Monday, December 21, 2009

Armadillo Writer

Armadillos are unique creatures. Recently I decided I share a lot in common with the armadillo (leave it to me to make a connection like this). Water is to them what writing is to me. I’ll explain. Like I could leave you hangin’ on that one.

Armadillos can hold their breath for four to six minutes at a time.
I can write four to six hours at a time while in a distraction free environment.

Armadillos have a strong dog paddle.
I appreciate writing in the zone when words spill effortlessly and seamlessly on the page. I love the dog paddle because the arms do most of the work. I probably don’t need to mention that I write with my hands not my feet.

Armadillos can swim across larger bodies of water. They are good swimmers.
I’ve written three novels (and a slew of other works) and I’m not planning on stopping any time soon. I consider writing a gift from God. I work to honor Him with this gift.

Their heavy shells make floating difficult so they gulp air into their intestines to make them more buoyant.
Writing is a personal craft for me. I inhale ideas for my characters. My heavy shell is how I view life, layered and complex. Gulping air into my intestines translates as my learning all I can to communicate through the written word in a buoyant (and fluid) way. Gulping air is another way to convey that I educate myself on the craft in order to go forth secure and confident so I can successfully traverse the daunting waters ahead.

Though they thoroughly enjoy it, armadillos aren’t normally associated with water.
My loved ones and friends don’t view me as a writer first. I’m a wife, a mom, and someone who enjoys laughing and reflecting. I don’t elevate my writing so it preoccupies conversations with those I love (especially those who show little interest). I have a rare handful of people I discuss my writing ideas with. This is the reason I’m so thankful for the online networks I’ve found. You all are my swimming armadillos. The water has become even more enjoyable with you around.

Armadillos walk along the bottom of streams or ponds.
I’ve never been entirely comfortable on the surface. I avoid forced small talk. I enjoy trying new things with my writing by testing my voice. The armadillo is the only creature I’ve heard of that walks along the bottom of a body of water. Like the armadillo, I thrive on doing my own thing.

A non-water example of how I’m like an armadillo is revealed when you look at their shells. Baby armadillos have soft shells (like a human fingernail) that get harder and more solid with ossification.
As a writer I’ve learned to toughen up. I’ve learned to take criticism and rejection. I’ve acquired a knowledgeable understanding of the craft by building upon all I’ve learned. I also trust in God’s plan. That’s enough to solidify anyone.

And now I’m going to throw my oddball connection your way...are you an armadillo writer? Or fill in the blank...
I am a ___________ writer
(and of course tell me why).

*I have no idea what armadillos and kissing have in common. Anyway, make sure to check out the kissing blogfest. I believe it began with A Wannabe Writer. Have fun reading and dreaming of mistletoe moments.
**photos by flickr


  1. I am a marathon writer. Now bear in mind I hate running. But the connection is the endurance it takes to commit to a long trek. My writing is a race, I plan to pursue until Jesus calls me to cross the finish line. I'm in this for the long haul. There isn't a need to rush the road is long ahead, but I'm running and that's all that matters to me.

  2. Wow, I'm impressed with all the comparisons you made! Like you, I write with my hands and not my feet. :-) No really, I relate to many of the items you mentioned.

  3. Goodness, I am a ___________ writer. I don't really know what to fill in that blank other than to say I'm a passionate writer in that writing Bible studies for women is a passion of mine. Writing in general has become a passion of mine. I can get lost in my writing much like an artist can get lost in her work.

    I also wanted to say thank you for choosing to follow my blog! Welcome to Living Life's circle of friends!

  4. This is awesome!

    Haha... I think I am! People always sound surprised that I write. I guess because it's such a private activity. Unless we actually announce it (or we make it big), no one will ever know.

  5. Great comparisons. I agree with having only a handful I talk about my writing to and frankly unless you write, you don't really understand. Right now I am an inconsistent writer. Need to be more structured.

  6. Pretty cool post. Great comparision.

    What kind of a writer am I? Since my first book has mountain lions in the title and a picture on the cover, I'll say a mountain lion writer.

    1) Mountain lions strike fast - I have to write fast. Don't always have a lot of time for it.

    Sorry, that is the only comparison I can think of write now, ah, right now. But, I have loved mountain lions since I was a kid, so I'll stick with that comparison.


  7. I love this! I am a canary writer.

    My writing is like a canary's song - a natural phenomenon of intense beauty. An unexpected surprise that I am now having fun developing.

    My writing is like a canary's song - our enjoyment is incidental to its main purpose, which is one bird communicating with others. The purpose of all my writing is to communicate God's truth to others.

    My writing is like a canary's song - it has been shaped by its environment.

    My writing is like a canary's song - when it sings, it can always be heard, even after it has moved out of sight. My stories will always be heard, long after I am finished writing them.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point. Wonderful question Wendy, I had a lot fun with this!

  8. Oh, you make me laugh, Wendy! I'm definitely learning to toughen up and develop a thicker shell as I mature in my writing. And oh, how I'm wishing for a 6-hour block of time to do nothing but write. All writers hope for that, don't we?

