Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Desert Ducks)

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In order to avoid giving too much away, I’m skipping over . . . a lot, and landing on a conversation between werewolf pack leader Lowell Rhombeck, his administrative assistant, Susan, and our Tom.

They’re in the hospital (never mind why) waiting for Grant to get back to him with information (never mind what). Since Grant and Tom were part of the same Army unit, the conversation naturally turns in that direction:

Desert Duck Logo

“Why the Army?” Rhombeck asked. “I would think the Marines or the Navy would be a better fit.”

“Speciest,” I said, throwing down a random card. “I wanted full human immersion. So I wore a silver bracelet and signed up, knowing I would probably be sent to the Middle East. Last place anyone would look for someone like me.”

“What about the Desert Ducks?” Susan asked, picking up the card and turning it into a discouraging amount of points.

“Funny,” I said.


I ran up against the sentence limit before Tom can explain to Rhombeck who the Desert Ducks were, but I chose this bit because it gives a bit more of Tom’s background, so I’m hoping it won’t matter if you don’t get the joke.

If anyone is interested, the Desert Ducks were part of the Navy’s Helicopter Combat Support Squadron .  Based in Bahrain (the Persian Gulf) for thirty years, they provided logistic support to the Fifth Fleet  and ships assigned to the Arabian Gulf.

The Desert Ducks were notorious for “stamping the flight deck” just before they left a ship, using a three-foot device to leave large yellow duck footprints on  the flight deck.

If they were still in operation,  and Tom hadn’t decided he was Army all the way, he totally would have been this kind of Desert Duck.


In other news, I managed to hit my Camp Nanowrimo goal—our cabin blew away our collective target like whoa—and gladly used the generous reward discount to buy a copy of Scrivener.

I spent Friday evening going through the two-hour tutorial and have started plugging in my characters.  At the posting of this, I’m still color-coding the corkboard cards for species and haven’t quite worked out how to import Odd Duck.

If anyone has any special tips or tricks for this program, I’d be glad to hear ’em!



54 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Desert Ducks)

  1. Forgive me … I thought the intro this week quite a nice read as well (never mind why or what 🙂 ) … but … also loved the Desert Duck reply 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you went on to explain about the Desert Ducks. Loved the visual of them stamping footprints on a flight deck! lol. Good 8!

    We’re changing our sentence limit, Sarah. I’ve posted some info about it before my 8 sentences.

    I’ll be watching your progress with Scrivener. I’d like to try it, but I’m still not sure. I’m not very tech-savvy. For me it might be extra frustration I just don’t need. 😉

    • Thanks, Teresa! I learned about them when I was researching the habitats of ducks and whether they lived in the Middle East–it was a fascinating side trip!

      I read your announcement–two more sentences! \o/ I’ll have to make sure semi-colons and my beloved m-dashes are still allowed. 😀

      Scrivener is complicated, but so far, so good. 🙂

  3. Haha. Loved the Desert Ducks reference. I thought they were a real thing, buried in the foggy recesses of my ancient memory, so I’m glad you went on to explain.

    Our cabin was so awesome! Think you’ll be up for it again in July? 😀

    I can help you import your MS into Scrivener if you have it in a word file, or something similar. Let me know and I’ll walk you through- it’s pretty easy!

    • Thanks, Christina! If your memory is ancient, mine must be ossified. 🙂

      Our cabin was full of great people. I’d totally be up for July, but we’re taking a cruise the last week (and a little bit into August), and Internet is waaaay too expensive to update my stats. But I’ll cheer you all on. 😀

      I’ve managed to import my chapters and am very proud of myself. 🙂 But if I have any other questions, I’ll definitely ask!

      • I guess a cruise is an acceptable excuse to get out of writing. 🙂

        Glad you got your importing done. I’m far from an expert, but I’ve figured out a few things via trial and error and a few free seminars from the Scrivener coach guy.

        • Oh, I’ll be writing . . . just not paying $10 per minute of WiFi. 🙂

          Do you know if I can install a second copy of Scrivener on my laptop using this same license? Or maybe use the coupon again for another copy? It would be convenient . . .

        • I believe you can- I had to do it last summer when the cat temporarily broke my main laptop. Or, you can just use the 30-day trial. Or, I can send you my coupon, since I won’t need it.

          I keep the scrivener files in dropbox, so that makes it easy to switch computers.

        • I’ll let you know Christina, thanks!

          I’m going to use One Drive, I think. Dropbox and I have a tumultuous relationship. 🙂

  4. Tom is adorable as always and I like your method of delivering his backstory to add depth to each current scene. Congrats on the NaNoWriMo win!

    • Thanks, Gem! Tom is one of my favorite imaginary people. 🙂

      My Camp goal was low this year, but I had so much else going on. I figure setting a reasonable target is a victory in itself. 😀

    • Thanks, Paula!

      He wasn’t hiding from anyone specific–except maybe himself–but instead of just passing for human amongst humans, or even amongst weres, he was trying to BE human. So he went somewhere that forced him to rely solely on his human skills.

  5. “human immersion” is a totally great grabber. Loved the Desert Ducks reference and his one-word response. Great stuff.

    • Very true, caitlin. Though Tom and I are still sussing out how much of were traditions are nature, and how much is nurture. 🙂


  6. Interesting background on the actual Desert Ducks. I really like Tom and appreciated this new look into his backstory. WereDucks all the way! Great excerpt.

  7. Good 8. Definitely was wondering about the ducks and that would be a good way to begin next week. The word specieist, I think I’v written it correctly, nice way to let us know there are more than humans in this story.

    • Thanks, Aine.

      Yep, it’s a story about a wereduck PI. I wondered how a non-predator wereanimal would deal with things, and this was born. 😀

    • The comment was a bit flippant. But he had some things to work through and the Army was how he chose to do it.

      All ducks have flat feet, Mike. Known for it, in fact. 😀

  8. Doesn’t matter who the Desert Ducks are– I like ’em on general principles. This is a fun interaction to read. It flows well and the dialogue is nice & sharp.

  9. Thanks for the explanation about the Desert Ducks. Stamping footprints on a flight deck–what a sight that would make. Enjoyed your snippet. Loved the banter.

  10. I can see his rationale for joining the Army instead of one of the water-based units. I also like how he didn’t limit himself to what would seem like the more obvious choice.

    Congratulations on winning Camp NaNo! Some people in my cabin forgot to validate and update their final word counts, so our cabin didn’t win overall. I finished my revision project way ahead of time (I’d already done numerous edits and revisions, so there wasn’t a huge amount left), and I added a second revision/rewrite to fill up the rest of the month. I finished up at 125,625 words for both projects together, and am particularly proud of how I’m almost done with the third draft of the second book. I turned a 24,000-word hot mess into going on 70,000 words of a polished story with actual substance and flow.

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