Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- night music August 25, 2014

I was the lone

talentless one

in a room of musicians.

As each took his place,

at his instrument

I turned on the cassette

recorder, determined

to capture the moment.

I collapsed onto

the couch, in

blurry eyed reverie

as the music tangled

in my brain, filled the

basement, bounced

off the ceiling tiles.

The pianist glanced

into my starry eyes

and grinned.

The others teased

between their strings,

but words fell away

in the fog of my euphoria.

His lips curled upwards

on one side

as his eyes twinkled at mine.

When he packed to go

I rewound the tape.

I heard the

mangled mess of a

damaged tape.

Devastated, I

blinked through

tearful eyes.

Everyone  laughed,

but he draped an

arm around my shoulders

and guided me up the stairs.

As his ride arrived

he whispered,

“Don’t worry.

I’ll make you

more music.”







(Is it any wonder I wrote a book about this? lol  Tonight, I had a flashback.  Thought I’d share.)


poem- love is August 23, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,Uncategorized — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:42 pm
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You are riding 140 km

on your bicycle this morning.

Upon your return

I have promised to have

fresh baked oatmeal raisin cookies

waiting for you.



How’s this for timing?  Hubby comes up the stairs, stumbling a bit after pedalling 142.5 km, just as I pulled the first cookie sheet out of the oven.  He was a happy man.


poem-squirrel rant

Filed under: Poetry,Uncategorized — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:14 am
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That squirrel

is ranting like a

furious squeaky toy.

Ten minutes of

castigating harangue

from the willow tree

and no audience but me.


it’s not about a solution;

it’s just about

being heard.


Writing Process Blog Tour July 10, 2014

Filed under: Commentary,Poetry,Uncategorized,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:05 am


The Writing Process Blog Tour has stopped in my neighbourhood.



In the past 9 days I’ve been invited three times to participate in The Writing Process Blog Tour.

Thanks to


The questions are:


What are you currently working on?

  •  I blog a new poem daily on
  • I’m currently finishing a ‘gritty’ Young Adult (YA) novel about date rape and cyber bullying as part of Camp NaNoWriMo.  This novel has been in progress about 6 months, and I’m hoping to have it wrapped up by the end of the month.
  • I’m presently sorting through 300 odd poems, choosing the  best 50 or so in each of 2 themes to submit 2 collections (i.e. 2 books) to a publisher in the next few weeks.
  • I am about to come back to the next two books in the Grace Awakening series which have been on hiatus for the last year.  They’re written, but now it’s time to come to them with fresh eyes and do the necessary re-writes before submitting them to the publisher who’s asked for them, hopefully that will be done by the time I go to Calgary. (see below)
  • I will be presenting 2 workshops at When Words Collide writing conference in Calgary August 8-10, so I’m getting those ready.
  • I’m also working on a Master’s degree in Education, and teaching at an innovative high school focused on project based learning (when I’m not on strike or summer vacation) where I teach English (translation: writing & literature), Drama, and am Career coordinator, counsellor, and the school librarian.


How does your work differ from others of its genre?

My current poetry tends to be  conversational in style.  I make  observations that are often snap shots of something seen.  Other times they’re commentaries, but always they are short, frequently just 3 or 4 lines, sometimes a page, but rarely longer.

My novels focus on teens who are like my students: full of contradictions, dreams, and barriers.  I feature small town Canada (or big city Canada in the case of Grace Awakening Dreams), sometimes mixed with supernatural elements.


Why do you write what you do?

I started writing a daily poem on my blog in response to the feedback I received from readers.  It’s been very good discipline, and I believe my skill has improved since I’ve been doing it over the last 14 months or so.

I write YA because I’m a high school teacher and I feel like I can reflect messages and stories that my students relate to.


How does your writing process work?

It varies.

