Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Late Night Party Ducks are go

Last night saw the panic of the Motley Crew -- this year's first group of ducklings. They had gone exploring, become separated from their mother and panicked. They could not figure out how to get out of the upper lawn enclosure. Mainly the upper lawn is closed, but as several members of the Drones Club decided to do walking along the wall and falling into the upper lawn area, we opened the gate. The MC wandered in. Their mother who is a good mother duck and perhaps over anxious began quacking, but the MC could not figure out how to get out and the mother did not think to go in.
My dh is not well versed in duck herding and so came back into report that the MC were huddled under a bush refusing to move and he had a headache from the noise.
To get ducks to move, you need to approach them from behind and drive them towards the goal. Otherwise they scatter.
I duly went out and tramped through the borders. It was not until the MC thought I would step on them that they broke cover and went out of the gate. Then I had to tramp through the long border and flush them out of there. Finally, they got the message and went and joined the mother duck.
After that it was round and round the duck house as the little ducklings decided it was their turn. Their mother shrugged and went to bed. The duckling eventually tired and went in their house to receive a quacking.
The thing that always surprises me is how well developed the social groupings are, and how they have such formalised rituals with head bobbings etc.

The Romance Readers Connection has done a lovely review for The Roman's Virgin Mistress. It says among other things: An intriguing novel, I found the details of Roman life fascinating. I had no idea that such strict values were enforced at that time. The love story between Silvana and Lucius was mildly complex, leaving the reader with a satisfactory sensation at the end of the novel. I truly enjoyed this story. Rating 4
So that made my day and helped to banish the Crows of Doubt.
Crows of Doubt always seem to flock fiercely when I am starting a new work. I think it may be because I can't just go back and edit, but actually have to forge ahead. At least, I know that my writing does touch readers eventually...but it is hard work.

Oh and my copy of India Grey's The Italian's Defiant Mistress has vanished from my TBR pile as my dd is busy avidly reading it. She is really enjoying it and was nearly late for school this morning because of it.


Ray-Anne said...

Hello Michelle. Love your post about your ducklings. My family had a smallholding at one time [with chickens, ducks, geese, pigs etc] and it was the best fun for us kids.
Please forgive me for being reassured that it is not just the new writers who see Crows of Doubt when starting a new book.
I am slowly realising that the work does not get easier the more you do. I am now on book 9, and still feel as though each new story has to be the most frustrating way of avoiding the ironing. Pity it is my life and my dream. What do they say? Upwards and onwards. LOL Ray-Anne

Michelle Styles said...

Oh I know, the feeling Ray-Anne, believe me.

I also find it areassuring that published authors go through revisions and traumas as well.

Actually I worry more if things go smoothly...The Crows of Doubt plague every time.

Unknown said...

Ray-anne, I love that thought about the ironing-- I think that sums up writing very well indeed! (But would have to amend 'upwards and onwards' to 'OUTwards and onwards' given the amount of chocolate I've had to consume to get this book written!!)

Michelle, I can't tell you how excited I was to hear that your lovely daughter is reading my book. (Add five years to her age and she'd be the perfect model for the heroine actually...!)

Michelle Styles said...

Not only reading it, India but discussing it. I am now under orders to read it next, so she can actually talk about it.
She loved it and loved how your heroine wanted to find out what happened to her sister etc etc. She also loved your hero.
Now if she will just give it back to me...

Kate Hardy said...

It's a really good book, Michelle - I thoroughly enjoyed it (waves to India). Your duckling tales are fab. I really think they should have their own page (and pics... hmm... you could get the ducklings to choose your winner from my blog party later this week...)

Ray-Anne - nope, it's not just new writers who get attacked by crows. My personal remedy for them involves major chocolate consumption, a cuddle from the dog and a Radley handbag...

In some respects it's a good sign because it means you're still striving to make the book better and haven't slipped into the arrogance trap.