I Got Published…Again?


I am currently in the very early stages of writing a book.  By very early, I mean I am still working on the first sentence (yes, you can judge me.)

This is not why I began blogging.  It was after I started spewing my thoughts on here that I felt compelled to write a book about a very trying experience.  One that has sadly been shared by many families and not talked about enough.  But, enough about that right now.

For years, I have been sharing my opinions, thoughts and commentaries with members of my community via our local newspaper.  Articles have varied in topics such as having raised $11,000 for The Arthritis Foundation while being an Ambassador, questioning our government-bashing motives, surviving college visits with your teens, preparing for an empty nest and more.

This is the type of critical thing I write about

This is the kind of critical information I write about. huffingtonpost

I keep submitting my thoughts and the Editor keeps publishing them.  What’s up with that?  I am often described as a Guest Columnist and get my own little corner (albeit tiny), on a page.   Maybe he feels sorry for me or there simply are not many exciting things happening around here but, nevertheless, I am enjoying my words being read by a few many .  The feedback I get from the community is gratifying and makes me grateful that someone (not my kids), is listening to what I have to say.

So although it is not a book that got published, today, they published this silly article of mine:

Glued to televised falcon family chronicles

AMHERST — If you live in Hampshire County you must have heard the buzz about the Peregrine falcon pair nesting once more atop the W.E.B. DuBois Library at the University of Massachusetts. It’s all over the news and social media.

The website, http://www.library.umass.edu, Facebook page and Twitter account @DuBoisFalcons have been trending.

Like many of you, I have been glued to this reality show since the first chick hatched. I will admit that there is not as much drama as there is in shows like, “The Real Housewives of … (Everywhere)” and no fast-paced action, but this show is raw and it is real.

There is no staging, editing or censoring by producers. In fact, some content (like papa or mama falcon breaking up their hunted prey into bite-sized pieces to feed the chicks) may not be suitable for all audiences. But hey, it’s nature.

My interest in the falcons began 12 years ago when my mate and his friend, a master falconer, noticed falcons flying around the UMass library. Since the library is a tall building that mimics cliffs, where falcons typically nest, they decided to build a nesting box out of wood and contact the UMass Physical Plant about putting it up atop the library.  UMass graciously agreed and the first box went up. Since then, that box has been replaced with a more sturdy rendition that can withstand winds and temperatures that high up.

As I watch this live webcast of these falcons taking care of their young, I am reminded of my husband and I, as parents.

The similarities are uncanny. Though we never actually sat on our children (for hours), we too have been and still are devoted to their safety and happiness.

Like mama and papa falcon, we have shared equally in all the parental responsibilities without hesitation and our chicks have always been our top priority.

Even the fact that mama falcon is a bit bigger than papa is relatable to me.  She and I have actually been the ones who have given birth to our chicks, thus explaining our wider frames.

She is my idol and new BFF.

What I would love to ask mama falcon, if she ever let me appear on her reality show, is how she deals with her empty nest year after year.

My nest will be empty this fall and I have yet to figure out how I am going to deal with it.


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53 thoughts on “I Got Published…Again?

  1. Oh, hugs to you! What a bittersweet story, but I love how you showed comparison of your life to the falcon. And how cool is that! Congrats on being published again in the paper. I hope you’re reaping some financial rewards as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deanna! It’s been so much fun watching the falcons tend to their young. Who knew I would be watching that over trash tv?? 🙂 No $ is exchanged for writing these columns. I don’t have a set column or a regular gig – yet. Maybe if I keep bugging the editor enough times, he will relent.


  2. okay… I am going to follow you… I am so reluctant to do that anymore because I feel like I am getting spread too thin… and I read everything posted by people I follow… but your writing cracks me up, I think we might have some stuff in common… and than one cute eye keeps staring at me…


  3. Awww congrats. I sent letters to both of our local papers offering to link my blog to their site. Nothing but crickets. Must go in person. Harder to say “No.” to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. Firstly, congrats on being read and published! Secondly, I love that they gave the birds a nest. This probably wouldn’t happen in Australia. They’d most likely get evicted and die…such is our communal love of wildlife. But moving on to the empty nest…it sounds to me like you’re already sitting on a hatchling, waiting for a chance to nurse it into maturity (manuscript, anyone??). However unsettling the quiet may be, I’m certain you’ll find a way to fill it 😉 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gracias, Alarna! This same town of mine is also famous for building a Salamander crossing tunnel on a busy street! I kid you not. Mr. Brickhouse had something to do with that one as well. 🙂


  5. Awww….I love this! Peregrine falcons are my favortie birds of prey. I love the metaphor here. Don’t worry, mama, you’ll survive the empty nest and fill it with something new and wonderful in your life. This is just the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are pretty cool birds. Unfortunately one of the chick didn’t make it. 😦 The cold and wind are stressing them out and Mama & Papa Falcon can’t keep them warm or fed enough. Hopefully the other two will thrive. 🙂