For poetry,

I might notice something on the way to work, and ponder it a bit, spinning various phrases until a poem emerges.  I might record it before I get started at work or during my break, or perhaps it will foment all day, or for a couple of days.  Other times, I need to post a poem, and without any plan I open the “new post” form.  In the title box I type: ‘poem-‘ and then the next word or phrase that comes to mind.  I’ll type whatever comes in response to the title, and if it feels right, I’ll post it right away, or I’ll let it simmer a bit, then come back to tweak it a bit in an hour. (I always feel free to tweak, even poems that have been up for years).

For novels,

During the school year I don’t settle down to write until 9:00 p.m., or so.  I’ll work until midnight during school days, later on the weekends.

In the summer, it’s really hot here during the days, and it remains light until after 9:00, so I don’t tend to start writing until closer to midnight.  I write through the night until 3 or 4:00 a.m.

With Grace Awakening Dreams and Power, I ‘quilted’ writing scenes from all over the novel and once I had about 120,000 words, laid it out and figured where everything went, and wrote the filler.

With the next two books in the series, told from Ben’s point of view, since I had the framework already, I just had to expand on what was happening in the mythical Other Realm.

I was introduced to Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat last year.  He lays out of a format for plotting a screen play.  With my latest project, I prepped all the key events following that model.  Now I can just flip through the chapter headings  (‘crisis with best friend,’  ‘discover betrayal,’ etc), pick one that appeals, and write it. I’m still writing all over the place, but the structure helps me be efficient with my writing time.  I confess, I sometimes miss the adventure of not knowing where I’m going, even though I don’t plan any of the specifics in the pre-plotting.



I invite the following writers to join the tour!




and off we go to the next blog!

Fluevog addiction August 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:53 pm
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It is no surprise to any of the regular readers of this blog that I’m very fond of beautiful shoes.  I inherited this penchant from my mother, who had a huge shoe collection while I was growing up (and still does, though unfortunately, not my size!).  In the last year or so, I discovered the shoes of Vancouver designer John Fluevog.  The designs are fun and interesting, and they are well made and very comfortable.  Most of my Fluevog collection is shown in Auntie Bright’s Pinterest board.    (Except the Prepare Scout clogs/mules which are not Auntie Bright’s style, but are mine. 🙂  Proof that she’s not exactly like me, no matter what my friends claim).

This lady in Winnipeg, however, leaves me in the dust, and I am rather jealous of her one of a kind samples!  🙂   The way I’m going, I may just have this many eventually.  So far, I have a mere seven pairs of Vogs, but check out Rebecca Harasym’s huge collection of wearable Fluevog art!  My husband is going to quake in his un-Fluevogian boots when he sees this!  🙂  If she started collecting in 2006, it looks like she averaged something like 20 pair each year…  With shoes running $150 to $200 a pair, and boots in the $350 to $400 range, this collection is probably worth $20-30,000.


music! August 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:25 pm
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It’s Roots and Blues time in Salmon Arm.  This huge music festival attracts quite a crowd.  I ran into THREE teachers I used to work with in Prince George!

While I was waiting for my time for performance and workshop with Jamila Mai, I enjoyed listening to the neighbouring stage where the Salmon Armenians were playing.  This local group is fun and bluesy.  Here’s a video of them performing a couple of years ago in Kamloops:


Shoestrings May 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:43 pm
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What to do when you discover you shoe collection no longer fits? Here is a solution!


Shoes on strings, House of Imagination by Heimat, Berlin art installation hanging shoes of facade building fassade schuhe berlin, germany art installation

House of Imagination by Heimat, Berlin / Source

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Jamila Mai at the Roots and Blues August 23, 2011

Some members of Jamila Mai performing at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Jamila Mai Belly Dance of Salmon Arm offers classes for beginners and intermediate belly dancers of  all ages.  Classes run in three sessions a year: generally Sept to Dec, Jan to Mar, Mar to May at the Downtown Activity Centre (former Salmon Arm Elementary).

For details, contact Rachael  at two-five-zero-eight-three-three-nineteen-fifteen or email her at


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