison said...

I love squirrels too! We used to have a tame one in the front tree; we fed him pecans. Too cute.

I also love how you're getting these suggestions! Wish I had thought of that.

Toby Neal said...

I'm doing daydreaming! So far this is a blast!

Manzanita said...

WOW you really did your homework on squirrels and nuts. Good job.
D...damsel Dante Dentist
Wanna buy a duck

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Squirrels - they're cute until they:

1. Eat their way through your home roof and take up residence in your crawlspace.

2. Show up in your church ceiling right before a performance for 300 people (and you are the director of the show).

Yes, both of these happened to me.

D- I like the previous suggestion of "dumpster-diving" and add to it "dead", "doughnut", and "doodle".

Marsha A. Moore said...

Hi Rosie. Recently moving to FL from OH, I didn't realized they had oak trees here, but was I wrong...our front yard is tortured by their acorn crop. Nice to meet you!

Jason Shaw said...

Ohh nice post, i like this, i love squirrels, so cute and fluffy and nosy, yet friendly.

Marjorie said...

I love squirrels too. I haven't attempted a novel yet, but I feel sure to one day.

Candyland said...

Great metaphor! I actually don't have an idea file. I like to write things down in a notebook as they come in partial story form. Then they usually sit there and are never touched again because my attention span is....

alexia said...

Ha, I love how you picked something random, but then tied it in with writing! Nice :)

Noemi said...

I love squirrels. I find them so cute! And I find so interesting the way you have use the word Acorn to write such a great post.
Can't wait to read the remaining alphabet.
See you around!

DEZMOND said...

Scrat would like one of those acorns :)
This was quite a creative post, Rosita!

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