Fall Snapshots: Hunger

This isn’t a particularly impressive photograph. I have several better ones taken on a sun-filled day last spring. (You’ll find that post here and if you like bear stories there’s an earlier one here.) But this photo is taken at midnight, with only the porch light on, and without the benefit of a flash.

Bear Nov 22-2014

Other bears have wandered onto our deck in past years, but this is a first visit for this particular guy. Evidently he’s been a problem elsewhere, as he had a yellow tag in one ear, which I believe indicates he’s been relocated.

What was different about this bear was his persistence. No amount of shouting, banging or flashing of lights would scare him away. He couldn’t be distracted from his midnight banquet of suet and birdseed. In fact, we annoyed him enough with our noise that he came right up to the patio door to object! I quickly moved out of sight! Then he went back to finish devouring every bit of seed that he’d tipped out onto the deck.

I’ve been told a bear’s sense of smell is about nine times more sensitive than a bloodhound’s, and that he can catch a whiff of a potential meal from at least a kilometre away, so it was no surprise he had discovered I recently set out our winter birdfeeders. What surprised us was that he wasn’t in hibernation yet. Needless to say, now the birds will have to do without any domestic goodies from us until winter truly arrives.  I have no desire to encourage any more visits from this or any other bear.

I must admit I do admire his determination to meet his daily calorie requirement, and his willingness to lick up the tiniest of seeds to do so, as he builds fat to sustain himself through a winter’s sleepytime famine.

It gives my conscience a bit of a twinge to realize that perhaps I don’t value my survival as a writer enough to pursue every available opportunity. As I enjoy the writing of my novels, I don’t go out of my way to make myself known or find smaller publishing markets for my non-fiction. Self-preservation suggests I should learn a lesson from this very determined black bear!

Do you tap into smaller markets as a source of transitional income during your pursuit of a bigger publishing goal?

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Keeping an eye on the goal

The last day of March! That means it’s also the last day of my month-long March Madness and Speedbo projects. All the other participants will likely be joining me in a last-minute dash to the finish line, hoping to reach or exceed the goals so publicly set out before the start of this endeavour.

What then? Do we heave a sigh of relief that it’s over, and walk away? I don’t think so. I think you’ll find those who have persevered through the month will still be working on their projects tomorrow, or moving on to new ones. I know I will be. When one goal is reached, there’s usually another waiting in the distance. Keeping an Eye Out I think one of the main differences between those who succeed and those who don’t is the determination to push on… to keep eyes focused on a long-term goal despite failures or successes, challenges or disappointments along the way.

March is just one month out of twelve. April will return me to my Monday and Friday posting schedule, but in between I’ll continue to write the story that has kept me occupied this month. I didn’t get the first draft finished and I’m anxious to see how it ends.

What about you? Besides Easter, what’s on your horizon that’s enticing you forward into April?


Chickadee Black-capped


Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.

[Martin Luther]

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