Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- no fantasy? no romance? December 1, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:21 pm
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It is so sad

that you eschew fantasy and romance in your world.

Without fantasy, where is imagination? Where is spark? Where is possibility?

Without romance, where is connection? Where is life? Where is compatibility?

You, ‘realist’ are deluded.

Facing reality means seeing above, below, beyond, and through.

Recognizing the power of the metaphor.

Feeling the electricity of a touch, when your love has gone.

Celebrating what may be.

It means believing in hope.

A realist is a dead shell lapped upon the beach,

while a great ocean signs beside it and carries whales

and sailing ships off over the horizon.

You can still be sensible,

and see the magic of the world.

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poem- story making May 13, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:22 pm
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I did not realize

I was writing a story

when I took your words

and wove them into fantasy

so compelling

I believed you were real.

 

Double Wow! September 7, 2011

I have been following Grace’s movements on Kindle, since they have each book’s ‘Bestseller Stat” right on the listing. (FYI, she’s in the top 9% of e-book sales today).   I have been very curious to know about iTunes listings, because it seemed to me that most of the people I was hearing from had bought their copy on iTunes.

Just this week I discovered the iTunes Book Charts. Grace Awakening has a profile there. I learned that it was doing quite well, so well in fact, that it had been making regular appearances on the list of  Top 100 Fantasy eBooks in Canada!  Needless to say, I was excited. (Picture Shawn squealing and leaping about).

Last night I went through every chart from the day Grace debuted at 34th place (her best stat).  I was absolutely astounded to discover that she spent 14 days straight in the Top 100 during the first two weeks of August!

Holy Cow!!

After that, she’s popped on and off the list, so she’s sitting around the 100 line.  She’s been on again the last couple of days. I am so excited that my book baby is off in the world making her own friends. I can’t believe that she’s holding her own statistically with authors like J R R Tolkein, Terry Goodkind, and David Edding! I’ve read those guys!

I read a lot of SciFi/Fantasy as a kid. I am one of those Star Trek and Star Wars nerds. It’s so cool that Grace has a place among ‘my people.’ 😀


I hope she has the staying power to keep there, and that more people find her and fall in love with her and her friends.  I’m really looking forward to the release of Grace Awakening Power, and seeing what she does when she’s not just dreaming, but has some potency behind her!  Will she take off into the stratosphere?

Thanks to you for reading. Grace and I appreciate you entering our world.

 

birthing a world July 4, 2010

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:58 am
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How ironic that my last entry was about fantasy and reality, because without warning I’m falling into fantasy. It’s an interesting sensation. A new world is opening like a chasm and I am tumbling into it. It’s tugging on an arm and a leg, and it’s filling my head. I will lose touch with my reality as it grows.  I can feel the new place pulling me away.

Last year when readers were begging for a continuation of Grace Awakening, I didn’t know what to offer them. I asked what they wanted to know and they were vague. They just wanted more. I let the idea simmer for a few days before a glimmer came to me. “What about a prequel?” I finally suggested. “Yes!” they shouted. I could tell of some of those past lives Grace sees images of.  I could tell about Bright’s past experiences.  They were thrilled with whatever came.  The readers wanted to know about it all, if only I would write it.

After a year of simmering, the story is beginning to unfold itself. I find myself moving about my day with only half my consciousness attentive to my activities. Scenes are revealing themselves, characters are asking to be born, and a world is stretching into being. My fingers are twitching, and the words are about to appear on the screen.

Come along for the ride.

 

after the Eclipse July 2, 2010

The problem with spending time in a fantasy world is that sometimes it’s very hard to leave and return to the world of reality.

I have a friend who was raised in a huge Catholic family. Her dad was an illiterate farmer. He valued farm chores. He did not value education, and he especially did not value reading. Being discovered shirking one’s chores with a book was asking for a beating. I can kind of appreciate the anger. When your children have escaped into a book or movie, they are out of your control. They are being exposed to ideas that may differ from your own. A lot of people fear ideas that are different from their own, and that is why we have censorship. Ideas are free. Control is not.

