Monday, February 8, 2016

Sharing A Passion by Nancy LiPetri

I'm excited about Feb. 12th-15th! If you're one of the other 85 million Americans who shares my
passion, then you probably know what event I'm anticipating with camera, binoculars and seed ready: the annual Great Backyard Bird Count . . . or GBBC, as the cool people call it.  Here in Charlotte, North Carolina, we were 2nd on last year's list of localities submitting the most checklists in the country.

Cedar waxwing
Others of you who don't really care about the difference between a chickadee and a nuthatch, or a Bohemian waxwing and a cedar waxwing (shown left, in my tree last year) might assume we birders are a bunch of nutty nerds. After all, there was an entire Hollywood movie, The Big Year, that poked fun at the competitive obsessive type.

Having said that, though, I have to admit I call myself a bird nerd. But I do so in the hopes that, as with fictional characters, it makes me a bit more interesting. Hopefully the mix of my other traits and interests (e.g., boater, stand-up paddle boarder, horseback rider) combined with a fascination with migration patterns and species differences, is more intriguing than bland.

 It's the same reason I love to see writers weave their own hobbies into their stories. Like discovering the NFL's Rosie Greer enjoys needlepoint (yes, I'm old enough to remember that), non-stereotypical combinations of traits bring personalities to life.

Of course those of us who give our multi-dimensional characters our own interests face another problem: people wonder how else the writer is like the murderer/adulterer/sociopath or crazed writer in the story.

If you're an author, what hobbies do you bring into your writing? I know some other Oak Tree Press novelists include birding (a witty rabbi springs to mind). And as a reader, is there a hobby/passion you'd like to see represented more in fiction?

Nancy LiPetri, author of The Wooded Path. Read more about my writing at my blog.


Nancy LiPetri said...

Thanks to Nancy J for the excellent formatting and inclusion of extra photo and links!

JL Greger said...

I liked your blog. If you like birding you might like Bosque d'Apache (a little south of Socorro in New Mexico).

On Saturday, I watched over a thousand white geese sit in a pond there.The air above them looked like O'Hare Airport at rush time. Geese in groups of about fifty were stacked up circling above them. Each group seemed to wait it turn to land. The group highest in the air looked like bits of white tissues fluttering. When a group landed those on the water honked more loudly and shoved a bit in in direction.

Not surprisingly, men and women with cameras that looked like bazookas snapped photos constantly. It was impressive.

JL Greger, author of the thriller I Saw You in Beirut

JMF said...

Love your blog!! You make me want to pursue "nerdy" birdwatching, as well as read your novels!!


Nancy Jacoby said...

Citizen science is doing great things for wild birds and wildlife. You might find this interesting:

And I was happy to provide assistance in getting your post set up. Thanks for writing, Nancy L.!

Nancy J.

Nancy LiPetri said...

Thanks for giving me another birding destination, Janet. The last new such place I tried was Merritt Island, FL, over Christmas, and it was absolutely worth the trip. Such fun to explore new places.
Thank you, JMF :)
And Nancy J, I am nerd enough to be familiar with those various maps at AllAboutBirds. They ARE great! I'll be looking at more maps and lists during the bird count. Hope some of you get to enjoy contributing counts, too--it's fun and easy for all interest levels :)

Billy Beasley said...

Love it Nancy.. I really enjoy your bird photos on Facebook.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Loved the blog post, Nancy. As you know, I'm into birds, too, and included Ravens in my last book. We have trouble keeping the deer from eating all the birdseed and peanuts we put out for them. People in Ouray also do the bird counting, but I'm not one of them. We have some sort of rare bird that nests in the walls of our Box Canon Park, near the falls. Since I can't tell you what the exact name of it is, you will know I'm not ready for Audobon yet.

Nancy LiPetri said...

Thanks, Billy--we sure do have fun birdwatching in NC, don't we! I need you to get the coastal counts for us ;)
Jackie, I loved the significance of the raven in Footprints! Talk about photos on Facebook, your wildlife and mountain photos are fabulous. Thanks again for visiting the blog!

JS Quelch said...

Nice Blog Nance. I volunteer for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas program that strives to identify and count the dozens of species that nest in Wisconsin over the summer. Glad to see similar interests in other parts of the country!

Nancy LiPetri said...

Sounds like a great program up in Wisconsin, JS. Bet you have many GBBC participants in that group!