I’ve been sitting at my desk, trying to figure out what to write about this week, and I heard a tapping on one of my office windows. It’s breezy outside, so I figured the wind was causing a bush to bounce off the glass.
Remember, I live in the desert. There are vertical blinds on the windows and I keep them closed when the sun is on that side of the house or my office becomes unbearably hot.
I finally realized that the tapping was a bit too rhythmic to be blowing bushes. Hmm. Maybe my neighbor was trying to get my attention for some reason. What else could it be? And why wouldn’t the neighbor come to the front door and ring the bell?
So, I casually walked over to the window. I wouldn’t want anyone to think the tapping was making me nervous, but it kinda was.
I moved one of the slats in the blinds to the side and found myself nose to beak with a roadrunner. I needed a smile, and she gave it to me. Who would have thought a roadrunner would be smart enough to come to the window and tap? She and a male bird are known for standing outside the sliding glass door while waiting patiently for me to see them, but tapping at the window?
So I fed her. I think she has a nest with babies somewhere because instead of eating the food she takes it and runs. I’ve seen this behavior before.
The desert is an interesting place. We have a gecko who appears to live behind a sun-shaped thermometer on the patio wall during the winter months. He comes out in the evening and watches me when I’m outside.
The day before yesterday I found a huge (and I do mean huge) black bug in the gravel in the back yard. It looked like a gigantic black widow, but it had orange wings. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Needless to say, it’s just a grease spot on the gravel now. Okay, that’s a lie. His remains rest in my trash can.
When writing a book, all of these instances can take a part in the story. What if the roadrunner had come and tapped at the window after dark? It could have become a scary, funny scene.
Imagine getting up in the middle of the night, turning on the light, and finding that big black bug crawling up the wall. Ugh. It almost makes me shiver.
The gecko is just cute. They’re built similarly to a lizard, but they’ve got huge, round eyes that make a person’s heart melt.
One of the issues is that many readers wouldn’t believe these things actually happened if they read them in a book. A gigantic black bug with orange wings? Come on. Really? Yep. Really.
A little while ago I heard someone down the street yelling. I thought something was wrong. I ran down the driveway and out into the street. Uh, I have neighbors who have a tropical bird they put outside from time to time. He’s loud. Thankfully, in this heat they didn’t leave it out for long.
Good grief! You can find drama almost anywhere. And if you want to, you can look at the humorous side.
No matter where you live, you’ll probably see or hear some strange critters. So when you read a book with a scene involving a bird or animal, or maybe a bug, remember that the scene could be loosely based on a real incident.
There’s mystery all around us. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, keep your eyes open and you might have a good story to share with friends. The smallest thing can be fodder for a scene. Good advice from a one-time cop? Look up, look down, look all around. You never know what you might see.
Leave a comment and tell me a good story about the critters where you live.
Until next time, listen and watch for anything out of the ordinary – something that you can share with others. Have a great week!
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
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You might give How Now Purple Cow – A Bogey Man Mystery a try. Mikey Cross kept his eyes open and discovered some unusual purple cows.
Old Murders Never Die – A Sandi Webster Mystery involved a ghost town. She found a few eye-openers, too.