Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-becoming January 1, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:18 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

creating ourselves means choosing

if I want to be a person whose home is full of original art

I must begin by buying supporting artists

if I want to be a person who is confident enough to wear red lipstick

I must put the lipstick on my lips.

If I want to be a person who dances in the rain

I must head outside during the storm.

Whatever I desire

I must dare.

 

poem- the end November 28, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

such a long time

in the making.

planned so long ago.

waiting.

injury

healing

tiny steps

tiny steps

tiny steps

make the journey

so

long

but here we are at

the

end.

.

.

.

August 2018 Nikolette Jones and I bantered out the plans for 3 Nikki Knox stories that I would write by August 2019. Unfortunately, August 28 I suffered a brain injury that meant time off work, therapy, and a long road of recovery. I have been dabbling for 2 years with the 4th book, and it is FINALLY finished! It is two years late, but it’s here at last! Nikolette is busy with the art and there will be a new, lovely Nikki Knox 4 book compilation out in the next few months! Yay! It’s so good to have a brain that’s working again.

.

.

.

.

.

 

poem- speak November 20, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:01 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Speak your future

Say what you will be.

In moments of self-nurture,

Trust in your destiny.

.

.

A little reflection based on some observation in a Zoom presentation for Professional Development from indigenous author Monique Gray Smith.

 

poem-I came into myself November 4, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:03 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

After forty
came freedom.
No one relying on me
My dreams became
priority.
Embracing fun and beauty:
Shoes that make me dance
VW Bug that makes me laugh.
Writing stories and poetry,
then releasing them to readers.
Studying for that masters degree.
No one to stop me reaching.
No tethers constraining me.
After forty
possibility
became reality.

 

poem- committing November 1, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

if I think I will

I’m often wrong.

if I say it aloud

sometimes I will

if I tell you I will

then I usually will

if you say that I can’t

then I will.

.

.

.

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo and on many years, that’d mean I’d be busy getting out my 1667 words, but I came to the realization that I produce really crappy books in the pressure of NaNo, so instead, I am going to endeavour to post a new poem every day this month.

As well, I plan to get some pieces submitted, so my goal to submit or publish 20 pieces in 2020 is achieved. So far, 11 submissions, 9 to go. If I can find a few places that accept simultaneous submissions, I might manage to get all 9 off in a day! Stay tuned.
.

.

.

ignore ads from WordPress

.

.

.

.

 

Writing- the pause September 22, 2020

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For some, the pandemic has offered a blessing of time to write that they’ve longed for, and they have taken advantage, holing up at home and writing that novel that’s always been at the back of their minds.

For some, the stress of managing new complications and layers of deadly danger in their workplace or among their family members has shut down all notions of creative expression. They’re in survival mode, and all the stories that were in process have sputtered to a stop.

I’m in both camps. I’ve managed to keep writing poetry, but larger projects eluded me. Added to the pandemic stress, my 90 year old mom broke her hip in April, went through rehab and was released back home, but then she passed away in June. I am executor of her estate, and the magnitude of work required to clean up a life-time of possessions from her house was dramatic.

So here I am, looking at the last four months of 2020. I had a goal to submit 20 times in 2020, and so far, I’ve sent out 9 submissions. The first 8 submissions were in Jan/Feb, to give you an idea of how completely the pandemic froze my world!

The pause.

I just submitted the 9th thing a few days ago. It’s a promise to myself that it’s time to dig out from the pressure. I am pondering ways I can salvage my goal. I aim to spend some time with my unpublished projects and look for potential homes for them. Is it time to try a mass submission drive? Shall I find 11 completed pieces in my computer and send each somewhere? Contests? Journals? Magazines?

Yes.

There are 15 weeks left in 2020. It’s time to find my lists of ‘where to publish’ (Writers Market, here I come!). If I take a week to find projects in the computer, I can submit one thing a week and maybe even beat my goal!

How about you? Have you been struggling to meet your writing goals amid all the stresses of 2020? Will you be making any changes in the final months of the year to achieve your goals?

Do you have any recommendations of good places to submit?

 

poem- get out of your way April 20, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:22 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s all possible

deep stretched dreams

pushing through negativity

into it can be.

Ignore discouragement.

You can make it,

taking skill, faith, time,

mix with luck,

Do it.

 

poem-change in the wind February 10, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:05 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Each day I arrive here

Look around

and notice it feels less like home.

Remember laughter,

feel their dreaming,

it’s all still here,

but where are my desires leading?

Could this all be coming to a close?

