Tag Archives: reptiles

Science Fiction is a Great Fit for me, as an Author

Science fiction is a great fit for me as an author. I also write fantasy, not the type with kings, queens, ogres, and unicorns (I have a hard time with unicorns) and when I want a nice respite from my usual, I dabble in action adventure.

The genres I choose to pen come from a multitude of sources; however, I believe the passions of my childhood play a large part in my writing preferences.

I was a bit of an odd kid in as far as my choice of favorite animals. Oh, I liked dogs and cats okay, but reptiles claimed my greatest love. In the second grade, at the ripe old age of seven, Wilbur, the alligator, became part of our household. Since alligators were protected at that time, I expect Wilbur was probably a Caiman; however, I will always remember him fondly as Wilbur, the alligator.

Hmmm, protecting alligators as a species, boy, didn’t that work well? Once considered endangered, now there’s one in every swimming pool and dining table; that’s what I call a success.

Of course, like everyone else, I owned the little green turtles whose claim to fame was salmonella.

I grew up in a rural area, where a plethora of reptiles and amphibians call home. Box turtles, a variety of snakes, (which I caught being careful to avoid the ones boasting fangs with nasty toxin to boot) toads, bullfrogs (yum! and they don’t taste like chicken) and the crème de la crème, the glass-tailed lizard. These blue-tailed beauties are so cool to watch. If anything approaches them, including me, in what they perceived as a predatory manner, the lizard would lose half its tail. The broken appendage wiggled about keeping the predator interested while the blue-tail’s host made a hasty get away.

Isn’t it amazing how God’s creation works? But, the best part –  he created this world for us to enjoy.

Have one great week and take time to enjoy one of God’s great gifts!

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I Have a Small Furry Creature with Yellow Eyes and the Gift of Speech

In my four-part book series, Rising Tide, I have a small furry creature with yellow eyes and the gift of speech. The creature, known as a Nuckta, is the last of its race and goes by the name Seeka. This animal is not a pet, but a character, just as any other in the story.

It sets me thinking of the pets I owned in my younger years. 

I first recall a Dachshund we named Bo-Peep. I was but a few years old when we took her in, but a teenager when she passed at a ripe old age.

Living in a rural area, we had our share of strays. That was how we acquired our next mutt I named Ralph, a large breed that resembled a sheepdog. Ralph’s ownership overlapped Bo-Peep’s so there were multiple dogs in our household for a while. Ralph and I were inseparable for quite a few years until heart worms claimed my pal.

Lumpy, Marvin, and Gomer followed with the latter being the sweetest and dumbest dog to walk this earth. All of our family and a portion of our neighbors hit this dog with their cars. Poor Gomer could just not learn to stay out of harm’s way, and as much as we tried to avoid contact, it was not to be. Gomer was more like a cat with nine lives until a stranger zipping down the road in front of our house hit him for the last time.

I kept an odd array of pets, including an alligator (which I think was actually a Caiman), Boa constrictor, numerous lizards, turtles, small rodents, a ferret named Floyd, and the crème de la crème, a Black Widow spider.

I watched the arachnid for many weeks feast upon insects before laying two enormous egg sacks. Upon awakening one morning, I noticed both egg-sacs had hatched. The jar now housed mother and a few thousand babies. It was apparent this glass abode was  not adequate to house them all after “Mom’s” delivery. With nothing but a fine mesh cloth covering the square hole cut into the top of the jar for ventilation, the need for something “more” was evident. A can of Raid took care of any residual beasties.

I do believe the last paragraph in this week’s post will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that teenagers have the propensity to display large amounts of stupid. Please learn from my stupidity not to raise deadly arachnids. Nuff said.

Have one great week and may God bless you richly.

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Hmm…Good Friends, They’re All Edible

I have a reoccurring character that just happens to be an animal. alligatorNot the type of animal you would normally think of, if you were thinking of animals. This particular critter is roughly the size of a wolverine. It has two unusual characteristics.

Number one: Its yellow eyes curve from the front around to the side of its head.

Number two: It talks.

Animals bring about a wealth of emotions. These emotions are different for each individual, just as finger prints.

Allow me to tell you of some of my early experiences with our four-footed friends.

I’ve always had a special place in my being for animals of the reptilian variety. My first exposure to these scaly creatures came in the form of an alligator named Wilbur. In actually Wilbur was probably a caiman, but when it comes to a twelve-inch long mouth with needles for teeth, does it really matter?

When my buddy Wilbur joined the household, he wasn’t exactly the warmest of pets a seven-year old could possess, but then again in my circle of friends I had reached a pentacle that could not be topped.

Wilbur’s living arrangements consisted of a white plastic tub covered in rat wire to prevent escape. Wilbur would float in his custom accommodations happily munching on raw hamburger.

When the lacerations on our hands had healed sufficiently, we could pull Wilbur out of his cage and the bloodletting play time would begin.

One day we walked into the bathroom and Wilbur didn’t look quite right. Instead of his jovial self, he was acting as though he had ingested LSD.

Shortly after the drug like episode, Wilbur left our family for good. I found out later that the constant turning on and off of the light, fried poor little Wilbur‘s pea size brain. He never had a chance. With a hole in my heart and numerous holes in my fingers I set about planning his funeral.

I made a cross, a piece of wood with his name carved into it and a shoe box wrapped in a plastic parachute. I dug a hole in preparation to accept the body of my lost friend. I erected a cross and head stone. With a tear in my eye I personally selected the mourners (my sister) for the ceremony.

The funeral procession consisted of myself and one reluctant mourner. We marched to the grave site, where I solemnly placed the shoe box. Covering the hole with dirt I began my eulogy.

“Wilbur was a good alligator.” It was then I sensed (due to barely audible giggles) one of the people in attendance were not as sad as I thought they should be.

In order to help put her in the mood, my fist found the large target, that was her back, and then, we all properly grieved for our deceased pet.

I don’t want you to think that I was a demon child growing up. I had my share of dogs and the like (what most people would deem normal pets) up until just a few years ago when our last dog died.

I have my wife and kids for companionship and don’t want to fuss with anything that can’t feed or water itself.

I still consider myself an animal lover, but of the type that slide on to grills, into ovens and swim in gravy.

I think of my good friend, Wilbur the alligator, from time to time. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who’s tooth is doing the biting)  I have acquired a taste for blackened alligator tail.

Hmm, I wonder why that is?

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