The Season for Birdhouses

When I was young people built birdhouses in the spring hoping to entice some feathered friends to move in. Most of those neighbours were swallows, but sometimes other birds would take up residence. Hubby still builds birdhouses and with all the extra time on his hands I’m sure construction will continue in the weeks ahead. Last year we had a family of chickadees as well as the swallows.

Here is the latest duplex that Hubby made completely out of recycled material. I hope the birds appreciate his efforts to reuse.

I realize that this house probably does not exemplify the meaning of physical or social distancing that is so important at this time, although I think so long as the birds don’t object they will be fine. In fact, I’m willing to bet on it.

In some ways I consider myself fortunate during these times of the COVID 19 pandemic as we have 7.5 acres to roam around on. Our property also boarders a lake. Yesterday, I sat by the water’s edge, felt the warmth of the sun on my face, and for a time I stayed totally present. I didn’t think about what all was going on in the world, the all the worries about the future and exactly what the world would look like when we finally come through to the other side. I didn’t fret about the launching of my book this spring which is obviously on hold. I pushed away my sadness of not being able to visit with our grandchildren in the coming months and the reality that rural living means poor internet access for many of us. We are not even able to set up virtual visit.

So I sat there yesterday, taking in the beauty and feeling totally grateful for the moment and the entire day which couldn’t have felt more perfect. The air was quiet and I could hear the sound of water trickling from one place to another. There was a trio of Canada geese peacefully maneuvering their way across the water. Ducks quacked and fluttered their wings. The geese honked.

As I sat there looking out across the water, I thought about the people who lived in our home before us. I thought about how much harder life was for them back then and how hard they had to work. They did not have any of the modern things we take for granted these days; washing machines, dishwashers, TV, computers. I wondered if they ever had the chance to just sit by the lake watching and listening or if they were just too busy to appreciate it all. I thought, what a shame it was if they didn’t.

As it is important for us to remain hopeful during these uncertain times, please remember that there have been many before us who have faced adversity and came through stronger. We will too. I will leave you with this wonderful symbol of hope.

 

Stay strong. Stay at home. We will get through this.

 

Author Appreciation : Spread Some Love

Have you hugged an author lately?

Seems to me there’s a lot of love and appreciation directed at authors. Lots of reviews and interviews going on these days over the Internet. Love is bulging from every corner of cyberspace— the blogging community, Facebook and twitter. Feels pretty darn good, not only to receive the love, but also to help spread some of it, too.

So you don’t have a blog or a twitter account?

Not all of us do or ever will. Does this mean you have to sit in the sidelines and let everyone else spread the love? I don’t think so.

If you’re not on twitter or Facebook, if you’re too shy to drop a comment on an author’s site for the whole world to read, there’s still a way to help spread your love and appreciation.

When was the last time you googled an author whose book you’ve just read? Did you check to see if they have a site? Most of us do.

If you’ve come to an author’s site you’ve no doubt noticed that most of us provide an email or contact me tab. If you were aware of this did you take a few moments to fire off an email to say you enjoyed their book?

I recently received an email from another author who’d just read my book. Pretty cool since I’d googled her a few years back and sent her an email right after reading her book. And you know what? She remembered that email! Authors have excellent memories when it comes to those sorts of things.

Is your email important?

Of course it is. We all want to feel appreciated no matter who we are. The thing about writers is this, many people will read our book, they’ll enjoy it, they’ll become totally immersed in the stories we create, but we never hear from them. They are our silent partners. They travel this journey with our characters, they watch them face adversity, silently cheering for them, or cursing their very existence.

So, I challenge all you readers out there. The next time you read a really good book take a moment to google the author, find their site, look for a contact tab or email address, write a note of appreciation (it doesn’t need to be long) and hit send. It may not seem like a big thing to you and you might think that your name is quickly forgotten, but believe me it isn’t. You’re little note will find a soft spot in our hearts. On those days when we’re feeling very unappreciated, when we decide we’ve spent too many hours working on a WIP that, in the end, turned out to be nothing more than monkey crap in disguise, we can search through our email folder, find your saved email and feel the love all over again.

What do you say, are you up to the challenge? You are? Great, let the googling begin!!

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