Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Talent? Who me?

by Jude Mason

Well, I got to the 'by Jude Mason' then came to a shuddering halt. Talent. It's not something I'd ever associated with myself. Writing has always been what I thought of as a gift, something I do/am, and something I strive to improve. Isn't one 'gift' enough?

I teach well, but am terrified of public speaking. How's that for a conundrum?

I am a very good cook and love creating new dishes or trying recipes out.

I can hunt, shoot and butcher an animal. Ick! Yeah, I know, not really a talent seeing as how I had to learn all that stuff. But, that could be said of most talents. I wasn't born telling stories or cooking.

How about, I have patience with animals. Mix that with the hunting thing and you probably think I'm even crazier. LOL

What I mean by patience with animals is this--I've always been able to become friends with animals. And that's not exactly right. Be accepted by them perhaps. Not right off the bat, it takes time to win their approval, to allow them time to know I'm not going to do anything to them. I can sit and watch deer or raccoons by the hour until they realize it's all right to ignore me. LOL I find most animals fascinating. To live wild like they do, to depend on themselves for everything: food, shelter if they can find it, defense. It amazes me how they make it from one season to the next. In the winter, when we've got a meter of snow, and the deer come in, how can they possibly live through it?

Have you ever seen a doe give birth? It's utterly enchanting. There's so little noise you'd miss it if you walked a dozen feet away and didn't happen to see her. The fawn is silent too, and looks like a bag of wet rags when it's first born. It struggles to its feet within a few minutes. Their muscles are all a quiver when they do and they have to work at balance but catch on so fast it's completely awesome.

The changeling books I've written and co-authored with Jenna are dear to my heart because of the animal aspect. I've always thought that changelings would have to retain much of their animal heritage. Mixing the human and animal, complimenting both, that's what I've tried to do with the changelings.
Cat's Claw was my first attempt at this and from the few comments I've gotten about it, I was at least partially successful. The relationship my couple had wasn't as kind as a human couple might need. Morgan and Joshua could take care of themselves, and that's fascinating.

I'm not sure this is even a good thing. I would never want the animals to be tame. That happens, and they get shot come hunting season.

But, is this a talent? A gift?

You be the judge.

What's your talent, I mean besides the one you think of having?

Do we get more than one?


  1. Hello, Jude,

    Your ability to relate to animals must be a huge benefit in writing your shape shifters. I agree that in a truly compelling changeling story, the animal side of the character must be as compelling as the human side. They may mesh, or be in conflict. I have no patience, though, with characters who change their shape but have no trace of an animal nature.

    Thanks for an interesting post!


  2. When I look at you, I see a whole bunch of talents. It's funny that we have more trouble seeing them in ourselves. Of course, the cooking thing is a wonderful talent. And the whole shooting off a gun/cleaning an animal thing amazes me.

    Your patience with animals comes through in the amount of patience you show people, too. Incredible. I've always felt like you were a super talented person, and been a little envious of that. In a good way. *G* Makes me strive to do better, too.


  3. Lisabet,

    There are times I like animals more then people. They don't judge nearly as much. LOL Thanks so much for your comments.


  4. Jenna, you always surprise me. Thank you. Okay, I'm freakin speechless. It won't happen again. Just, thank you.


  5. Patience with animals... I thought I once would have patience with kids, till I had several in my house...every day, lol. Though not throwing things at them is a big sign of patience to me.
    Great post, Jude. As always. And when you think of it, we all have 'gifts' we don't even realize. And you can tell Jenna that yes, bladder control counts. Having had three kids, not letting go when you sneeze is a huge talent.
    If I had one talent to admit to, it'd be the ability to do whatever I put my mind to. I wanted to fly helicopters, so I did it. I was determined to be a 911 operator, and I was. I don't accept "NO" as an answer, and just don't think about failure, period. I wanted to write more than anything... Now of course we'll have to wait to see how the books do (yes, down on knees praying for kind reviews) but for me, success is measured by much more.
    All joking aside, in the end, kids and friends are the greatest gifts of all. Now if I can just keep mine out of juvi-hall all will be grand :D

  6. Hi Kris,

    I used to have patience with kids. Unfortunately that's faded over the years and I have difficulty after an hour of yelling and screaming. Noise has always bothered me, and kids seem to be noisier now. LOL Mine knew that if they screamed there'd better be something wrong or there would be by the time I got done with them.

    Determination is a very good thing. Uh, you fly a helicopter? That's incredibly cool. I've never even been in one. Heck, never been close to one. LOL Hubby has. He was with Search and Rescue for years and with the RCMP so got to do all kinds of cool things. I seem to remember being pregnant and not allowed for more than I liked.

    Now I'm laughing. I'll pass on your jewel of wisdom to Jenna. I'm sure she'll laugh.

    Thanks so much for stopping in. And, good luck with your writing career.


  7. Jude, this is what I was thinking I might read from some of us at OGG. "What other talent do we have beyond writing?! None!!" Which is complete mularky. We couldn't be good writers if we didn't have other talents. We just don't realize what those talents are because often they get rolled so seamlessly into our writing. The whole hunting animals and having patience with them makes perfect sense to me. When people used to hunt to survive, you can be damned sure they had an appreciation for the animals they ate. So I don't think you're weird.

    Wonderful post!


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