Shawn L. Bird

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

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.”


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.


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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kantele & noodles May 20, 2013

Filed under: fun — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:10 am
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A few months back I posted about how I’d purchased a Finnish kantele (direct from Finland).  It was by way of avoiding getting back to playing my harps, and I entertained myself noodling away on the five strings of my kantele for months.  At the moment I have both harps back in circulation, but I still reach for the little kantele.  It’s ‘no brain’ music for me, and I play it when I want to re-focus from some task (usually editing).

Here is my little kantele.  It is tuned to a pentatonic scale.  That is like the black notes of a piano.  The notes are whole tones and so every string fits nicely with every other.  You can’t play two dissonant notes when you’re tuned pentatonically (providing you’re in tune!).   I noodle away, and most of my tunes sound more or less the same.  I make them up every time, but there are only 5 strings, and I seem to make the same patterns, so my kantele playing always sounds something like this (with apologies for the terrible recording quality from my iPhone’s voice memo app).  Here are 30 seconds of the 2 minutes I uploaded (not sure what happened to the other 1:30 minutes!)



I’m feeling all  (more…)


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