Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- #deadraccoonto September 9, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:22 pm
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In the Toronto dawn

the sun crept silently up to the

last mortal remains of the pudgy bandit,

laid out on the sidewalk like a sacrifice.

The call went out:

Three-one-one!  Three-one-one! Come!

The City promised swift removal of the corpse.

But–political promises being oft full of air–

the raccoon remains remained throughout the day.

Not content to leave sleeping Procyonidae lie

crowds marked the site of his demise,

memorial to the adorable, nocturnal beast

with flowers, photos, Tweets, and cards,

pseudo-grief growing with the day

while #deadraccoonto began to decay.

Until by the light of the moon (a raccoon’s party hour)

The City van came to gather the cadaver,

but left the flowers.

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This was a social media event in July .  The body of a raccoon was found and reported.  A spontaneous mock-memorial grew up around it.  It was all recorded on Twitter, with even a council member  (Norm Kelly) participating.  I think it makes a fascinating commentary of social media through parody.

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My Sam Heughan encounter April 20, 2015

DSC_6992

A true story.

Back in the summer of 2013, there was a lot of excitement over Ron Moore starting the process of casting for Outlander.  When Sam Heughan was cast in July, he and author Diana Gabaldon started tweeting a lot, and it was fun to be part of the delight and anticipation.  Diana teased him a LOT, and he gave as good as he got.

On August 2, Sam tweeted that he was going to Canada.  I expected him to be going to Ontario, because when people talk Canada, I know they’re not usually thinking of us here in the West. The next thing we knew, Sam had posted an Instagram selfie of himself beside a lake.  I looked at the photo and posted on Facebook, “That looks suspiciously like he’s in the Okanagan…”  i.e. my home town of Kelowna.  I tweeted him and offered to take him out for coffee.  So far, Sam hadn’t had any ‘Outlander fan’ meetings,’ and it would have been fun to meet him, say hi, chat about the books, and the adventure he was about to embark upon.  I know Diana from writing conferences, so she could vouch that I wasn’t anyone creepy (See PPPS, below 🙂 ).  Sam did not reply.  (Not that I was surprised at that; you know the adage: nothing ventured, nothing gained!)

He posted assorted photos from around our region, including one of a relation and a beat up old pick up that they were travelling around in.  August 7 he posted a photo of himself in the Rockies that sounded like he was leaving the country.  I presumed he had made it to Calgary and gone back to Scotland.

August 8, I headed across the Rockies to a writing conference in Calgary  (When Words Collide- a very entertaining Sci-Fi/Fantasy event).  I was on my own in my cute lime green bug, Sheila.  Along the way, I saw a couple of young men standing beside a vaguely familiar old pick up on the side of the TransCanada Highway.  The guys were looking scruffy in shorts and Tshirts.  I glanced over as I drove by; one of the scruffy young men met my eyes.  I always wish I could stop in these situations, but as a woman travelling alone, without mechanical skill, I do not.  I tried to look sympathetic as I gave him a smile, but alone in my cute little Bug, I didn’t stop.BugcovercropTwitter

I got to Calgary, checked into my hotel and about 9 pm that night, logged into Twitter to read that Sam Heughan had been stranded on the side of the TransCanada Highway for 4 hours that afternoon.  The truck had broken down on the way to Calgary.

The truck I passed.

I met Sam Heughan’s

eyes.

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PS>

Sam *does* drive around all the time in my Bug, in the guise of a ‘Pocket Jamie’ tucked behind the bud vase.  When I picked up Diana Gabaldon at the airport last year, she climbed into the passenger seat, caught sight of him, pulled out her phone to take a picture and laughingly said, “Pocket Jamie sure gets around!” 😉

PPS>

In the interest of complete honesty… There were 2 young men.  One was at the front of the truck, looking down, like at a phone; one was walking around the box and he looked up and met my eyes.  I think the one whose eyes I met, was actually Sam’s relation, and Sam was the one at the front, busy with his phone, not noticing me go by at all.  But that is not nearly as fun a tale, and so I apply literary licence.  I like to think that if Sam had looked up, I would have actually recognized him, and ‘knowing’ him, would have stopped.  Right?  (cough).  So it’s his own fault he was stranded so long.  If he’d been paying better attention to cute bugs driving by, he could have be rescued far sooner!  😉   At any rate, I definitely saw Sam.  It’s just 50/50 whether he saw me! 😉  Though you’d think he’d at least remember a car that looks like this, wouldn’t you?

PPPS>

In looking for the links to Sam’s tweets for this post, I came across this whole hilarious conversation between Diana and me that happened through the wee hours of August 4-5.  The poem she refers to is http://www.shawnbird.com/poem-dear-Sam-Heughan (which she helped me write, the traitor).  🙂  Perhaps in consolation, Diana dedicated her daily lines to me on August 5th.   Fair trade, really.  😉  Summer 2013 was full to ->bursting<- with Outlander magic.

 

poem-good company August 24, 2014

In this time

I can watch a TV show

and share thoughts

impressions

giggles

and sighs

with others watching

simultaneously

all across the country.

Humming Twitter feed

makes for good

company.

Unlike chickens.

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#OutlanderCAN #kiltit  This poem references a famous line from the first really intimate conversation between Jamie and Claire

“When I woke, I was trussed up in the wagon wi’ the chickens, jolting down the road to Fort William.”

“I see, I said quietly,  “I’m sorry.  It must have been terrible for you.”

“Oh, aye.  Chickens are verra poor company, especially on a long journey.”

Diana Gabaldon. Outlander Toronto: Seal Books. p. 90

 

Twitter, publicity and propaganda February 20, 2013

Filed under: Reading,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:26 pm
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I spent an hour today participating in a Twitter chat with a ‘big name publisher’ and several authors involved in a recently released anthology.

There were a few of us tossing in questions and responding to the assorted tweets. Key word: few. 3 authors. A publicist. Members of the reading public? Maybe 4? (I was one of those) All those people had obviously been promoting the event on their own blogs and websites. It just doesn’t seem like a very useful exercise.

I was glad to rub shoulders with these talented folks and banter back and forth with them, but to be honest, it seemed like it was a waste of their time. The messages are now there for posterity for others to enjoy, which could provide some latent publicity, but I’m doubtful of its value.

In theory, a Twitter chat sounds like it’s a good idea. Each author brings his/her own following, exposing them to the other authors. Connect with the fans. Spread the love.

Sounds great. In practice, is it?

What do you think? Do you use Twitter for promotion? Do you use Twitter chats? Have you participated in them?

 

tweet tweet June 18, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:01 pm
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I didn’t get the whole Twitter thing.  I still don’t.  When I first met with Crystal of Gumboot Books, she told me it would be good for me to get onto Twitter, but I couldn’t understand why I’d want to, so I just left it, and concentrated on Facebook and this blog.  Today I heard the term “micro-blogging” and something clicked.  So now I’m on Twitter.

I picked out some people to follow, and I am desperately hoping that none of them post pointless minutia of their days.  I would like to receive interesting or amusing posts.  In return, I thought I would post updates on the publishing of Grace Awakening and little poems every day or two.

If you’d like to follow my little offerings, please click the link down there at the bottom of the right column.  I’d be happy to have you.

Follow me @ShawnLBird

 

 

 
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