Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Mystery of the New Flamingos




Several years ago, a writer friend of mine woke up on the morning of her birthday, stepped outside with a cup of coffee. . .and found a flock of plastic flamingos surrounding her home. Friends had arranged for her son to plant them. Since then the birds have lived in a clearing in the woods nearby. Recently, new ones have mysteriously appeared, including the guy in the top photo. So far, no one has claimed responsibility. If you have any clues, call our tips hotline: 913-555-PINK.

33 comments:

Nancy P said...

Olivia, this is what happens when you go too long without publishing any photos of pink flowers! :)

What am I doing up at this hour?

Beth said...

I was going to ask you the same question. Hope you got some sleep at some point! Pink flamingos in Kansas...whodathunkit?

Good morning, Nancy!

katiebird said...

Wow! WHERE were these photos taken?

Good Morning Nancy P & Beth!

(stumbling around looking for my coffee cup)

Maria Lima said...

Hee!! I remember her telling us at Mayhem about the flamingo thing.

I adore the top guy in the tree.

olivia said...

LOL Nancy!!!

Nancy P said...

Hi, beth,katiebird,maria, and olivia!

Okay, now I'll tell you who and where. The writer is Margaret Maron, and the where is near Raleigh, North Carolina.

The blue one? He's metal, and he turned!

Nancy P said...

Olivia, that's an absolutely gorgeous thing you've done over at your blog this morning. I hope everybody goes over to look. (Click on Olivia's place in my blogroll on the front page.)

AndiF said...

I'm not Family Man but I play him on this blog (one performance only) -- time for a nap, Nancy.

I wake up all the time to find nuthatches, finches, and titmice surrounding the house but they're all raucously insisting I get my ass out there and fill the feeders. I'd be happy to have some birds as undemanding as these flamingos.

Nancy P said...

Hi, family man in drag!

These are quite the wounded warriors, some of them, what with standing around in nature through all the seasons. Margaret says she runs a Refuge for Pink Plastic Flamingos. Funny she's never managed to find homes for any of them. . .

Kelly McCullough said...

That's little more surreal than I'm entirely capable of processing while half asleep, but way cool. Woke up to huge mug of Scottish Breakfast* tea this morning and the realization that I agreed to teach a class on writing again and it starts in less than a week-ack! The last one worked out okay since most of the them are still writing, one of them's started publishing, and about two thirds want to take this class. But still...ack!

*From the tea source who supplied said beverage of wondorousnous: A blend of Ceylon and Assam teas. It possesses all the malty heartiness of an Assam with a bright, crisp, and very clean taste reminiscent of fine Ceylon teas.

Beth said...

Looks like people are finally waking up...or too dedicated doing whatever they do in the "real" world to join our conversation today.

Hats off to dedicated people!

Surprisingly enough, I haven't seen a single pink flamingo in a yard here in FL yet...although there IS a painting of one in my bedroom! More flamingos in NC than FL...scratching head...

Kelly McCullough said...

P.S. to my post above. How apparent is to everyone else that I'm desperately trying to reassure myself?

Hi Beth, no dedication here, just sleeping in after a late working night yesterday.

Nancy P said...

Kelly, lol!! You can do it, you can do it, and your tea will comfort you. Sooo smiling. The amazing results from your last class pretty much prove how good you are. Wow. If any of them are mystery readers, tell them hi for me, okay? I just had an idea, not that you need one. But what if you had a list of some pro writers you know who'd be willing to answer one question from a student? The writers (ahem, waving hand in air) could answer by email and your students could share the info they got from "us." Feel free to do absolutely nothing with this, lol.

Jen said...

Can't say for sure, Beth (don't know much about birds), but I think flamingos are not actually native to North America. I do know that most of the ones you'll see in Florida will be at parks &/or zoos -- I don't think I ever saw a single flock of wild flamingos hanging around in ~25 years down there.

Kelly, unclench, you'll do wonderfully! You're a smart and funny guy who's crossed the publishing rubicon, and people are already lining up and paying money to benefit from your wisdom.

Beth said...

I thought there'd be fake ones on lawns, Jen - maybe I'm living in the wrong neighborhood, or have been corrupted by Hollywood's version of Florida...:-)

Wish I could take your class, Kelly! I'm sure it'll be amazing.

GreenMinute said...

A blend of Ceylon and Assam teas. It possesses all the malty heartiness of an Assam with a bright, crisp, and very clean taste reminiscent of fine Ceylon teas.

