I often go walking when I’m working out plot points, conflicts, or scenes, and today was no exception. I’m reaching a fairly pivotal plot point in Empire’s Hostage, and I needed to think about it. However, I’m also house-and-cat sitting for my sister this week, and so am close to the birding mecca of Point Pelee National Park. And those of you who’ve read my bio on various sites know I’m also a birder.
It’s fall, not the intense migration of spring with birds (and birders) in hordes. So I figured I could walk, look at a few birds and think about plot at the same time. Ha! Warblers everywhere. Thrushes everywhere. Sparrows everywhere and all the Eastern Phoebes in the world, it seemed. I’d walk a few paces, thinking… “if Lena does this, how will Cillian react?” and would just start formulating a scene and ‘What’s that? A black-throated green? Yes, juvenile male….ok, where was I? Cillian doesn’t like…..Now what? Kinglet…which one…golden-crowned, should be a ruby-crowned in this bunch somewhere…”
This went on for my entire two hour walk. I can’t turn my birding brain off; it’s just not possible. I wonder if Margaret Atwood has this problem? (Canadian writer extraordinaire and also a birder, in case you’re unsure.)
However, at the end of the two hours, I had seen a ruby-crowned kinglet along with a lot of other birds, and had more or less worked out the next couple of scenes, albeit in a very fragmented way. So once I’ve got today’s records entered in e-bird, I’ll go and write for a couple of hours. Away from the window and the bird feeders.