Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bird Talk

The editing of my second draft of Rock, Paper, Scissors is going well. I’m maybe not progressing as fast as I would like, but at least I am making progress.

Now that I have taken out the plot points which made the story too complicated, the book is making more sense. These story ideas alone can produce at least another two books.

Meanwhile I have written more bird conversations as light relief.

‘Oi, Patchwork. Are those your fledglings creating that racket?’ Blackie looked down his beak at Goldie.

‘Aren’t they lovely?’ Goldie replied preening himself. ‘Six girls, three boys.’

‘They’re noisy!’

‘Just letting off steam, Blackie. Imagine what it was like in the nest.’

‘I’m glad my wife’s only laid four eggs.’

‘You still feeding her?’

‘Yes. They haven’t hatched yet. She’s reached that bored stage, sitting there waiting for me to feed her worms. Her temper’s dreadful. She’s lucky I go back the way she cackles at me.’

‘Oh, that’s normal – pre-hatch nerves.’

‘But will she still love me when they’re hatched?’

‘She’ll be rather busy for a while, mate, till they’ve fledged, but hang on in there, it does get better.’

Blackie fluffed out his chest feathers. ‘I just remember the days of flirtation, running around the bushes to surprise her, giving her the really juicy worms.’

‘Yeah, yeah, then you were trapped into nest building?’

‘We’re all the same really, aren’t we?’

‘Birds. It’s what we do.’

‘And I suppose that poor woman’s sat on the nest day after day, waiting and waiting. I’m out here in the world having adventures and talking to friends.’

‘True. Would you want to sit there all that time waiting for your partner to bring home a fly?’

‘Talking about that, I’d better get going. She’ll think I’ve abandoned her and I’ll get a right beakful of abuse.’

‘Just sing sweetly. Did you use a song to woo her?’

‘Sure did.’ Blackie began to whistle.

‘Well sing that one and give her two flies, then all will be well.’

Goldie watched Blackie fly away and then turned to watch his brood. ‘Oi, you lot, stop throwing seed. Leave some for the other birds.’

Monday, 10 February 2014

It’s Miranda Dickinson’s Fault.

No not the floods! Picture taken in Bewdley Worcestershire yesterday.

I went on Miranda Dickinson’s Write Foxy workshop on 1 February. One of the things that stuck in my head was her remedy for feeling bogged down in your writing. She advises to write something completely mad. She writes about a wombat.

I took her advice and several conversations between a blackbird and a goldfinch have emerged. So in a mad blog post I decided to share the first. Whether I share the others will depend on your reaction!

Tales From a Garden Feeder Part One

‘Oi.’ There was a flash of gold.
‘Are you referring to me?’
‘Yes, you with the odd white tail feather.’
‘I can’t help that. It’s passed on from my mother.’
‘You’re supposed to be a blackbird.’
After fluffing up and rearranging feathers, Blackie replied, ‘I am a blackbird with attitude and enhancement.’
‘Bet it makes it difficult to find a mate.’
‘You’d be surprised. The girls think it’s sexy.’
‘Yeah right. Shift over I want some of that seed.’
‘Wait your turn. I’m hungry.’
‘There was a time when you blackbirds didn’t come on the feeder, robins neither. Too much competition now you lot have mutated.’
‘Hey, come on. There are more humans putting seed out these days.’
‘In some places. Haven’t you heard of the recession?’
‘Sure, but with that came “waste not, want not” attitude. They’re more likely to put out stale bread. I even found some stilton the other day. Must have been left over from Christmas. Sticks to your beak, but a good source of fat.’
‘Never tried it, but if it made my breath smell as bad as yours, I don’t want to.’
‘You finished yet?’
‘Come on my turn.’
There was a scuffle. Feathers flew amid much squawking.
‘Hey, you are so bad mannered. You nearly pulled out my distinctive feather then.’
‘Don’t tempt me, freak.’
‘At least I don’t look like a patchwork quilt. How do you cope growing all those different coloured feathers? No need to preen yourself, you don’t need to impress me.’
‘Never hurts to look your best. The goldfinch code, you know.’

Well at least it distracted me from editing doldrums!

What do you do when your writing or editing isn’t going so well?