Shawn L. Bird

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

harping on June 8, 2013

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:33 pm
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Today, I was procrastinating the task of sitting down to finish my high interest low vocabulary novella that has been hovering over my head for something like 5 years.


How do I procrastinate?   Well, today it was by transposing some of the tunes I have memorized in the key of C, into the key of G so I can play them on my little double strung Brittany harp.

You’ll be happy to know that I *did* actually sit down at the computer eventually, and a couple of hours later, I *did* finish the ubiquitous novella called #8 (aka Number Eight) this afternoon.

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Now onto the revisions.  (Between the harping sessions, of course). 😉


creating beauty August 5, 2012

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:06 pm
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“You are beautiful,” he whispered to me
“If you say so.”
“Do ye not believe me? Have I ever lied to you?”
“That’s not what I mean. I mean— if you say it, then it’s true.”

Diana Gabaldon.  The Fiery Cross

I have pondered over this concept a lot.  When Grace first sees Ben in Grace Awakening Dreams, she thinks he’s completely average and uninteresting.  By the end of Grace Awakening Power, she describes him as handsome, golden, and glorious.

What has changed?  Has he literally become better looking, or has her perception of him just altered, so that she finds him more attractive?  Does being in love, and having someone love you make you more attractive?

I think the answer to all three questions is yes.

It reminds me of a parable I heard when I was a teen about the 100 cow wife.  Hunting on the internet, I see that it’s actually about an 8 cow wife.   (lol  Memory inflation!)  The gist of the story is that you get what you pay for.  If you want a beauty, you have to treat her like a beauty.

Physical beauty, internal beauty, or whatever, your declaration to the beloved is what makes it true.  Conversely, if you denigrate your spouse, call him or her names, and put him or her down, you create what you declare.  You create what you desire and what you declare.


necessity, the mom May 27, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:51 am
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Topic #137: What invention, as in something not yet invented (jetpack, teleportation ring, time machine) do you most need right now?

The fall that I started Grace Awakening, I also started a high interest low vocab novel I called #8. When Grace took over my life for six months as she told me her 150,000 word story, #8 languished as an outline and one chapter. When Grace was finished, I set to work on #8. I’m aiming for it to be completed at 15,000 words, so it’s a tenth of Grace’s size. You’d think it would have taken a tenth of the time- say eighteen days instead of 180, but no. For all its brevity, #8 has sat with ‘something’ not quite right for almost two years. Every once and awhile I pull it out and add a paragraph here, a chapter there, fine tune a paragraph, crop out a sentence, but the intangible thing has been elusive.
This last week I’ve been reading and thinking about #8. I’ve added half a chapter and decided that I need to crop out the first chapter I wrote for this book (presently it is chapter 2). I realised that I have a beach scene immediately followed by a snow shovelling scene (this is feasible in Calgary, but not in the Shuswap!). Oops. I figured out the biggest area that needs fixing.

As I was drifting off to sleep, one of the minor characters stepped up. She had been in one brief scene in the seventh chapter, but suddenly she had a back story to share that was relevant to the rest of the story. She had been there all along, with the answer to the question, if only I’d been paying attention. I had to be up in a few hours, and I couldn’t afford to get up and write out the scene. I was sure that it would not be lost over night, but I could not shut off the narrative.
It would be so handy for authors to have a brain writing machine. While you sat in a boring meeting, went jogging through the neighborhood, or were drifting off to sleep, your brain writer could dictate the narrative rolling in your thoughts and put it into a file. What a brilliant devise that would be.


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