After the last two week, I have become obsessed with the word ‘derecho‘ and all the destruction that comes with it.

A derecho (pronounced similar to “deh-REY-cho” in English … ) is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term ‘straight-line wind damage’ sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles … and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph … or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho

The straight wind that blew across Virginia on June 25 was an impressive thing to experience.  100 foot oak trees bent under 65-75 mph winds.  Eventually snapping a neighbor’s tree.  The top flew in to our yard, smooshing our fence, thank goodness it wasn’t the house.  The entire experience lasted about 20mins.  I expected to see flying monkeys (cue the flying monkey theme from the Wizard of Oz).Then, the power went out for 11 hours.

While most of my writing process has the swirling motions of various strength tornadoes, ever so often I get a straight and furious wind of inspiration and imagination.  The deluge is hard to capture, leaving me grasping for the bits and pieces I can process. This is where I wished I had and SD card for my brain to capture these moments.

Record everything you can remember.  While it might not be exactly what you experienced, you’ll have a basis from which to start.  You’d be surprised what will resurface in your brain.



  • I get hit with that at the most inopportune moments. But you’re right, capture whatever you can, even if it’s just the feeling.

    • Walking the dog, taking care of unmentionable functions, conversations with your boss. AND I have a holey memory. 🙂

  • Jonesingafter40

    I love the thought of getting a “straight and furious wind of inspiration and imagination.” I learned a new word today. Thanks! 🙂

    • I’m planning on using it in a story. I just have to figure out the context. 🙂

  • I’ll be happy if my future experiences with them are limited to reading about them in stories. 🙂 Miraculously, we didn’t lose power except for a few on/off minutes when the winds hit. But Pep co was saying it would be a week before everyone had their power back. What a week for that to happen with all this heat. Yikes.

    • I’m just grateful my ‘northern’ friends are over all okay. None of this has been fun. The heat and humidity extremes is the only time I’m not pleased with my location. 🙂

  • I have a running document of things my 5-year-old says or does. Sometimes I just jot a few notes down to flesh out later; if I don’t I’ll forget the whole thing.

    My folks lost trees in Virginia but their house is fine, too, thankfully, although they still don’t have power (we hear). Good thing they’re visiting me in Oregon!

    • Memo pad on my phone, scraps of paper, mnemonics, anything to help the memory. 🙂

      Here’s hoping their power comes on soon. The blessing is they are with you.

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