Hummingbirds are back!

I’ve had my hummer feeders up for about two weeks, but only one, and it was kind of tucked away where it would be hard to find–not really in my line of sight.  But this last Friday, I was startled at the small hovering shape zipping from the slice of orange I have out for the orioles  I wasn’t sure if it was a hummer or not.  (It could have been a pixy, you know.  :-) )  But I put out the real, serious feeders, and sure enough, one showed up yesterday, sipping from the two feeders outside my window, then darting immediately around to the side yard where I had one up as well.  It was a nice, bright male, and he’s setting up territory for the coming females.

I’ve not had a lot of success with birds since moving, mostly, I think, because the yard has been bare of low bushes and shrubs, and seeing a returning bird who knew where all the old feeders were last year is a great feeling.

Work is going good, and I should finish up the editorial rewrite for EVER-AFTER today.  It’s been kicking my ass, but I won in the end because I’m in charge of the muse, not the other way around.  I’m taking Friday off ’cause I broke my rule and worked through entirety of last weekend on this.  (I felt like such a bad mom/wife, but they were both understanding.)  And guess what?  It’s supposed to be . . . sunny!  I.  Can.  Not.  Wait!  Both for the weekend and turning this back in so I can get right into the next.  I made some major changes in EVER-AFTER, with new chapters that gave more depth and maturity to a raw story, and I want to see what I did impacts the last two books.  Took someone out, beefed up someone I originally wanted as walkon-walkoff.  It got a little big for my liking, but I’m trying to cut as I go through it this last time this week.  I can trim an entire page from a 20 page chapter just by taking out unnecessary words and phrases, which can add up to 20 pages over the course of a manuscript, and I’m anxious to get to “the end” and see how well I did, word count wise.

41 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

41 responses to “Hummingbirds are back!

  1. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,
    I posted earlier but it seems to have vanished so I’ll try again…

    As I re-read THE OUTLAW DEMON WAILS, I had an idea(4 most dreaded words). Have you ever thought of doing a story about Rachel’s parents, Trent’s dad and maybe Takata? I think seeing them in their prime might be interesting.

    V^^^^V

    • Hi Vampy. I sketched out the story of Trent’s parents at the beginning of the Turn for a novella for the Harrison compilation, but it was too big for a novella, so it sits in the cabinet–for now.

    • Martin

      Will it ever get published?
      Martin

  2. Yes, it could’ve been a pixy.🙂
    Good for you taking charge and showing that book who is boss.. and also taking time to enjoy the beautiful weekend.
    ENJOY!

  3. Pat .

    I haven’t read “A perfect blood” yet, but I will. I found your site while searching to see if you had a follow-up to “Pale demon”. I love the series – thanks so much for writing them!
    We don’t get humming birds in New Zealand, but I did see one in California outside the bathroom window where I was staying in Aptos – amazing creatures.

    • Oh, how lucky you are, Pat! A lot of people who live in areas with humming birds never see one, and you got a look out your bathroom window!
      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the books. Thank you!

  4. Carmen Wilson

    Good luck with the hummingbirds. I just wanted to tell you, reading your daily notes makes my day! You one of my favorite five authors, You write so well that we your readers feel like Rachel and Jenks are alive and well and friends of ours. It takes a really gifted person to be able to pull that off and you really do. So thank you for the daily smiles you give me and thank you for each new adventure you give us, the last one was really good but I’m thinking Ever AFter is going to be even better. Enjoy your day off, You deserve it. Have a Happy Mothers Day Kim!!

    • Thank you, Carmen! I really appreciate that. These daily outreaches take up a chunk of my time, and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. 🙂

  5. Victoria Eskey

    We have bluejays and mockingbirds here. Not very many hummingbirds in Central Texas. My grandfathers house in Richmond had them in spades. They always seem to be a bright surprise when you see them.

    • There is a bluejay nesting in my side yard. I’m so excited. Not many people like them, but they are fabulous birds, and when they raid a nest, it’s because they are hungry, not board like my neighbor’s cats.

