Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- fewer September 13, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:25 pm
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There could be no fewer steps

than those he trodded toward you

straight limbed and unencumbered

directly into destiny.

There could be no fewer steps

than those away from dreams

point-less apparitions

of troubled consciousness

directly into destiny.




(I don’t know what it means.  If you have an idea, feel free to share!)


poem- one word April 19, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:29 am
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My mentor says

there’s only one way to write:

one word at a time.

She’s right.

There’s only one way to finish

a project though,

and that’s to keep putting

one word at a time onto the page

until the page is full

and to keep doing that

day after day.

If you want to finish a

100,000 word novel

You can do it

in a year writing

just 274 words  day,

that’s not even 2000 words a week.

It’s about daily diligence.

You eat a banquet

one bite at a time.

Develop a habit,

commit a little each day.

30 minutes will do it

so long as you keep doing it,

writing one word

at a time.




(113 words)

(Or you can join NaNoWriMo next November 1st, write  1668 words every day, and have the 100,000 words done by the new year.  That’s a whole lot more stress, though!)  🙂


Writers Digest is on my wavelength today.  Here’s an article on Writing Routines.  #1 is ‘Write 500 words a day.’ How’s that for a coincidence?


poem- next year December 31, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:36 am
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Next year

I will sign contracts

I will be inspired by talented friends

I will travel to promote books and writing

I will have readings and signings

I will meet thousands of people on the blog

I will finish the three manuscripts in progress

I will fit into my favourite ensembles

I will clear out the clutter

I will hike in the hills

Next year.


poem-words November 25, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:32 pm
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Counting words

ten at a time



Aiming for word count




345 down

2655 to go

Why can’t I ever

start writing

before eleven



poem-great at eight (For Rachael) August 17, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:10 pm
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You’re eight

and in your mind you’re great

Your dreams are there within your grasp

You clasp them tight and know

that as you grow

You’ll meet each goal

Your soul desires

Until someone you admire says, “No!

You don’t have talent,

you can not do

what your dreams are telling you.”

If you believe these sorry words

If you accept this worry heard

If you allow your dreams to die

if you sigh, and don’t ask why

then I suppose you wield the sword

that kills your dreams.

The naysayers set it in your hand

but they can’t swing it.

So throw down the sword,

hold tight to dreams that stir you in the night!

Those dreams that feel so right,

that make you mighty, those dreams

to sing, to act, to write!

Practise each day, to hone your craft

in every way, no matter what the naysayers say!

Opportunity looks like hard work.

Luck is believing you are lucky.

Practice makes perfect.

You will move past eight, and if not yet great,

Just wait!



This poem grew out of a Twitter conversation.  Diana Gabaldon said that she knew when she was 8 that she should be a novelist (she went on to earn a Masters in marine biology and a PhD in ecology before she got around to trying, though).  I was 8 when I started writing stories, sharing them in school, and dreaming of being a writer. Rachael Hofford said that when she was 8 she was told by her teacher that she had no talent for writing and that she should give up that idea.  As an English teacher, I know first hand that some of my students who dream of writing aren’t very good, but the only way for them to get better is to read and to write.  Practicing their writing by emulating the best that they read  will teach them the skills to become good writers.  Maybe they lack a spark of genius, but it may come later with life experience.  If it doesn’t, there are still many writers who do well telling a story.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.  You may have to work very hard, and you’ll need some luck as well, but your dream is just as possible as anyone else’s.


poem- swimming against the current August 2, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:56 pm
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I dive into a dream

through sloughs of doubtful inheritance

with sure strokes I slice the pool

of the possibility.

Doubts ride the boat beside me

but I swim in imagination

toward the shore of a tomorrow

where anything

can be


Four years ago… October 9, 2012

The week before Thanksgiving in 2008, I was given Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga to read by one of my English students.  That Thanksgiving weekend I bought my own copies of the books, read through the series again, and then poured over Stephenie Meyer’s website, reading everything I could about the genesis of the story, the process of writing, what she’d done to find an agent, and the adventure her life had become.

