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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: F.L. Bicknell

Yesterday I wrote about sitting out on the porch during the sunrise, and also about musing next to my aquarium where relaxation and inspiration occur. But today, I wanted to mention that I totally understand the reason people study birds. No, no, not the kind you flip someone when they cut in front of you on a busy street or rudely go through the intersection when it’s not their turn. I’m talking about the winged creatures that inhabit wooded areas and hang out at the local feeder full of seed. These people, birdwatchers, have discovered a way to not only enjoy nature but also to relax.

Actually, I’ve always loved birds. My mother kept a feeder outside our living room every winter. Back during the 70s, when Internet, satellite, and VHS/DVDs weren’t available and only three TV stations could be tuned in our old Zenith, we did a lot of reading during the snowy months as well as sipping tea or cocoa as we watched the birds flock around the feeder. Mom would buy a nice feeder or sometimes make one out of a milk jug then fill it with a variety of seed to draw many different birds. We’d always have the usual juncos, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, blue jays, and house wrens, but the odd nuthatch, woodpecker, or some other less seen bird was always a surprise and a reason to pull our chairs up closer to the woodstove and window.

Those months were a time I learned about Paddington Bear and his wonderful tales and I soon started reading Walter Farley’s books too. My mother’s enthusiasm for the birds led me to finding more novels about animals such as Bambi and Bambi’s Children by Felix Salten. I’ve read both books three times, and since these books are so unique, I suggest every parent read them to their young children.

Such a simple pastime as watching birds frolic and eat at a birdfeeder mixed with my mother’s enthusiasm for books, wildlife and winter scenery played more in my desire to write than I ever thought possible.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shaw has had a rough life. Chased out of town years ago by one of the community’s leaders, Lizzy has finally returned. However, living with her virtuous grandmother exercises Lizzy’s patience, especially when Lizzy’s mother, who was an aspiring actress, tarnished her reputation by changing boyfriends as frequently as her nail polish.

Regardless, Daniel Rivers, the love she left behind, wants Lizzy back. He demands to know why she left town and why she never replied to any of his letters. Lizzy can’t let Daniel know her secret, but she can’t resist his crooked smile and warm, brown eyes either. Sparks fly between the couple, but Lizzy is determined not to make the same mistake with Daniel. However, when Lizzy is kidnapped by one of her mother’s old boyfriends, it puts life in a different perspective for Lizzy and she realizes she must tell Daniel about his son.

Can Lizzy resist the lure of Daniel’s touch, the way her entire body responds to him every time he glances her way? Or will the truth about Daniel’s son tear them apart a second time?


Tess MacKall said...

Awwww...Paddington Bear. Love that bear. So did my kids. The first story that was ever read to me as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit. And THAT is what clicked my imagination. I was reading long before first grade. And started writing my own stories in third grade. By seventh grade I was writing stories about boys and girls that were being passed around amongst all my friends--and, of course, they were romances! LOL

We get it honestly, don't we? What we read as children starts us out and then we naturally gravitate toward the end result, don't we?

Love all your books, Faith. You are an amazing author.

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

Thank you, Tess. You're a peach and back atcha re you're work too. I mean it, you're an awesome author too.

Janice Seagraves said...

Bambi had children? I didn't know there was more books.

You had a nice growing up. Thank you for sharing.


Gayle said...

I didn't know that Bambi had children either. How'd I miss that? As far as Paddington Bear...I never read that one. As far as the rest, it sounds like you had a great time growing up.

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

Yes, I have amazing parents who mean the world to me. They raised me as best as they knew, but since I'm an only child, I suppose I was a bit spoiled in may ways too.

Yup, there's a sequel to Bambi called Bambi's Children and it's just as excellent.

P. Robinson said...

My mother is a bird watcher. She fills the feeders up weekly and throws bread out daily. They roost on the lines outside her front door and make noise if she is late. Hummingbirds are her favorite.

I'm hoping to build her a screened in porch soon so that she can sit out there and watch her birds. Activities today are all so 'mechanical' it drives me nuts.

Great post Faith!

wanda f said...

I love to watch the birds we get alot of gold finches they are so pretty

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

Kissa, my grandmother used to have such a porch with hummingbird feeders near the windows. I hated it when my grandparents moved out of that house.

We love watching the hummingbirds here too. I have a windchime on my side porch that's so bright the hummers come up to it thinking it's food, lol.

Hi Wanda. We have those finches here too. I especially love catching a glimpse of a true blue bird, and I once saw a Scarlet Tanager in the woods (they migrate to the U.S. in the spring) and was in awe of the vivid scarlet color.