  6. James R Fox

    Hi Ms. Kim-its Jim from Warren. Wow! wish we could get hummers to come to my place. Smudge and Quigley can sit and watch the herds of sparrows we have here by the hour,along with the robins and crows. When one of the eagles from the wild life presrve come floating over the big clear areas we have here in the village, everyone tears for the woods beside us to hide(Eagles have 10 foot wingspan and never hunt in woods). Can you imagine an eagle targeting a sparrow? evidently they can.(The feral cats just duck under cars,dislike all that running I guess.)

  7. Martin

    When I was young, we had dozens, (hundreds?) of hummingbirds living around our summer house. Mom had a feeder in front of every window. She had to fill them every day. The stream of birds was constant, and the flashes of color, green and ruby feathers in the sun, was a delight. If a small boy was patient enough, he could sit on the window sill on the kitchen porch with his finger under the feeder, and hummingbirds would land on it to sip the sugar water; a ticklish pressure on the skin. In June it would take 15-20 minutes of patience. Later in the summer they would come almost immediately.
    Martin

  8. Kim!

    Oh my goodness it’s been so long and so much has happened. I graduated from college this week (just an Associate’s, but it’s a start). Ended with a 3.903 average because I broke under the pressure and got a C at the end of my last semester.

    Finishing school allowed me to finally finish A Perfect Blood. As always I loved the book, although I’m a bit disappointed with where some of the relationships seem to be going. Not in a bad way though… in a bittersweet way. In many ways my heart works like Ivy’s… and I truly believe she needs Rachel’s strength. But moving on…

    I hope everything’s been okay with you. I’ve only checked posts here spottily. Good luck with the hummingbirds. My Nana used to feed the hummingbirds. I always found it fascinating and somewhat peaceful… which means in my youth I spent about .0000000023 seconds watching before I ran off to do something else (my attention span is a bit like Rachel’s).

  9. Yay for the birds! I really enjoy looking at them. Hummingbirds are especially pretty. I hope they nest really close by so you can see them!
    We’re having a very nice weather around here though it’s still cold in the morning we’re been having around 16/17C during daytime and even hotter in the sun!
    Take some pics whenever you can! I love your pics!!

    p.s.: I haven’t been commenting and been up to my elbows in work but I keep reading! I read daily!😉

    • I could be wrong, Flo, but I think the hummers are nesting about a block away in the scrub. Still, it’s nice to see them just that little bit.

  10. cheri rouse

    I am reading your last book know, and can’t weat untill you finish the next. But I live with a ex-writer and understand it takes time to write a very good book. I am glade you have birds coming back. They are a joy to watch. We have a small family right out side our window, we watch each generation grow-up and come back the next year. It’s wonderful.
    clr.

    • James R Fox

      Hi Cherie-its Jim from Warren. I know what you mean. When I had my house in Youngstown,Ohio, I had a family of Cardinals that nested every year in the buckeye tree in my back yard. Its the thing I miss most about living here in my apt in Warren, but my doc says I;ll never do stairs again after two strokes, so I’m here in the retirement village in Warren,(The first place that would let me bring my cats, I’ve had my old Smudge 15 years last january and Quigley 8 year in july)

    • Oh, the time it takes. If only I could write them as fast as some of you read them! 🙂 But yes, it’s moving forward.

  11. Yeah for the Hummingbirds! I am so glad that it finally appears to be spring in the state of Michigan!

    i cannot wait for the next book!

    • I once lived in an area where they gathered to cross one of the great lakes, and we’d go up sometimes and birdwatch. I think my mom was more interested then me, though. I was always about what was around the next bend, then what was at the top of that tree.

  12. rebnkc

    Plant zinnias, they are easy to grow, just throw out some seeds and cover with a little dirt. You’ll get humming birds and gold finches, and bumble bees. The gold finches will sit on on top of the flowers and pick the petals off to get to the seeds, and you’ll have pretty flowers to look at all summer.

