Shawn L. Bird

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

video- likes authors October 26, 2014

Here’s a Moxy Früvous performance for those spouses whose loved ones always have a nose between pages…

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quotation- save yourself October 12, 2014

Filed under: Quotations,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:23 pm
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“You mustn’t wait for someone to rescue you.  A girl expecting rescue never learns to save herself.  Even with the means, she’ll find her courage wanting.  Don’t be like that…  You must find your courage, learn to rescue yourself, never rely on anyone else.”

~Kate Morton in The Forgotten Garden

What do you think of this advice?  Does it get in the way of accepting help from others?

 

poem- looking (an #Outlander poem) September 29, 2014

“I want to look,”

she says.

Finger outlining

the focus of

her attention,

she walks

a slow, studious circle

of analysis

and inevitable

appreciation.

.

“Fair’s fair,”

he says,

stepping back

with a glint in his eye,

joyfully

thankful for circumstance

that made her

his.

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Another poem based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander;  this one based on Ron Moore’s TV series, specifically episode 107, “The Wedding.”

 

reading-5 ways to help an author August 12, 2014

Filed under: Reading,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:45 am
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Most of a publishing house’s marketing budget goes to its most popular, A-list authors.  You know: the ones least in need of the promotion.  If you have found a mid-list or new author whose work you enjoy, you can become a crucial, and very appreciated, part of his/her success.  What’s more, your enthusiasm may encourage him/her to keep writing!  Here’s how.

1. Leave honestly positive reviews everywhere you can:  Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, your library, iBooks.  Tell people what you really liked about the book’s characters, themes, setting, style, and the genre on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else you can think of.  Reviews are key for a new reader to take a risk on an unknown author.

2. Tell your friends!  If you have a friend who likes the genre, recommend the book.  But, do the author a favour.  If your friends read romance, don’t recommend a horror book, because it will probably lead to a one star review somewhere.  Some people shouldn’t read the book.  The more often someone sees a name, the more likely they are to eventually pick it up, so talk about the book on social media, and link to the author’s profile.

3. Submit a book acquisition request at your local library.  This can often be done on your library’s website.  When the book is in, take it out, and encourage your friends to take it out.  Personally recommend the book to strangers in the library.  If you see it hiding on the shelf, turn it facing out, or set it on a table where it will catch the eye of someone who might otherwise not notice it.

4. Offer to be part of the author’s street team or to be a beta reader for future projects.  You may get early release copy of future books in exchange for your review.  There may be other perks, like a mention in the acknowledgements of the author’s next book.  If you’re doing the 5 things on this list, the author would love to know who you are, so be sure to introduce yourself on social media.

5. Give the book as a gift!  Buy several copies of the book to share with people you think would love it like you do.  If you know the author, get the book signed for your friends or relatives.  Author signed books are cool birthday or Christmas gifts.  If you are far away, some authors (like me!) will mail you signed book plates to put into your copy or are on Authorgraph so you can download a pdf.

It’s all about sharing the book love!  

 

poem-vicarious pleasure July 24, 2014

It’s been a journey of celebrations

seeing dreams unfolding

in flirtatious  Twitter assignations,

watching joy unrolling

during this cinematic gestation.

And now, with keen anticipation

all around the Earth

One can feel the vibrations

from fans awaiting this birth:

an incarnation of literary creation.

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Outlander comes to television!  Premieres are being aired this weekend.  It has been fabulous following along with author Diana Gabaldon as she has shared the fun from the moment the papers were signed and it was official that Ron Moore was turning her books series into an epic television series.  We fans were part of the excitement as each character was cast, and I particularly enjoyed watching the delight sparkle in Diana’s eyes as she told me about being on set when she had her cameo!  

My joy is vicarious, but it is a very genuine and thorough joy.  It is just SO GREAT to experience the adventure of favourite books being transformed for a new media!

In case you don’t know, Outlander is airing in the US on Starz, in Canada on Showcase, and in Australia on Soho.  In Canada, we have to wait until August 24th.  It’s going to be painful as the American fans have 2 weeks ahead of us!

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and here’s a little more information 🙂

 

poem-trysts July 15, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:45 am
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In quiet corners

obsession lingers

eyes stuck tight

while passion flames.

Wrapped in arms,

stroked, caressed,

paper thin

each moment savoured

with lingering longings

until with sighs,

the last

page is turned.

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(Always so sad when a great book comes to an end)

 

History- Leap o’the cask and the Dun Bonnet June 30, 2014

I discovered this article about regional history around Loch Ness that includes the actual recorded story of ‘Leap o the Cask’ and the ‘Dun Bonnet’ as it shows up in Diana Gabaldon’s books.  The story IS about a James Fraser.  This is the kind of historical coincidence that tends to give one goose bumps.

I found the reference here:

http://www.caithness.org/caithnessfieldclub/bulletins/2004/historyoffoyers.htm

James Fraser, 9th of Foyers, was on very friendly terms with Simon, 13th Lord Lovat, later to be executed for his part in the 1745 Rising, and on that account, Foyers joined Lovat in supporting Prince Charles during his short reign in Edinburgh as King James VIII. After the disastrous battle of Culloden in 1746 the ill-fated Prince Charles fled westwards and took refuge in Gorthleck farmhouse on the Foyers estate but was soon alarmed by a party of Red Coats and effected his escape by jumping out of a window. Foyers also escaped from the battlefield and his efforts to elude capture were every bit as romantic as those of Prince Charles.

Foyers was excluded from the Act of Parliament pardoning treasonable offences committed in the rebellion, and was forced to live in hiding for seven years after the rebellion. One of his favourite haunts was a cave, a mile to the west of the Falls of Foyers. One day, on looking out of the cave, the laird saw a Red Coat secretly following a girl bringing food for him and, as to avoid capture was a matter of life and death to him, the laird shot the soldier who was buried where he fell. So Foyers’s whereabouts could be kept secret, the inhabitants used to speak of him by the nickname “Bonaid Odhair” (Dun Coloured Bonnet).

After the Battle of Culloden, the Duke of Cumberland’s troops brought much misery and brutality to the district. The estates were plundered and burnt on a scale never before known on account of the proximity of Foyers to Fort Augustus, where Cumberland and his troops were garrisoned. Many people starved to death and many outrages were committed on their persons. At a change-house, An Ire Mhor (a large piece of arable land), on the road to Inverness near Foyers, a group of soldiers, including an officer, raped a young girl living there with her grandmother and, when the old woman tried to defend her grandchild, she was strangled to death. At a funeral, taking place in Foyers cemetery, one of the starving mourners grabbed a loaf of bread off a passing provisions cart heading for Fort Augustus – uproar followed. The offender was arrested and the troops fired indiscriminately into the funeral party, killing at least one and wounding many others. The bullet holes in the grave stone of Donald Fraser of Erchit, buried in 1730, can still be seen to this day. Another outrage was committed on a boy taking a cask of beer to Foyers in his hiding place – when the boy refused to tell of his master’s hiding place, the soldiers cut off his hands.

I’m particularly bemused that one of the bibliographic sources is History of the Frasers by Alex MacKenzie. It makes you wonder if it was printed by A. Malcolm, doesn’t it? 🙂

Here’s a link to some photos of the actual Dun Bonnet cave:

http://alastaircunningham07.blogspot.ca/2007/10/dun-bonnet-cave-from-inside.html

 

The Inverness Outlander group were able to go explore the cave.  Here’s a link to their blog post and photos of the day:  https://invernessoutlanders.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/trip-to-the-dun-bonnets-cave  Diana said she wouldn’t have gone on this trip because she is too claustrophobic.  🙂

 

 

 
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