Shawn L. Bird

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

writing-conference power February 19, 2019

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:49 pm
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I’m a huge advocate of the writing conference as a crucial key to a writer’s development.  For many years, I thought they were silly and over-priced.  I figured I could learn anything I needed to know by reading books about the writing craft and business.

What I didn’t understand was the importance of connection.  Writers tend to be solitary creatures. Their creativity happens when they’re alone.  Often our friends and family members don’t understand the stress of having to kill off a character we love, or the trauma of maintaining our words per day quota, or the soul-destroying nature of the twelfth (or hundred and twelfth) rejection letter for a project we adore.

Other writers do.

When you sit in a room with other writers, hear their stories, and realize they have the same kind of feelings and experiences you do, you realize you aren’t the only one. You’re not weird! (Well, maybe you are, but it’s probably a good weird, and you realize there are a lot of weirder people and you thoroughly enjoy being in their weird company!).  You feel like you belong.  You listen, you learn, you laugh, and you long for it to last.

Next March I am going to a new conference for me: Creative Ink in Burnaby, BC.  I see that some of my friends from other conferences (Surrey International, When Words Collide in Calgary, Word on the Lake in Salmon Arm) will be there. How great!

If you’re in BC and you’ve never been to a conference, this one is a good price ($80 for the weekend) and has some phenomenal people presenting and attending, so I already know it’s going to be great.  Learn about the craft and business of the writing life.  Share some weird.  Enjoy some fun.  Buy some books.

If you decide to go, tell them I sent you!

Creative Ink is at the Delta Marriott Burnaby, BC  March 29-31, 2019.

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Giveaway! Book promo.

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:51 am
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A couple of weeks ago, I did a book review for The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd edition.  Today is official release day, and the authors have an amazing contest going!  

I love their product and I love writing conferences, so I fully endorse The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd edition AND their contest.  Here’s their info:

This second edition is more than a new cover. It’s been been enhanced and expanded to include 55 new entries and double the teaching material. Now we can go even deeper when showing our characters’ emotions!

You can read some of the reviews on Goodreads or find more information here

Also, one more thing to share…a MEGA-OPPORTUNITY to win something amazing!

GIVEAWAY ALERT:

To celebrate the new book & its dedicated readers, Angela and Becca have an unbelievable giveaway on right now: one person will win a free writing retreat, conference, workshop, or professional membership to a writing organization, winner’s choice (up to $500 US, with some other conditions which are listed on the WHW site).

What conference would you attend if the fee was already paid for…or would you choose a retreat? Something else? Decisions, decisions! This giveaway ends on February 26th, so hurry over and enter!

 

poem-sparkles May 23, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:36 am
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The light of you

twinkles on your skin

sends shooting stars crackling from the top of your head.

The light of you

glows blue green like  phosphorescence

attracting, inviting.

You are bio-luminescence

shimmering on an ocean,

trails flowing after you  like an evening gown.

I reach to dip my hand into the water and watch the light

die in my palm.

I long to live in your light,

bathe in the beauty,

float in the flotilla of the mesmerized, microscopic worshipers

flowing after you.

But you go your way

and I go home.

I gaze after you, and wonder if you’ve shared enough of you,

for me to generate light

of my own.

.

.

.

(for Sheri-D)

It’s always a let down at the end of a conference to leave the like minds of other writers, and return home to quotidian life.  This was a particularly good conference for me, with lots of messages from the universe (or rather one that just kept coming up over and over).  I am hopeful the words will be off on interesting journeys as a result of the learning.

 

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.

.

.

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

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WWCNathanAlex

 

 
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