Monday, April 28, 2008


When I returned from a school visit trip last month, Jerry told me, "Honey, I fixed your birdhouse while you were gone."

"Birdhouse?" I have a lot of birdhouses, but I didn't know any of them had broken.

He pointed to the birdhouse hanging from the porch cover.

"Jerry, that was a bird feeder."

"It was?" He shrugged. "Well, it's a birdhouse now."

I was a little miffed, thinking of how I'd miss watching the birds glide into the feeder. They ate with such abandonment, they didn't notice me observing them from my kitchen window. I enjoyed the intimate view. Now that would never be.

Then last week, I stepped onto the porch and noticed a chickadee escape from the new birdhouse. A peek inside the structure proved delightful moments can happen from accidents.

Often when writing historical fiction, I stumble on a fact that interrupts my foreseen journey. Sometimes it's the tiniest detail that ruins my story's plot. For a while, my confidence is shaken and I feel defeated. Then the same fact that dents my plan offers me something fresh and exciting. I'm reminded that discovering the story we're meant to write almost always means changing our original plans along the way.

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