Gayle_signing photoThis post by Gayle M. Irwin


I debated what to write about for my first blog post this month. Originally, I wanted to write about visiting national parks this year, the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. Then I thought I’d write about dogs as October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. But, I’ve written about that in the past, and I do write a lot about pets and my passion to help them. And many people have written about the autumn season, although as I write this, it appears winter has arrived in Wyoming and other parts of the Northern Rockies (thankfully, only temporarily, as temps are supposed to rebound to autumn-like in my community…. for a bit of time, anyway). So, what to write?

March 2016 snow_neighborhoodIn light of the devastating and frightening Hurricane Matthew on the East Coast and the destructive winds that ripped through Casper earlier in the week, I decided STORMS would be appropriate. Winter is coming, and with that season often comes blizzard conditions and heavy piles of snow – at least in my neck of the woods. Ice storms often grip the Midwestern and Eastern states, and dust storms envelope parts of the southwestern U.S. Whether torrential rains, thunder, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow, or dirt, natural storms occur. Even fires can whip up into storms, racing at tremendous speed and leaving destruction in its wake.

Storms also present themselves in our life. Waves crash on our hearts when relationships crater. Our minds swirl when a troubling health diagnosis comes along. The dust-storm of job-loss wrecks our self-confidence. Yet, through each storm, if we’re patient enough and look hard enough, the sunlight of strength and the rainbow of hope appear. One of my manuscripts-in-progress parallels seasons in nature with seasons in life, including blizzards, drought, storms, renewal, harvest, and thanksgiving.

woman-at-computer2As writers, we also know storms: rejection, doubt, lack of time (or being pulled in too many directions); even the business aspect of our work can be stormy. So much vies for our attention in this world, and people’s lack of attention (or demand for “give it to me quick”) makes writing challenging. We face a lot of competition for readers and many avenues to try to reach them – sometimes the whole business of writing is overwhelming. But, if we focus not on the sales but on the joy of writing, of telling that story that desires to be told, we will enjoy the journey, even if the winds knock us off our feet now and then.

Nearly 10 months of this year has already gone by. My desire when Jan. 1, 2016 rolled around was to be a fulltime freelance writer before year-end. I’m not there yet. I’ve experienced a few storms in my life in 2016, but nothing compared to many friends, colleagues and family members. There is always next year. And, I’ve taken a few extra steps to pursue that goal even more during the coming months, including signing up for a copywriting course and to become part of copywriting community. There seems to be a demand for such work and something that be done at home. We’ll see where this road may lead. Hopefully, it will lead to achieving my desired goal in 2017.

Meantime, National Novel Writing Month begins in a few weeks. I have a work-in-progress that I plan to pick back up and earmark to finish by November 30. In that story, a number of storms happen to my characters, molding and shaping them, growing them, and yes, setting them back somewhat. That’s what happens in storms – beaches are eroded, roofs are ripped off, and areas are burned. But, when the menace is gone, rebirth and rejuvenation begins. The natural world is reborn, our lives are rebuilt, and our characters develop. Storms can be scary, but they can also be life-shaping.

Maybe next time I’ll talk about something less frightening and challenging – like dogs, or national parks!




Gayle_CHS booktable34Gayle M. Irwin is the author of seven inspirational dog stories for children and adults. She is a also a freelance writer for various magazines and newspapers and is a contributor to six editions of the Chicken Soup for the Soul as well as to the short story collection Memories from Maple Street: Pawprints on My Heart, released in July 2016 from Sundown Press.  She is currently working on new books, including BobCat Goes to School, a humorous children’s story about a cat that gets trapped in a school building; Tail Tales: A Short Story Collection About Pets that Have Touched My Heart & Impacted My Life; and Seasons of Life, Seasons of Nature, which parallels the seasons in nature with the joys and challenges of life. Learn more about Gayle and her works at

Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014   Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final   Dog Devotions 2 Book Cover Sage Advice Cover   Walking_FrontCover_small     SageBigAdventureFront-small Sage Finds Friends_front cover   BookCoverPreview_Codys Cabin_Aug     Chicken Soup_DogDidWhat_Cover   Spirit of America book   Pawprints Book


