Lyric Power Publishing LLC is happy to announce we’re celebrating the birthday of our fun, informative, and boldly illustrated book, Don’t Make Me Rattle!
Snazzy the Snake is hosting our celebration! February 25th marks the birthday of Don’t Make Me Rattle!, the rhyming book by author Elaine A. Powers full of rattlesnake facts and vibrant illustrations.
While Elaine writes to make science education fun, she writes particularly about rattlers so we can respect, not fear, them. They are shy creatures who prefer not to engage with humans. The rattle is only a warning: Please stay away!
Learn the rattlesnake’s role in the ecosystem, about their fascinating social behavior, how the venom is used by the rattlers, and much, much more in this 40-page book with bold illustrations by illustrator Nicholas Thorpe.
After watching a man stalk a hummingbird through the Tucson Botanical Gardens for an afternoon, I wrote a book about photographing a hummingbird. Around and around the man went. The bird appeared to be intentionally taunting him. The man’s tale is told in the humorous book I call How NOT to Photograph a Hummingbird.
I have also spent a fair share of time trying to photograph hummers, but recently I expanded my chasing activity to another species. This bird flitted around the stalls where I board my horse. His bright colors contrasted with the tan ground and gray bars of the stalls. I whipped out my cell phone to get the shot. He flew off to another stall. I pursued. He flew. From stall to stall we went. The bird streaked away. No photograph obtained.
I was delighted when the bird returned the next day. The pursuit continued. Stall to stall without success. I gave up and haltered my horse for a walk. When we reached the turnout pen, there he was – posing at the top of a tree. Perhaps he felt this perch gave me the better shot, and he allowed me to complete my quest.
The magnificent bird pictured above is a male Vermillion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), perched on a mesquite tree.
Lyric Power Publishing LLC is pleased to announce that author Elaine A. Powers is publishing a new newsletter highlighting book announcements and specials. The latest issue features a Curtis Curly-tail book having a birthday today: Curtis Curly-tail is Lizardnapped was ‘born’ on February 11th!
Please click here to see Elaine’s colorful, graphic newsletter; to click through to the birthday celebration video; and to subscribe to her newsletter and follow her journey and passion to help make learning science fun!
Lyric Power Publishing LLC is proud to announce that author Elaine A. Powers will be interviewed by Big Blend Radio on January 27th at 5:00 pm, Mountain Standard Time. The broadcast will available online at Big Blend Radio’s channelon BlogTalkRadio.com. It will also be available afterward as a podcast.
Big Blend Radio is hosted by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith. They are the mother-daughter travel team on the Love Your Parks Tour and publishers of the digital Big Blend Radio and TV Magazine and Big Blend Parks and Travel Magazine. Big Blend has a cumulative monthly reading, listening, and viewing audience of over three million. Their audience spans all fifty states, and multiple countries worldwide.
All Big Blend Radio author interview podcasts will be featured in the Big Blend Radio and TV Magazine and on its website, BlendRadioandTV.com as well as on popular podcast sites such as Speaker, BlogTalkRadio, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Castbox, YouTube, Podcast Addict, Player, Facebook, Stitcher, Tunein, ListenNotes, MixCloud, Overcast.fm, etc.
We hope you will tune in with us on January 27th at 5:00 pm MST on Big Blend Radio as we enjoy the interview with our author committed to conservation and writing books that make science fun, Elaine A. Powers.
I’ve received some interesting criticisms as an author. If you’re familiar with my work, you know that my picture books rhyme. In fact, I believe all picture books should rhyme. The rhythm of the words enhances the reading experience for both the child and adult. My books are filled with scientific facts, so I describe them as being science-based, but they are fun, too. My goal is to educate while entertaining.
In one of my writing critique groups, a fellow poet has repeatedly criticized my work for combining science and poetry. In his opinion, science and poetry should never be mixed. Scientific facts dilute the quality of the poetry, he says. Since I am using poetry (I am a musician and rhythm comes naturally to me) to convey science, I disagree with his opinion. Don’t worry, I will continue to write rhyming science-based books. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
I recently read an article in American Scientist that explored humor and mathematics. In Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Theorem Before (September-October 2020:108 (5), author Daniel S. Silver describes how mathematics has been lurking in our humor. Other types of science have been lying in wait, as well.
Question. What do you give a person who has everything?
There’s medicine, from comedian Steve Martin:
First the doctor told me the good news. I was going to have a disease named after me.
Q. What do baby parabolas drink?
A. Quadratic formula.
There’s social science:
Q. Tell me, comrade, what is capitalism?
A. The exploitation of man by man.
Q. And what is communism?
A. The reverse.
The sciences can be enjoyed in many ways, from jokes to coloring pages to puzzles.
Book Note: Here is one of my fun, rhyming science-based books, Don’t Make Me Rattle! It is filled with interesting facts about this desert snake so many fear—and we don’t have to fear it. That’s why education is so important. Learn what to do to avoid an unintended meeting with this reptile. And, did you know that rattlesnakes babysit for each other? Or that they coil up in the rain to catch drinking water? Learn all about them soon with your own copy of Don’t Make Me Rattle!, available at Amazon.com.
I grew up in Central Illinois, in the hills of New Jersey and in the lake-effect snow region of Michigan. I am very familiar with snow . . . and moving snow out of the way . . . and being cold.
Consequently, I was delighted to be transferred to Tucson, AZ in the Southwest and nearly snow-free Sonoran Desert. Only once or twice a winter do snowflakes fall and then they disappear within a few hours. Even that is too much for me. There is something very wrong with snow on palm trees and cacti.
