Deer Friends

The fawn hesitates, oversize ears rotating as he watches me take his picture from the window. I’m sure he can’t hear me, but he stares unblinking, hoping the shape of me behind the glass is nothing. Hoping he is invisible.

On his rump there is a curious black and white mark that identifies him as the same youngster who has been visiting all week.

At the edge of the woods his mother hovers, nibbling snippets of cedar that were flung to the ground during last week’s windstorm. Despite the distance I sense she has seen my eyes fasten on her. When I shift my body ever so slightly to put the camera on the coffee table beside me, she stops munching. The bough hangs from the sides of her muzzle as she stands frozen in mid-mouthful.

I glance back at the fawn, still motionless, and when I return my gaze to his momma she has glided to the edge of the yard and stands alert, peering through the arbour.

“You’re too close to that house, sonny,” I think she says, because the little one leaps away to join her. Within seconds they have disappeared down the pathway to the marsh and I am alone again.


Ah-ha, you think. Here’s a post that has nothing to do with writing. But you’re wrong because it was a moment to share with you, and I had to write it first.  As in photography, it isn’t finding a subject that’s important… it’s finding the words to frame it. In this case, finding ways to express thankfulness for the blessing of ordinary days. And I am thankful for the sweetness of this moment.

What ordinary moment are you thankful for today?


I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart. [Psalm 9:1a]

A Secret in the Snow

Bundled into warm woolens I walk with the dog through the woods behind our house to the marsh beyond. Pristine snow etches every blade and branch in Currier and Ives fashion. Billows of mist rise from the surface of snow-laden water. The stillness is a silence into which God whispers a reminder that Christmas is coming, a time when his creation will honour him.


On the return walk I discover a line of tracks along the edge of the back lawn. Like subtle clues in a story they share a secret of wildlife nearby, hidden somewhere in the trees. A mystery, until I stoop to examine the tracks and see they were made by a deer.


I love mystery in any manuscript – being tantalized by suggestions that hover just out of sight until the moment of discovery.


Question for you:

How do you incorporate mystery – or that all important element of suspense – into the pages of your stories when the genre is other than a true mystery?