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.