Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

quote-awakening June 13, 2016

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Grace Awakening Myth,Poetry,Quotations — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:06 pm

Every closure is an awakening,

and every awakening settles something.

~John Dewey (Art as Experience)

 

So, whatcha writin’ in that NaNoWriMo thing, anyway? July 11, 2013

In November, when I was actually on track with my NaNo writing, I had a few gems that still make me happy. This book is now with the editor (who has gone to Europe for 2 weeks, and abandoned me!) Thought I’d share this with you, in the hopes that it will inspire today’s Camp NaNo efforts to get more than 500 words a day, which is all I’ve been managing so far! (Arg). Enjoy.

Shawn L. Bird

Thought you might like to see what’s coming along.  Ben is now at University of Calgary with his friends Paul and Ryan.  (Craigie Hall is the music building). Grace is living in the Shuswap with her Auntie Bright.  If you’re new to the story, you should know that Grace and Ben are connected telepathically.  Ben is the earthly realm form of the demi-god Orpheus.  He’s narrating.

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I was walking down a corridor in Craigie Hall when a stab of pain crashed into my head.  I staggered into the wall, and grabbed for support.

A girl rushed over to me, “Are you okay?”

I shook my head, gasping, and she guided me to a bench.  I dropped my head between my knees.  “I’ll be okay.  It’s fine.”  The pain wasn’t mine, it was reverberating from Grace.  She didn’t know yet how to completely control her side of our connection.  Her…

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saxy poem April 18, 2013

Filed under: Grace Awakening Myth,Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:50 am
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The bari-sax

is very sexy.

Those low

notes

go

down

to your soul

and grind around

in your groin. 

I love

good

sax.

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This is culled from a bio piece about the Grace Awakening Myth character Ryan, who plays sax.  You may have noticed that Ryan is a little obsessed with sex, as well.

 

Another Orpheus visit to the Other Realm November 27, 2012

Here’s a chunk from today’s NaNoWriMo scribblings.  I confess that I have lost a bit of inspiration about what’s going on in Grace Awakening Destiny, (Book 4) I’ve decided that any novel writing counts, so long as it’s new writing.  I have some holes I want to patch in Grace Awakening Myth, (Book 3)  and here is a patch for your entertainment:

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“ARES! I shouted.  “Get out here, you coward!”  I stomped in a circle around a foggy clearing, trying to force it into something less ethereal.

“Shouting is so immature, Orpheus,” declared a bored feminine voice, manifesting a throne behind her..  “Aren’t you a little old for such theatrics?”  She looked down her elegant nose and then added, “But of course, you’re all about the theatre, aren’t you?”

“Hera.  Isn’t Ares a little old to be sending his mommy out to fight his battles?”

She smiled, but it was a dangerous thing, like the tantalizing blossom of a poisonous plant.  “My son is busy right now.  Unlike you, he has important things to do.”

“Your definition of important and mine are rather different.  What is he doing?  Is he fueling some holy war or training up Middle Eastern terrorists?  Doesn’t the Earthly Realm deserve a break from war?”

“The humans don’t want a break from war, silly boy.  Giving up war would mean giving up their quest for wealth and power.  Humans are all about power.  They all want to be in control.  They get it by buying favour.  They get it by killing little men, so they can crawl on their backs, to attain what the little men don’t even dare to dream about.  Their glory is being trodden upon by those climbing over their pathetic lives.  They’re just ants, Orpheus.  And if Ares wants to play with his magnifying glass, why should anyone stop him?  It’s all humans are good for, after all, entertaining us.”  She shrugged, dismissing the entire human race with the slightest of movements of her shoulder.

“My wife isn’t an ant.  My friends aren’t ants.”  I said.

“Wife?” she laughed.  “Now you imagine that she’s your wife?  I seem to recall that she is the prize of whoever wins this challenge, and victory is very unlikely to be yours.  She is not ever going to be your wife again.”  She stepped closer to me, and stared with eyes of ice.  “My son is a god of war, Orpheus,” she spat.  “He is not one of your pathetic little musician friends.  He is not a dancing girl like those Graces.”  She curled her lips and snarled.  “He is powerful, and you will not defeat him.  Now go!  Return to those pathetic creatures and their pathetic lives.  You are not worthy to be in this realm.”

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NaNoWriMo Day 27 total: 4118  (November total 41,006)

Writing furiously this evening, after a raff of medical appointments today.

 

How’d it go at SIWC? October 25, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening Myth,OUTLANDERishness,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:13 am
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Prior to SIWC this year, I kept focusing on the excitement of meeting Diana Gabaldon, and completely ignoring the fact that the MOST IMPORTANT thing at these conferences is pitching to agents and publishers!

