Last night I found out I wasn’t selected as a Pitch Wars mentee and I admit to feeling down. I went to bed thinking I was a loserhead. Then I woke up this morning and reread feedback I’d received from one mentoring team last night, and the wheels began turning. When another mentor sent feedback, one of her comments dovetailing nicely with a bit from the earlier critique, the wheels in my head started cranking in earnest.
Did I agree with everything written? Nope.
Did I have AHA moments as I read their comments? Yep.
Can I quit this manuscript when it’s within my power to strengthen it? Nope.
So does this mean I’m embarking on yet another round of revisions? Yep.
The season’s last clematis bloom.
I exchanged emails with a writer friend about all this and he was a bit horrified that I’m revisiting this manuscript for the umpteenth time. His exact words: I think you’re the type of person who puts a band-aid on just to rip it off!
But that’s the writing life: patches of blue poking through the clouds, an occasional burst of sunshine, and a steady stream of self-inflicted pain.
So it goes.
For those who enjoy birds and my feeder photography,
I’m posting this email I received today.
May it inspire you to create something bird-related.
Please let me know if you submit an entry to
the Winter Bird Survival Challenge
so I can look you up on the Celebrate Urban Birds website!
||Jan. 6, 2010
Take Our Winter Bird Survival Challenge
|European Starling by Evelyne Samson
© Cornell Lab of Ornithology
How do birds withstand wicked winter weather and other daily threats to survival, even in warmer climates? We have a new environmental challenge for you from the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We invite you to show us how birds are surviving in your neighborhood this winter. It can be a photo, artwork, video, even a story or a poem describing how birds are finding the food, water, and shelter they need. You can take part no matter what your age or skill level. Groups such as schools, libraries, clubs, and businesses are also more than welcome. As you may know, Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.
I find it unbelievable how even tiny birds can survive being outdoors 24/7 in places where winter is cold and snowy! Your entry for this challenge could show a crow huddling near a chimney to get warm, birds visiting feeders or raiding a berry bush for food, birds dabbling in a fountain for water, or maybe even one of the lucky birds soaking up the sun in a warm, southern state.
We have more great prizes including a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars, bird feeders, a birdsong calendar, books, posters, cards and more. The first 50 people who enter will receive a copy of the "Little Green Places" poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website.
Here’s how to enter:
1. Email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you submit a video, post it on YouTube and send us the link.
2. Write “Survival_yourfirstname yourlastname yourstate” in the subject line.
3. Include your mailing address in your email
4. Explain why you submitted your entry—describe your winter conditions and what you observe the birds doing during winter.
5. One entry per person, please.
Deadline for entries is February 15, 2010