21 thoughts on “Storms

  1. Wonderful analogy. Life is full of storms, but they are not the end, but a chance at a new beginning. I do wish you all the best as you pursue your dreams. They are good ones. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am always inspired to write in November, I have never figured out Na No, but I still write. I guess my writing is buried under a pile of snow or something. Too many physical issues right now. But, I’ll spring back eventually. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Storms of all sorts knock us down at times but returning to the field can happen. I wish you well as you rebound from your physical setbacks, Cher’ley, and thank you for taking time to read and comment.


  3. Interesting take on storms in our lives. Speaking of storms, I once watched a PBS series where they took some 21st century families and put them in Wyoming/Colorado farmsteads circa 19th century. The object was to store up enough supplies and food to survive the winter. It was a serious effort to show life-and-death circumstances pioneering farm families faced back in those days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that show, too, Mike! My own parents did something like that for about 12 years… and I seriously considered it for a short time regarding our cabin and land. Trouble is, I don’t care much for snow/winter these days — I’d rather be where you are Jan. – April! LOL Thanks for taking time to read and comment.


  4. As they say, we must weather the storm. Sometimes they are worse than others and the damage is hard to clean up. But we must continue, wet, frozen or parched into the next forays of life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear that, Abbie! I thought of your family during that time as well as another writer friend who has family there. Friends of mine from Douglas had taken some of their family to Orlando for a family vacation… they ended up in the hotel for several days riding out the Hurricane… but thankfully, everyone was/is safe. Thank you for reading and commenting on my post.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely a great analogy, Gayle. Storms are usually memorable, whether in weather or life. And we usually learn something from them, if just to be thankful for what was saved. However, I no longer like the aftermath of snow storms, or being out in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here in LA we have very few storms but when we do, it’s like the entire city goes crazy. People suddenly don’t know how to drive and freeways are clogged up even worse. Floods happen. But it’s also what we need since we are in a drought. Your start into copywriting sounds great and I wish you the best. I bet you’ll do well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve wondered if your area receives thunderstorms at times, Sarah — I know firestorms happen around you because of that drought. Hope the winter brings healing rain to the landscape in CA, but not torrential rains and mudslides. Thank you for your kind words and for reading and commenting.


    1. Thank you, Linda, for your kind words and for commenting. Yes, I remember midwestern storms — tornadoes even! Hope your winter this year isn’t a bad one and that you get a lot of writing and other creative projects done during the cold months ahead!


  7. I think you weather your storms very well this year, Gayle! The ‘weather’ storms are certainly a sad topic recently in many parts of the world, very hard to read about, and likely to continue to cause hardship.
    But there are other kinds of storms that may affect people globally- the political storms that seem to be looming for many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Nancy, your words are so very true! Here’s to hoping all storms — in the natural, in the physical, in the spiritual — ebb and that healing of all sorts can truly begin. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting.


  8. A thought-provoking post. Every time really, REALLY bad winter weather is predicted here, TV news people get excited and predict that MAYBE we’ll have SNOW. Well, the rest of us get excited, too, but we have low expectations that are usually met. A few flakes now and again, or a light ground cover that quickly turns muddy. Schools and businesses open late, cars creep across bridges, and people pick their way along sidewalks (we do ice up sometimes)–even when not much happens, it’s quite stimulating. I love the rare full-fledged ice storms–beautiful–until the electricity goes off. I say I’d love to live in show country, but I probably don’t. As for the other kind of storms, I would prefer they not come at all, but they do, and so far I’ve gotten through them.

    I always register for NaNo but then feel claustrophobic, as if someone is making me write all those words, and drop out. Best wishes for attaining your goal of writing full-time. With your diligence and perseverance, you’re bound to make it soon.


  9. Interesting comparison. I am hoping this winters storms are mild in comparison to last years. But I think we are ready for another nasty winter. Just this week we had firewood delivered.


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