Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Suspicion of Baby Robins and Revisions

88º ~ I will NOT complain about the heat b/c I prefer it much more than the winter, but sweet mother of all breathing things, it's hard to catch a deep breath amid the soggy furnace blasts

Today, at around 10:00 a.m. I noticed some new activity on our robin's nest: both parents sitting on the edge of the nest with a worm being torn apart between them.  Then, one of the adults dipped its head down into the bowl of the nest, below my sight-line.  This activity went on for about 30 minutes, with the adults hopping down to the yard to get more worms/bugs and then resuming what I can only presume is the first feeding I've observed.  Now, the female robin has resumed her nestling and sitting; however, after watching the Decorah, IA eagle cam this spring, I know that the adult bird will sit on the newly hatched birds as they grow and that is okay, so I'm less alarmed than I might have been.  In a few days, I'll try standing on the desk to see if I can get a view down into the nest, but there are more leaves in the upper branches, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to see.

I'll keep y'all posted, but for now, here's another link to the eagle cam.  Our baby eaglets are quite grown up now and should take flight this month or early next. By the way, this pair of eagles has a history of raising two and three healthy eaglets each year, pretty remarkable!  Somehow, I think Iowa must have something to do with this.  :)

When I wasn't on robin-watch 2011, I was busy at the desk this morning working on revisions.  I've really got hold of this chapbook idea for the group of tales I've been writing, so I gathered them all up in one document this morning.  I went through page by page and tweaked the healthiest poems here and there.  As I said yesterday, there are two that I think are a bit weak, so I really dug into them today.  Guess which two they are?  The two longest ones.  This past spring I was so proud when I started writing longer pieces, but you know what?  They just aren't sitting right with me.  I keep finding what looks like flab that needs to be cut.  While the two super-revisions I worked on today are still longish poems, both now fit on one page.  The first, remains in tercets, but I cut about ten lines.  The second, the longest I'd written and the prosiest, is now in prose poem form.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Now, I get to fuss about with trying to figure out the order of the things.  I also need a few more poems to get to the right page length, as I'm sitting at 15 now and that seems a bit small for a even a chapbook.  I poked around the internet and found that most presses ask for 20 - 30 pages, with the least that I found being 16.  I think I'm going to aim for 22 or so.

I must also title the darned thing, of course.  I've been playing around with the original Grimm's title:  Children's and Household Tales.  I'm wondering about something like:  Midwestern Nursery and Farm Tales, but I'm not loving that.  I shall ponder.

Oooh, it looks like another round of feeding, definitely head-in-nest, butt-in-air time for the adult robin.

Distractions, distractions.


Kathleen said...

Glad to hear of the baby robins. I like just Household Tales, suggesting a grown up voice telling tales, of childhood, perhaps, or to children, to be revealed as we read...? I'm sure it will all come together just as it needs to.

Nancy Devine said...

it's so joyful to watch birds. we've got a spot with a robin's nest and all i can see above the top is want: three open mouths.
poem length is something i wrestle with. i must admit, though, i love a short poem that's so perfect that taking out one word even would collapse it.
complain about the heat, if you want. here in the north we complain about it, too.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Kathleen!

Nancy, okay, it's soooooooo hot! (this should be read in the voice of an overheated, overtired child)

Anonymous said...

I swear, spring is the shortest season, lasts all of a week.

I'm excited to hear of your chapbook project! Yay!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Agreed, Marie. Thanks for the support!

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

The Eagle Cam is a big hit with my father and brother. It's interesting viewing material.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Q., Glad your dad has had the eagles to keep him company during his recent surgery/recovery. Hope all is well there.