Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's your nest, feather it your way, or...

A robin worked diligently for two days making a very neat nest in the carport rafters. I thought sure hubby, (who is quite fond of nature but not bird poop on his car,) would remove it. I walked into the house after work last week and gave him a firm look. "Leave that nest alone."
He said, "I am. By the time I discovered it, she had worked so hard and made such a neat little nest, I couldn't remove it from under her. She did a neat job, wove it tight. But once the eggs hatch, I'm taking it down."
 
"Fair enough," I said. And then we discovered the robin's egg on the ground. We watched a day for her to return. Hubby was adamant. "Tomorrow, I'm removing the nest. You can take it to school to show your class." We waited but there was no sign of the robin. We waited.
 
He waited too long. By the next day it was obvious the robin had abandoned the perfectly good nest, and another resident had taken over. The little sparrow has to be a first time mom. She has made one big mess out of this nest by adding long strands of dried grass into a perfectly good nest. Everyday has been funnier (for me) than the day before. We have discovered scraps of paper, gum wrappers and Kleenex woven in, and so many strands of  three foot long grasses, we are afraid it's going to fall off the ledge. You can't tell from this angle that the long grass hangs down to the car's attena/roof. It is making you- know-who crazy. I just smile everyday when I drive in and see the little mama's new decorating scheme. After all, it's her home.
 
Like a new mom, a new writer wants to protect her babies, too. We sometimes start out with the perfect sentence or phrase and then keep adding too many adjectives or adverbs until we have junked up an entire paragraph. Sometimes, less is best. The first time I learned about "cutting" I was  amazed at the difference it made to my work. Delete the unneccessary words in one of your paragraphs, and you will discover the definition of "tight writing." Have fun.  
 
 

11 comments:

Susan Sundwall said...

We had some Eastern phoebes nest in our front porch columns for years. I used them as a teaching post for the grand kids.I swept up the poop. Ugh. The porch has been re-done and the phoebes haven't come back. I kind of miss them. Great story, Linda.

Sioux said...

Linda--You did a wonderful job of making that "writing connection."

I think "the nest" I'm bringing tonight needs more twigs...

Joanne Noragon said...

What a charming little nest. I like that mama. My daughter still calls me and reads me her business letters. She simply cannot let go of adjectives until her mother tells her to ditch them.

Bookie said...

Wonderful tie in of writing to bird nests. Our wrens are back and busy take huge sticks through a tiny hole. Amazing...just glad to hear their cheerful song.

K9friend said...

It's that time of year. Funny the places birds choose to build a nest. I always thought they'd prefer trees!

Pat
Critter Alley

Val said...

I like nest.

Is that too extreme? Achieving balance is not my strength.

Susan said...

Awwwww, that's so cute you have a birdie-in-residence, Linda. That's nice of your hubs to let the new birdie stay (for now.) Susan

Lynn said...

What'd you do with the robin's egg? Love the tie into writing.

Daisy said...

Haha! I love the picture of the messy nest. (It kind of reminds me of my messy house!) :D

Love the analogy to writing too. I tend to get a little wordy sometimes, and I know I need to make my writing tighter.

Have a great weekend!

Gerry Mandel said...

My sympathy goes out to Bill. I totally understand the discomfort with bird poop on a car. But you make such a charming case for "sustaining our avian environment," I can't help but side with you and the birds. Like the second bird, I'm in danger of adding too much grass, gum wrappers, and descriptors to the proceedings. Most enjoyable, Linda.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda -

I love this analogy.

When I first began writing, I was like that little bird. My experience as a devotional writer helped me learn how to "write tight."

Blessings,
Susan :)