Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- beginning April 12, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:39 pm
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When we’re beginning

we celebrate the possibility

embrace the new

dream of what’s ahead.

Now we’re beginning

new challenges enfold

new priorities take precedence

new adventures await.

We’re beginning a new journey

into the unknown

with new travelling companions

and a goal on the horizon.

We’re beginning

alone and together

good shoes for the soles,

ready for whatever comes,

one step at a time,

onward.

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Turn on the tap first November 10, 2012

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:25 am
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If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.

– Louis L’Amour

Isn’t this a remarkably logical analogy?  Pondering, ruminating, meditating, and considering are all very good, but until the thoughts are forced up the pipe and onto the page, we have nothing.

When I wrote Grace Awakening Dreams and Power, it took just under six months to go from nothing to over 150,000 words.  That’s about 25,000 words a month, half the pace of NaNoWriMo.  No wonder I’m feeling pressured.  I do my writing for the day, and hit ‘word count.’  It is generally about 850 words.  Inwardly I groan, because I need to double that count.  Sometimes I just go right back and pound out the next scene, but most of the time I need a break.

I would like to keep up the ‘assigned’ pace, but if I don’t, I just have to continue with my comfortable pace and I will get there eventually.  The important thing, as L’Amour says, is just to sit down and write.  As Diana Gabaldon reminds me, it’s important to write every day to keep up the inertia.

Write on NaNobots!  We shall get there eventually if we don’t give up!

NaNoWriMo Day 10:   1101       (Total for November so far: 13,900)

 

HELP! Which start is your favourite? October 7, 2012

I’m unhappy with the opening to Grace Awakening Myth.  I need something strong , intriguing and compelling.

I’m brainstorming, and would appreciate some feedback from you!  Here are six versions of the first 100 words or so.  Version one is the original.  Which do you think is the strongest option?  Can you identify why it appeals to you?  Would you mix components of a couple of the options?  Please leave your observations in the comment section below.   (Though I see many of you are using Facebook, and that’s all right as well).  Thanks for your help!

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Version 6:

Aphrodite’s words exploded in my head like a missile shot from a catapult, leaving me dizzy and stunned.

I stared at her  as the words ricocheted through my head, smashing through my consciousness, crushing my hopes, and destroying my future.

Finally, I sputtered, “What did you say?”  It couldn’t be true.  She couldn’t have said what I heard.

Aphrodite stood, her back to the temple columns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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Version 5:

Aphrodite’s words exploded in my head like the sound of crashing swords, leaving me dizzy and stunned.

Finally, I gasped, “What did you say?”

Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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Version 4:

Aphrodite was watching me with a solemnly pitying expression as I came over the hill.  She leaned languidly against a pillar, golden hair flowing around her in waves, waiting.

She made me nervous.  I bowed low.  “You wished to speak to me?”

She nodded, stepping forward and straightening into a formal posture. “I am to inform you, that this is the girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

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Version 3.

Aphrodite leaned against the temple column and watched me warily.  “Did you hear what I said, Orpheus?”

I bowed respectfully, shaking my head.  I had heard, but I wished fervently that I hadn’t.

“I said, this is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

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Version 2:

Aphrodite’s words sliced into me like a sword and I wheezed, feeling the blood rush from my face as the pain of them slashed through me.  “What did you say?”

Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.  “Oh, Orpheus,” she sighed.  “I said, ‘This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.’”

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 Version 1:

“Orpheus!  Come here.  I need to talk to you.”  Aphrodite stood, her back to the templecolumns, watching me solemnly.

I didn’t like the expression on her face.  I bowed respectfully, “Yes?”

“This is that girl’s last life time in the Earthly Realm.  If you are to have her for eternity, she must choose you this time.”

.

(FYI- this is what follows the above…)

That girl.  She tossed the words like Grace was of no consequence.  The girl I had followed through time, the girl who made my life complete, and gave me music.  The girl who could save all that was good in the world.  The girl I was waiting for.  My heart started to pound.  “Where is she?”

She shook her head.  “I’m not allowed to say; you know that.”

“I was told Canada.  In Calgary.”

Her eyes widened and she tilted her head, but she made no comment.

The eyes were enough confirmation.  At least I didn’t have to scan the entire population of the planet.  I only needed to find Grace among the million or so residents of Calgary.  I’d come to the city a couple of years before on a tip, and had settled myself into high school there.  My informant had assured me that Grace would show up there eventually, but I had reached my final year in high school without any sign of her.  I’d begun to doubt, but Aphrodite’s alarmed surprise was enough evidence that I was in the right place.  I would try to be patient.

 

479 June 8, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:31 pm
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Pondering short story ideas and this patch of dialogue came to me.  I thought I’d write it down.  Not sure what I’ll do with it, if anything.  Where would you take it?

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“I wouldn’t marry you if the flames of hell were devouring Aunt Ida’s apple tree, and copulation could save the human race, do you hear me Billy Killswell?  For the four hundredth time, the answer is no!”

I had meant it, too. I’d meant it the three hundred and ninety nine times previously, and the seventy-eight times after.   So what was I doing here in this damn white dress standing beside him?

Four hundred seventy nine is a charm, apparently.

Billy grinned over at me.

I snarled back.

His grin widened.

If I only I’d held out for four hundred and eighty.  Four-eighty is definitely a number full of secure denial.

Damn Billy Killswell.  Damn him from now ’til eternity.

“I told you I’d get you here, didn’t I?” Billy whispered.

“To hell with you, Billy.” I muttered back.

Pastor Griffith gave a little start, and looked down his bi-focals at me.  I scowled as he cleared his throat and motioned the congregation to sit down.  The congregation was half-blind Brody Turner and my cousin Lula, who were the designated witnesses to this farce.

“Dearly beloved…” Griff intoned solemnly.

“Stop!” bellowed a voice from the back, and all nine eyes in the church turned to stare at the door.

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So you tell me, who’s at the door?  Leave a suggestion or two in the comment section below, and I’ll pick one and see where we go from there!

 

 
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