Blank Brain and Winter Birds

birds (1) I’ve got a serious case of blank brain right now. I just haven’t come up with anything wise, witty or weird to say on here – or at least haven’t been able to remember it long enough to put on screen (I had one or two really great blog posts plotted out – at 3:00 AM when I was lying awake with insomnia. Alas, they have vanished into the abyss of post-insomnia early morning sleep). So that’s why there’s been a bit of a dearth of postings here lately.

Of course, what’s in the forefront of my otherwise blank mind right now is my stories. The sequel to Seventh Son is actively in the works, and coming really soon! It’s largely a winter story, and was much easier to write at this time of year than Book #3, which is set around Summer Solstice. Maybe I should take a quick trip Down Under, and just live in summer for a while to keep that story moving forward. Any New Zealanders want to send me a plane ticket and put me up for a few weeks?

birds (3)Speaking of winter, I’ve been watching the birds bickering over seeds on my balcony bird feeder. And I got to wondering: how can they even survive the winter? At the beginning of December for several days in a row we had a cold snap where it was -15° C (in °F, that’s, umm, really really cold). How can those tiny little bodies make it through those temperatures without turning into little frozen lumps? But from what I could tell, they weren’t particularly bothered; they just puffed up their feathers a bit more than normal and became birdie puffballs instead of birdcicles. And then there were the ducks on the lake: the water was forming a rime of ice, and the ducks were still merrily paddling around in the unfrozen bits. That’s crazy – hasn’t anybody told them that warm-blooded creatures should have their feet freeze off in ice water?

Maybe it’s because they don’t know that that they can survive it. That was the theory I heard a little boy proclaim once, when I wasn’t all that big myself, about how birds can survive sitting on power lines. He was wondering aloud why they didn’t get killed by the electric power surge, and then he came to the conclusion that maybe it was because they didn’t know that by rights they should. From my superior vantage point of the ripe old age of seven or eight I was feeling vastly amused at his infantile theories (although I didn’t have anything better to offer, I figured that probably wasn’t it). But now I’m starting to wonder if he didn’t have something after all. How do birds survive the winter? It’s quite a miracle. And yes, I know there are wise explanations which are only a click of a Google button away – but really, when you think about it, it’s just simply astounding. Quite wonder-full, in fact.

Life, the Universe, Blank Brains and Winter Birds. Wishing you (and the birds) a good move into the New Year!

winter sunset
Midwinter Sunset

3 thoughts on “Blank Brain and Winter Birds”

  1. Ohhhhh, I feel your pain. Aside from bitter cold last night that left my lower back cramping off and on throughout the wee hours, I have the worst writer’s block I have had in a few years. CANNOT WRITE A WORD, and everything I do manage to spew down on paper is embarrassingly laughable and must be deleted quickly, lest anyone see it. I don’t know what it is, exactly. I know my brain is very tired, but I can’t seem to push my way through it as I have done on occasions before. Christmas turkey coma might have something to do with it, and then there’s this building sense of dread that I am coming up on my big project and still have not worked out a thesis topic. Yikes. Feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. It’s a strange, strange thing.

    1. Hang in there, you can make it! Actually, it sounds like you’ve got a case of grad school fatigue.

      One recommendation: don’t immediately delete the laughable pieces of writing. Written lines of junk are better than not-written lines of astonishing literature. That’s one of the things NaNoWriMo taught me: Just Get The Word Count. Who cares if it’s crap, for the first draft all you need is words. And you know, what looks like crap now might actually not be so bad a week or so down the line! Trust me, I’ve had that experience often enough. First impressions of your own writing are as likely as not to be wrong (either way – I’ve written stuff I thought was brilliant at the moment, which turned out to be groan-worthy, and other things that I thought where junk during the writing actually weren’t when I looked at them in the light of day).

      So don’t give up yet! Even the birdies make it through the winter… 🙂

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