Friday 26 September 2014

Feed the birds!

People ask me all the time how I get my inspiration for stories. The truth is always much less exciting than what they probably think. Stories come to me like jokes come to comedians, I would imagine. They pop up in my head, sometimes fully fleshed out and sometimes requiring a little work to join the dots together. But the ones I choose to work on are the ones which have characters who are more than three-dimensional. In my head, these are living, breathing entities in their own right and in some ways I have no more control over them than an absent mother does of her children!

Therefore I didn't set out to write The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons for any other reason than it was a fantastic story idea and I  thought the characters had something powerful to say. But at the beginning I wasn't sure what that would be. Now I do!

This book has been a painful journey for me and one which has been more personal than perhaps many of my other books. You see I was the little girl who fed the birds and I guess at heart I still am her, in all her frailties and foibles.

Life and time moves us all in different directions and sometimes that is far away from where we really ought to be. Slowly I am finding my way back to my rightful place - and will there be pigeons there? You can bet on it.

So introspection over, here is today's snippet, hot off my laptop. 

Oh and to quote Mary Poppins, "Feed the birds, tuppence a bag..."

Brighteyes’s empty box nearly broke his heart and for a moment his mind played tricks on him, making him see what wasn’t there - the little bobbing head, the iridescent sheen of feathers, the bright inquisitive eyes.

His heart held on to the image, eager not to relinquish it to the reality of the empty room, his empty life…

He flung open the window. It was just starting to get dark outside although the hour was not late. No birds flew high in the sky or overhead but he sprinkled the contents of the bag across the outside of the ledge anyway. They would be there ready for the morning and that was for the best anyway.

He ran a hand across the crumbs, evening them out and breaking the bigger chunks into more manageable bite sized pieces. Maybe the pie would attract all different types and sizes of birds, maybe only the braver ones would alight there. Time would tell. But he knew that as long as they were willing to come, he would be willing to feed them.
For more snippets of this or other books, take a look at my previous blog posts.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday 23 September 2014

This morning I met with my 'coffee ladies'. We discussed whether it was indeed possible to put your mind to doing something and achieving it even if it was beyond your intelligence level.

For me the jury is still out on the subject, however my character Lucas is finding that school work has a  new relevance for him now that he has a rescue pigeon in his care.

Here is today's snippet.

He had spent the Saturday morning doing his homework with Brighteyes watching him from the window sill. For maths he had work in fractions and decimal points to be done and he flew through the questions with ease, regardless of whether they were purely numerical or worded ones, reshaping them in his mind to have reference to the bird. Two and a half multiplied by 3.8 became two full adults and a baby bird requiring 3.8 mls of medicine each. Five and seven eighths divided by 2.9 became five adults and a teenage bird who had to share almost 3mls of water between them…suddenly everything had a relevance, a purpose that he understood.

Even his English homework had a significance now that it hadn’t had previously. In his freestyle assignment he chose to write an investigative report on how pigeons were maligned by society, vilified because of the erroneous belief that their faeces was harmful to humans. And to his surprise he loved every moment of the work.
Happy Reading!

Monday 22 September 2014

I am coming towards the end of The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons. I really feel for my character Lucas - I have been in his situation and it is hard on the heart at times. Here is the excerpt from today's chapter :-

Lucas felt a stab of guilt. Was he neglecting Brighteyes? He really didn’t intend to leave the bird alone for so long but then again was it in its best interests to make it too tame either? What would happen once it was released to the wild if it was too used to human company?

He worried about the rights and wrongs of the situation as he peddled to the park. Brighteyes seemed to be getting better, growing stronger every day. And that was a good thing – no, actually that was a great thing! But she also seemed to be becoming more accustomed to him every day, a little less afraid, a little more accepting of his sudden movements, less startled when he spoke… and sometimes recently he had noticed that she seemed to be paying more attention to him, almost as if she considered him to be part of her flock…

He was honoured by the bird’s acceptance but he was also more than a little worried. Would she pine for him when she was back in the wild? Would she feel betrayed? Abandoned? Alone? And him – how would he feel having to give her up to fate, not ever knowing if she was alright?

They say that if you love something you should let it go...I think that will be a hard lesson for Lucas. Keep your fingers crossed for me and for him.

Until my next post - Happy Reading!