When the River Runs Dry

Ever have one of those weeks where you felt drained dry, as if you couldn’t put two words together to form a sentence? This week is like that for me. But suddenly I’m thinking of a few two-word sentences:

Help me.
I can’t.
Do it!

And if you put those together, that’s the message running through my head this week. Some of you can relate. I’ve read your blogs (Kate and Victoria). And I’m here, looking at rocks instead of water. Whenever I’m worried about deadlines or problems, I find myself here.


So, instead of heeding the siren call of Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns, I decided to remind myself of the beauty in the world. I’m often inspired by images. Unfortunately, I don’t have a camera (at least not yet), so I’m grateful for the good ol’ Internet.

Here’s what I found (and why):


I chose this image, because the cardinal is my favorite bird. I’m sure I mentioned that before. (Andy of City Jackdaw likes jackdaws; I like cardinals.) A family of cardinals nests in a tree near my home. I often see the male flitting about, especially near my car. One day he hopped over to my window and serenaded me. The little flirt!


Two nights ago, I had dinner with three old friends. Our continued camaraderie is a thing of beauty in itself. But when we left the restaurant, I was struck by the beauty of the sky—a bundle of clouds sprawled across the still blue sky. The sky looked so huge, and reminded me that the world is so much bigger than my problems.


Kids are exasperating and demanding at times, but ultimately are endearing. If you want a laugh, have a conversation with a child (especially those in my family). They look at the world in such a fresh way. I’m grateful for the kids in my life. My nephew sometimes shoves one of his ear buds in my ear to listen to a song on his iPod. He also makes me laugh when he finds weird videos on YouTube.

A friend has a daughter who thinks all of the world’s ills can be solved if everyone sat in her playroom and drank cups of her imaginary tea. I love the fact that she tells me the tea isn’t real, in case I’m disappointed by the lack of moisture in my cup.

Kids remind me that the words I place on a page need to be whimsical and lively to reflect their view of the world. They also need to be real.


If ever something exemplified joy, a gerbera daisy does. Look at that. You can almost imagine a smile on its face.


If you’ve had this flavor, I don’t have to explain why I included it. You just know, right? I thought so.


I didn’t say I wouldn’t include fictional characters. If you don’t know who this is, click here. As Austin Powers would say, “Yeah, baby, yeah!”

If you click on Victoria’s name above, you can read the awesome advice she provides for those who are going through a dry period. And I suggest you click on Kate’s name, because I love her profile picture. If any of you would like to share what inspires you, please comment below. And may the river of inspiration run for us all.

Images from en.wikipedia.org; wallpaperswala.com; bhg.com; mayorshealthline.wordpress.com; fanpop.com respectively.

45 thoughts on “When the River Runs Dry

  1. A little flirting can make your day (Of course I’m talking about the cardinal.)
    Nature always breaks through.
    And kids talk always lifts the spirits. There are funny things (my Facebook page is often filled with Millieisms, quotes from my six year old daughter) but also really profound things that stop me in my tracks and cause me to look at things a different way, and not underestimate the child’s understanding. I find these inspirational and insightful.
    As for helping with writing, as discussed on one of your earlier posts, I find listening to music, especially to strong lyricists, often acts as a trigger.

    • Thanks, Andy. And you’re right. The Lord of the Rings soundtracks usually give me a lift. I would like to get The Hobbit soundtrack. I find I can only listen to instrumental music when I’m working. If someone sings, I pay more attention to the voice than I do my work. 🙂

      I’ll have to take a look at your Facebook page. My blog isn’t connected to Facebook, but I take it yours is?

  2. You found some really gorgeous pictures for this post! It took me a minute of perusing, but I finally remembered who Zuko was. 🙂 And what is in that flavor of ice cream? (No ice cream for me.)

    • I copied this from Ben & Jerry’s site to make sure I have it right:
      “A Collision of Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams mixed with Peanut Butter Cups, HEATH® Bar Chunks, White Chocolatey Chunks, & Fudge-Covered Almonds.”
      Now picture Homer Simpson foaming at the mouth. That’s the image I get every time. To the grocery store I go!!!

