Shawn L. Bird

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

Review- Art of the Fold February 21, 2019

Filed under: book reviews,Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:16 pm
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A fantastic resource for poets and book artists to make beautiful chapbooks.

I have a writer-artist friend on Pender Island who posted this book that she got for Christmas. I was so impressed that I bought a copy of my own!  With great thanks to Andrea Spalding, I’m delighted to share this book with you.

Hedi Kyle & Ulla Warchol have compiled a variety of techniques in Art of the Fold.  This is a GORGEOUS book! It will teach you how to make amazing folded art books that you can use with beautiful papers to create stunning, one of a kind, art books for your poetry and other special words.  Here’s a video of me showing some of the little practice books I made, while learning the techniques, with a peak at the book itself.

 

The beauty of this book is how Kyle and Warchol give you the bones of the books, but the scope of how you can apply the examples to make your own project is unlimited.  I am SO excited to buy special paper and make some lovely art books to give to special people in my world.  What a great resource for learning techniques of book folding.  I am so excited to use these with my English students!

You can buy Art of the Fold on Amazon, and you really should!

(I’m an Amazon Affiliate, so buying from the link gives me a penny or two for the recommendation).

(My dog decided to wrestle his bed all over the living room while I was recording the video , excuse his enthusiastic growls and brief appearances in the background! lol He finally abandoned it against a chair. Silly boy.)

 

video interview with Writer’s Edge March 22, 2018

Filed under: Murdering Mr. Edwards,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:13 pm
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Here’s a video interview that I participated in recently with Coffin Hop Press and author Timothy Friend.

Corrections:

  • Grace Awakening isn’t 155 pages, it’s 155,000 words!
  • The publisher at Gumboot wasn’t Christina, it was CRYSTAL Stranaghan!

 

video- likes authors October 26, 2014

Here’s a Moxy Früvous performance for those spouses whose loved ones always have a nose between pages…

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anecdote- I’ve discovered Goth Cabaret August 10, 2014

I meet the most interesting people.

After the banquet at When Words Collide Writing Conference in Calgary tonight (I’m there as a presenter) I was sitting cross legged on the floor in my long skirt, when I looked up and spotted two young, tall, handsome red headed men.  (The hair was quite glorious, though not discussed).  We smiled at one another and I asked, “Anyone ever tell you that you two could be brothers?”

They laughed and commented that they got that all the time.  I asked who was older and Nathan pointed at Alex.  “He is, by 8 minutes.”

I asked what school they went to, and learned they’d just graduated, but that next year, one is going to do another year to learn art, music, and sewing.  The other is going to university with the aim to become a neuro-surgeon.

Conversation carried on a bit, and Nathan asked what kind of music I listened to.  I told him I play the harp, and so I like folk and Celtic music.  He told me he really likes Goth Cabaret, but that “you’ve probably never heard of it.”  I was intrigued,because I hadn’t..  He went rifling through his iPad in search of examples.  Finally, he gave up, and said, “I’ll just sing you one.”  He sang a verse of a song and then stopped, because he couldn’t remember the rest.  He had a discussion with his brother, and then the two of them turned to me and launched into a tuneful rendition of “When You’re Evil” by Voltaire.  Alex even dived into a lovely deep bass.  They sang the whole, four minute and something song, with perfect intonations and accents on the funny bits.

I had a personal concert in the corner of a crowded foyer. A hundred people were milling around us.  Everyone else was conversing or checking their phones.  I had a moment of pure delight being entertained by a pair of talented eighteen year olds.

It was the highlight of the day, and perhaps the weekend.

Just to share the fun with you, here’s a Youtube video of the song.  Though not sung by Nathan and Alex, I can assure you, it’s pretty close!  It’s  a little ‘Sweeney Todd’ style mayhem in a jaunty cabaret tune.  Delightfully dark.

You never know what’s going to happen when you talk to young folks.

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And here I am with these delightful young men.  Nathan on the left, Alex on the right.

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WWCNathanAlex

 

music-Skye Boat Song on harp May 29, 2014

Here’s a little break from ranting poems or pugilistic poetry!  In honour of the upcoming Outlander TV show, here’s an ‘arrangement in progress’ I’ve made of The Skye Boat Song, which I’m betting is incorporated into the TV show theme.

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For the technically curious:

I am playing a double strung harp.  (This was definitely easier before I had bifocals, though it was challenging enough then).  There are three octaves on each side of the harp, tuned to the same notes.  44 strings in all.  This is a low-head Celtic harp, in the style of the famous Irish Brian Boru harp or the Scottish  Queen Mary harp.  It is also known as a Scottish clarsach.  Specifically, mine is a Brittany harp, built for me by Stoney End 15 years ago or so. (When I bought it the Canadian dollar was around 70c US, so it was pricey!)  It still has its original strings!  This says it’s a tough little harp, and that I’m a lazy harpist (some people change strings a couple of times a year, to keep the sound bright).  It is made from a lovely, shimmery grained cherry and has a Baltic birch soundboard with a pretty inlay strip at the base of the strings.  It keeps its tuning brilliantly- rarely needing more than a titch of adjustment here and there.  This is a rare blessing in a harp!

Here are The Skye Boat Song lyrics as I say them to myself while I’m playing (which does not in any way imply they are the correct lyrics!)

Speed bonny boat like a bird on the wing

Onward the sailors cry

Carry the lad that’s born to be king

Over the sea to Skye!

Loud the winds blow

Loud the waves crash

Ocean’s a weary bed

La la la la

la la la la                           (< < < < pretty sure those aren’t the right lyrics)

Watch o’er your weary head

oh                                        (That’s the soft D sounded to start back into the chorus)

Speed bonny boat… (etc)

I always thought somehow Flora McDonald was on this boat with him, but I think that’s just me.

 

I promise OJ the standard poodle is only sleeping, though he certainly does look dead.  He is snoring now, in the exact same position.

 

 

video poem- Measuring May 10, 2014

Here’s a video poem I made for a presentation on issues in standardized testing for my Faculty of Education Master’s class on assessment at University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) (aka UBC-O).

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video- wherein Shawn recites a tongue twister with increasing speed August 28, 2013

Filed under: fun,video — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:16 pm
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One of my stranger talents is the recitation of this tongue twister.  My students over the years have been entertained, and the last couple of years they have encouraged me to record it for Youtube.  Here it is at last!  lol  Enjoy! 😉

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The words are,

“Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said, the butter’s bitter.  If I put it in my batter, it will make my butter bitter.  So she bought a bit of butter, better than the bitter butter, and she put it in her batter and the batter wasn’t bitter. So t’was better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.”

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