Quiet: I'm Trying to Write!
Yesterday around dawn, my husband and I woke to the sound of some insanely-loud crows. Turns out we had a murder of 'em (one never gets enough chances to use the collective noun for a grouping of crows) in and around the giant pine tree just behind our house.
While we're incredibly thankful to the tree for dutifully remaining upright instead of crushing us in our sleep during the recent hurricane, the crows congregating in its crown refused to shut up. All day long, they went on, cawing so furiously as I attempted to write that they began to remind me of a murder of (if the collective noun fits...) critics having a huge snarkfest -- or at the very least, those forces of resistance that absolutely hate to see a novel written.
I went out back a few times and stared up into the tree in an attempt to see if they were nesting up there, which might call for the purchase of sound-proof windows. I didn't see a nest, and the crows paid me no heed. They ignored the dogs, too, rather than swooping down and dive-bombing as they sometimes will when they perceive their young are threatened by a predator.
It wasn't until late in the day that my husband spotted the cause of all the commotion. Looking over from the angle of our neighbor's deck, he saw a huge owl roosting near the uppermost branches. A great horned owl, it turned out. After checking it out thoroughly with a pair of field glasses, we turned to Google to find out about the crows' behavior.
According to various bird sites, great horned owls kill roosting crows and young crows at night, so during the day, if a crow spots one near its territory, it raises a noisy alarm. So noisy that crows gather from miles around to mob and jeer and occasionally (emboldened by their numbers) dive and peck at the sleepy owl. According to the experts, crows -- which are about the smartest birds I know of -- do this to drive off the predator and protect their families.
Call me paranoid, but I have another theory. I suspect that poor owl up there is only trying to write a novel, and the voices of resistance know this must be stopped.
So which incarnations of resistance do you find most annoying as you try to write? Telemarketers? Naysaying relatives? Voices from past critics/rejections? Or the interruptions of your own kiddos, clamoring for attention?