Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's All about the Feathers...

Part of the fun of writing "Home to Roost" was that I could include a bunch of 'extra characters' in my story... they were representing something I was missing in my daily life. Don't laugh... my chickens. 

Chickens, plural.

Four of them.

Yes, we used to have chickens at home. Four fluffy, brown mixed 'blood' chickens.
We started our familial love of the feathered beings when my son had his first summer as a Boy Scout Camp Counselor. Assigned to the nature lodge, he wanted to raised some chicks by hand. There were wild chickens in the woods, but catching them without hurting them was going to be an issue. So I found a hatchery, which by good fortune was only about twenty minutes from where we were living.
Two chickens went to Camp Pupukea and came home nearly ready to start laying eggs. They easily became part of our family, but a few months after they came home a neighbor reported a man who ran into our backyard and stuffed both chickens into his backpack and ran away.
My son was devastated.. those were his babies.. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were gone...

Left with a coop and saddened hearts, we didn't stay lonely for long. The hatchery had four extra chicks from a hatching and we took them home.

Things to know.
Keep those little ones warm. Using a desk lamp and the box they came in, we keep our little babies warm on the back porch until they were big enough to keep themselves warm.

When they start laying eggs. Don't leave the eggs in there for long before you remove them from the coop/hutch. If for some odd reason the eggs crack and they eat the insides, they'll develop a taste for it... yick. We found one of those long 'reach' helpers from the store and used those to retriever the eggs from the nesting area. Using your hand can open yourself up to a lot of pain.

Chickens give and receive. We gave them our kitchen scraps (make sure you check before you feed, not all scraps are good for your feathered friends) and in return our garden had free fertilizer. The pesky bugs were extra food for the ladies. And the shells from the eggs can be broken up (read pulverized) and mixed in with soil to add to the health of your yard.

It's a win win all the way around.

But what's the best part of it.. the chickens. Those crazy little cluckers. Two were fun, but four? Holy Cow! Those ladies were a hoot! A stray cat made the mistake of trying to attack one of them and got the receiving end of a whole bunch of angry beaks and a ruckus the likes of which I had never heard before! We never saw another stray cat in the backyard. Apparently, the frisky felines learned which yard to stay away from.

Don't get me wrong.. .those ladies were vicious! But they were also cuddly! They sounded differently when they saw me coming, or when it was my son or my mom. They sounded like they had completely different 'languages' for each of us. Two of them liked hugs. One couldn't be bothered for human contact unless you had a scoop of food in your hand. The last was a crazy little thing who probably had half a brain cell in her head.. but she was a hoot.

They were a ton of fun. They were part of the family, but when we had to move to an area that wasn't rural/animal friendly, we had to give them up. The hatchery found a farmer who had a big coop and a huge yard and wanted more chickens... we all cried the day they went to their new home, but a few days later, we got a call from the farmer. He'd never seen such odd little chickens... well, I guess when you're a part of my family you absorb the crazy.

When I joined in to write a story for the 'Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs' I knew I had to write about chickens, so Quinn ended up having a big ol' flock of feathered friends. The big difference with my life was that we didn't have a rooster at home. We didn't want chicks... just the eggs.

Writing "Home to Roost" gave me the ability to visit with my little feathered friends, if only in my memories and my imagination. I enjoyed my little foray into the world of Livingstone Quinn and his little mud-covered 'Birdie,' Brigid Belham.

I hope you'll get to know my couple and their dozens and dozens of feathered family members!

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Love - Romance - Books

Aren't they all the same thing?

Oh, I sure hope so! 

I've been reading romance books for what seems like forever. When I was a teen, the days that I wasn't in dance class after school I'd go to the mall to wait for my mom to finish work for the day and my haunt of choice... Waldenbooks. (I think I just showed my age there.)

Whether it was Scottish Lairds, Medieval Knights, Regency Gents, Rough and Tumble Cowboys, or handsome modern Heroes, I loved them all! There was always another hero and heroine to follow through page after page of breathless love!

I really hope that my readers will enjoy some of the same thrills as discover characters to love between the pages of my books.

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  1. While I don't like chickens (grew up with them and it just didn't take),this was charming. I know others who enjoy our feathered friends. Thanks and good luck on this story. Doris

  2. Loved this. I also wrote about a character who liked chickens, but I didn't write about the chickens themselves. If I ever do again, I will give them personalities like you described in your post. How fun! Reading your book now and loving it.

  3. Reina -- thanks for sharing your life with chickens! I loved learning all about it. As someone raised in the city, I loved going to my grandmothers. Once,in the winter, she had an entire brood of baby chicks that she kept in her kitchen to keep them warm. Your book sounds like a fun read!