Shawn L. Bird

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

Crazy fact November 28, 2017

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:31 pm
Tags: , ,

You know what’s crazy?

There are 195 countries in the world, and according to WordPress analytics, at least one person from 178 of them has dropped by this blog over the years.   That’s at least one representative from 91% of the globe!  WOW!

Thank YOU for coming by!

And if you’re writing from  Central African Republic, Cuba, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Greenland, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kyrgikstan, Macedonia, Mauritania, North Korea, Solomon Islands, South Sudan,  Turkmanistan, Tajikistan, or Western Sahara, you’re particularly welcome!  Thanks for filling in a new piece of my world map!



poem-searches October 9, 2014

WordPress says, seekers came to my blog wondering

‘how tall is Sam Heughan?’

They were looking for ‘Sam heughan butt’

‘Sam Heughan’

and ‘Outlander vocabulary.’

Sam is 6’3″

His butt is not here.

He is not here either

But I once passed him on the highway

and didn’t pick him up.

He was stranded four hours.

I’ll bet he used some colourful

Outlander vocabulary then!




Seriously, I have written a popular poem about Sam, back when he was first cast as Jamie Fraser in the Outlander series.  You may enjoy it!  Diana did when she read it.

I also have a frequently visited blog post about Diana’s vocabulary in the Outlander series.  

While Sam definitely has a very nice butt, there are no visuals here, but you may find some relief in assorted Outlander poems and other writings.

About the passing him on the highway, that’s true, too!  August 2013 Sam came to BC to visit a relative near where I live.  Read the details here.


poem-ten thousand June 12, 2014

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“No one

in the publishing industry

takes a blog seriously,”

said the presenter

“until it has at least

ten thousand followers.”

I thought about my three hundred

loyal followers and sighed.

I would never manage that.

For six months I thought

about her words, knowing what

WordPress said to do,

and how I wasn’t doing it.

So one April, two weeks

before I gave a social media workshop,

I tested their theories.

In two weeks, 444 followers

became a thousand.

Hmm. I thought.

If I keep doing this,

I could have ten thousand

in a year or so.

So I visited other blogs,

commented, and liked their work.

Introducing myself, and noticing others.

It’s the old mantra

‘the only way to have a friend

is to be a friend.’

and here we are!

14 months later,

ten thousand people

see my posts, leave their comments,

share my words, welcome me into their world

laugh with me

offer suggestions,

and make every day


I send ten thousand

thank yous to each of you.

I’m grateful you’ve joined my journey

that you share your lives and your time.

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you.



Liebster award April 27, 2013

Filed under: anecdotes — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:37 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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!



like you April 26, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I wrote letters to poets

Sandburg, Dickinson, Twain,

Shelley, Petrarca, Yeats or Keats,

it was always the same.

“Thank you for your words.

“I like what you  say.

“Your message was heard.”

Each time someone’d said

“You can’t send a note

for those poets are dead;

it’s been years since they wrote!”


On the blog roll are poets

who live and who breathe

and I can write them notes

and some encouragement leave.

“I like that you’re writing

“I like that you’re here

“I like that you’re sighting

on truths without fear.

“Thank you for your words.

“I like what you  say.

“Your message was heard;

I’ll be back here one day!”


Found poem- from the WordPress blog roll April 24 2013 17.46-18.04 hours PDT April 24, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:30 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

(If you should see a line from your poem in this, please link to it in the comments!)  Each line is taken from a poem on the blog roll, in order, backwards in time.


I can’t sing you a sad song.

   patience for life’s lovers

      all these people,

         opened up,

              howl like children

                 for something different in these places.

Mermaids only dream

   our burning love.

I will not take

    first dandelions,

       each one a kiss

           weighing heavy on my heart.

Warm breath on my neck,

     I have burned.

I could write between the lines

     the many masks of the broken child:

        Rainbow sprays in the garden.

I love you still.

Lullaby sea

     has aged gracefully.

Time has taken

    the dewdrops of sadness

         awaiting damnation,

              silencing the crowds.

Blink of an eye,

     what was wholly irrelevent

            blossoms in the mind:

                  I never see you smiling.

Life makes us cynical,

      oddly balanced.

That impossible moment

      lights the trees,

           the sky looks like me.


snow on the blog December 3, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

I confess, one of my simple joys is that come December, it snows on my blog.   I love how the little white dots drift through the post, in serene ambivalence of the topic or tone of the blog entry itself.

I love that it happens every year without me doing anything. I put it in my settings back years ago, and now, like winter,  it comes whether I am ready or not.

This year, December first arrived as a welcome relief to the furious writing frenzy of November’s NaNoWriMo.  It was a delight to look onto the blog, and see the peaceful ‘flakes’ drifting across my posts.  Tranquility amid technology.

Simple pleasures are the best ones, I think.


Hey there, new followers! September 29, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:28 am
Tags: , ,

I recently noticed that I have several hundred new followers, and I’m sure that many of you are writers with your own blogs.

Please take a moment and introduce yourself and your blog in the comment section below ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓  so I can check out your blog, too!  It’s nice to follow back other bloggers and share the love, but if you don’t comment, I never know you’re here.

I look forward to meeting you! 🙂



one thousand comments! August 15, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

Today, with Deb Palmer’s comment on Drain Kids, I finally reached one thousand comments on my blog.  To get to this point, Akismet has skimmed out 15,435 spam comments.

I hope that capturing so many advertising messages does provide some sort of negative karma to those spammers that waste so much band width!

Thanks to each of you who read and take the time to like posts or to leave a response.  I appreciate your encouragement and support on this literary venture.


Bloggers Beware of photo copyright! July 21, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:11 pm
Tags: , , , ,

WordPress encourages use of photos on every blog post.  They won’t use your blog in their featured section without a photo, as a matter of fact.  This means that lots of bloggers grab photos from wherever and put them onto their blog without too much consideration about where the images came from. Because they don’t make money from their blog, aren’t selling the image, or credit the source, they think they’re safe.

You may notice that my blog has very few photos.  This means that I will not become a featured blogger, but hopefully it means I won’t get sued for using material that doesn’t belong to me.  I have endeavoured to use only my own photos, public domain photos (OLD), or book covers on reviews which I am trusting are fair use.

However, a lot of bloggers are out there innocently using images, blithely unaware that they are infringing on copyright.  Roni Loren was one.  She used a photo, and was sued over it.  Here is her very interesting blog post about what she learned.  Thanks Roni for helping us to know what the dangers are.  I will now check through my blog and make sure there isn’t anything there that slipped through my paranoia filters in a moment of laziness!


%d bloggers like this: