(In which I ramble on and on about how much I love…)

My first bird of the new year is…

the Blue Jay!!!

I love Blue Jays, I think they’re so sassy. Like Mockingbird level sassy.

And they’re part of the corvid family.

In addition to being determined, brave, and curious, the blue jay is also associated with truthfulness, honesty.

Honesty has been a big personal theme for me over the last few months. I was in a bad slump and I had to take a hard look at myself and get brutally honest with how I want to proceed with the rest of my life. Dramatic, I know. But necessary.

The Blue Jay is a good reminder for me to keep striving for positive change.

When I woke up this morning the first bird I thought I would see and expected to see was a Robin. Tons of them have been hanging out in my front yard recently. But the Blue Jay snagged the title this year. They are a pretty common sight year round at my house.

The second bird I saw was a female Cardinal. One half of the mated pairs in my back yard was killed by something a few weeks ago so it was nice to see another female today.

Bring it on, 2020!

*

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash

I am an amateur birder. I know next to nothing about birds but I’m hoping to get lots of practice next year and get better experience. For now, here’s my paltry and very sparse Life List.

Began April 27, 2017:

American Robin

American Crow

Boreal Chickadee

Blue Jay

Brown-headed Cowbird

Carolina Chickadee

Common Grackle

Common Ground-Dove

Cooper’s Hawk (love that dappled, cream colored belly)

Downy Woodpecker

European Starling

House Sparrow

Killdeer

Mississippi Kite

Northern Cardinal

Northern Flicker

Northern Mockingbird

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Winged Blackbird

Rock Pigeon

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (my spark bird)

Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

Tufted Titmouse

Turkey Vulture

My mother-in-law snapped this picture. Gorgeous Greater Roadrunner.

1. Get a job I don’t hate.

2. Find the scariest haunted house EVER.

3. Do an escape room.

4. Get an RV and travel across the country.

5. Get a boat and live on the river.

6. Go to Comicon.

7. Go to Dragoncon.

8. Have nice cosplay ideas for 6 and 7.

9. Cultivate a yoga practice.

10. Learn Tai Chi.

11. Meditate regularly.

12. PUBLISH MY BOOKS.

13. Visit the Grand Canyon.

14. Be a better birder.

15. See all the birds on my Life List.

15. Learn how to sing. Like, properly sing, not in-the-car-sing.

16. Write a crown of sonnets (sonnet corona) and do it properly…following all the rules…(kill me).

17. Learn how to ballroom dance.

18. Go to a ball and wear a big, floppy princess dress.

19. Grow my hair long. The last time I had long hair was in 1997.

20. Learn how to play a musical instrument and play at shows with all my favorite artists.

21. Join a prestigious writing association.

22. Hitchhike or just walk across the country. Or live in my car.

23. Become an “extreme” minimalist.

24. Be invited to talk about poetry at AWP.

25. Have one of my books nominated for a Locus, Nebula, or Hugo. Just the nomination, I don’t have to win, just tell me you love me.

I’m at my in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving and Mr. J’s mom wanted to put her Christmas tree up early and have us decorate it together. As I was passing her the ornaments (I do not decorate trees–I will hand you things and stand there being helpful, but I do not decorate) I found this strange creature.

Me: Neat.

Mr. J’s Mom: Mr. J. made that when he was a kid.

Me: Oh, okay. Some kind of upside down triangle monster…

Mr. J’s Mom: It’s a reindeer!

*

Happy 1st of December Everyone!

Last night I dreamed I stole a pair of mechanical wings from a tank/bunker that was covered with large slugs. They were black with neon purple and pink detailing and when I put them on I flew up higher than the buildings and when I dove down I was not afraid of falling.

The wings stayed with me. They didn’t break or disappear. I flew and I wasn’t afraid even when they started shooting at me.

*

Usually when I dream about climbing or flying I fall and the falling is painful and I wake up with heart palpitations and panic. But not this time. It was a really awesome dream.

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Photo by Wilmer Martinez on Unsplash