  9. Oh, I love your comparisons, Wendy. You are one creative lady!

    I would love to grow into an armadillo writer like you. I think I'm more of a bear writer. Leave me alone, let me hibernate in my den, and don't take my food or I'll growl at you! ahahahahahaa!

    Or perhaps I'm a monkey writer: I swing from idea to idea, not sure where I'll land, searching for the ripest turn of phrase, chattering as I swing.

    We could fill a zoo with all the writer styles, Wendy. You get to be the keeper!

  10. What a connection! I think I'm an armadillo too! Who knew I'd ever find myself in the same comparables and it's not an insult. It's not, right? ;)

  11. We have a ton of armadillos around here and I knew none of that info. Very interesting! What kind of writer am I? LOL I don't know yet. Maybe a growing writer? :-) Have a great Christmas!

  12. Okay, this was so incredibly random! I love randomness! You little armadillo, you! I'm not sure what kind of animal-writer I am. I'll have to think on that one.

  13. LOVED this! Expecially the part about other people in your life not talking much about writing with you, while your online community does.

    Now you've got me thinking on what kind I am. Don't know the answer. Yet. :D

  14. Wendy, I knew right off, my comparison. Gulping air into my intestines MUST be the reason why it "looks" like I've added a few pounds there. :p

    Also being from LA, certain areas are called, "Diller Country" where armadillos roam on the roads at night and can tear up a car if hit. (I can be pretty hard on things too.) But writing? Sometimes I want to curl up and hide not wanting to face "scary challenges."

  15. Love this post! Never thought about the armadillo connection but it's a great one!

    I'd need to think about what kind of animal I would compare myself to...

  16. Tamika, I love to run. I completely understand your example. I aim to run a half-marathon someday in the not to distant future.

    Sarah, Thanks for getting the humor there. ;) It's good to know I'm not the only one writing with my hands.

    Karen, I enjoy finding new blogs. Thanks for your follow. It made me laugh that you wrote a ____________! Nice.

    Kristen, It is a private activity...a solo act. I find people are either very curious or the glazed over look shows up quickly in their eyes.

    Patti, I'm trying to think of an inconsistent animal to help you out. Chameleon maybe or another camouflaging animal. Oh. O. Or how about the turtle I posted last month with two heads? Just trying to help.

    Warren, How cool that you went right for the mountain lion. Cool animal.

    Tricia, You fleshed this one out. Sing, bird, sing! "Natural phenomenon of intense beauty" husband says those same words to me every night. ;)

    Heather, It has taken time...this mental ossification (oh, nice post idea). 6 hours. AH!

    Jeanette, God is a better suited keeper. :D We go around our table often during dinner and talk about which animals are our favorites. Mine is a bear. No wonder I like you so much!

    T.Anne, Every time I saw the pictures I winced and said, "Really, an armadillo?" I just write what my thoughts tell me to. :D

    Jessica, Oh, O. Like the growing tree. Remember that Shel Silverstein book? No. No. That's Giving Tree. Giving Tree. I tried.

    Katie, I laughed out loud at your calling me a little armadillo. My kids kept saying, "What's so funny?" Katie is. "Katie the babysitter?"...etc.

    Anne, You are a fellow swimming armadillo in all respects! Praise be to God for the way you encourage me.

    Karen, I like to curl up when I'm rejected. I get that. The gulping air in. Nice. I'm going to use that about my winter weight. I'm just swallowing air to ready myself for the big swim. People will believe it. Of this I am certain.

    Donna, I'm not sure anyone made this oddball connection. I don't know where this stuff comes from. I'll just blame it on the thoughts again.

    So glad you entertained me with answers to this. I sometimes let my thoughts run away and apparently they turn into armadillos!

    I feel blessed to have received great encouragement from a dear friend. I LOVE our God and His children.

    I will sleep in His Love and Light.

    His coming here changed everything!
    ~ Wendy

  17. If there's an animal out there who is skittish, lazy, procrastinates, full of ideas but lacks motivation, and gets things done in patches, then I'm that animal.

  18. Hi Wendy! I tried to comment earlier today, but my blogging comments weren't working very well! I had a nice, thoughtful comment all typed up and then I lost it! So, since it's late, and my brain isn't working, I'll just have to say, I love your analogy today! And I agree about the shell and toughening up as writers. I need to take my own advice on that today, eh? ;-)

  19. This was really interesting! I think I am also like this, you learn something new everyday! Thanks for sharing:) Blessings!

  20. Yep. This post just confirms the awesomeness that is you. :D I love that armadillos aren't usually associated with water, yet they love it. I also love that they wander around under the water. :D

    I am a frog writer. I work well in land or in water--I live. I write. Setting doesn't matter too much. I've grown and developed from a yucky looking jelly egg into a slimy specimen that people enjoy dreaming about. (Fairy tale people, anyhow.) That, and I tend to transmogrify most of my characters. >:)

  21. What great comparisons! Wonderful! I loved this post and completely agree!

  22. Wendy-so creative. Hmmm I am going to have to think about what kind of writer I am.
    While I am thinking, I wanted to be sure to stop by and wish you a very merry and blessed Christmas and a joyful, sacred new year. You know I have a soft spot for you in my were my first this year!
    Lots of love.

  23. Wendy,
    Have you received Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks yet? wb


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