“The Duck Who Flew Upside Down”

The story ideas are coming faster to me than my ability to keep up with them, and much faster than I can get them published. The publishing pace may slow to one book per quarter rather than the about one book per month I did for my first three.

My latest story idea is tentatively titled “The Duck Who Flew Upside Down”. He’s bright orange with a big bright-purple silly/feathery/tassel/corkscrew-looking thing on his head that makes him fly upside down. Since ducks aren’t built to fly upside down, he can’t keep up with the flock and stay in formation, and he eventually is left far behind.

When he ties to land on water he always ends up hitting it at a terrible angle and bounces across it somersaulting into a big splash-crash.

He is feeling sad and lonely when a girl duck flies up. She asks him what is wrong and why he is flying alone. He explains everything to her, and she says, “You’re just the kind of duck I’ve been looking for. Other ducks are so boring. They walk the same, talk the same, fly the same, and look the same. But not you! You are special!”

Eventually, the owner of a traveling circus sees him flying upside down and offers him a job in the circus.

He flies upside down in the big circus tent, and he and the girl duck do flying tricks together, delighting the children, which makes the ducks very happy.

They are safe and warm and don’t have to fly south for the winter.

Soon ducklings are born, some look like him, and some look like her, but all have the purple thing on their head. The circus owner sees this and lets out a big, happy bellow, saying, “It looks like our circus will soon have lots of ducks flying upside down!”

I’ve Googled about 30 possible names for the duck, and even some really crazy ones had all been taken. One that wasn’t is “Flipsie”. I may go with that by default but hope to come up with something better that Google has never heard of. Apparently, enough people have the surname “Duck” that other names paired with it typically pull up multiple real people who have the name.

I’m also not yet enamored with the part about the circus. It reminds me of “Dumbo” the flying elephant. I’m going to try to come up with an alternate happy ending.

Oh well, I’ve got a lot of work to do to turn this into a story, and then a book, but I wanted to keep you updated as to my projects and processes.

With Love,


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
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9 Responses to “The Duck Who Flew Upside Down”

  1. mimijk says:

    Another fantastic idea!!!

  2. utesmile says:

    Lovely idea, I love that he has found a duck who loves him because he is different. 🙂

  3. I love the concept of this little duck… While I’m not a very creative thinker or writer I was trying to think of something… and thought… maybe this little duck since he is the one always behind could be an encourager to others that can’t keep up like the young ones… don’t think for a minute that I would expect you to use that but I thought maybe it would spark an idea for you… You are the creative one….. Diane

    • russtowne says:

      I appreciate your feedback and suggestion. It’s an idea I’ll ponder.

      I’ll bet you are more creative than you think you are. I didn’t think I was at all creative as little as about 3 years ago. I don’t think that anymore.

    • russtowne says:

      Your suggestion led me to different but similar idea that I like a lot better than the circus, Diane. It highlights the benefits of accepting, embracing, and celebrating our differences, the value of true friendship, and teamwork. I plan to share it in a post tonight or tomorrow. THANK YOU!

    • russtowne says:

      (I don’t see a “Reply” button under your latest reply below, so I’m using this one, though it will probably put my reply out of order):

      You have indeed planted a seed, Diane. It led to a different idea. Thank you.

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