  13. Diva

    Now I’m going to totally pretend that my hummingbird feeders are also feeding pixies. 🙂

    Is this the last re-write for Ever-After or is there still one more to come? And the person you took out, was it a new someone or someone we’ve met previously but maybe haven’t seen in awhile? I’m just still so excited that we’ll be getting this next book a month early.

    • Aren’t they, Diva? -grin-

      Hopefully this is the last rewrite, but then there will be the copy edit and then the page proofs. I took Wayde out of this one and used his parts to beef up a few other characters. I’m going to miss him. Oh, he’s alive, just not in the story. -grin-

  14. I put out a hummingbird feeder last year and saw nary a one. I do have a ton of cute little gold finches. I am sure you have them in your area. I hung a finch feeder on one of those tall metal flower basket hangers. You must use only thistle (not the mixed seeds) and I tie a scrap of yellow cloth on it to get them to notice.They are fun to watch and a nice bright addition to your yard. Enjoy your day off!

    • You might try again, Colleen. If you don’t change the sugar water frequently, they will try it and never come back.
      I like the finch feeders too.

  15. Zeenat

    I’ve noticed with my fun creative writing, I tend to write in past progressive a lot. I take out all the had/have/was and use active verbs, then I save like a full page for a 10 page thing. It’s funny how that happens🙂

    I hope you enjoy the sun!

    • Yep. I tend to write in past third person when I do dialog, and then have to switch everything over. I agree it’s amazing how it can shrink like that.

  16. Brenda M

    I put my hummingbird feeders out over the weekend, but no hummer sightings yet. I did see a grosbeak in my feeder the other day. He has been stopping by for the last three years for a day or two before heading farther north.

    Lots of goldfinches and house finches hanging around now, which are outnumbered at least 5-1 by sparrows!

    Love relaxing in my backyard watching birds and enjoying my flowers! So relaxing after spending an entire work day indoors staring at a computer and books!

    • Oooo, Grosbeaks! We had a flock one winter that parked it at our feeder. I got to know them pretty well, and then they vanished and I only ever see one every couple of years or so. Big chunky birds. 🙂

  17. Steve Kennedy

    No Hummers here in Utah yet. Another month should do it. I think I need to slow down my reading so Im not tapping my foot waiting for your next one to release…lol..I’m burning through these like a Crack head smoking a ciggarette..Good luck

  18. denise selleck

    Just wondering what time of hummingbird food do you use – do you make it yourself or a particular brand? Thanks!

    • denise selleck

      Typo – type not time LOL

    • purrfectkatus

      I make my own nectar by boiling 1/4 cup sugar with 1 cup water for one minute. Let cool completely before filling feeder. You do not need to add red food coloring to the water for the plants around it attract them and the feeder itself will attract them. For larger or smaller feeders it is always a 1:4 ratio of sugar to water. Do not use distilled water they need the minerals in the water. Also do not use honey because the bacteria could give them botulism even if boiled.

      If someone else has read otherwise to my info please let me know so I can be up to date on this. I am an avid bird watcher. My Mom and I just had a Northern Oriole pair aka Baltimore Oriole two days ago visit and last week a Rosie Breasted Grosbeak passed through to use us as a rest area/restaurant. I wish that there was not a screen that went across the whole window so I could have taken pictures of them at the feeders and the pair of orioles on the actual screen looking into our window, but my camera will not cooperate with the pixels on that level.

      My childhood home in Strongsville, that I am currently preparing to move into, has a Carolina Wren living somewhere in the trees there. How ironic since I just moved back from North Carolina after living in Charlotte and Spartanburg 5 years each.

      Happy Birding!

    • Brenda Mossbarger

      I use the same recipe for my hummingbirds and I also had a grosbeak pass through earlier this week. I haven’t seen an orioles in our yard since we’ve lived here. Not sure they like the environment.

      Dark-eyed junkos passed through earlier this year.

      It’s surprising the variety you can observe, even living in town.

    • Hi Denise. I make it myself with once cup of water and a quarter cup of sugar. You don’t need to color it as long as there’s something red on the feeder.