I was messing around on Facebook, trying to wrangle a couple of good ideas for “Parrot Nation” and for the Column I write for in “Bird Talk Magazine” called “Memos to Parker and Pepper”. Sometimes something as simple as someone describing what they are doing at that moment is enough for me to come up with an idea for a Memo or it will spark a great idea for a post here.
Lisa McManus of the Rocky Mountain Society of Aviculture posted on Facebook that she was going to sit down and do some writing. About an hour later she posted that she “lied”, and just couldn’t get it done. Robin Shewokis of “The Leather Elves” commented that yesterday was a “Global Writer’s Block Day”, and didn’t Lisa get the Memo? I loved it, because I realized I wasn’t the only one having a tough time yesterday. And that interchange is what sparked this particular post.
There are days when I can sit down and whip out two or three Memo ideas, frame them up for later editing, and do a posting for the blog as well as write a few emails. Then there are those days when I stare at the computer with complete and utter despair and disdain. I don’t want to write, can’t write, don’t know where to begin, to end, or even how to approach anything. I refer to this particular feeling as “circling”. It’s as though my brain, imagination and the writing tool in my head are circling an idea like a lion corners big game. I have to “circle” it a while, look at it from all angles and try and decide which is the best way to attack it. I’m a big list maker. (And I’m left-handed.)
I don’t know how other writers do it. I’ve read about a writer’s “process”, and “methods”. I don’t have any method other than I get an idea and then I sit down and begin writing. I do a bit of “circling”, especially if it’s something I have to write for the airline. I will write something they ask for and then I never see it again. But like a lot of things I’ve written for them, they get swallowed up into some distant void and if they do use them, I usually never see it.
One of the reasons I enjoy writing this Web Log is the “immediacy” of it. I write something, I hit the “Publish” key, and whammo, it’s up and out. (Conversely, if I have a typo, or think of something else, I can always add or update things.) It’s a very elastic medium. I can paste in photographs, things I’ve found on the Internet, and I can upload video. I can change the font style, color, and size, and I have complete control over what I write. You don’t often have that in the world of publishing. I have to say that for the most part, my writing, or “stuff ” as I call it, is rarely touched when edited. I’ve noticed the snip of a word here or there, but for the most part, it is published intact.
But “Parrot Nation” isn’t a piece for anyone else’s publication and I don’t have to customize it to other’s specifications. It is a reflection of just a part of me, my birds, my job, my work, my day-to-day life and the “adventures” I set up for myself along the way, such as working at the Cincinnati Zoo, or going to the Parrot Festival. I hope that some of my writing here helps others in some way. And perhaps others will find it entertaining and interesting to read. Just as Parrots are not my entire life, despite the title of my Blog, I don’t want “Parrot Nation” to be entirely about Parker and Pepper either. I mean, my God… they already have their own column.
Rather, I want it to be a slice-of-life peek at what it’s like in the day-to-day of living with parrots including the parts where they don’t directly figure into the equation. Because, whether they are directly involved or not, they effect absolutely everything else about your life. Most of the readers here have birds. But some of the comments and email I get have to do with the fact that there is a validation of sorts in reading “PN”. They are pleased to read that they aren’t the only ones who get frustrated or tired, confused or bewildered. And they are also not the only ones who laugh their butts off when their parrot says something hilarious and totally appropriate for the moment or are just simply charmed by something their bird has done. Sometimes it feels good to know that there are others out there who are concerned about providing for them, properly caring for them and training them. And from what I’ve been sent, “Parrot Nation” allows people with birds to see and feel that everybody goes through the same range of feelings. I just happen to write about it.
It’s not an easy way of life, it’s a long road and it’s a lot of work. But as most people who have companion birds can tell you, it’s a lot of fun.
Thanks for stopping by…