Writing Is For The Birds

Writing is for the birds


I’m finally working on a new book and thought I’d found the perfect place to write—at the beach on a long, lonely pier. As far as I could see in either direction was nothing but sand and water, well, with the exception of three dolphins fishing for lunch in the water beneath me. Ah, yes, the perfect spot for writing.

A glorious spot to set out the old laptop. The ocean waves were mesmerizing. The sun was warm. Salt water splashed onto the sand, leaving behind soft, sizzling foam. Nope, there was nothing to distract me. Nothing could come between me and my characters. Well, nothing but a lone crow that wouldn’t take no for an answer.

The critter wanted more than to read over my shoulder. It wanted food and I’d come empty-handed. So, as punishment, the bird summoned a few friends to be sure that not one word would ever leave my fingertips.

First one, then two. Then came another and another. Different sizes. Different colors. Didn’t matter. They just came. Whizzing by my head. Darting between my feet. Hopping onto the bench and railing beside me.

Flying overhead, dropping little “Go away!”messages.

And if one left, two took its place.

Soon it was 1963 all over again. Birds of different feathers had begun to flock together. And they were everywhere!

The noise was deafening. Squawks and caws. Incessant chattering. Wings beating like parade drums. Screeching and screeching. Eardrum-piercing screeching! Closer and closer they came. No fear.

Beaks like sharpened spears, aimed at my thumping heart.

They marched and came at me like tireless zombies. They were terrifying.

I expected to look over the railing and see Alfred Hitchcock, or Poe, strolling along the beach.

Wait, did that bird over there just say, “Nevermore?” Was this how it was to end?

I’m not sure about the end being near, but this bird was definitely laughing when I finally surrendered and grabbed my things to leave. After all, they’d only allowed me to sleep for ten short minutes. But what a dream…

16 replies
  1. Heather M
    Heather M says:

    Reminds me of the birds on Folly Beach in SC. At the pier restuarant, if you eat outside, you either guard your fries and be ready to fight for them OR you share. The birds there have no problems with dive bombings, sneak attacks, etc. The best solution I’ve found is to order a plate for them and put it on the table farthest from you. ;o)

  2. KD Easley
    KD Easley says:

    I decided to lunch on the beach one afternoon. I tossed down a towel, opened my lunch and here came a seagull. A few minutes later a few more arrived, then a couple more, then they started arriving in squads. They surrounded me in a circle, making noise and scratching the sand with their scaly bird feet and slowly, slowly they closed in on me. They contracted the circle closer and closer. I couldn’t get a way, so I just kept eating faster and faster trying to finish my food before they got me. I shooed them away, but they came back closer numbers still increasing. I had no idea until then that gulls could be so menacing. I never tried to have a nice relaxing lunch on the beach again.

  3. Ellie
    Ellie says:

    Funny – but scary. I remember being on a Florida beach once where dozens of vultures perched on every square inch of an abandoned, rusty old pick-up truck. I didn’t have the nerve to get close and see what was inside – but it did spark my creative juices!


  4. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Nope, no longer a 9-5er. Now, since I write, I’m a 6am-midnighter. The hours suck, but it’s a great job. Besides, it’s a lot safer using paper and ink bullets.

  5. J.D.
    J.D. says:

    It appears you are retired; at least it seems you no longer work as a policeman or a nine-to-fiver. You are living in paradise. Isn’t it interesting that given those circumstances you still feel the need to write.

  6. Maggie Toussaint
    Maggie Toussaint says:

    Hi Lee,

    I’ve had that experience, too. So many birds, so many scary flashbacks to the Hitchcock movie. One thing I’ve noticed is that all the birds point their faces into the wind. They’ll stand at first, then they’ll nest down on the surface making you feel like you’re the intruder.

    The Wal-mart parking lot over in Brunswick has a definite “The Birds” vibe. I came out of the store last week and hundreds of birds sat on two cars, and one of them was mine. I shooed them all away and then looked over at the other car. The lady was sitting inside, laughing. she asked if her car was covered in bird pooh. It wasn’t, which struck me as funny. Then I remembered I had a camera in my cell phone, so I snapped a pic of her car, thinking to write a post like yours one day.

    Ya just never know!

  7. Falcocop
    Falcocop says:

    It’s no good Lee, what with all these birds and Gators and all the other wildlife I will have to come Stateside very soon.

    Best wishes


    “I see dead people”

  8. SZ
    SZ says:

    ps It is bird city here ! We get feral cherry headed parrots. Now the blue scrub jays and squirrels come. The parrots will eat out of your hand and some of the jays and squirrels do now as well. Love it !

  9. SZ
    SZ says:

    Did I miss something ? Is book one published ? (aside from the writer guide already in possession)

    How can you say you got nothing done ? I would weave the above story into a chapter of said book you are working on now some how !

  10. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    No, Melanie, I didn’t write a single word. I spent my time enjoying the scenery…and ducking birds.

    LR – I went home for lunch, where I was quickly overrun by squirrels leaping from the palm and live oak trees onto our roof. Sounded like the Kentucky Derby from inside. Wasn’t a Dr. Doolittle day for me.

  11. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Tee hee! This is hilarious! Not for you, I’m sure… birds flocking around like that creep me out, too. But still this is a great post. Did you get anything written at all while taking all the bird pics? lol

  12. LR Hunter
    LR Hunter says:

    Zombie birds, what an experience. Love the photos and text. With the beach so deserted of humans, the birds must have been competing with each other for your lunch. Did they follow you to the local cafe? Thanks for the post–it was fun!

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