Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A is for Alligator

Pardon me if I can't stop talking about the alligators here. I'm still a transplant and am fascinated and a little bit frightened by these creatures. Yesterday my dog jumped into the pond and got chased by a five-foot gator. Boy do they swim fast! Then he lay in wait by the cattails as I put the lead back on. No more off-leash work with the dog (since she was so very disobedient and almost got eaten by a gator).

I should've taken my camera with me this morning because I saw a mama and ten babies sunning themselves near the banks of the pond. Temperatures have dropped (it is balmy and reminds me of Seattle summers) but gators are cold-blooded so they love to bask in the sunshine. What's odd as I circled the pond is that the dog doesn't see them at all, even when they slither into the water, making a few ripples. They are lovely to watch as they swim swiftly to the other side and look rather evil when they are still in the water with only the top of their heads poking out, just waiting ... waiting ... for a fish or a silly dog to jump in.

Here's a great link if you want to read something about alligators. And Guji Guji is a darling picture book that I couldn't bear to part with when we moved. I need to pull it out and read it again. It's about a family of ducks that has the odd egg that hatches into an odd creature. If you guessed gator, you're correct.

I have started reading and making notes on my novel. What's funny is that at the really good parts, I think, I wrote that? Wow! Then when I get to the crummy parts, the red pen comes out and I scribble away. I already know how I want to change the beginning so that I don't spool out the plot threads all at once. Jay Asher had given a great talk a couple of years ago on maintaining suspense and the trick is to have the highs and lows of the different plot threads weave in and out so that it's not all gasping action and then a lull. The pacing is too fast in the beginning of my book. I need to slow it down and trust my reader to stick with me.

I spend an hour a day. It is enough. I just hope I can continue.


Marcia said...

Good for your hour!!!!

Gators? I'm probably too sheltered and provincial. Not sure I could do gators. A mom and TEN babies? Yoiks!

Mary Witzl said...

I'm not sure I could do gators either, but I can't help thinking they've got the cutest faces. They're as close to dinosaurs as we're ever going to get; maybe that is why they're so fascinating.

An hour a day is a good amount of time to write. Lately, I've been so exhausted from teaching that I've barely managed fifteen minutes -- but I always make sure I do it. Even if what I write has to be rewritten the next day because it's barely coherent.

Vijaya said...

Marcia, they look pretty funny when they yawn and the babies *are* cute. My daughter got to hold one when she went on a field trip to Barrier Island.

Mary, they are definitely prehistoric, like the dragonflies. The babies are cute, but not the adults. Those are downright menacing.

So glad that you're putting in your 15 min. That's my absolute bare minimum ... and even if you have to revise those pages, at least you will have something to revise. An hour is working out great. I always have a hard time stopping.

MollyMom103 said...

Gators! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

YAY for making time to write. I'm so proud of you! I was on a roll... and rolled right off. I need to get back on the band wagon. Hopefully, though, I won't fall off the turnip truck. But I wasn't born yesterday so...

Yoinks. I need to stop. Really. I do.