    1. It’s mostly a lot of fun. I can’t have my townspeople read my blog because I’ve got to protect my hubby who is a public official but at least I can water my posts down for the paper. 🙂


  6. No Peregrine falcons here, but there are a few raptor species, like the red-tailed hawk. And then I remember seeing bald eagles early days in the Manatash Canyon near the Yakima River. Nature can be very raw, but, I think it’s always very fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mr. Brickhouse has taught me to appreciate all wildlife! Something I didn’t think twice about when I was younger. I have many ‘a stories about going out on romantic dates with him while we were dating that ended in a wildlife lesson. And by that I don’t mean a WILD LIFE! We went “parking” one time and ended up looking for an endangered toad he HAD to find because the conditions were perfect (it was pouring and humid) for the toads to come out and breed. Needless to say, they were the only ones breeding that night. 🙂


  7. I love how you tied these themes together, Maria. A little tear jerker at the end. 🙂

    I actually saw a falcon flying on my hike the other day, and I thought of you, because I know you enjoy birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those falcons are amazing parents! All day long sitting there protecting, keeping them warm and fed. They take turns when they need a break but they are both equally devoted! I didn’t always appreciate birds, it was thanks to Mr. Brickhouse that I learned to. 🙂


  8. Smart editor for that little paper of yours, Maria. I think you should start a monthly series come fall and the departure from the nest. “The eaglet has flown, and my, how I love the new room for my wings.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My advice: Find an editor who will print your work and keep sending in articles until said editor tells you to stop.

        Seriously, that’s a nice thing you have going on with the local paper, Maria. You have discovered a spot that allows you to show your own voice. That’s rare and valuable.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have a lot of fun writing and submitting it to the paper. The chief editor is very kind and we often compare notes on our kids and experiences. Hopefully, he won’t say no anytime soon.


  9. “My nest will be empty this fall and I have yet to figure out how I am going to deal with it.”

    I thought you decided to roam the house naked??

    Seriously, that’s a good piece, chica (I can call you that, right?). Very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you can rest assured that I will be roaming the house naked!! The question is, will I be naked and happy or naked and sad? Or naked and drunk? Hmmmm.

      This article was kind of silly but I had fun writing it because I’ve enjoyed watching the falcons do their thing. You can call me Chica on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


  10. Many congratulations Maria! You are being published because you write so well! What a great article and I love how you draw in your own ’empty nest’ sentiments and I love pegrine falcons! We got to see some nesting once through some telescopes set up on top of a cliff, it was exhilarating! Keep writing and get that book going (says I, who has taken years to get going with mine, ha!). And remember, your little chicks will fledge but they will never fly far away…and will always find their way back home to their momma 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sherri. 🙂 I am sure he publishes everything he gets, but I like to pretend that he likes my work. 🙂 These falcons are incredible to watch. I have been glued to my screen watching them 24/7. It is so fascinating what they do and how much they protect their nest.

      As to book writing…it will happen someday. I’m having too much fun blogging. My feelings on the kids leaving this fall keep fluctuating so much from day to day! I guess it’s part of the process.


      1. I would be glued too, I love that stuff! They have a programme over here that should start soon which runs live for 3 weeks called Springwatch and it’s on every evening. They have cameras in nesting boxes all over the place and all so well hidden that the birds, of all kinds, have no idea. They also show all kinds of other wildlife. It really is fascinating stuff!

        I’m sure the editor likes your work very much indeed Maria!

        And yes, the process is ongoing but it will be alright…hugs…. 🙂


    1. I like ALL things on your list. The drinking is a given! One minute I want them out of here and the next I sob that they’ll be gone. This is making me very Bi-Polar! I can’t decide which to be. Back to the drinking…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kudos to you!!!

    I love the way you relate to the falcon.
    Part of me is terrified of the empty nest. And I have 8 years…
    Part of me can’t wait. My college BFF had her kids right out of school. She is an empty nester; divorced, actually. And she is LOVING LIFE. Damn. It’s like she and I switched places…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mama falcon actually makes me feel quite inadequate. She doesn’t even stop to go get drunk or anything, nor does she spend hours at TJMaxx! She is so frikin’ devoted! Sitting on those eggs for endless hours and then feeding them when they hatch. But she is probably counting down the days ’till the flee! 🙂 Glad your friend is loving life! I’m looking forward to the freedom.


    1. Hee,hee. No pics please. 🙂 I know the Editor publishes everything he gets sent but it’s fun to see your words on paper. I get many comments from people I see around town that tell me they enjoy reading it so that’s good enough for me. 🙂 I go back and forth on being excited about them being gone to crying my eyes out.


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