Shawn L. Bird

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

writing- the research behind Finding inspiration and voice July 4, 2018

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:48 am
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I am presenting a few workshops this summer, as part of the Murdering Mr. Edwards book tour, and as such I have been researching.  In the Finding Inspiration and Voice: a workshop for novelists and poets workshop, participants explore character and plot development through a variety of prompts.

I am using the prompts to shake loose new ideas and bring out things ‘your brain knows, but isn’t tell you.’  This is a very unscientific way to explain creativity and its link to the subconscious, but there is science behind the concept, and here are some articles that may be of interest:

Andreasen, Nancy C. (MD PhD) A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious.

“How to Stimulate Creative Breakthroughs: The Unconscious and Creativity.” The Academy of Ideas.

Seager, Charlotte. “How the subconscious mind shapes creative writing.” The Guardian. 2015







poem- flourishing April 22, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:23 am
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Last year,

we met to discuss how we were flourishing,

what made this place so wonderful,

so welcoming,

so special.

This year,

I read your words about us,

and my body weeps at what has become

of our once wonderful




Tension in my shoulders.

Stomach churning.

Nails bitten.

Eyes clouded.

Head throbbing.

Make do with less until there is nothing left.

Remake what was precious and original

into tiny boxes that shove our innovation

into boring cookie cutters

and the only flourish is from the arm

cutting us to fit.


poem- class November 19, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:38 am
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Keyboard clatter

Voices, laughter

Students research

secrets of the universe.



poem- shapes September 28, 2014

Filed under: Poetry,Pondering,Teaching — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:29 am
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hangs his opinions on the

frame of his philosophy and world view.

It is important to recognize the frame,

because it explains the shape

of the opinions.



A metaphor on assumptions, derived from reading Brookfield.


poem- now February 6, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:47 pm
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You’ve been waiting,



but now

it’s time to act.

Stop planning,



and do.

Face the task.

Make it happen.

Decide as you go along.

It’s time,




location! location! August 28, 2011

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:26 am
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I have discovered that I have a particular pet peeve about books set in places I know.  I expect them to be right.  If you’re describing a real place, a real street, a real region, a real country, then you need to do your research.  You need to know what time the sun sets there, for your time of the year.  You need to know the local language and customs.  You need to research, research, research.

Because if you don’t, some of your audience are going to know, and they’re going to be a vocal part of your audience.  They will hate with a passion and they will shout it from the roof tops.  They will be so distracted by the errors, that they won’t be able to see the good things about your book.

If you don’t know a place intimately, and you aren’t going to research, then make up the place.  Make it ‘like’ a known place that you model it after, if you want, but don’t give it the same name.  Because if you make mistakes, people are going to jump all over that.

Man, I hope there are none of those moments in my books!  I think I’ve kept close to what I know, and researched for everything I needed to check.  I hope my settings stand up to my own standards.


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