I came out of the Eclipse matinee today, lost in the world of love, hard decisions, glorious Pacific scenery (the very roads of the Fraser Valley that we were driving last spring break), and the passions of youth. I have felt a little bittersweet all day, as I fight not to go back and read through the series again. (I just read them all last weekend for about the twentieth time, afterall, and I watched the movies 3X this week already).  My emotions have been highjacked by Twilight again.  It doesn’t matter that it has been a long time since I was engulfed in those passions of new love and the difficult decisions that last a lifetime, but it doesn’t seem like it. Whether those feelings were thirty years ago or three years ago, the intensity of them doesn’t change. Auntie Bright and Grace discuss this at the end of Grace Awakening,

. “Have you heard how the archaeologists have excavated three thousand year old honey from within the pyramids?”
(Grace) nodded and whispered, “Yes, they discovered it was still perfect, because bacteria don’t grow on honey.”
“Exactly. Like ancient honey, a first love remains ever incorruptible despite the passage of time. Though the boy may no longer exist, the memory of him is always pure and sweet.”

Like Bright, I’m feeling somewhat lost at the moment in the ache and joy of nostalgia. Those intense feelings are always just below the surface, and the Twilight Saga has woken them for many women, of all ages. Whether our heads remember all the details, our hearts recall each nuance of confusion, joy and adoration.   Stephenie Meyer’s created world pushes us back to that place.  It can be a wonderful place to revisit.  Being in love has a narcotic effect on the system.  It does us good to re-awaken those passions by escaping from our dreary every day.

Perhaps someone watching my vacant stares and unexplained flashes of smiles might be distressed.  Perhaps that fact that my thoughts are unknown would pain some people.  Not being quite in control of your head can be a problem.  On the other hand, it is amazing as a writer to know that words have that kind of power!   I bow to the brilliance that can take control of my emotions away from me, and remind me of  love’s power.

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I am so glad to have spent the last twenty-five years with the amazing and brilliant man who happily attends Twilight movies with me, discusses books, gives me valuable  writing critiques, tolerates my foibles, loves me beyond reason, and yes, does laundry. What a blessing I’ve been given.  I am reminded of this whenever I float out of the cloud of love and adoration rekindled by Twilight.

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I hope Grace Awakening leaves readers in a haze, wishing they were still lost in the story, spending time with Grace, Ben, Bright, Jim and the others. I hope they find themselves in the realm of memory, remembering the boys and men who first touched their hearts and awakened them to the grace of love.  I hope the fantasy rekindles their hearts to their reality.

 

reality and fiction June 18, 2010

…the difference between fiction based on reality and fantasy is simply a matter of range. The former is a handgun. It hits the target almost close enough to touch, and even the willfully ignorant can’t deny that it’s effective. Fantasy is a sixteen-inch naval rifle. It fires with a tremendous bang, and it appears to have done nothing and to be shooting a nothing.

Note the qualifier “appears.” The real difference is that with fantasy—and by that I mean fantasy which can simultaneously tap into a cosmopolitan commonality at the same time as it springs from an individual and unique perspective. In this sort of fantasy, a mythic resonance lingers on—a harmonious vibration that builds in potency the longer one considers it, rather than fading away when the final page is read and the book is put away. Characters discovered in such writing are pulled from our own inner landscapes…and then set out upon the stories’ various stages so that as we learn to understand them a little better, both the monsters and the angels, we come to understand ourselves a little better as well. (Charles de Lint. Memory and Dreams. p. 323)

I wish de Lint’s words were my own, because they’re so profound. Consider: “harmonious vibration that builds in potency.” Oh how I hope that Grace Awakening offers the reader such a lingering mythic resonancy! How I hope that as they grow to understand my characters, they understand themselves better, just as I have grown from the process.

When someone asks why on Earth I chose to write a novel with a fantasy twist, I want to be answer as eloquently as this! I am reminded of Bella’s comment in New Moon, “Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny, insignificant towns, facing down mythical monsters? Did this mean every impossible fairy tale was grounded somewhere in absolute ghost truth? Was there anything sane or normal at all, or was everything just magic and stories?” (p. 293) When it became clear that the story I had to tell required me to embrace myth, it was an epiphany. Once the mythology began to weave between the lines, my words flew beyond me. They started unfurling so much more than the germ I’d started with. Mythology reveals great truth, and I learned a lot from Grace and Ben, Jim and Bright, and the others in their world.  I suspect there is much more to learn.

I’m really looking forward to hearing what sorts of things the rest of you learn from Grace et al. If you’ve read Grace Awakening, I’d love to hear what harmonious vibration is resonating with you.

 

 
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