Kelly, now that's the stuff I want to write. Tea descriptions. I wonder whether tea descriptions are called slurps instead of blurbs....

I'm looking for something, though, that's bright, crisp and nutty. You know, like Nancy!

Nancy P said...

LOL, Green!! I want that for my epitaph.

"Slurps/blurbs". . .funny!

Nancy P said...

Hey, jen! Good to see you about the village this morning.

Jen said...

Nancy, it's just sort-of a hi-bye since I'm off (prob'ly for the weekend) now. :)

Kelly McCullough said...

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. Nancy, the one question idea is a very generous offer, and I'll probably take you up on it. I need to take a look at the class first day and figure out the dynamics before I figure out what all I can do with them.

I wrote the class description with the express intention of getting people who are serious not just about writing but about publishing, and I know that most of them are. This is a fantasy novel proposal and submission class with an emphasis on the three chapters plus outline and query with strong hook. I'm going to be giving them at least one professional novel proposal per week to read, all for books that have sold-I love the writing community.

The plan right now is for a fantasy proposal every week plus the occasional extra, I've got one or two SF proposals and I'd love to have a mystery proposal if you're feeling extra generous. Proposals and synopses are really scary for newbies and showing them the real things is a great why to take some of the fear out of the game.

olivia said...

Thanks Nancy ... I love the guest posts, so if anyone has something to share or another idea for a buffet I'd be happy to post!

Beth said...

Sounds like a great idea, Kelly, says the newbie.

Kelly McCullough said...

Beth, I think it's so helpful to be able to see what other people have done when faced with the same problems.

If you're looking for a good resource on this, my friend Tobias Buckell sugested "I Have This Nifty Idea" by Mike Resnick. It's a collection of synopses and pitches by writers who sold their books and is a good resource for this sort of thing. I haven't had a chance to pick up a copy yet, buy Mike is a great writer and I've gotten good advice from him in the past, so I'm sure it's stellar.

Beth said...

Thanks, Kelly, I'll pick it up! It sounds like it would indeed be very helpful.

I appreciate any and all suggestions that will help me plow my way through this wonderful, fearsome world of the written word. Spending time with all of you each day is inspiring, and keeps me sane (although some would beg to differ) and driven to continue reaching for my dreams.

[[everyone]]

FARfetched said...

Hey Nancy et al… y'know, those flamingoes are going to waste out in the woods. There are people who do fund-raisers with those: they charge to flamingo someone's yard overnight, then they often collect from the "victim" to move the birds to someone else's yard!

I remember seeing a movie poster in college for "Pink Flamingoes: An Exercise in Poor Taste." I was tempted to go see it just for the title.

Nancy P said...

Kelly, I'm not sure I have kept any of my proposals (hate 'em!), but I'll sure check and if I have one, I'll forward it to you.

That book recommendation sounds terrific.

Farfetched,that's hilarious! I'll pass it on to Margaret.

Beth said...

I ordered it as soon as Kelly recommended it - plus a couple others that were on my wish list. The internet is a bad, bad thing...:-)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

There was a woman in my town, Newton, Massachusetts, who decided she loved those pink flamingoes, and put several of them in her yard.

Soon after, there was a little ripple of criticism from some of her neighbors. Seems they thought the pink plastic flamingoes were not appropriate for Newton. I can't remember what those neighbors actually did, but it soon escalated into quite a bitter controversy. Letters to the editor of the Newton paper. Petitions.

Battle lines, as they say, were drawn. Pro-pink. Anti-pink.

And soon after, pink flamingoes began appearing in other people's yards. In soldarity. And more and more and more and more. And soon, in some neighborhoods, more yards had them than didn't.

And that was the end of the flamingo wars.

Nancy P said...

That's a wonderful story, Hank. It would be perfect for a cozy mystery plot.

Kelly McCullough said...

Flamingo wars...

Nancy, you get cozy mystery, I get urban fantasy with undertones of horror. Very funny. Also, thanks in advance if you turn up a proposal-they are miserable things to write.

Beth, always glad to provide some writer support structure. So many have helped me so much, it's the least I can do.

Slurps...giggle.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

And it certainly provides instant book cover possibilities...hmmm.

Nancy P said...

It certainly does, Hank P. You go, writer girl.

dada said...

uh oh...better late than ever.

the kitschy pink flamingo is now an endangered species...the company that manufactured them from 1957 to 2006, is no longer doing so...

RIP: Pink Flamingo, 1957-2006

so the idea of a sanctuary is not such a bad one.