Aside from my 15 minutes  of blue pencil time with Diana discussing her suggestions and observations about Grace Beguiling, I did pitch Grace Awakening Myth to two agents: one from New York, and the other from Toronto.  I met with the NY agent on Friday, and the TO agent on Sunday.

After the pitch, both agents quizzed me on various plot elements, character descriptions, conflict development, etc., and both requested the first 50 pages of the manuscript.

One thing I found quite interesting was that the New York agent was intrigued with the story, and offered no opinions with respect to the setting, but the Canadian editor asked me if I’d consider changing the Calgary setting to “an anonymous North American city.”   Isn’t that ironic?  The New York agent didn’t care, but the Toronto one wanted to remove the Canadian element?

At the moment I’m in recovery from my sleep deprivation, but in the next day or two (after my brain recharges), I’ll take another look at the beginning of the manuscript focusing on some of the things I learned in workshops, and on Diana Gabaldon’s observations with respect to the other manuscript (general observations to keep in mind), before I send Myth off to see whether it makes some new friends.

 

inspirational kids October 10, 2012

Filed under: Commentary,Grace Awakening Myth — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:11 am
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I’ve already told you that I occasionally use the names of my students (with their permission, of course) in my stories.   The characters are not representations of their namesakes; they have their own adventures, conflicts, and personalities which are completely distinct.  Still, sometimes the fictional and real have the odd thing in common.

For example, in Grace Awakening Myth there’s a character called J-Roy.   You learned the other day that J-Roy dances, is athletic, and looks great in a unitard.

The real J-Roy is also pretty tough.  Look who’s a head-liner in a local mixed martial arts fight? Uh huh.  Ben desperately needs all the help he can get.  I wonder if J. Roy will give him fighting lessons? 😉

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HELP! Which start is your favourite? October 7, 2012

I’m unhappy with the opening to Grace Awakening Myth.  I need something strong , intriguing and compelling.

I’m brainstorming, and would appreciate some feedback from you!  Here are six versions of the first 100 words or so.  Version one is the original.  Which do you think is the strongest option?  Can you identify why it appeals to you?  Would you mix components of a couple of the options?  Please leave your observations in the comment section below.   (Though I see many of you are using Facebook, and that’s all right as well).  Thanks for your help!

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Version 6:

Aphrodite’s words exploded in my head like a missile shot from a catapult, leaving me dizzy and stunned.

I stared at her  as the words ricocheted through my head, smashing through my consciousness, crushing my hopes, and destroying my future.

Finally, I sputtered, “What did you say?”  It couldn’t be true.  She couldn’t have said what I heard.

Aphrodite stood, her back to the temple columns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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Version 5:

Aphrodite’s words exploded in my head like the sound of crashing swords, leaving me dizzy and stunned.

Finally, I gasped, “What did you say?”

Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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Version 4:

Aphrodite was watching me with a solemnly pitying expression as I came over the hill.  She leaned languidly against a pillar, golden hair flowing around her in waves, waiting.

She made me nervous.  I bowed low.  “You wished to speak to me?”

She nodded, stepping forward and straightening into a formal posture. “I am to inform you, that this is the girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

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Version 3.

Aphrodite leaned against the temple column and watched me warily.  “Did you hear what I said, Orpheus?”

I bowed respectfully, shaking my head.  I had heard, but I wished fervently that I hadn’t.

“I said, this is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

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Version 2:

Aphrodite’s words sliced into me like a sword and I wheezed, feeling the blood rush from my face as the pain of them slashed through me.  “What did you say?”

Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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 Version 1:

“Orpheus!  Come here.  I need to talk to you.”  Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.

I didn’t like the expression on her face.  I bowed respectfully, “Yes?”

“This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

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(FYI- this is what follows the above…)

That girl.  She tossed the words like Grace was of no consequence.  The girl I had followed through time, the girl who made my life complete, and gave me music.  The girl who could save all that was good in the world.  The girl I was waiting for.  My heart started to pound.  “Where is she?”

She shook her head.  “I’m not allowed to say; you know that.”

“I was told Canada.  In Calgary.”

Her eyes widened and she tilted her head, but she made no comment.

The eyes were enough confirmation.  At least I didn’t have to scan the entire population of the planet.  I only needed to find Grace among the million or so residents of Calgary.  I’d come to the city a couple of years before on a tip, and had settled myself into high school there.  My informant had assured me that Grace would show up there eventually, but I had reached my final year in high school without any sign of her.  I’d begun to doubt, but Aphrodite’s alarmed surprise was enough evidence that I was in the right place.  I would try to be patient.