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







happiness is meeting your favourite author! October 18, 2012

Diana Gabaldon  and I at the Strawberry Hill Chapters in Surrey:  a gala fund raiser for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference.  This was a nice opportunity to chat a bit with her, as I visited with all of the other authors, waiting until the crowds were gone to speak to her.  Since we’ve been corresponding for a few months, she knew who I was and was very welcoming.

Now to get a good night’s sleep before falling off the deep end into the conference!

PS.  You can’t see them, but there are new Fluevogs on my feet after a pilgrimage to the Gastown Fluevog HQ… 🙂  (It’s been a very happy day celebrating my addictions).

PS2.  I didn’t even hyper-ventilate when I met her, although coming home  I wondered if I was having a heart attack.  After determining I simply did not have TIME to fit in a heart attack this weekend, I decided it was the Thai chicken wrap I had for dinner. 🙂

PS3. This trip was partially to help me prepare psychologically for my Blue Pencil session two days later.  You might be interested in reading the post Diana Gabaldon Said To Me as well

PS4. I was also amused to meet Diana’s son Sam Sykes, who wasn’t an official author at this event.  He’s amusing.



smashing deal! May 28, 2012

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:41 am
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For part of my workshop on e-publishing yesterday, I thought I’d better experience what it’s like to work with  At 11:30 p.m. last Thursday night I pulled together my haiku collection, figured that the poems theme either around the seasons or love, put them all other, made a book cover, and published them at 1:00 a.m.

What that says is, “It’s really easy to publish using Smashwords.”

That said, I didn’t like the format it spat out, and re-loaded the file a couple of times until I got it to my satisfaction, but that was simple too.

This is my latest book, “A Year in Love.”  If you’d like a copy, I’ve made it free with this coupon code until the end of June: QK59P


latest press September 21, 2011

I was recently interviewed for the local paper.  I ended up being interviewed by phone, and the interviewer did not have opportunity prep by visiting the blog and reading up on what the book was about.  I tried to explain succinctly, but her questions led to complicated places.  Had I been writing the responses for her, I could have been quite clear on the facts.  As it was, paraphrases were just off enough to twist the meaning.  The resulting interview was basically accurate, but had a section that was significantly off what I thought I’d told her.

I learned something from this experience. The journalist will miss something critical in your longish story! Typing and listening simultaneously is difficult. I must remember the Keep It Simple principle!

Aside from actually getting my website address incorrect, the biggest problem was that she missed that I was actually quoting from the poem for a bit there, and she wrote a quote as if I was speaking.  

Specifically, the article says,

Based on a poem she wrote the year she turned 12, Bird says the book started as a story about the power of her first crush on a musician

 That part is fine but then this 

“I think in another life we were lovers and belonged together,” she says.

 is a paraphrase of the quote from the poem that I recited for her which included, “I think we were loves once. In another life you and and I belonged.”  Since it is not in the context of the poem, it gets a completely different slant.

“When you have one of these strong stories, you have to imagine it has been around in the universe before.”

must be a paraphrase of “I think a lot of people have the feeling when they fall in love that it’s so profound that it must have been in the universe forever.”

Regular readers of the blog who’ve read about the development of the story, the poetry, etc, will spot these issues right away.  Other people will just raise their eyebrows.  I was rather alarmed.

Yeah.  Like I said.  A learning experience.  Keep it Simple. Simple. Simple.  Phone interviews are apparently dangerous!

Live and learn.

PS. If you’re curious, the interview is here.



Story: iloveross17 (chapter one) February 26, 2011

Filed under: narrative,Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:06 am
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Log in
User name: suzieq@
Password: iloveross17mos
Change password: iloveross18mos

Status updates:

Zara- math test! Gonna die.

Bixby- what is the reason to fear what we do not understand?

Ross- is now single.

Lena- have to babysit my little sister, someone text me!

Zara- Suzanne! OMG! Are you ok?!!!

Log off


Deep breath.
Ross…is single??????????



Next installment: Chapter 2



Submitted as part of  Monday Poetry Potluck Mar 7, 2011.  If you’re here from the potluck, add the link to your contribution in a comment.


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