Shawn L. Bird

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

Liebster award April 27, 2013

Filed under: anecdotes — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:37 pm
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I have never actually accepted a blog award nomination, but I’ve decided to give it a whirl.  Thanks to for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award.  Thanks Beckarooney!

.Liebster Blog Award

As with all blog awards there are several rules – they are:

1. Accept the award, post the picture of the Liebster Award on the top of your post and say who nominated you for the award and list their blog site.

2. List 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Nominate 11 other bloggers for the Liebster Award and list their blog sites.

4. Notify the bloggers of their award.

5.Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer when they accept their Liebster Award.

6. Answer the questions left for you by the blogger who gave you the award.


So here are 11 random facts about me. . .

  • I have owned poodles exclusively since I was six years old.  
  • Presently I live with OJ the standard poodle and Dusty the miniature poodle.
  • my first writing award was for a poem I wrote about my mother in grade four.
  • my first rejection letter came from a kids magazine called Jabberwocky when I was in grade five.
  • I bought my husband’s wedding ring with the prize money from a college short story contest
  • I have a very tender spot for musicians, particularly pianists and classical guitarists
  • I speak 3 languages quite well, and a few others very badly
  • I have lived in 15 places since I met my husband, but we have been 12 years in our current house.
  • I have never had a job contract that was for longer than a year.
  • I originally wanted twelve children.  My husband persuaded me that two was a better choice.  (He was probably right).
  • Left to my own devices, I go to bed at 4 a.m. and get up at noon.  I write, play music, and clean house in the peace of moonlight.


Here are the questions I was asked:

1. Why did you start your blog?

When Grace Awakening was in the process of being signed with Vancouver’s Gumboot Books, Crystal the publisher said I should have a blog as a way to begin my author platform.  I’d been pondering having one for a few years, but that was the impetus to buy my domain and get started.

2. What’s your favourite time of year and why?

I live in a 4 season playground, and I really love all 4 seasons.  I love spring for the new beginnings and the excitement as the grads move on.  I love summer for the time that I have to play with my assorted projects.  I love autumn for the excitement of a new school year and the potential for awesome connections with students.  I love winter for the beauty of fresh fallen snow and the crisp air.   I can more easily answer my favourite time of DAY, which is night.  🙂 (see above)

3. Do you have any unusual ways of curing writer’s block and if so what are they?

My only cure is to sit down and WRITE.  There is procrastination, but whenever I start, there are plenty of words.  I don’t ever have writing block.

4. If you follow my blog why did you start following it?

 I’ve only been following Beckarooney’s blog for a week or so, but I was drawn by the insightful and lovely poetry I found there, and the interesting information about The Eden Project, which I’d never heard of.

5. Who is the most important person in your life?

My husband, who holds me together.  Since I was twenty he’s been the stolid stability that allows my flight.  He is quite generally awesome (and handsome, too!).

6. Where do you live and what do you live in?

I live in a house above Shuswap Lake in central British Columbia, Canada.  (See photos below)  I have beautiful mountain views, and I’m trying to figure out how to rig up a writing suite on my roof so I can see the lake all year round not just in the winter when the neighbour’s lilacs are leaf-less.  (I need to sell a lot of books to make this a viable option, feel free to contribute by clicking the book cover at right! lol).

7. Are you a Facebook fanatic?

Sadly, yes.  I have 3 accounts ((cough))

8. Can you dance?

Yes.  I have studied ballet, jazz, tap, folk, and belly dance.  Sadly, at the moment I’m on a dancing hiatus due to knee injuries.  My husband hates dancing though, so if we’re at an event, as soon as the dancing starts, we leave.  :-S

9. What are 3 things you couldn’t live without?

Air, water, shelter.  🙂

Beyond those basics: the computer (or at least pen & paper), good dark chocolate, and a good book to read in the bathtub.

10. Who is the one person you would love to meet, from the past, present or even the future, and why?

Since I’ve already met Diana Gabaldon, I’ll go with Francesco Petrarca, the poet, diplomat, and cleric from the 14th century.  I am writing a book about him, and I have developed a rather profound crush on him. (blush) I’d also really like to meet my grandmother whom I apparently resemble physically and temperamentally.  She died when I was a baby.

