Marvin the Manic Meadowlark

Marvin the Manic Meadow Lark or when is it time to throw in the towel?

For some reason, we attract the loony Meadow Larks. The sane ones go someplace else to live. For the last few years, we had a female who nested in the rain gutter by our front door. She wasn’t happy when people came in and out that door. Each year, her protests became more aggressive until people feared for their lives. Bet you haven’t ever heard the words aggressive and Meadow Lark used together.

Last year, she became so belligerent, we had to have her humanely put down. End of the Meadow Lark problems—until a few weeks ago. Enter Marvin.

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We have birds fly into our front windows all the time, usually when the light is right, and the window looks like a mirror. Marvin, however, is a little different. He’s started trying to fly through the window, the closed window, about every half hour.

After considering several suggestions, I taped paper over the window, the consensus being that he could see himself and was protecting his territory. He continued to try to enter around the edges of the paper. Silly bird.

Last week, he expanded his attempts. He tries the small window he first used then moves around the corner to the picture window. He flaps along, banging his beak against the glass. When he gets tired, he sits in the cottonwood tree and plots. We’re going on four weeks with Marvin blasting at the window every half hour. Now that’s perseverance . . . or stupidity, I don’t know which.

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What does this have to do with writing, you ask? You didn’t ask? Well, pretend you did. I have a book I wrote five years ago. It’s the first book I ever wrote, and it has a sentimental spot in my heart. The problem is it isn’t very good. It’s full of all the mistakes a new writer makes.

I’ve been attempting to revise this story for quite a while now. The characters are engaging and the story is pretty good, it’s just the writing that’s crap.

I’m kind of like Marvin in that I can’t seem to just quit with this book. I keep bashing my beak against the pages until I get tired and go sit in the tree (work on another book). Then a few days, weeks or months later, I’m back.

How do you know when to give up and just hide a book under the bed? Have you ever totally rewritten a book you loved?