Girl’s night out

My wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, and some assorted friends went to the movies tonight. Something-or-other part two. This left me to my own devices.

I had another vignette from Lorelei, and wanted to write it down. It's not my normal fare, because nothing abnormal happened. I just wanted it out of my system. I kind of hoped it would be my post for tonight. (I'm saving my speculative stuff for a book of short stories.)

I got hung up on a bird call, of all things. It would have been a cool spice to the story, and for the life of me, I could not find the name of this bird. He has a distinctive call that you regularly hear out in the pine forest. I searched for two hours. You writers know exactly what I mean.

This bird has a three note call. Two midrange whistles, followed by one a note lower. It's almost mournful sounding. We used to call them whiskyjacks, but that is a different bird. The song sounds like whis-kee-jack.

I stormed around, and Lisa called me to the writing cabin. I went out there, and intended to work on a half finished short story. I kept thinking about that damned bird. Finally, I opened up my novel. It's pretty exciting right now, and I didn't have any problem on it. I managed almost two thousand words before the girls came home.

That damned bird will haunt me for weeks now. Still, new words on the novel, even if there aren't a ton of them.

Have any of you ever struggled to research something you know exists? Did you spend hours wasting your time with no results? Do any of you know what that damned bird is? I spent hours listening to various kinds of sparrows and small owls online.



Filed under Writing

39 responses to “Girl’s night out

  1. I’ve never heard of a whiskey Jack, but I saw their images online. Maybe you can find a link on the images page for someone who is more knowledgeable. Good to know you are getting some writing done. Zilch here.


  2. YES! Happens to me all the time! I’m always researching for my books or blog, it can take weeks, months before I find what I’m looking for. I was searching for a mythical place where the Tuatha de Denann were said to have made their first camp. I wanted to go there to create the setting for my first book. Had to give up in the end. Thought the name or info was lost in time. Then years later I was researching something else entirely, and there it was, the name of the first camp with a location, and the irony is, its not that far away from where I live! Still havent been yet though, but I will at some point. Things like that happen all the time… I love researching! Hope you find that damn elusive bird!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am constantly struggling with an elusive fact or name…. It’s an awful time waster! Sorry can’t help you with the bird…. Could it of been a pigeon, or a Jay. !! Good luck finding out! πŸ™‚


  4. I spend countless hours researching–both for my work and for things like you say that I just HAVE to find out about. I don’t know bird calls at all, and it drives me crazy. Yesterday, there was a bird singing right by an open window. I looked out, but I couldn’t see it. I think it was in a bush.The birds are singing away right now–I have no idea what kind. πŸ™‚

    I once did research on bird calls and how birds learn, and birds from different regions–even nearby neighborhoods–can have different calls.

    Let us know if you find your bird! I guess you’ve looked at the Cornell site?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I immediately started googling three note bird sounds just now, then realized how ridiculous that was, having not heard your call, then started trying to find the two note call I used to hear as a kid on walks with my grandfather. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I feel your pain! I’ve spent hours on things like this. Whiskey Jack’s are also known as a “Gray Jay”. Does that help? Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember spending 30 minutes researching what peacocks eat and how far they can fly. Spontaneous need for information. Now I’m really wondering what that bird is. There’s a site I just found called Xeno-Canto, which is a bird song database. Good luck with the mystery.


  8. I can relate! We have a ton of birds around our homestead because of the grove. There’s one bird that sounds like a dripping faucet. It does! Bloop, bloop, bloop. Every summer I hear it, and waste a couple hours trying to find it. Wish I could actually see it. Thanks for the site ref, Charles! I’m headed over there now (setting timer so I don’t waste too much time πŸ™‚ )

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Have any of you ever struggled to research something you know exists?”—Absolutely. Of course, I can’t remember any specifics now, but I remember how frustrating it is. I’ve also fallen into the research black hole. One click of a link leads to another leads to another and so on and so on, until before you know it, there’s no time left to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Even now, I’m chasing down a dragon folk tale, set in England. There’s a particular place that was supposed to hold a dragon’s den, but all I have is the name, not the legend. It is frustrating!


  11. I DO know what it’s like to research something endlessly, and I do it all the time! Just recently a plant, before that an artist, before that a recipe — because we do want the exact thing, not some version or some vague concept of it, we want facts, truth, real knowledge. Good luck with your bird.

    My daughter and her friend tried to see somethin or other part two and both evening showings were sold out. She’s gone to try again, I hope it pans out!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hate it when that happens. Have you tried a different search engine. I’d been looking for a doll for years. Finally decide to try a new search engine and there she is.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yep, I actually have spent way too many hours researching something like that. I know I’m getting to this post late… I hope by the time I’m caught up, you’ve found the name of the bird!

    Liked by 1 person

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