Thursday, April 05, 2012

Here We Go Again Again

If I haven't mentioned it, Spring has arrived at Casa PBW. I know this because the birds are once more building nests in strange places. Experience makes us wiser, so this year we're keeping the grill covered to avoid this, the porch is now screened in to prevent this, and I've adjusted my aquaglobes to discourage the little feathered sex maniacs mommies from setting up nurseries in my sweet potato vines again.

We've left the birdhouses open for occupancy, but pushed them together to eliminate any possibility of this. Alas, back in March the ditzy dove once more out-maneuvered us and built her nest on top of them. This gave me three fun-filled weeks of checking the ground every time I went out in the yard for eggs or nestlings who might have rolled out of her rooftop nest. Fortunately her first set of twins made it through and flew off without a hitch.

Yes, I said the first set.

You see, after her babies flew off, I said to my guy, "We'd better clean that nest off those bird houses or she's going to come back and have more babies." He said I had her mixed up with the blue birds from last summer and not to worry about it.

I thought he was right, until I walked out this morning and saw this:

I think it's the same dove, so I've stopped calling her Ditzy and renamed her Nympho.

And I know she did this on purpose. Just look at the smirk on her face:

As a pro writer you'll find yourself in similar exasperating situations. You'll draw on your experience in order to get a jump on things and eliminate a repeat of the problems you've had in the past by doing what you can to avoid or prevent them. This is not a bad idea because we all want to learn from negative experiences so that someday we can feel like doing something other than puking whenever we think about them.

The thing is, it doesn't always work. For example, if you've ever had an editor or agent who was not a good match for you, it's such a stressful experience that you may go a little crazy and do anything to make a better match the next time around. But while you can change things that are under your control, that doesn't guarantee success. There's that other person about whom you don't know everything, someone who can and likely will do whatever they want. Your next editor may be great or horrendous. Your new agent may be wonderful or terrible. You can take every precaution in the book and still end up in an as bad or even worse situation than the last one.

I'd like to tell you that I have a handy-dandy solution, but this is the reality of the biz. We have to work with others who may or may not be ideal working partners. We can't rewrite other people or delete bad passages from our careers. We can't even plot out how the next working relationship will go. It's our job to handle whatever the industry throws at us. Sometimes it's all roses. Other times it's nothing but stones.

Whatever the outcome, doing what you can to make your side of any working relationship positive is never wasted energy. It makes you a better person, and gives you a healthier outlook; you're moving in a productive direction. Keep thinking, keep improving, and whatever you do, keep moving forward.


  1. She's just a free spirit, thinking outside the box. Er--birdhouse. And she must think your place is a nice haven to go for broke. :)

  2. These photos are adorable and they made me laugh! Thanks for sharing some of that writerly insight with us today. :)

  3. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Sometimes, you just have to give in to the inevitable. Ditzy (aka Nympho) wants to create her own space. How would you like it if someone told you that you had to move into a home they had picked out for you with no say in the matter? Ditzy just wants you to know that she appreciates the birdhouses, but really doesn't want to be told what to do. Instead, she will use them HER way!

  4. Beautiful birds. And I know you're trying to discourage her from building in unsafe places, but it looks like she's going to build her nest there, no matter what you do. Creatures of habit - whether human or critter: sometimes no matter what you do to change their behavior, they just keep on at it. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try. ;o)

    Great post, Lynn. Good luck keeping batch #2 safe.

  5. That is definitely the smirk-i-est bird I have ever seen.
    We have a lot of birds around here, too. My favorite is the bluejay who discovered a mirror that had been put outside to be thrown away. He became convinced that that evil other bird was here to invade his turf. I eventually placed the mirror in a flower box, so I could watch him bully the bad reflection. He shows up every single day, and spends hours in front of that mirror. I pity his long-suffering mate, who can often be seen nearby looking for grubs and occasionally telling him off.

  6. Keep moving forward and outlast the bastards, ha! Oh, that crazy bird. Hope the new batch of babies comes through safely.


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