Shawn L. Bird

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

So, whatcha writin’ in that NaNoWriMo thing, anyway? July 11, 2013

In November, when I was actually on track with my NaNo writing, I had a few gems that still make me happy. This book is now with the editor (who has gone to Europe for 2 weeks, and abandoned me!) Thought I’d share this with you, in the hopes that it will inspire today’s Camp NaNo efforts to get more than 500 words a day, which is all I’ve been managing so far! (Arg). Enjoy.

Shawn L. Bird

Thought you might like to see what’s coming along.  Ben is now at University of Calgary with his friends Paul and Ryan.  (Craigie Hall is the music building). Grace is living in the Shuswap with her Auntie Bright.  If you’re new to the story, you should know that Grace and Ben are connected telepathically.  Ben is the earthly realm form of the demi-god Orpheus.  He’s narrating.

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I was walking down a corridor in Craigie Hall when a stab of pain crashed into my head.  I staggered into the wall, and grabbed for support.

A girl rushed over to me, “Are you okay?”

I shook my head, gasping, and she guided me to a bench.  I dropped my head between my knees.  “I’ll be okay.  It’s fine.”  The pain wasn’t mine, it was reverberating from Grace.  She didn’t know yet how to completely control her side of our connection.  Her…

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Bunny magic! March 3, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:15 am
Tags: , ,

Oh my word! Have you seen these brilliant bunny animations? They present very amusing 30 second summaries of movies (or series!) with bunnies ‘acting’ the roles. Check out their interpretation of Harry Potter.  They also have a Harry Potter part two.  What an excellent demonstration of how you can summarize succinctly!  Mind you, if you don’t know the movies, it will be particularly confusing!

 

writing struggles August 24, 2011

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

— George Orwell

I kind of feel sorry for George when I read this.  Perhaps it was the subject matter he chose?  Or the onerous nature of writing by hand or typing on an old typewriter?

Personally, I don’t feel like I am compelled to write by any demons.  I feel like I’m invited to enter a new world, that comes into being as I step through.  For me, writing is kind of like the scene at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Harry finds himself in the train station. His awareness of need calls things  into being.  That concept  is a wonderful metaphor for the writing process.

I don’t find writing to be horrible at all, and most certainly not an exhausting struggle.  It’s more like an invigorating adventure, where surprise waits around every corner.

I can see how writing Orwellian books would be completely soul destroying though.  Living in the head of  1984’s protagonist, Winston, for the time needed to craft that novel would be enough to suck the life right out of you.  Fatalistic visions of a horrible future don’t make for a positive outlook.  I hope George had some antidepressants.  It’s always better to be doing a task you enjoy.

 

Harry Potter vs. Twilight July 31, 2011

Filed under: Commentary,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:22 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This quote is making the rounds of Facebook statuses these days:

‎”Harry Potter is about doing what’s right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”- Stephen King

With all due respect, Mr. King.  I disagree.  That is a weak, simplistic statement simply designed to create controversy.  It is also completely erroneous.

Twilight is about the power of love, just like Harry Potter is.

In Harry Potter, you see this power in Snape’s obsessive love for Lily.  That love was a fundamental component that weaves through the entire series.  In Twilight, the mutual obsession of Edward and Bella drives the plot.  In both series, the obsession leads to protection.  Edward fights to protect Bella.  Snape’s obsession with Lily protects Harry, though secretively.

The  theme of love as protection is another theme the two series have in common.  Lily’s sacrificial love for Harry provides the blood protection that allows him to survive amid constant threat.   The same concept applied when he sacrificed himself for those fighting at Hogwarts.  Edward fights to protect Bella.  Jacob fights to protect Bella.  Both would have willingly died for her.  Because of love, Bella trains to be able to protect everyone.  Because of love she endures pain to develop her gift and fight to protect the Cullens and the Quileute wolves.

Harry Potter is about doing what’s right in the face of adversity, sure.  Being willing to sacrifice yourself for the good of the world is a pretty amazing thing.  However, Twilight shares this theme.  In  New Moon, Edward chooses to sacrifice his happiness for what he considers a better life for Bella.   His choice nearly destroys them both, because their love is too powerful to allow them to be separate.   Adversity takes many forms.

Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend?  No way.  It’s about how having the right life mate fills your world with pain and joy in equal measure.  It’s about how the challenges of a relationship (like wanting to eat your true love, for example) need to be worked on, but that those challenges can be overcome.  It’s about how overcoming those challenges is worthwhile.  It’s about how learning to be together can make life more complete.

Harry Potter knew that, too.  When he got through with the task of destroying Voldemort, he married Ginny.  He knew love was important to have in his life.  That was the whole point of defeating Voldemort, after all.

Peace and love.  They both take effort.  Twilight and Harry Potter are different, but they come to the same conclusions.

.

PS. They are the same conclusions that Grace discovers in Grace Awakening

 

 
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