For the birds

“I’m thinking of writing about the bird thing,” I told the spouse a couple of weeks ago.

“In your business newsletter?”

“Yep.” (Disregard the use of the word “newsletter.” I hate newsletters, and the spouse knows that. But I do update the people on my list when I run across something extraordinary. I call these “Occasional Flashes of Brilliance.”)

“But isn’t your business newsletter supposed to be about…business?”

I understood the confusion. It’s one my clients often experience when I explain that we need a personal anecdote to help the audience or readers connect with them.

Why should anyone care that I went trick-or-treating with my kid? They might ask. Answer: Because it’s an experience many people can relate to. And can serve as an analogy for a great many things, including a discussion of the masks we wear at work.

It’s important for people on my email list to get a sense of who I am—as a person, not just a business writer. I may know a ton about writing, but I’m not so savvy when it comes to grains. And so I wrote:

For the Birds: An Occasional Flash of Brilliance
I am not Nature Girl. Never have been, probably never will be.

So when the chef at the Quaker retreat center I visited this weekend served up a delicious roasted apple millet porridge, I had no idea what I was eating. I only knew it was the perfect meal on a late-May morning that felt like early March. The chef was kind enough to type up the recipe for me.

Back home, I Googled this magical, gluten-free grain and discovered…It’s birdseed. Depending on what variety of millet the chef used, I was eating cooked grass seed or bird seed—which is, when you stop to think about it (as you have to do if you’re not Nature Girl), basically the same thing.

If spring continues to elude us, you may want to cook up a bowl of birdseed for yourself. See the recipe below.

Then I got down to business, with an annotated list of my blog posts since the last email. And, yes, I ended the email with the recipe. If you’d like a copy, let me know and I’ll forward it to you.