When I write a story, I have a very hard time letting it go. When it’s in my head, it’s all mine – mine to love, mine to mold, and mine to protect. However, stories are at their best when shared, and as the stories I’ve written come to greater form, I’ve made it a point to talk about them more with others (one of the reasons I started this blog was to increase my comfort in sharing my writing).
My initial hesitance with sharing is admittedly rooted in fear, fear that the stories I love so much won’t be quite as loved by others. I don’t expect every word I write to be read with steadfast devotion, but I have the fear every writer has of something that means so much to them being outright rejected by everyone else. My rational side knows this isn’t true, but fear is not rooted in the rational.
Still, it is a fear I must face, and one that ultimately subsided in favor of wanting to share things that mean a lot to me with others. As I’ve shared my work over the past couple years, I’ve happily found most of my fears to be unfounded. Further, I find great satisfaction in discussing these stories with people, getting their ideas and seeing how the stories are interpreted by others.
What, however, does any of this have to do with crows? Well, one of my favorite things to come from sharing my writing is receiving asides from my friends that relate to the stories I’ve shared. They saw something, and they thought of the story and/or me, and sent it my way. This has happened a few times with The Crow’s Gift. The cover artist I’m working with told me that as he finished up his email discussing our work, a crow flew by his window; and we joked about that moment of kismet. Another friend of mine, the first friend I shared the story with, sent me the following tweet with no other message:
I witnessed a murder. pic.twitter.com/hwEBx3Rq7H
— Neil Serven (@NeilServen) February 8, 2017
My friend and editor also sent me the following story from Reddit user pinball_schminball:
“I used to live near a crow-hangout and occasionally smoke cigarettes on the balcony. I would put my pack on the railing while I did. In the meantime I would hand the cellophane and gum wrappers and sometimes snacks to the crows that would come sit on the balcony with me.
One day I went on vacation for 3 days and when I came back there were multiple empty packs of cigarettes on the balcony. I assumed that maybe the neighbor that was watching the house was just hanging out on our nicer balcony or something but turns out no, he wasn’t. They kept appearing, too.
Turns out I caught one of the crows bringing them. They didn’t know what they were but they knew that I often had one on the railing while being out there and I was their friend so they would bring them to the porch.
I was trying to quit. The less often I went out, the more packs appeared. I feel bad for whoever moved in after i left.”
“By the way,” my editor said when she sent it, “I came across this post on Reddit and thought of your first story. Thought you might enjoy that.”
I did enjoy it, and very much. Such asides make me happy because, in a small way, they show the story living with others the way it lives with me – something all of us can share.