February 4, 2013

See You Later, Alligator

When my friend, Kim . . .

Kim, trying out her new kayak

 . . . told me about canoeing recently through Riverbend Park and coming face to face with a wide-mouthed, hissing alligator and accidentally paddling the wrong way -- closer to the alligator's open jaws -- I wasn't scared.

I was terrified!

So I did what any normal person would.  I joined Kim for a kayak adventure through those same waters.

Here's why . . .

Kayaking through Riverbend Park

Isn't it gorgeous?  The way Florida used to be before we paved paradise and put up a parking lot.  Or, in our case, filled in the swamps and put up gated housing communities, shopping malls and several rodent-inspired amusement parks.

It's such a treat to get out in the wilderness, get an upper body workout and enjoy nature.

Heron and I having a staring contest.  The heron won.

There was also this little fellow . . .


We saw hawks and turtles, both large and tiny, spiders and then we saw this . . .

"While canoeing this river you will encounter alligators."

Kim and I noticed the sign didsn't say "May encounter alligators" or "There's a tiny chance you'll encounter alligators."  The sign said "While Canoeing this river you WILL encounter alligators."

Well, we fooled them because we weren't canoeing.  We were kayaking.  Entirely different.  Right?

But then, what is that on the bank . . .

Alligator on the bank.  Notice how he blends into the surroundings, looking more like a log than a gator.

Fortunately, he stayed put and we didn't.  "Paddle faster, Kim!"

"Just a minute.  I'm taking a photo."

(Notice it's not a closeup.  I have smart friends.)

Thanks to Kim for shlepping her kayaks to Riverbend Park for our morning adventure.  And to her hubby, Brian, for lending me his kayak.  And to the powers that be that let this part of South Florida be.



Anonymous said...

I'd love to ask you a question about the Institute of Children's Literature. I'm thinking of doing it because I feel I need some kind of course that can organize my writing and immerse me into that world (discipline). Thoughts on whether this might be a good one to take? Thanks for any feedback! Would ICL really help to organize one who is overwhelmed and wants to take the baby steps from A to Z? And would it be fine for me if Im still not sure if I fit into YA, childrens , or adult?

Wild About Words said...

Hi Anonymous,

I've heard very good things about ICL and know some excellent writers who are instructors for them.

I'd strongly suggest joining SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and combing through all their resources.

You might want to check out a local SCBWI critique group and/or attend an area conference as well.

Katie Davis has an excellent podcast about everything to do with children's literature. Check out Brain Burps About Books podcast.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the advice. Do you think it would be okay to register for ICL...prior to joining SCBWI , etc? I'm really looking for a way to organize my writing (like step by step) ...think that would be good? SCBWI seems more connecting, critiquing, etc...I need a starting gateway :)
Im lost and overwhelmed on how and where to start.

Wild About Words said...

That sounds like a fine starting point.

But you could certainly join SCBWI and do nothing other than read their resources. They are very useful and will point you in the right direction.

All best,