With Baby Steps, Spring Comes on Tiptoes

Slowly, slowly Spring is tiptoeing into Maine. In May, she will be in a rush, but right now she is just leaving hints here and there.

The male goldfinches have begun their change from drab feathers to bright summer yellow. Not wanting to scare them, I took this picture through our dining room window. The bird on the left illustrates how the male’s feathers are becoming brighter. When I go outside to do yard work—another sign of spring—I always bring my camera, and I’ll try to get a better picture.

Speaking of which…when I was outside, I did get this picture of Mr. Cardinal, that red beauty who graces our yard. I was especially pleased to get him in a maple tree with its spring buds, also red.

When I turned my gaze downward, I was thrilled to see the green shoots of irises in my back garden. I so love this tender color of Spring.

Now that the snow is gone and we can actually reach our front deck, Clif and I figured it was time to take down the Christmas decorations, which were looking more than a little frowzy. We also put away the shovel and the blue bucket with salt—you can see a glimpse of them behind the wreaths. Farewell until next winter. We hope. πŸ˜‰

Finally, here’s a picture of a chipmunk that I took while I was resting on the patio and soaking in the birds and the trees and the natural beauty that comes from living on the edge of the woods. Truly a gift, one that gives in every season.


I am happy to report that this week I made good progress on my YA fantasy novel Of Time and Magic.

Word count this week: 6, 605

Total word count: 80, 789

Here’s a metaphor that describes how I feel with each book I write: When I start out, I’m leaving my safe port and heading out to sea. I know my destination, but I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get there. In the middle of the book, I am completely surrounded by water with no land in sight. I usually hit the doldrums, where I seem to make little progress. This winter, I was there for several months. But now, come spring, I’ve escaped the doldrums and can finally see land. I’m still some distance away, but I will soon be reaching the book’s ending port.

Onward this week to another 6,000 words. Or maybe even more.

58 thoughts on “With Baby Steps, Spring Comes on Tiptoes”

  1. Exciting signs of spring… I esp. like the cardinal surrounded by red maple buds. It is always a happy day when we put away the snow shovels!

  2. Hi, Laurie – Congratulations on your excellent writing progress.
    I am delighted that Spring has sprung for you and that your snow has finally left. I was 100% convinced that our snow left us in January never to return in 2022. But return again it did YESTERDAY – along with an 8-hour power outage. Mother Nature definitely has a mind of her own…and a wry sense of humour!

  3. Congrats on the progress on your book, Laurie! I know just what you mean about being mid-ocean and hitting those doldrums. Perhaps the experience is so vivid to me that that’s why I’m procrastinating over my next book?! As for your photos, I love the birds and the chipmunk, but I must confess I haven’t put away my shovel … yet. I want Spring to really be here before I do — can’t afford to jinx it, you know?!

  4. Beautiful signs of Spring Laurie, such a treat to see all the wildlife in your garden 🐿 and I love your metaphor of leaving port to sail to your next destination! πŸ’œ

  5. Sincere best wishes on finishing up your new book! I love the Cardinal. I sat outside today too enjoying the sun, but I didn’t see one bird. They ust have been visiting you. The neighbors across the street still have their Christmas wreath on the front door so you’re not alone.

  6. I’m so glad there are sights of both signs of spring and of land, Laurie. Your safe port awaits you whenever you arrive.
    I also love watching the goldfinches’ feathers become yellower by the day.

  7. I like your metaphor for writing a book, I feel sure many writers, who are seriously trying to write a book would take heart from your description of going through winter and feeling you are in the doldrums. Great description!
    I love your red cardinal, and how beautiful this bird looks against the winter garden.

    1. Thanks so much! It happens with every book I wrote. Part of the process, and I always get through it. Those cardinals are such a treat to have in the yard. They have a beautiful song, too.

  8. Your Spring seems to be a bit later than mine but I reckon I would prefer your snowy winter to our grey wet one. Lovely pictures of your birds – so colourful. And great news about the book. I love the sea voyage metaphore.

  9. Yay for spring! We’ve had a small family of house finches visiting our feeder this year and I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted a few gold finches as well. Aren’t they amazing? I suppose we should be taking our feeders down soon, but I can’t bear it. Time to plant sunflowers for the finches!!

    I’m happy to hear that your writing has been going well!

  10. We rarely get to see the goldfinches in their bright colors. When they join us during winter, they’re a bit drab. Sometimes they do begin to develop some of that gold before they leave, and that’s always a treat.

    Your photo showing the red bow and blue bucket made me smile. I went out this weekend to find some of our traditional spring colors: the bluebonnets and red Indian paintbrush. They’re always so pretty, whether in combination of covering fields with a single color, and I was lucky enough to find some nice ones. Stay tuned!

    If you get stuck while writing, I cam imagine you quoting, “I must go down to the sea again…”

  11. Love that cardinal! Out of interest, does the time of year affect the progress you make with your writing, or is it simply down to where you are within the arc of the narrative?

    1. Thanks for asking! No the time of the year doesn’t have anything to do with being in the doldrums. It is where I am in the arc of the narrative. In the middle, where I can’t see land. πŸ˜‰

  12. Thanks for the reminder to go outside and take down my wreaths, Laurie. Lol. I love the return of the birds and little critters, a true sign of warmer days ahead. And a great metaphor for how your writing process happens. I loved that. Glad your out of the doldrums!

  13. Wonderful photos and signs of spring!πŸ™‚ Chipmunks and cardinals always make me smile and we have a record number of finches visiting this year. We’ve put away the winter items, but have a chance for snow again next week. Enjoy spring and congrats on the writing schedule!πŸ™‚

  14. Your bird photos are indeed beautiful. (And I didn’t know that goldfinch colors fade! Thank you for passing on that tidbit.) I appreciate the tiny iris geysers amid the leaves: contrasts enrich my perspective!

    Your metaphor for writing is apt and encouraging. Sail on!

  15. On on! Laurie!
    Such lovely visitors you’ve had this week. Thank you for sharing them.
    Spring is truly here if you’ve put away the last of your Christmas decorations, right?

  16. I love the chippie! Our Dutch iris have already started blooming here.

    I am glad you can see land now regarding the book. Looking forward to it!

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