Are talent, skills, and luck

coalescing into

something new?

 

Opinion-Waiting for retirement January 16, 2020

I keep running into people who have big plans for their retirement.  They’re going to move somewhere with less snow.  They’re going to get serious about that hobby.  They’re going to start writing that book.

I ask them what I asked myself in 1998: Why wait?

One Spring Break when I was in my thirties with two pre-teen kids, I’d driven south with the kids to see my parents. I went to Vancouver, and sitting in the Water Street station, I looked around at the blooming tulips and plum trees and pondered the foot of snow in my yard back home.

On our 800 km journey back home, we drove past lots of schools.  I looked at those schools and had an epiphany.  There are teachers working here.  Why wait thirty years to move?  Why not have the life we want to have NOW?

I returned home and had a chat with my husband.  I sent out applications.  He interviewed for a transfer in his government job.  He had a few offers around the province that he turned down.  I was called to an interview in Salmon Arm and subsequently accepted a position. Two days later he was offered a position in Salmon Arm, too.  Serendipity and synchronicity.  Two months later we were living in a beautiful community that actually had four seasons that appeared when they were supposed to on the calendar (instead of two seasons: ‘winter’ and ‘bugs’).  That was twenty years ago.

I dreamed of being a writer, but thought that in my forties, it was too late to start.  Then my school hosted the BC Book Prize tour, and I discovered that every author visiting us had written their first book after fifty.

I started writing just after Thanksgiving and the week before Easter I finished Grace Awakening.  The week after the following Thanksgiving at the Surrey Writing Conference I pitched it to a small publisher, which subsequently offered me a contract.  A dream come true.

This October was ten years after I pitched that first book.  I was offered a table to sell my books at a signing event at the Surrey Writers Conference, alongside some of my author idols.  I am working in my dream job, teaching English & Creative Writing in an amazing school in a beautiful place, WHILE writing books!  It couldn’t be more perfect!

I still have a few years before retirement.

I have retirement plans.  When I retire, I plan to write a lot more books, and visit schools to teach a lot more teens and adults how to bring their dream stories to life.  I will travel and write and read.  It will be awesome.

But.

A year and a half ago, I received a brain injury.  Out of no where, in my own home, BAM: Life changed.

Words swam on a page.  I couldn’t decipher hand-writing.  The computer screen hurt.  Crowds hurt my ears. Lights hurt my eyes.  I had head-aches and eye-aches.  I was dizzy.  I was nauseous. For MONTHS.

I told my doctor that he needed to figure out healing quickly, because I needed to go back to my dream job and keep working on my books!   He said, “Shawn, you might be retired now.”

That scared me.  The idea that I might enter retirement unable to read, unable to write, and unable to teach or travel was horrifying.  What a bleak picture!  On the bright side, I thought, at least I have been able to have this wonderful job, teaching teens to write, and to inspire them.  At least, I have published nine books.

Thankfully, I had excellent concussion therapy and I have recovered enough from my brain injury to work part-time again.   Despite my injury, 6 pieces were published last year.  Some had been written years ago, some were short articles or stories that took me weeks instead of a day to write.  Slow progress is still progress.

My injury wasn’t the end of my dreams, but it could have been.

Wouldn’t it have been horrible to have all my plans completely unreachable due to poor health?  Wouldn’t it have been a hundred times worse if I had saved all my dreams for retirement, and not have the health to attempt them?  I had two colleagues who were in good health when they retired, but were dead six months later.

If you have a dream, don’t wait for retirement.

We only have today.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

.

.

..

Please ignore any ads WordPress has placed on my page.  I do not endorse them.

 

poem-ten October 12, 2019

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:46 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

ten years ago

dream in pocket

breathless

learning to pitch a book

awed by everyone

talent

knowledge.

Wishing.

Today, I pull a bin

to my own author table.

I am awed at everything.

It’s just ten years.

Same space I pitched!

Now,

ten books to spread

for this event.

My words searching for homes.

A blink of time

those dreams

are truth.

.

.

I just realized that this month is the 10th anniversary of my first writing conference.  I bravely registered for one day of the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, took my husband and our exchange student to Vancouver. While they spent a day exploring, I pitched my first book to the publisher who would eventually offer me a contract for it and had my first blue pencil with a professional author (Meg Tilley).  Ten years later, I’ve been invited to sell at a Guest Author table, in the very same room I pitched in, and I will have ten books on my table to sell and sign.  How astonishing.  How quickly a decade passes! How amazing to see what happens when you take the risk!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: