Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birds in My Brain

So, I've finished THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD. It's polished. At least, I think it's polished. I've been querying, waiting for someone to bite. And I've gotten a couple of nibbles, which just means I have to wait even more. I'm sure I've said this before, but I'll say it again: I'm a very impatient person. So, maybe I'm learning a lesson in how to keep my mouth shut and just trust that news will come soon, but the waiting is driving me crazy. The general line of advice I've been getting from writer friends is to keep writing, start something new, which is proving to be incredibly tough.

In our front yard, there's a huge pecan tree. It's gorgeous with it's tire swing and phoenix fern covered trunk. So, I was on the porch this morning, watching the tree, watching little birds flit to it then to the ground and then on their way and so on. I look over at my kids' window and there's my cat, Minnie the Skinny, doing the same thing as me: bird watching. It occurred to me then that this is exactly what trying to find the right idea for the next project is like.

The tree is my brain and here comes a little bird. It settles on a branch ever so lightly. Maybe it pecks at the branches, leaving little remnants of the fact that it was there, ideas for scenes or plot points. Then, it moves on. More birds come, more birds leave. Ideas flit in and out, none staying long enough for me to find my binoculars so I can take a longer look. I make note of the ideas like I'm checking off different species in a field guide to birds of North America.

It's only when one of the birds decides that my pecan tree is the perfect place to make its home that I'll be able to start that new WIP. I could write the wren that hopped from branch to branch, never staying still. I could write the crow that cawed so loudly it woke the dogs sleeping in the yard. But I want to fall in love with my story. I want it to build a nest and have babies (Am I really saying I want to have baby birds hatch in my brain? Geez, I'm weird) then nourish those chirpers and teach them how to fly.

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