      • LOL. Oh golly! Someone took aisle candy aisle and dumped it into the ice cream mixer. Yeah, I could see that being one of my favorites were ice cream an option. 🙂

      • I went to the store to get another carton, and discovered they were out of it! Sad to say, this is a frequent occurrence. They can’t keep it in stock!

      • That’s too bad. Why is it that stores only buy just so much of the good stuff? It’s like they’re trying to say, “We are stingy, stinky-pants. Go see our competition.”

      • Exactly! I had to return to the grocery store, because I totally forgot the one thing I went to get. Checked the freezer section. Still no sign of this ice cream. I am very cross.

  3. DSC_0615.jpg

    Here’s one I took the other day when walking the dog. Just on my phone. I’ll put it on my blog today as sometimes I run out of words too 🙂

    • Destiny, maybe the dry times make us more desperate to grasp for whatever words there are–like someone drowning grasps for a thrown rope. I dunno. But thanks for the thought. Perhaps a deluge of words at this time wouldn’t be good, because I’d just have more to cut!

    • Thanks! I hope to get one at some point! I’ve wanted one to take pictures for the blog!

      Your poetry usually gives me a lift. I’ll head on over to your blog pretty soon.

  4. L. – I feel you, girl! I understand all that you shared and I respect you for getting those thoughts and images out there to remind us that this, too, shall pass. And it will. But I like your post for another reason, too. I just read this article by Roy Peter Clark where he talks about the power of two — “the essential number to create meaning in all texts, most visibly short texts.” These are a few of his examples: “Jesus wept.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can get behind a guy who can go from the Bible, to Buffy to Cassius Clay. Maybe it would be fun to play around with some short fiction for a change after being immersed in our Big Fat Novels for the past who knows how many months. http://www.writermag.com/2013/06/03/let-words-collide/

    • Thanks, Laura! I bookmarked that article. Now that I think about it, I do like the power of two–like the parallelism of the couplets in Proverbs. I will give that more thought as I continue cutting text in my WiP. Maybe that will help shorten it! 🙂

  5. Wonderful images! The cardinal is also my favorite bird, along with the hummingbird. We currently have 4 baby cardinals living in our backyard. They bring a smile to my face every morning.

    • Thanks, Jill. So glad you have cardinals. They make me smile too. I saw the female a few months ago, but she’s kept hidden since. But I’m glad their family lives nearby!

  6. loved this post here. and I love the kids in my life too. I will never forget my 2 and 1/2 year old nephew finding his plastic hardhat and running up to me: “Aunt Vic! Aunt Vic! You put the hard hat on and I’ll tackle you!”

  7. Thank you for these inspiring pictures. Did the cardinal flirt with you or deposit something on your windshield? 🙂 I love the contrast of cardinals against the blinding white snow. Beautiful! Whenever I am having a tough day I go play with my niece and nephew and feel instantly better. 🙂 May your river swell with the healing and refreshing power of it’s water. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your well wishes! Um, the robins deposited something on my windshield. They usually hang around my car more than the cardinal. The cardinal has more decorum. At least I’d like to think so.

  8. You’re right – you and I are on the same wavelength this week. 🙂 I think it’s great that we can draw inspiration from so many things when our wells are running dry. Though I have no kids so can’t really be inspired by kids cos I don’t really come into contact with them much.

  9. If I need to hit the “refresh” button on my brain, I play ball with my puppy, Lucy. Her exuberance every day, no matter the weather, is a wonderful thing. Plus, she’s so darned funny!

  10. Ah— “The sky looked so huge, and reminded me that the world is so much bigger than my problems.”

    This. “Kids remind me that the words I place on a page need to be whimsical and lively to reflect their view of the world. They also need to be real.”

    This is a beautiful post. One question though, why is Zuko there? Is it because of his transformation in the series? 🙂

    • Thank you, Daniel. And congrats on your award and the shout-out! I hope you feel encouraged about your great blog. And to answer your question, Zuko is there for shallow reasons. Yes, I admired his transformation, but he’s hot. 😀

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