11. What do you do on a typical Friday night?

Snuggle poodles, read a book, write a book, play the harp, enjoy a great meal with hubby, often in the basement in front of a movie.


My eleven nominees are blogs I’ve enjoyed this week:


The eleven questions for my nominees to answer:

1. What teacher from your youth or childhood had a profound impact on you?  How?

2. Who is your greatest literary inspiration?

3. What is a favourite quote from another person, and what do you like about it?

4. What is a favourite quote from your own work, and what is the story behind it?

5. Tell us about one of your pets.

6. What is the greatest barrier in your life?

7. Where is your favourite travel destination?  Why?

8. What is the most interesting place near where you live? What makes it interesting?

9. What is your writing space like?

10. When you were eight, what did you want to be when you grew up?

11.  What is your goal for your writing?


Views from my living room window on this grey day:

(just to the left of that yellow sign you can just see Shuswap Lake through those budding lilacs)  Plainly our next door neighbour needs to borrow our dandelion puller tool.  This is northwest.


and this is southwest.  That’s Mount Ida (which is mentioned in Grace Awakening)   in the middle left with the snow still on it.  There was a fire on the mountain in the 90s, you can still see the charred remains.  Across the valley are the Fly Hills which burnt at the same time.  Love all the new green of spring!



rewards September 11, 2012

Filed under: anecdotes — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:48 pm
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This is a true story…  I am required not to give out any names.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wasn’t a very good reader.  She could read all the words, but she couldn’t make sense of sentences.  She was convinced she couldn’t read.  One day, her school decided to have a read-a-thon to raise money for their new playground.  They would give prizes for the students who raise the most money and who read the most books, in primary, and in intermediate classes. The little girl, who was in primary, indicated an interest in participating in the contest.  Her mother and she sent out messages to every adult they knew, inviting them to pledge per book read.  The friends, knowing  the little girl needed encouragement in her reading, gave generously.  The little girl read as much as she could, and she raised a lot of money.

Another little girl (let’s call her B), also in primary raised more.  The girl who had earned the most in intermediate had earned less than half what our little girl had, but because the primary girl B had earned more, our girl missed a prize.  The four winning students had their pictures taken for the newspaper.

The little girl coveted the fame of appearing in the newspaper.  She determined that the next year, she would win the contest and get into the newspaper herself.

So it happened, that the contest ran the next year, and the little girl did earn the most money.  She waited for the newspaper photographer to come.

Days past.  Weeks past.

Eventually, her mom asked why she was so gloomy, and the little girl explained.  She had done all this work because she wanted to get her picture in the paper, but they weren’t going to get their pictures taken this year.  She sniffed, and a tear rolled down her sweet little cheek.

The next day, her mother phoned the principal and explained.  The principal said that they had completely forgotten about the newspaper, but that indeed, they would definitely call them to come take a picture of the winners.

And so it was that the little girl showed up in the paper, cut up many copies to send with pride to the people who had sponsored her.

Her reading phobia had disappeared, because the accomplishment had proved to her that she was a good reader.  One of the best in the school.

No one knew the real desire and motivation behind her achievement, except her mother.  Luckily, the mother was able to go behind the scenes and ensure that the desired reward was received.  The accomplishment was a big deal.  It had changed her outlook on reading, and her belief in her ability to do things.


We all deserve to have our accomplishments recognised.  A small symbol of achievement means something, whether it’s an Olympic medal, a Girl Guide badge, or a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship, we stand proud in knowing we have earned this status.

Playing fields are not equal.  What is a casual thing to one person can be a monumental accomplishment to someone else.  So help them celebrate!

Listen for the cues.  Try to acknowledge great achievement when you see it, even if to you, it doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Maybe it’s a much, much bigger deal than you think.  Don’t put off recognition.  If it’s not timely, you’re minimizing both the effort and the accomplishment.


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