I have discovered that Tucson has another kind of snow – it’s called Tucson Snow. In the fall, the Desert Broom (Baccharis sarothroides)blooms. The female shrubs release massive amounts of fluffy white seeds in sufficient quantity to cover the ground with a layer of white. It looks like a layer of newly fallen water-based snow. The seeds germinate in disturbed areas. The male shrubs have small flowers that look nice and don’t disperse.
I, along with many others, start sneezing and wheezing when the Tucson snows begin. Even animals start sneezing and coughing. The eventual relief only comes when the seeds finally blow away.
I was listening to one of Jimmy Buffet’s new songs, Book on the Shelf (by Jimmy Buffet, Erin McAnally and Mick Utley) and I was thinking I could relate to the lyrics,
“I write what I know about, made up or true
These songs aren’t for me, they’re for you.”
because I write my books not for me but to share with others. I hope they bring pleasure to the readers, in the same way I enjoy Jimmy’s songs, while sharing some science ed, too. (I’m a biologist and singer/musician, so you can see how my two loves combined in my retirement.)
Above Image of the Exumas is Courtesy of Yolanda Rolle from Pixabay
Then came the line,
“Like the trail boards up on Boo Boo Hill.”
Boo Boo Hill? I know Boo Boo Hill! It’s on Warderick Wells, where my book writing career began. Warderick Wells is Curtis Curly-tail’s home. He often visits Boo Boo Hill.
I found inspiration on Boo Boo Hill and, apparently, so did Jimmy, Erin and Mick.
The Exumas, home to Boo Boo Hill, are a very special group of islands in The Bahamas. I went there to study the iguanas but found so much more: curly-tail lizards, hutia, and nighthawks.
And just like Jimmy Buffet, I intend to keep on “scribblin’ on pages.”
“Tellin’ tall tales is still good for my health.
Keep movin,’ and listenin,’ and amusin’ myself.
I’m not ready to put the book on the shelf.”
When I read that November 22 was National Cranberry Relish Day, memories of my father came to me. My Dad didn’t do much cooking but he had his specialties: popcorn popped in bacon grease, the fluffiest waffles for weekend breakfasts, and every Thanksgiving, homemade cranberry relish. His wasn’t a fancy recipe but it did become a tradition and a fond memory.
He would start by pulling the grinder out of the closet. This grinder had been passed down from his parents. In the past it had been used to grind meat, nuts, and, of course, cranberries. He clamped it to the dining room table and set a large roasting pan under it. Then he would pour the fresh cranberries from the bags and grind away. We kids weren’t allowed to grind – that was Dad’s job. Rhythmically the handle went round and round until the ground berries became a mound. (Yes, I write rhyming books.) Then he would empty the proper number of cans of frozen orange juice concentrate onto the mound and allow the juice to melt in. After mixing, the relish was the perfect combination of tangy cranberry and sweet orange.
Dad’s relish was eaten with the roasted turkey on Thanksgiving Day, the leftovers the next day, and on turkey sandwiches the following week.
So, on November 22, relish some cranberry relish, and I’ll relish the memory of my father and his very special cranberry relish tradition.
Book Note: One of my favorite rhyming books is Don’t Make Me Fly, all about the fascinating Greater Roadrunner. It’s a fun read in rhyme–the whole family will love it–is educational and vibrantly illustrated by Nicholas Thorpe.
~Above Image Courtesy of Free-Photos from Pixabay~
If you say, “Take a hike!” to someone, it usually means to go away. One could also use it when referencing, say, a virus, such as Covid-19. One could take some pleasure from repeating, “Take a hike, Covid-19! Take a hike, Covid-19!” And so on.
But today, even though the weather may be a factor this month, I’d like to use the phrase in the other way and suggest you go outside and actually take a hike. Take a short hike or a long hike, on flatland or up a mountain, by a lake or along an ocean. Get out and enjoy some nature. It’s invigorating and good for the soul.
I find walks very inspiring, a source of many story ideas, but also for re-finding my sense of peace. We humans weren’t designed to spend all our time inside. Remember, wherever you hike, make sure you take a mask (just in case) and enough water to get there and back. And maybe a snack or two (just in case). Have fun on your hikes!
This summer, the monsoons in the Tucson area failed to develop. In order to save our plants, we’ve been watering a lot. Despite the water, several of my trees have died. Watering by hose just isn’t the same as rain. Rain has many benefits that artificial watering can’t replicate. I noticed that, after the single rainstorm we had this monsoon season, the plants responded spectacularly even though it was only a few tenths of an inch of rain. I can give them a gallon of water and not get such an enthusiastic response.
What is it about rain that plants crave?
It’s what rainwater contains that isn’t found in tap water. Rainwater has more oxygen, which is carried down into the soil. More importantly, rainwater carries down carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is needed to produce the carbohydrates to fuel plant growth. Also, carbon dioxide makes the rainwater acidic. This reactive water helps release micronutrients (zinc, manganese, copper and iron) in the soil that plants need. Unfortunately, in some places, pollutants in the air make the rainwater too acidic, which damages plants.
Have you noticed how fresh and clean plants look after a rain? Another important purpose of rain is to wash the dirt off the leaves. Plants photosynthesize much more efficiently when sunshine isn’t filtered by a layer of dirt.
Hopefully, our watering will help the plants hang on long enough until the rain once again falls from the sky.
The monsoon rainsalso play a part in the blooming of the Night-blooming Cereus every year. These amazing Sonoran Desert cactus plants all bloom together on one night every summer. You can read about them in my book, Queen of the Night, The Night-blooming Cereus.
To learn about our latest science-based children’s books and workbooks, to read our latest blog posts about reptiles, birds, cats, and gardening, in a variety of locations, and about how the books come to be, what inspires an author to write, and many more interesting aspects of the publishing business, fill in the box below and we will add you to our email list.
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