Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- betrayal March 26, 2015

Filed under: Poetry,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:52 pm
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Do not leave him unsupervised,

For those flames in his eyes

are burning for the stranger

he’s been dreaming of.

Leave him unsupervised

to throw away your history.

If his eyes burn for her,

he doesn’t deserve your

unswerving devotion.



Reading Jodi Picoult’s novel Mercy.  Feel like screaming, so I wrote a poem.


poem-welcome November 17, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:22 pm
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You came on evening light

uttered soft greetings,

“Tell my tale,” you whispered,

and so begins






This weekend, as I was drifting off to sleep (see yesterday’s poem), I was introduced to Dustin who wanted to tell me the story of his life with Lydia.  I had not intended to start a new novel (if that’s what this is) before finishing the projects already on my plate, but Dustin was pretty insistent.  So, instead of doing what I planned today on my Sunday off, I lent my fingers to Dustin.  I have no idea where this will lead, but it looks like it will be an interesting journey.



snippet of the WIP March 18, 2014

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:34 pm
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I’ve been posting snippets on Facebook, rather than here on the blog, but I don’t want you to feel left out, so here is a bit of the current Work In Progress, working title While I Was Out:


Our yard was long and narrow with a small stand of trees in one corner, set behind the shed my mom had painted to look like a little cottage.  When my mom was in her gardening phase, she’d made paths and a gazebofacing the picturesque little copse, with a bench hanging from its ceiling.  It was a relaxing place to sit, swinging in the evenings, and it offered a bit of privacy from the house as well.  If I was on house arrest, I needed a bit of escape.

I stepped out onto the back porch and inhaled the scented breeze.  Mr. Hoskin’s lilacs were thick with scent.  It wafted past my nose with a declaration of spring and a promise of summer.

I headed down the steps toward the swing, and then caught sight of a movement in the trees behind the shed.  My heart sped up.

It was probably Mr. Hoskin’s ginger cat.

“Marmalade!  Pss-pss-pss!”  She was a friendly cat, and usually was content to join me on the swing if it meant a thorough patting.  She liked hunting in our copse, though.  If she had caught the scent of a mouse, she’d be less likely to come.  “Come on, Marmalade.”

A stick crunched with a snap.  There was no way that was Marmalade.  It was unlikely to have been anything much smaller than a bear.  The leaves rustled.

“Who’s there?” I asked, fighting to sound [aggressive, brave, confident, assured].  I leaned down to pick up a small brick from the border of the path.  Just in case.  “You’re on private property!  Come out of there!”

A figure stepped out of the trees.

My heart was pounding so fast I could hardly breathe.

He took another step forward and I recognized him.  “Carl?”

He stepped out of the shadows.  It seemed as if it had been ages since I’d last seen him.  At the party he was laughing and confident, like usual.  This evening, he looked drawn and slightly haggard.  His usually immaculate hair was tangled.  There were dark circles under his eyes.

“What are you doing hiding back there?  Is something wrong?”

He just looked at me.

“What?” glancing down at myself.  I didn’t think I looked so terrible.  My bruises were mostly covered, and the ones I could see were fading from their initial vivid purple into a sort of mottled blue-green.

His lips tightened and he looked at the ground.  I watched him scuff a foot on the grass as he avoided my gaze.  After an age, he blinked up at me.  His eyes were brimming with tears.  He muttered, “I’m sorry.”


Review- Lost in Spaaaaaaain July 11, 2012

Filed under: book reviews — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:52 am
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Lost in Spain.


LOST IN SPAIN by John Wilson

Markham: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2000.  174 p.

YA historical novel

It is a fast read, so it’s not deep, but it did give me a real sense of the Spanish Civil War that fit with what I experienced and heard when I was in Spain earlier this year. Lots of action to keep you flipping pages. I was stunned when I started reading and discovered the book opened in my small BC town! Not what you expect about a book set in Spain, you can imagine. I was irritated by how Ted refers to his father as Will throughout the book. Why doesn’t he call him dad? or father? It’s so strange, it seemed there should be a reason for it. He calls his mother, Mom, after all. An interesting read that seemed to give a good glimpse at the character of the country and the context for the history.

heat in the band room June 14, 2012

The latest snippet from Grace Awakening Myth

Things are heating up in the band room!  (Ben is narrating).


Ryan came in.  “Did you see Tanis?”   His eyes were wild.


“Today.  She’s wearing something.”

“I should hope so.  Otherwise she’d be arrested.”

He shook his head, as if to shake out an image, “No, I mean, she’s wearing some…thing.  Ahhh.”  He shook harder, then hissed, “Look!”

Tanis sauntered in.  She was definitely wearing ‘something,’ all right.  Skin tight.  Mini-dress.  Black leather.

Ryan cast a frantic look over to Mr. J.  Mr. J glanced back and raised an eye brow.

Paul came in, grinning.

Tanis glanced over her shoulder and then bent over.

Paul sucked in his breath.

Ryan gulped.  Loudly.  Like he had swallowed his tongue.

“Tanis,” Mr. J called.  “I need to see you over here, please.”

She grinned at us, our jaws hovering somewhere around our navels, and gave a little shoulder wiggle as she passed us.

Mr. J spoke to her quietly.

She shrugged and left the room.

He came over to us.  “For whose benefit was that display, gentlemen?”

“I…uh…well…” Ryan stuttered.

Paul twitched, but didn’t seem to have the capacity of speech anymore.

I inhaled.  “It’s complicated, sir.”


3 levels of story: Donald Maass workshop June 7, 2012

I am beyond excited to be going to Surrey International Writers’ Conference next fall (in 133 days!).   I attended SIWC in 2009 after I’d written Grace Awakening, and successfully pitched it there.  I was a walk in registration on the Saturday that year.  This year,  I registered and paid on the first day I could for the full conference.  As a result, I have appointments with agent Victoria Marini and with Diana Gabaldon!  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.

In the midst of my excitement, I’m feeling the pressure to be finishing up book 3, Grace Awakening Myth, and getting back to work on Grace Beguiling.  Beguiling is the book I was in France to research in 2011, and it has already had some help from Diana Gabaldon, as she responded to some historical questions about Roman Catholic practice that I’d posted on the Compuserve Writers’ Forum.   I was poking around the Forum today, looking for some interesting conversations and tips, and I came across links to this blog post that is the notes that L. S. Taylor  took at SIWC in a masters’ class by agent Donald Maass in 2011.    Maass handles some serious talent, and I’ve heard him speak before.  This workshop is so full of fantastic stuff that I thought I’d direct you to the link.   I’m going to be chewing on this for a while.  Taylor records, “Fiction that keeps us enthralled works on three different levels at once: the macroplot, the scene structure, and the line-by-line tension. A throbbing beat that keeps us dancing/reading, enthralled.”

Click here to read Taylor’s notes from Maass’s Master Class: Impossible to Put Down: Mastering the Three Levels of Story.  Thanks Laura for taking these great notes and posting them on your blog for us all!


I Heart You, You Haunt Me June 1, 2012

Filed under: book reviews,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:14 pm
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My review of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, in verse.  Of course.


A verse novel

is like dessert.

Not double chocolate fudge cake

or creme brulee.

More like

lime jello



You want to love it

because it’s dessert,

but somehow

 it doesn’t quite satisfy.

There’s a lack of depth here.

The message is simple

and the path is straight.


I like more


in relationships

and characters.

More conflict.




Lest you think I’m just negative toward all verse novels, here’s my review of Wendy Phillip’s Fishtailing, which I thoroughly enjoyed.


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