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March 29, 2015 / Rae Spencer

Chickadees and Writing Events

Chickadee March 26

Thursday a lone chickadee decided to do a little spring cleaning in one of the wren houses.

Chickadee March 26

Thick clouds were moving in, ahead of a line of heavy rain, and the little bird seemed aware that there wasn’t much time for nest clearing.

Chickadee March 26

It made trip after trip into the house, sometimes tossing wood shavings straight out through the door, sometimes carrying them several feet away and scattering them in the honeysuckle.

Chickadee March 26

Chickadee March 26

When the rain arrived, the chickadee kept working a while longer, then it gave up and moved into the cover of the wax myrtles.

As Thursday’s rain cycled into a dreary, cold Friday, I kept watching for the chickadee to return. But there has been no sign of further interest in the nest box.

I suspect the little bird’s interest was never more than a passing fancy, mostly because it was working alone. In the past, the yard’s chickadee nests have been built by pairs of birds working together. (On the other hand, there haven’t been many chickadee nests in the yard, and all of them have failed. Maybe I shouldn’t use those nests for comparison?)

Chickadee March 26

On Saturday I left the yard’s mysteries to take care of themselves while I attended Coastal Crime Fest 2015. This single-day writing conference was sponsored by Mystery by the Sea, The Southeastern Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The day’s sessions included mystery authors talking about writing and publishing, tales of real-world experience from a retired FBI agent, and a presentation about situational awareness from a pair of self-defense instructors. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.

What’s more, Saturday’s conference was not my first writing event this month. Last weekend I attended one of the Hampton Roads Writers’ Traveling Pen Series, a morning-long workshop about paranormal and fantasy writing. The workshop included several very helpful writing exercises, and I was excited to learn that the guest speaker, Vanessa Barger, will be presenting more workshops at the Hampton Roads Writers’ 2015 Conference in September.

After both of my recent writing adventures I rushed home brimming with inspiration, eager to write something new. Or revise something old. Or maybe, most alluring of all, read something timeless. (Hopefully I will do all three while watching a chickadee nest…)

Chickadee March 26

2 Comments

  1. jeanryan1 / Mar 31 2015 8:17 AM

    I admire your interest in different genres. Just read several poems by Mary Oliver, sighing over her brilliance, wishing I had the nerve to write poetry.

    • Rae Spencer / Apr 4 2015 11:59 AM

      I have always loved reading, but I haven’t always loved to read across genres. When I started taking my writing seriously, and when I started meeting other writers, I realized there were enormous gaps in my reading. I’ve been trying to fill those gaps for a while now, but my to-be-read list never gets any shorter, no matter how many books I read! As for writing poetry, I think all writers are poets, because all writing contains elements of poetry. 🙂

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