Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- kill the critic October 29, 2013

Kill the critic:

let him drown in the

flow of your words.

Kill the critic:

let him sear in the

molten eruption

from the core of you.

Kill the critic:

let him smother

gasping against the tide

of your creativity,

.grasping at the emptiness

that was your insecurities.

Kill the critic:

be free.

.

.

NB: I do not advocate murder of anything but the inner voice that tells you that you’re inadequate.  Your inner critic has no business in your writing head-space.   You can’t edit a blank page.

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help guys! I need some male vocab! August 4, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:38 pm
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I was once told, “Guys don’t say ‘cute.'”  That’s a problem, because I’m editing Grace Awakening Myth, and Ben thinks ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ rather frequently.  If I need to kill the word cute, but somehow get the same idea across, what words should I use?

What do you say when the girl you adore is so uncoordinated around you she can barely walk?  When she blushes whenever she sees you?

When I was that girl, I remember a lot of knowing grins, and I’ve got that, but what word would be in his head to describe his affectionate amusement?

Help!  Please leave your suggestion in the comments below!  Thanks!

 

more on the editing stuff May 20, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:26 pm
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Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a formerly local writer.  She graduated from the high school where I teach, and until last summer, she lived over the hill and wrote about our region.  At the moment she’s living all the way across the country on an island in Lake Huron.  Gail also teaches at UBC in the Creative Writing Masters program.  In addition, she has a blog.  On her blog she has a guest author visit from Vincent Lam, and(here is the point of this post at last!) Vincent Lam has a fun post about editing.  Enjoy!

 

editing May 16, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:27 am
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I mentioned the other day that I enjoy the editing process.  Apparently I am not alone!

On his blog David Antropus recently wrote, “editing is an integral part of the creative process and isn’t really qualitatively different from writing. What we tend to call “writing” is in fact “initial drafting” and what we often think of as “editing” is just a deeper form of “writing”. Every bit as creative, and potentially just as satisfying. At its best, it’s the layers of paint over the pencil sketch.”

He goes on to demonstrate, showing the process.  Check out the indiesunlimited piece by clicking here.  He has some valuable links in the comment section. Read through it all.  Great stuff!

 

 

editing fun April 28, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:00 pm
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I enjoy the editing process.  I love considering the questions that force me to think.  Figuring out alternatives or motivations (therefore to bring a new truth) or tossing something that isn’t supported is very empowering. I see the process of these discussions as literary improv.   Off the top of my head I have to be able to come up with a plausible reason for whatever question has been asked.  Sometimes the answer has been in the story, but sometimes it’s back story stuff, but it needs to be consistent with character.  I can be very creative.  Sometimes my convoluted solutions are approved, but sometimes a set of lowered brows indicates I need to use my delete key, and kill my babies.

My editor, Vikki, peppers the manuscript with comments.  Lots of times it’s just grammar corrections (Vikki is a grammar nazi),  some moments earn exclamations, often she poses an intriguing question, and sometimes, when she’s been at it far too long and is plainly getting overtired, it can simply be entertaining.

My two favorite comments from the final edits of Grace Awakening Power:

“You use mad every time you mean angry. I know you are being colloquial, but it would be okay to use the correct word sometimes, again, as a model for young readers. And to add variety.”

I think of “mad dogs and Englishmen” in her context.  🙂  I always use ‘mad’ for ‘angry’ rather than to mean ‘crazy.’  Some days ‘shift F7’ is used more often than others!

Here’s my favorite comment:

“This event is an opportunity for Grace to accidentally bump up the energy, with people leaping from their wheelchairs and bursting into song, or something slightly more subdued. Grace and Ben together should be contagious, not just Grace for Ben.”

HA!  “or something slightly more subdued!”  HA HA!  Vikki cracks me up.

Like the joke a friend sent me on Facebook today:   “The past, present, and future walked into a bar.  It was tense.”   Bwaa ha haa!!  I told it to my husband, cackling gleefully after the punch line and he stood straight faced looking at me, then shook his head and remarked, “Yeah.  That sounds like an English teacher joke.”  😀

PS>  I was VERY excited that Grace Awakening Dreams and Power, the trade paperback omnibus of the two e-books, is now available for sale to the public!  There’s a link to purchase in the bar above.  I know some have already sold, and I wonder if other folks will be reading it before  my own case of books makes it through customs.

 

Arg! April 11, 2012

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:25 am
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Your priorities are

not my priorities.

Your time is

not my time.

Your hopes are

not my hopes.

Your deadlines

are not my deadlines.

But all

of mine,

depend

on yours.

 

slow December 24, 2011

What I’ve learned about the publishing industry:

It’s slow.

Everything about it moves like a comatose tortoise. True, like the tortoise, sure and steady gets there eventually, but it can be ridiculously frustrating watching from the sidelines.

If an agent or publisher says they’ll get back to you in a week, s/he means a month. If they say it’ll be a month, expect to hear around four months later. Four seems to be the number to multiply by.

Ironically, I was also told that from completion of novel to publication the average book takes 4.5 years. Coincidence?

Is patience a virtue?

Perhaps. Electronic publishing speeds up many aspects of the process, but the most important one, the editing and proof-reading will still take just as long as ever.

I’m counting the days until Grace Awakening Power gets back from the editor, I can make the required changes, and it can be released by Lintusen to the world!  I was expecting it initially in November, four months after it went to the editor.  If my multiplication scenario holds, I will see it in 16 months, or perhaps 4 months after November, which puts arrival in March.

Patience.

The watch-word for the author waiting for a book.

It’s a slow process.

 

 
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