I just chased an intruder out of my house. Before anyone begins worrying about my safety or congratulating me on my bravery, I should add that the intruder didn't weigh more than a few ounces.
It was a small brown bird--I have no idea what kind. To my father's dismay, my birdwatching skills never progressed much beyond identifying the really obvious birds--cardinals, blue jays, titmice, chickadees, and such. He was very fond of all the small brown birds--wrens and sparrows mostly--and took pride in being able to identify them. Me--I just know it was a small brown bird. Possibly a house wren or house sparrow trying to live up to its name.
I'm hoping it flew into the house when I took out the trash a little while ago. The only other logical possibility would be that I've got a hole in my house that's big enough to let in birds, and that's an unappealing idea. But also an unlikely one. The woodpecker has been pecking another hole in my siding, but I think I'd have noticed if he'd broken through to the inside, opening a highway for every wren, sparrow, and squirrel in the yard.
I managed to trap the intruder in the bathroom with an open window, and went away for ten or fifteen minutes to allow him to fly out. When I peeked in again, I saw that he was ignoring the temptingly open window and settling in for the night on the top of the glass shower enclosure. He seemed more interested in getting back out into the bedroom than in vacating the house, so I shut the door and went looking for tools. The yardstick was too short, but the extensible ceiling duster could reach to the far wall of the bathroom, and I didn't figure there was much danger of hurting him with the fluffy end of it, so I stuck it in and waved it around until he got the hint. Exit one bird.
Was it just my imagination, or did he look more cross than frightened? Why am I imagining several hundred small brown forms who have established squatters' rights in someone's little used media room, and are rewatching the last half of The Birds to work up their collective courage to retake my living quarters?
It's the drugs. Over-the-counter drugs, I hasten to add; Sudafed and Benedryl and all the helpful pills and potions modern medicine has invented to cope with the common cold. If I've been silent lately, that might be a good thing, because when I have a cold, I get just a wee bit grouchy. Okay, I turn into Scrooge, especially this time of year.
But my spirits took a turn for the better this morning when I got some good news--The Penguin Who Knew Too Much has been nominated for the Lefty Award! Of course, as one would expect, it's up against some excellent books by friends, so we're hoping for a multiple tie. (For a full list of the Lefty nominees, along with the Arties and the Rockies, see the Awards Page of the Left Coast Crime 2008 site.)
And for anyone who thinks I've been too silent of late . . . check out my recent blog on the Femmes Fatales blog -- all about "Trying on Other People's Lives." I've also done not one but three interviews on other sites or blogs recently. Luckily the three interviewers didn't ask many of the same questions, so it was pretty easy to make sure all three were quite different.
First G.M. Malliet interviewed me for the Inkspot, a blog for authors published by Midnight Ink. (Her first book, Death of a Cozy Writer, is due out in July.) Part one was published on November 21, and part 2 on December 26. . . and I won't tell you which part contains my thoughts on who should play Meg in the movie version, if someone ever decides to make a movie version.
See, not quite idle after all.