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  • J. Darris Mitchell

Semipalmated Plovers are cute AF

ON Desk

I did it, I did it! I finished writing The Crane and the Wolf during my week off in July! Its still very much in its rough state, but the draft is done! I’ll probably give it another week to stew its own juices then start the time-consuming process of revision. But good news on that front! This story is about 40,000 words as opposed to A Crown of Cobwebs which was 175,000. That means less editing, less revision, less time until its out, and ultimately, a lower price for you!

By the way… you do know you can get a copy of A Crown of Cobwebs FOR FREE, right? Just follow this link to smashwords, and get yourself a copy of the ebook. Write a review, post it, email me, and wow I’ll even send you a hard copy (While supplies last!). Rather than doing BUY IT NOW SALES I’m hoping that people will pay what they wish. Naïve? Definitely. Should you take advantage. I mean… probably? Wait, NO! You should just buy the hardback. It’s so much sexier.


Currently, I’m back to ghostwriting and its strangely awesome. Sometimes I get frustrated that I put in all this time and energy into someone else’s career (20k words/week!) but most of the time I try to look as it as a paid apprenticeship. I get to practice writing compelling characters, intriguing settings, setting up events and following through on them, all without fear of judgment or the work being ‘good enough,’ for the reader. My goal is always to please my client, and so far they have NOT ONCE asked for a rewrite, plus the last set of novels DID turn out to be best sellers on amazon, so uh, yeah, that was me bragging, sorry!


I would like to just write my own stuff one day though. Which is why I started doodling again on patreon. I totally stopped posting at all when the pandemic began, but hey lets make it happen! (doesn’t hurt that my son likes to draw now, so we can doodle together)


Personal Note

We took a weekend drive out to Reimer’s Ranch county park for a swim in a river that was eight feet wide and eight inches deep. It was heaven. We drove past the first parking lot because it was crowded with people not wearing masks. The second parking lot was better, but by the time we parked, unloaded the kids, and set off down the trail to look for birds, it was crowded too.


So when we made it to third parking lot and found it empty (because, well, I hate to be the one to tell you this but Americans can be really, really lazy) we took the baby out of stroller, strapped him to mama, and descended a path strewn with boulders and the thick gnarled roots of stunted live oak trees.


Ten minutes later we found ourselves at the river, hundreds of feet away from anyone else. Ahhh…. Success! While my darling wife and the babe splashed in the shallows, the three-year-old and I set off for a THE BIGGEST BOULDER HE HAD EVER SEEN. We made it to the top and looked out down the mostly dry riverbed. “I can see so far up here, Daddy.”

That’s great son, and I can see a black throated sparrow, so we good.

Bird of the Week

I went to Horbsy Bend and a saw a semipalmated plover. Plovers may be the cutest of all birds, and semipalmated must be Greek or something for really fucking cute. It looks like a beanie baby, or a CGI rendering of what cute birds are supposed to look like. Its adorable nature was not at all diminished by its current habitat, an evaporation pond filled with literal shit. While my son screamed about the stench and the flies (they’re not all biting flies, so I really didn’t see the problem) I focused my binoculars, tried to hold my breath, and took in the sweet, floofy goodness that is the semipalmated plover.

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