I was completely, totally, thoroughly inspired.  An idea sparked.  I’d had a story floating in my head for decades.  I’d written it down in a couple of versions before, but it wasn’t right.  I had known I needed a hook, but I just couldn’t figure out what it could be.  Stephenie gave me the solution: mythology.  Just as she had used vampires and werewolves, Greek mythology could be melded into the experience I wanted to share in order to provide the depth and conflict that had been missing in previous drafts.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (that is, this very day four years ago) I began writing Grace Awakening.  That first day, I wrote about five double spaced pages.  The second day I did the same.  Then the third.  By the end of three weeks I had 75 pages of writing.  I set the goal to keep writing 25 pages a week. I met or exceeded that goal each subsequent week.  Twenty three weeks later, the first draft was complete.  It was the week before Easter, and I had 155,000 words.

A couple of weeks after Thanksgiving in 2009, I went to the Surrey International Writers Conference.  I pitched the book to a small Vancouver publisher.  She was interested and asked to see more.

A week before Thanksgiving in 2010 I signed the contracts with Gumboot Books.

In 2011, Gumboot Books went out of business, but Grace Awakening Dreams was released anyway through Lintusen Press in July.  By Thanksgiving 2011, it had been in the list of  Top iTunes Fantasy books in Canada over a hundred times.

In 10 days, I’ll be back to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference to pitch Grace Awakening Myth, a companion novel that tells  Ben’s version of  his battle for Grace.

It’s a lot to be thankful for: four years of creativity, empowerment, challenge, excitement, growth, and adventure.  It’s been an amazing ride!

Four years ago, when I started typing, I would not have been brave enough to imagine that I’d be in this place today.  But here I am.   My friend Heather observed, “Where will you be in another 4 years? Do you not love the “wait and see”‘ of life?”   The thought of it hit me in the gut.  Where will I be? I can only dream where Grace will be, keep writing, and hope I’m holding tightly to her coat tails as she explores the world!



know what you’re looking for October 27, 2011

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:25 pm
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“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
-Jane Austen

Oh my. Poor Jane. I feel so sorry for her, writing these romantic books, setting herself up for trouble. What 18 or 19th century man could hope to live up to her unrealistic expectations. I wonder where she was looking, and what exactly was she looking for?

When I was a teen, I made a list of the characteristics and qualities that I thought were important in a husband. I wrote them down in my diary around the time I was fourteen, and promptly forgot them.

I didn’t have the diary for a few years, and when I got it back, it was a decade later, and I was married with two children. I remember finding that section and being stunned to be reading a very precise description of my husand.

Completely unconsciously I’d sought and found what I’d looked for. And here we are, years later, still happily married, and all those qualities that I valued, prove of even greater value as the years go by.

Poor Jane.


keep walking August 13, 2011

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:31 pm
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If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. ~Buddhist Saying

It may take a while, but step by step, you get closer to your goal.  Don’t give up.  Don’t be discouraged.  Just keep moving forward.

While I was going to university, I got married, had babies, and moved a dozen times.  These were not activities that promoted speedy academic progress!  It took me 8 years to get my first degree, step by step, course by course.   Eventually the end arrives, if you keep moving toward your goal.

When I was writing Grace Awakening, I wrote 5 pages a day, 25 pages a week, for 6 months.  23 weeks later, there was a novel on my computer.   Some people write 8 hours a day and do 20 or 30 pages a day.  They speed through a novel in a month.  My pace may seem like I’m a tortoise in comparison, but I got there.  If I had gotten down on myself for not being a speedy hare, I might not have finished at all.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Keep your eyes on the prize.



Dream come true July 27, 2011

Filed under: Pondering,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:27 pm
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It’s an odd feeling when a dream comes true.  After the initial euphoria of seeing what you may have wished for and worked for accomplished, there is a only a brief sense of completion and satisfaction.

While it’s fantastic that the dream has been achieved, one can’t just bask forever in achieving one dream, can one?  And so, while it was heart stopping to suddenly see Awakening Dreams listed on Amazon’s Kindle store today, and to know that my work was now available to the world, already plans are at work on the next dream!  Several books and miscellaneous other projects call.

Let the dreaming continue!


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