I put out a bird feeder in October, excited for the return of my birdie friends from last winter. Alas, the only two feathered critters who decided to grace my feeder all winter were a pair of black-capped chickadees. They’re adorable, but last year I had a bird metropolis in my backyard. The neighborhood’s been empty.

Until this weekend!

It snowed, which I think threw the birds off. It threw me off. A flurry of redpolls showed up, along with a guy with a super-long hooked beak (don’t know his name, but he’s cute!), magpies, and some little grey finches with yellow beaks. It’s been a smorgasbord of birds for three days!

I’d like to take credit for the return of my feathered friends, but I had nothing to do with it. This feels like writing a lot of the time. I use “placeholders”- phrases, words, or even scenes I know aren’t great, but they serve the purpose of letting me move on to write the rest of the story. Occasionally, I come up with something fabulous to replace them with. Often, it’s my beta readers and critique buddies who point out the flaws and suggest something new. I just have to be patient and wait for those ideas to show up. Like my birds.

Do you use placeholders when you write? Is there something you’re waiting on right now, writing or otherwise? I’m telling you, I’m antsy for the arrival of spring in these parts!