Thursday, January 28, 2016

My feathered friends and me

Osprey on a foreshore tree
I've got a thing about wild birds. If you're my friend on Facebook (and if you're not, you should be) I often share photos of my avian buddies. They're as close as I have to pets.

Anyway, what's that got to do with writing? Well you'd be amazed at what can prompt a writer. A couple of years back I wrote a long short story about Admiral Ravindra's tattoo. In his society admirals don't have tatts, you see. It was a plot point in Morgan's Choice, and I was prompted to explain how this quintessential admiral acquired a mark which was so far below his status.



You can see an approximation of the tattoo on the book's cover. It's a vulsaur, a huge, predatory bird native to Ravindra's home planet. I had a lot of fun writing this little story. And something I witnessed down at the beach helped me to flesh out one scene.

One regular photo opportunity at my local beach is an osprey. They're fairly big raptors that hunt in the shallow waters of the bay and perch in the trees along the foreshore. One day, I cam across an osprey taking a bath. It was for all the world like a big duck, fluffing up its feathers and splashing around in the shallows. When it was finished it held up its wings to dry in the sun. Then it took off from a standing start. It leapt into the air and swept those wings down hard to get lift, then turned and heading off. It was an amazing experience. Here are a few photos.
 

 


















So when I needed a scene where the vulsaur lands in shallow water, then takes off - I knew just how that would work. If you'd like a look at Ink, it'll set you back just US$0.99. You'll find it at Amazon  Nook Kobo Apple.

Oh, by the way, I'll be removing the Ptorix Empire Omnibus from sale at the end of January. So if that's your thing, get it while you still can. Available only on Amazon. Four full novels for $4.99. It's a bargain.





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