Shawn L. Bird

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

quote- identity October 30, 2013

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:24 am
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“You’ve always been what you are.  That’s not new.  What you’ll get used to is knowing it.”

(Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel p. 308)

In 2009, my novel Grace Awakening was finished, and I was staring stunned at the proof book, dumbstruck that I had actually done it.  I had written 150,000 words over six months, and created a world that other people were reading and liking.  I reflected this amazement to a friend who’d been reading my work since I was a kid, and he wrote, “You’re a writer.  You’ve always been a writer.”

I stared at those words on the screen for the longest time, trying to absorb them:

I am a writer.

Not a wanna-be writer.  Not a hopeful writer.  Not a someday writer.  I am a writer, and I have *always* been a writer.

It probably took me 3 years to fully accept that identity.  To embrace who I am.  When my friends started introducing me, not as a teacher, but as a “Shawn, the published author,” it was very profound.  It still gives me goosebumps

Then I started paying attention to the comments on my blog posts, and realised that I am also a poet.

I am a poet.

I was a little quicker to accept that idea, since it is so closely related to being a writer.  I have this image of poets as slightly crazy people, who live in weird houses, dress in crazy outfits, and have a lot of cats.  Well, two out of four is enough to face the truth.

I have embraced my creative self, and it is getting weirder and weirder.  The other day I seriously considered buying a wooden caravan style RV (I’ll try to take a photo of this beauty).  My husband would freak out at the very idea.  There probably isn’t enough room for my shoes, but I looked at that caravan, and was ready to hit the road. To become the wandering Bohemian I’ve beaten down my whole life.

Who I am is not new.  My friend was right, I’ve always been a writer.  I’ve been chattering away telling stories since I could talk.  I shared stories I wrote in grade 3 show and tell.  I won my first poetry prize in grade 4.   I’ve always been who I am.

Now that I’m not just accepting it, but I’m embracing it, I feel alive.  I feel like I am fulfilling my destiny.  I feel RIGHT in my world, because I am able to be who I am supposed to be.  I write.  I can not do things because I need to write.  People come to my blog, and tell me how my words make them feel, or think, or…  My words are who I am.

Who are you?


quote- Cassandra Clare on change

Filed under: Quotations,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:14 am
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“Sometimes,” Jem said, “our lives can change so fast that the change outpaces our minds and hearts.  It’s those time, I think, when our lives have altered but we still long for the time before everything was altered–that is when we feel the greatest pain.  I can tell you, though, from experience, you grow accustomed to it.  You learn to live your new life, and you can’t imagine, or even really remember, how things were before.” (Clockwork Angel, p. 308)

I remember sitting in the hospital chapel on Easter Sunday just after the birth of my daughter.  I sat there, with tears streaming down my face, just absorbing all the change.  My life would never be the same again.  It wasn’t.  I left the hospital and embarked upon a completely different adventure.

What time in your life were you suddenly engulfed and overwhelmed by change?


quote-Cassandra Clare on books October 18, 2013

Filed under: Quotations,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:26 pm
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   Will grinned. “Some of these books are dangerous,” he said.  “It’s wise to be careful.”

   “One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us…  Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”

Cassandra Clare in Clockwork Angel (p. 86)

I’m always so sad when I hear from kids boasting that they’ve never read a book.  They miss so much opportunity to learn and grow!  Readers live thousands of lives, experience diverse perspectives, and make emotional connections with worlds far apart from their own.

What literature and poetry have influenced you?


quote- Cassandra Clare on the world

Filed under: Quotations — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:15 am
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“It can be…difficult to learn how the world truly is, to see it in its true shape and form.  Most human beings never do.”

Cassandra Claire in Clockwork Angel (p. 62)

I wonder whether anyone can ever understand how ‘the world’ is?  Everything we see is coloured by our own perspective, and they can be dramatically different.  A world view varies between cultures.  No one sees the whole picture: we’re like the blind men and the elephant, no matter what we want to be.  The more we learn, the more we understand how much we don’t know.

What do you think?


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