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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happily Ever After or Positive Endings

Most of my books have what would be called the Happily Ever After ending, where girl and guy walk hand and hand into the sunset (not necessarily forever, since they're teens, but at least for the near future!). But a couple of my books do not have the traditional HEA ending. They are still postive endings, however. Or upbeat, or whatever you might want to call them. I even think (though I did not write) that in one book one of the couples will be together HEA eventually--after exploring other relationships. I don't write sad endings (at least, not yet) and I don't leave things completely hanging, such as the ending to the Sopranos series. That one really leaves what happens next to the imagination! In Gone With the Wind (Spoiler Alert for anyone who may not have read the book or seen the movie), Rhett leaves Scarlett and her next move is to decide to go to Tara to figure out how to get him back. This leaves the reader with imagining what might happen. I've read that Vivien Leigh and Olivia DeHavilland (from the movie) decided that Scarlett goes to a dinner party in Charleston 6 weeks later and wins him back. I like that theory! Funny thing, though, is that sometimes both HEA and and positive endings can be criticized. One reviewer thought one book was so HEA that it was unbelievable, while others thought that same ending was perfect. Also, that ending was a total surprise to some readers, while others figured who would end up with whom early on and rooted for the heroine to hurry up and make the right choice. :) So Happily Ever After or Positive, there's a reason an author had made the choice, and that is because the author thought it was the right ending for that particular story.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Squirrels versus Squirrels, and assorted other critters

There are gray squirrels and brown squirrels in my backyard, so there is a lot of competition for the sunflower seed hearts I put out on the deck rails each day. The grays are larger and often chase away the browns, but the browns are quick and manage to dash around enough to stake their claims to the food. I used to put just a couple of piles of seeds out, but lately have had as many as six "feeding stations." It seems the more piles of seed I put out, the more squirrels come to eat them! Then there are the jays and assorted smaller birds who flit in and out to get their share. There is a feeder with what is called "finch food" (assorted bird seed) and that gets a lot of action, but everyone seems to love the sunflower seed hearts the most! My cat loves to station herself at the sliding door that leads to the deck and peer out at all the action. I'm sure she feels that is safer than dealing with 5 or 6 squirrels all at once! I keep a water dish on the deck rail too, and it is fun to watch the squirrels and birds drink from it. They use the water dish year round, even when there is plenty of rainwater. Of course, I have to chop the ice out every now and then, but not too often, as it rarely gets that cold here. Still, I can't let the poor birds peck at ice when what they want is a drink of water. If anyone can scare away the squirrels, it is the occasional crow or five, who sometimes fly in to sample the menu. It is amazing to see them up close and realize just how big they really are. All in all, the various critters manage to get along well enough so that they all get a good portion of the available food. Nature at its best. ;)