Agnes and Francesca

Some fine lookin’ ladies, these.

I wrote about Agnes, our resident wild turkey, a few posts back. The past few days Agnes has brought along her friend, Francesca.

Agnes and Francesca
That’s Agnes in back. Francesca’s in front.

Agnes, on her own, is quite cordial and talkative with us. She waddles up to the porch windows, stares in, warbles to get our attention then walks back to her spot (where we put seed out for her and her alone. She does dine with Francesca. We suspect they have a history) and scratches the earth to let us know she’s out of seed.

Demanding little hen, yes?

Also quite protective. A while back a chipmunk went after her seed. When such occurs she performs what we call “The Chippie War Dance” and sometimes “The Fluff and Run”.

I prefer Chippie War Dance myself (and please excuse the blurry image. Wildlife photographer I am not).

We expect Francesca will be more directly communicative shortly. Especially as she realizes Agnes can ask for and get seed from us with little more than a warble, wink, cluck and scratch.

But as I wrote in Nothing Ever Dies of Old Age in The Wild, one will discover things in The Wild that one wishes one hadn’t.

Nothing dies of old age in The Wild

Case in point, about a week back I noticed that Bess wasn’t joining her mother and siblings when I put out peanuts, dog food and cookies. I saw her in back, under cover, in the dark.

I called to her and she didn’t move. I talked to her and walked towards her, a cookie in my open hand so she could see it, and tossed it in front of her. She barely came forward and wasn’t able to hold the cookie in her paws. She couldn’t get it to her mouth and I knew then that something had happened, that she was injured and probably wouldn’t last.

The past four nights Heckie, Sheldon, Veronica and Porgy have joined us in the backyard, but no Bess.

And yes, I mourn.

But nothing ever dies of old age in The Wild.

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Barb Drozdowich’s Author’s Guide to Working with Book Bloggers

Recommended reading

I picked up The Author’s Guide to Working With Book Bloggers because I wanted to learn more about working with book bloggers.

Well, duh, huh?

Perhaps if I wrote “I picked up The Author’s Guide to Working With Book Bloggers because I wanted to learn more about slicing deli meats.” I’d be a more interesting person.

Confused, but more interesting.

Anyway, I believe this is a good book for extroverts. I’m not, and I tend to think of myself as boring and dull. The Author’s Guide to Working With Book Bloggers is full of excellent information and pretty much it comes down to standing on a mountaintop with searchlights pointing at yourself while shouting into a megaphone (provided you do it all politely).

Polite I can do.

And I love mountaintops for the view.

Not to be seen, though.

Much of what is suggested is common theory to anybody who’s done social/internet marketing and the application part is worth the read. Lots of good links and advice. Excellent for extroverts (in the social sense, not the psychological sense). I think she even says something about some of us having to get outside our comfort zones.

I’ll have to practice my shouting. I guess. maybe.

Jill Nelson’s “Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View”

Recommended reading

I got Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View at the suggestion of my writing coach, Rich Marcello (and he’s great. I’ve learned things I didn’t know I didn’t know. It don’t get much better than that!). He told me I already did most of what Jill Nelson explained in the book and that I might pick up a few incidentals, which I did.

I read the book last week (while traveling) as I write this and have already caught myself a few times with her “gotchas”.

The only real flaw I had with her book was the exercises. I felt they could have been better explained and/or better examples given. More than once the reader is invited to rewrite a sentence to incorporate lesson elements. Excellent! Except the given solutions (and she does give solutions to the exercises. Thanks for that!) often incorporate information that was no where in the original sentence and the solution becomes several sentences long. The added content not being part of the original problem sentence threw me.

I understood her suggested solutions but found myself saying “Where did she get that?” or “Where did that come from?” more than once. A little frustrating (for me) and it didn’t stop me from highlighting many items and learning.

I do suggest it for writers/authors wanting to improve their craft.

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Writers’ Groups – Critiques

emPHAsis and sylLAbles

(picking up from where I left off in Writers’ Groups – Introduction…)

My core reason for all the socializing that’s part of any writers’ group is to learn, improve, increase.

Learning, improving and increasing comes from critiquing others’ work and having my own work critiqued, and critiquing is a learned skill (my opinion, that).

Critiques are not Reviews
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The Boy in the Giant – Artwork by LadySparrowhawk

I’m blessed to have Casey Wilkinson, aka Lady Sparrowhawk, a gifted artist as a friend. She provided the artwork for this story.

Enjoy!

Once upon a time, when a small, magical child lived in a magical woods, a horrible thing happened. Someone left the child outside in the cold, rainy, wet damp of dawn. It doesn’t matter if this happened once or a thousand times. When you are a child, even once is enough.

It so happened, as the child grew into a boy, that others came by who were blind to the child and the boy and splattered mud as they passed. The mud covered the growing boy, its coldness reminding him of being abandoned in the cold, damp dawn.

The child grew into a clever boy. He kept his eyes open and watched the flowers spreading their petals to let in the morning sun, spiders spinning delicate webs stronger than the strongest steel, and squirrels and ants busying themselves gathering winter’s harvest.

Over time the boy fell in love with the world around him and decided that no matter what happened to him, he could learn from it. Quickly the boy’s wisdom grew as he watched and studied and quietly observed until he became quieter and wiser than most in the Woods.

But while he grew, there was a mud caked child inside, a child the wise boy knew nothing of, crying in the cold, damp dawn. The boy lived with the ache of the child inside so long it became like a cloak which no one else could see and which was more real to the growing boy than anything else in his world. The boy sat and watched the mud that caked around him as others splashed and noticed it hardened as it dried. The child gave the boy an idea.

“What would happen if I took some mud and fashioned a cloak around myself?” As the mud hardened he could make the cloak stronger and harder. Eventually the cloak would keep out the cold and the rain and protect the boy and child from pain.
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