You are going to hear a lot in the next few posts about my recent stay at Shangri Lar with my darling friend, Mary Nethery. I forgot my camera and, as soon as Mary completes her 39,000 hour flight home from here, she will send photos. Until then, I will do my best to paint a word picture of this particular event.
I’m kind of a sucker for eagles. (well, any bird but stay with me). And 5 of them have blessed our bay house with their presences. Mary and I — focused as we were on our writing — couldn’t help being distracted by the two adults, bad and bald (from the Old English, “balde” for white-haired, not hairless) and three teens, all mottled and unkempt and probably pimply but that was hard to verify from our vantage point.
One of the teen eagles perched in the maple tree nearby, seemingly oblivious to the smaller birds in constant motion. We watched for a long time, perhaps half an hour, fearful of his next move and yet it didn’t come. However, as anyone who has watched Planet Earth might have guessed, said teen eagle suddenly took flight and within seconds had a hapless starling in its talons.
Barely breathing, Mary and I could not take our eyes off the scene. Mercifully, the eagle eventually flew off with its prize so we didn’t have to observe the consumption of starling tartare.
It was a Jacques Cousteau kind of moment, without the water. And, of course, I was struck by something beside the matter-of-fact attitude of Mother Nature.
After working like maniacs for several days, Mary and I had each had our eagle moments. She will have to share her own (hopefully, I have successfully badgered her into launching her own blog), but mine was this: I have struggled with this novel for months and months and months, basically spinning my wheels. Then I spent several days at Shangri Lar staring at a very long and very blank roll of paper, taped to the wall of my office, on which Mary had commanded that I rough out the WIP’s plot/storyline. Finally, something Mary said helped me swoop in and snatch up the key point of this darned story I’ve been wrestling with for far too long and that long roll of paper was soon filled with words.
Now, after weeks of just gutting it out, pounding on the keyboard, building up word count, I cannot wait to tell this story! I’ve finally snagged the prize with my talons and am sitting in the tree, ready to savor the reward of all of those hours of watching and working.
So, as soon as Mary sends me the photos, I’ll go into detail about what snapped everything into shape. But in the meantime, let me tell you that I will be ignoring the piled up laundry and Valentine’s cards that need mailing to be as intent and focused as that eagle.