By Ariella Moon
Spring has arrived in Southern California. Blooming orange and grapefruit trees, still heavy with fruit, perfume the air. “Snowbirds” from the Midwest and Canada crowd local swimming pools and grocery store parking lots. And a tiny mother hummingbird has returned to nest in my patio.
Mama Ava hummingbird (I’m a writer, and thus feel compelled to name every sentient being.) symbolizes not only Spring, but perseverance. Last year, she built her wooly little nest against the metal side of my wind chime. The precarious location swayed in the wind, grew overly hot when temperatures soared into the eighties, and left her and the nest exposed to predators. My heart plummeted when the new mother abandoned the nest after an unsettling encounter with a gardener using a loud hedge trimmer to trim nearby bougainvillea.
This year Mama Ava, older and wiser, chose a leafy ficus tree for her temporary home. Lush branches protect the nest from the elements. The gardener, shrugging as though he thought I was mentally unstable, agreed to not trim the bougainvillea until after Ava and her brood quit the nest. So little Ava has stayed. She alone is responsible for her two babies. (The presence of any male hummingbird would be seen as a threat, and he would be chased off.) About every twenty minutes she dashes off to drink nectar or eat bugs, which she regurgitates to her two pointy-beaked offspring. The babies push their waste over the side of the nest, making quite a mess on the tiles below.
Mama Ava’s heartwarming presence reminds me to persevere with my “offspring.” Not my well-launched daughter, but rather my two book series. No one else will write the Two Realms or the Teen Wytche Saga for me. Nor would I want them to. I alone must settle in my writing nest and do the hard work. If Mama Ava can birth and nurture two babies, then surely I can bring forth two more books. I may have to push some bad pages or unnecessary subplots over the side and let them litter my off-white carpet. But the mess will be worth it.
Coming soon: Spell For Sophia, Book 4, The Teen Wytche Saga.
Spell For Sophia
By Ariella Moon
Kidnapped by her lawless parents, Sophia Perez-Hidalgo resorts to thievery to escape. Her survival depends on her mastering magic and the supernatural, and guarding her heart against Breaux, a voodoo queen’s grandson. When magic hurls the teens through time, Sophia’s friend Ainslie crosses the Void to find them. All land in New Orleans where Fate and ghosts await, and conjuring always exacts a price.