A Good Normal Writer

“You have been just like Bessie gets sometimes,” said Gracie.

Everyone had just finished their evening treats that had been spread around their run area.

“What do you mean?” I asked. Earlier I had shared with them how I had removed the link for people to sign up as email subscribers with Mailchimp. It just wasn’t working right. Every author is supposed to have an email subscriber list, or it’s what everyone recommends anyway.

“Did you see how Bessie was acting just now?” she asked. “She was here, there, and everywhere, trying to get a taste of everything but without really getting a taste of anything.”

She was right, of course, but gave me a few moments to think this over before summarizing for me.

“You are everywhere and nowhere, all at the same time.”

I was suddenly more appreciative than ever to have a friend like Gracie who knows me so well.

“I really should have gotten your advice about it sooner.”

”Maybe there is something you overlooked. After all, Pearl was worried about being a good normal chicken, but she learned to put that behind her. Maybe you should not be so worried about being a good normal writer. Maybe there is no such thing as a good normal writer.”

I laughed. And then I laughed some more. And then Gracie started laughing too. We both knew just as there is no such thing as a good normal chicken, there’s no such thing as a good normal writer.

You know, you really can learn a lot from a chicken!

Maybe there is no such thing as a good normal writer. – Gracie

Another thing I had overlooked is our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page. We have a good number of subscribers there who aren’t a part of the WordPress community. Because WordPress is set up to automatically post to the Facebook page, it’s really been sort of “out of sight, out of mind.”

But our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page really can do almost everything an email subscriber list can do. Keep in touch with our fans, even those who have left WordPress for one reason or another. Provide information about special offers, discounts, and free items that we want to give. Even spread a little “chicken wisdom”!

So Gracie and I put our heads together and decided to set up a special “Thank You” free online preview of the first half of “The Bottle Cap Lady.” You can get to it through our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view this page!

We are going to try to be more conscientious and always have something special pinned to the top of our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page just for all of our fans!

A Birthday Is Like A Hatchday, Well, Sort Of, Almost…

Everyone wanted to know what a birthday is since today is my birthday. “A birthday is like a hatchday, well, sort of, almost…” I said.

“So people do hatch from eggs!” they all said together, partly with amazement at what a big egg I must have come from and partly with satisfaction from finally figuring out the big secret of where people come from.

“Not exactly,” I said, “But that’s kind of close enough. We can discuss it all later, okay? Right now, I have birthday gifts for you.”

“Like what we chickens give to everyone on our hatchday celebrations?”

“Now that is exactly right!”

I was glad to have been able to navigate around the discussion about where people come from. It was tough enough to explain where chickens come from, but I had done the best I could since they never had a Chicken Momma to explain these things to them.

I spread out half of a straw bale into their run for them to enjoy. You may not think of that as much of a gift, but to a chicken, it is a goldmine and treasure hunt all rolled into one wonderful gift. You see, the straw bales from the previous winter have just been sitting in the yard and slowly decomposing. They have also been holding onto moisture. And if there are two things that the tastiest worms and bugs love, it’s decomposing stuff and moisture!

After they had thoroughly examined every bit of straw for delicious treats, Bessie came to me and asked, “So on a birthday, does anyone give you a gift?”

“Usually a birthday cake. It’s like a cupcake only bigger. When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother would always bake my favorite cake for my birthday. It was a strawberry cake with real strawberries in the cake and real strawberries in the icing.”

“I could bake you dozens of strawberry cupcakes or just one really big strawberry cupcake,” she offered. (Bessie loves to bake, and we have shared some of her own recipes here in the past.)

“That would be nice. But it is summer and the kitchen does get really hot when you’re baking in the summertime. Maybe you’d like to learn how to make something else my mother and grandmother made for me called banana pudding.”

The word “banana” caught Gracie’s attention because Gracie does love bananas. They are not an everyday treat because she needs to stay at a good weight for dancing ballet.

The two of them went off into a corner and put their heads together. They were obviously planning something. Whatever they come up with, it will be wonderful. It may be The Biggest Strawberry Cupcake Ever or a Real Meringue-Topped Banana Pudding or something in between. And if what they make doesn’t work out particularly well, there is always ice cream. It is amazing how many baking goofs can be turned into an ice cream topping! And, of course, Pearl may even put on her Let’s Go Bananas Hat and entertain everyone this evening.

All in all, I’m expecting today to be a perfect birthday as I already have five of the most wonderful gifts ever right here with me in my own backyard!

 

 

A Favorite Of My Chickens (And Of Mine Too)

Today’s post is quite different from the usual because it features a video from YouTube rather than a drawing. If you have already read either “The Bottle Cap Lady” or “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” then you know this song plays an important part in wrapping up the ending to the story. This version of the song by Lexi Walker is particularly beautiful.

The lyrics of the song are completely in French, which my chickens adore, and that allows the heart to feel what the song is about, especially when one does not understand French. The ears may hear, but the heart feels.

For me, Christmas is something that must be felt with the heart, and this can vary from one person to another as well as from one year to another in the same person’s life. I have tried to write the story not in a way that the ear will hear it, but in a way that the heart will feel it. You might say it is an open-ended story when it comes to what Christmas is all about because it does not include a retelling of the original Christmas story. Hopefully this encourages the question, “What does Christmas mean to me?” or “How would I explain Christmas to chickens?”

Anyway, my chickens have been requesting to watch this video repeatedly, sort of like when I brought out my old record player for them with classical albums from the thrift store. I have a feeling that they have begun working on some ballet choreography to go with this song as a gift to me this Christmas. After all, both books are about giving gifts that can not be wrapped up in paper, and a beautifully choreographed ballet version of this song could not be wrapped up in paper. (Although gift wrap would make a fine backdrop and scenery!)

As you watch, I hope you will close your eyes and imagine a circle of chickens dancing ballet in celebration. They may even be wearing silvery sparkling tutus made from fabric that matches the singer’s dress as well!

If by some chance this does not display in your WordPress reader, you can do a Google search on “Lexi Walker il est ne le divin enfant video” and it should be the first one listed.