Monday, July 29, 2013

Nature, Short Stories, and other inspirations of summer

I reached for my robe this morning. The air felt different. Like fall. Like the first day of school. Crystals of water decorated a mugho pine in the front garden. Yesterday, I watched as an industrious sparrow disappeared inside the pine with ridiculously long stalks and twigs.

I’ve missed many prime opportunities to include pictures with my blogs. On my facebook page with my Monday morning greeting, I posted that today is the day to make a difference. With that in mind, I grabbed my camera and headed outside. The bird flew from the pine as I approached. I took these two shots as she chirped an angry warning from her perch on a nearby spruce. Not wanting to disturb her work, I didn’t part branches to get a shot of the nest she’s building, but you can see one of the twigs in the picture above.

A couple of years ago, I moved to a windowless room to do my writing. Nature was too distracting. Yet, for most of this summer, I’ve been writing in front of a large window with my computer on my lap. Now I consider nature more of an inspiration than distraction.

This has been the summer of short stories. I’ve been reading them, writing them, and submitting them. It’s been challenging. Writing a novel is like taking a deep breath and then diving into a bottomless pool. Writing short stories feels more like splashing through a puddle. I get wet but I’m not totally immersed. Maybe I'm not doing it right.

Of the stories written for submission this summer, one is crime suspense – more of a psychological thriller, one is a humorous look at young love in a different era, and the last is more of a memoir. Writing short stories has been a challenge, as always, for me. I’m learning a lot in the process, which is always a good thing. I miss my novels though, and I’m looking forward to getting back to my work in progress, The Bones of Doris Mead.

This summer, I made the decision to re-write a book of memoirs changing the POV from third person to first. Initially uncomfortable writing this book in first person, I distanced myself. Because I re-worked a story from this series for a magazine submission, I saw it with fresh eyes and I'm okay with it now.  Everything happens for a reason!

Until I complete these books, I shouldn’t begin any other long-term project. Maybe short stories will end up being my salvation when I get the creative urge to write something totally new. 

In the meantime, I must get on with my day which requires changing out of p.j.’s . I can hear the blasted cardinal bouncing off my bedroom window. How about a picture? Hah! Gotcha! At least, having mentioned him in several fb posts and blogs, you know he's not a figment of my imagination.

There’s still a lot of chirping going on near the mugho pine. It sounds like they’re saying, what’ll we do if she comes back?



  1. Hope your day was productive! Neat cardinal pic.

    1. Terry, yes my day was productive but not in the way I expected. The cardinal is beautiful but I wish he was sitting outside your bedroom window and not mine. He's been bouncing off my window for the whole summer. Fortunately, I'm so conditioned to it now that I don't always notice. That has saved my sanity!

    2. Anything that saves sanity is worth quite a lot! We have cats outside so the poor cardinal wouldn't last long with her antics.

    3. The cats would have full bellies around here! We have an indoor cat. Tiki used to pounce and swipe at the window at sight of the cardinal. Now she sits with her back to the window, licking her paw and wiping her face. What bird?

  2. Love your site..great photo.