Shawn L. Bird

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

writing-talent v tenacity February 16, 2019

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:50 pm
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When I’m speaking to new writers, whether they be young or old, I spend time discussing the difference between talent and tenacity.

When you start, you may be discouraged because you see others with greater talent than you, but if you have tenacity, your dedication will develop talent, your resilience will keep you practising, your perseverence at pushing on doors will get you opportunities.  The most talented person who just holes up in a burrow will stagnate if they don’t work with what they’ve got.  So if you WANT it, you need to be tenacious, and eventually, your tenacity will develop your talent, and you will achieve your goals.

So much success in life relies on simply not giving up.

Caitriona Balfe, the actor who plays Claire Randall in Outlander, said some similar regarding making it as an actor, in a recent interview for The Irish Times,

a lot of it is just having the f***ing balls and grit to stick around and be persistent in the face of a lot of rejection. But I think that also comes from having a belief that if [there is] something you love to do so much, something that feels that it comes naturally, that in some way it has to be what you’re meant to do.

That’s it.  As Dory puts it, “Just keep swimming.”


harping romance April 15, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:41 am
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The strings and the fingers

are smiling tentatively at each other,

recalling long ago acquaintance

but feeling shy with each other.

Once, fingers danced with strings

for hours, without a glance to

the books of lines and staffs that

were their matchmaker.

Then they were separated

and the comfortable rhythm

they once shared

slowly dissolved

into awkward tentativeness

on the rare occasions

when they came across one another.

Relationships take commitment,

after all.

Now they’ve been reintroduced.

The matchmaker pushes them together

and fingers hesitantly

caress the strings,

leave them vibrating,

longing for more.


harps 2002

It’s been far too long, but I’m finally back playing the harp.  So far I’m working on a great book, Rose in Winter, by harpist Sharon Thormahlen of Corvallis, Oregon.  Her original pieces are so pretty and fall easily on the fingers.  In this photo (circa 2002) is my Bresch Jubal harp (33 strings) behind and my double strung Brittany from Stoney End in front. (The Brittany is cherry, and has the most beautiful, shimmering grain and a tremendously loud voice for a wee harp!)


practice November 29, 2011

“forgiveness is not a single act, but a matter of constant practice”

Diana Gabaldon in Drums of Autumn

Forgiveness is something that requires practice because it’s not that easy to do.  There are things that get under your skin and you want to hold onto them.  Little injustices.  Petty irritations.  Big betrayals.  Some things are so slight that others don’t know why you’re holding onto them, but we’re stubborn to our own detriment, much of the time.  I’m a bit of an expert in the cutting of a nose to spite a face.

When you can do it though, even for big things, especially for the big things perhaps, it releases a freedom of spirit.  Holding tight to grudges ties a knot in your spirit.  Forgiveness creates the wings to set it free.



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