Monday, December 8, 2014
The heart of any good writer is a love and attention to details. The best writers, while maybe not seeing everything, see what is important. The world for a writer is fanciful, even for Hemingway.
I recently got three chickens. Not all at once. A few weeks ago I got a baby white chicken and a baby brown chicken. They were so adorable and sweet. And then they got older and started being super feisty and hungry. So hungry. Their favorite meal is macaroni and cheese and pears. They go crazy when I give it to them. A week ago I got another baby chicken. A beautiful black one. Our family was complete. I the new chick, Emily, in the cage with Lily and Violet. Suddenly everything was very still and quiet for several moments. And then Lily, my once gentle baby, rushed forward and started pecking the heck out of Emily. Emily started yelping. I reached in the cage and saved her. I gave Lily and Violet and strong talk and let them know I was very unhappy. I put Emily back in the cage and, for a bit, all was well. But then Emily started eating and Violet rushed forth and started pecking the food out of her mouth.
I yelled, "That's it. If you are old enough to be a meany then you are old enough to be out of the cage." I opened the door and they rushed out wildly. I put Emily in and locked the cage. But then Violet and Emily started pecking at the metal bars. They wanted back in.
"To bad," I said. "You have a big yard to explore. It's all yours." They cocked their heads. I shooed them into the yard. They yelped and hid behind a small bush. I left them alone for awhile, came back out and saw they were still hiding behind the bush. The world was too big for them. Too much too soon. I called them and they came back to the cage where I laid out their dish and water. Ever since that day, they hang out mostly by the cage or go back to the bush to hide.
What does any of this have to do with writing? I'm in love with my chickens and their little drama has inspired several ideas for children's stories and one short story. Inspiration is everywhere and the wonderful details of animal life can foster the most amazing stories.
Pay attention to your pets and if you don't have one, maybe you should get one. The least they can do is keep you company as you write.