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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Writers: Learn From the Woodpecker

The humble woodpecker (actually it's a flicker) is a bold messenger. He's not apologetic or ashamed to announce: "I'm here! All interested females, please line up."
We writers, on the other hand, tap out our announcements in the quiet and anonymity of our offices.
And when we judge that a bit of our writing might be worthy, er, maybe, uh perhaps, of an editor's critique, our fingers hover over the "send" button as if struck by palsy.
I've only been working on this one query for, like 120 weeks. But it's not ready yet. Still needs polishing. I don't know. What do you think? (I ask everyone.) Maybe I should change my intro and move this one phrase to the next sentence, then change this statement to a question, and write this one description in the omniscient.
Outside my office, the woodpecker continues to announce his amorous: rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat.
He's somewhere in the metal gutter just above the garage.
His rhythmic beat reverberates throughout the house, gets into my bones, rattles my cranium.
I go outside and crane my neck, searching for the bold bird.
There he is. He raises his head and shoots me this kind of New Jersey look: "You talkin' to me?"
Then he dismisses me and aims his beak back toward the gutter. Rat-a-tat-a-tat. Ladies, come and get it! I'm the best thing on two wings."
I march back into my office, aim my index finger, and hit "send."
A shadow crosses my window. The woodpecker has flown away.

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Psalm 56:3)


  1. Hi Dena -

    Love that scripture verse!

    I have a hard time sending my work out too. The eternal editor wants to fix, re-write, and slash even though editing isn't my favorite thing. I wonder if any writer every truly feels like their story is complete.

    Susan :)

  2. Susan, for me it's that fear of rejection, coupled with perfectionism.