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Can You Hear Me Now? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

Great Horned Owls on cell tower

As we humans expand our footprint into the natural environment, the wildlife often suffer—but some do adjust. Usually, the presence of people and their structures, poisons, etc., is detrimental to the populations of owls. But in my neighborhood, one species has found a way to co-exist: the Great Horned Owl. Being generalists (having many food prey), Great Horned Owls can live in a variety of habitats, including urban areas.

The owls pictured here live on top of a cellular telephone tower. They have a nest on it where they have raised several broods of young. During the rest of the year, they use it a convenient observation post. The owls don’t seem to mind the activities of the humans below. Maybe we are their entertainment, and they’re enjoying watching us as much as we enjoy watching them.

It’s wonderful to share our lives with local wildlife.

To see Lyric Power Publishing’s books about birds, go to Our Books. You’ll see such fun, science-based books like this one:

A copper colored book cover featuring an illustration of a Roadrunner bird
“With vibrant illustrations by Nicholas Thorpe, this picture book is jam-packed with scientific facts about roadrunners, delivered in verse form to keep the narrative lively. Roadrunners “…grab their victim/behind its head/And bash it on/the ground until it is dead.” Want to know how to swallow a horned lizard? Keep reading!” AZ Daily Star
Vivid, colorful illustration of a Greater Roadrunner along with rhyming text
Don’t Make Me Fly by Elaine A. Powers is written in rhyme.
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How Many Eyes Does An Iguana Have? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of third eye of rhini iguana

When giving talks to people about reptiles, a question is asked of the audience: How many eyes do iguanas have? The majority quickly respond “two.” An obvious choice. However, when asked if there are other answers, a tentative “four” is offered? People then look uncertain. The correct answer is three!

The third eye is located on the top of the iguana’s head is and is call the Parietal Eye.  It doesn’t have an eyelid nor is it able to focus but it responds to changes in light and can detect movement.

photo of third eye of green iguana

People have on these “third eyes” as well, but the skull is in the way. It’s called the Pineal Gland. The iguana’s third eye helps with Circadian Rhythm and danger from above. It’s helpful to have a warning when a hawk or snake is coming down. Everything eats an iguana.

The next time you are fortunate enough to be near iguanas, or other lizards, look at the top of their heads. You might see an interesting dome.  Now, you’ll know it’s the very handy “third” eye.

For more information about iguanas, check out the iguana workbook, My Unit Study on Iguanas. LOTS of fun, educational activities in this 30-page workbook.

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Adjectives and Covid-19 by Elaine A Powers Author

illstration of covid-19 virus

The Oxford Dictionary describes an adjective as “a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.”

Okay, an adjective can add descriptive information to a noun.  This can be very useful in writing.  However, over the years, I heard what I considered inappropriate adjectives used in descriptions. I enjoy oceans and the animals that live within them.  I confess, I find it irritating when waters are described as “shark-infested.” Infested refers to a large number of animals present to cause disease of damage. However, the presence of sharks in ocean waters is not an infestation; it’s their native environment, where they typically live.  Infestation creates the illusion that all those sharks swarmed to the particular location only to attack people. Nope.

Recently, as we all struggle with the COVID-19 virus, I heard the virus referred to as “vicious.”  A virus can be virulent, and vigorous, but not vicious. Being vicious means that the virus was intentionally cruel or violent. A virus is not a thinking organism, but a piece of RNA (ribonucleic acid). Consequently, a virus cannot be vicious. There’s even debate on whether a virus is a “living” organism. That characteristic is reserved for organisms that reproduce on their own.  A virus requires the cellular machinery of another organism to reproduce.

Adjectives are very important tools in the English language. Being powerful, they should be used appropriately and wisely!

For interesting and fun science, check out Lyric Power Publishing’s Book selections, and the fantastic workbooks filled with fun and educational worksheets and coloring pages! 

 

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For Some of Us, Research is Fun! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Book cover for the Night-Blooming Cereus

One aspect of writing science-based books is doing research, which is perfect for me because I’ve always loved reading about different subjects.  As a child, I read the encyclopedia. I wonder sometimes if younger people know the joy of pulling out one of the many books in a set of encyclopedias and flipping through those pages packed with information? When I needed details, I would go to the reference section of my local library and search through the many pages in the reference section.

book cover for Hickatee Turtles
The Cayman Islands have turtles that live both on land and in the sea. Hickatee lives on land and doesn’t belong in the sea, like the sea turtles. Do you know the differences? Come inside and learn about turtles, especially the marvelous Hickatee.

Nowadays, we merely search the Internet. My projects cause me to search for many subjects, such as the Night-Blooming Cereus and the Hickatee Turtle. I type in words that might lead to the desired topic, then branch out depending on the results. It’s truly amazing, the information you can find on the World Wide Web. I learn all sort of things. I find details about the animals and plants I am writing about, along with photographs. That way I can guide my illustrators.

It’s easy to spend hours following one line of investigation to another, but I don’t consider it time wasted. Any time you can learn new information is time well spent. I searched “time well spent” and this is what the Internet says: “Time well spent” is any time that brought you fulfillment, comfort and satisfaction, energizing you for your life goals (writing books, for me) with enthusiasm and drive.”

I hope this is as true for you as it is for me.

For some fun “time well spent,” please see our interesting and inexpensive workbooks chock full of fun activities and coloring pages.

book cover Greater Roadrunner grades 2-4

book cover my book about rocks

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Blurbist: New Word for the Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

back cover of Time and the Garden

I was at a meeting where book publishing was discussed. One of the final touches to every book is the “blurb.” A blurb is defined as a short promotional piece for a creative work, like a book.  I refer to the tease on the back of the book as a blurb. The blurb can be written by the author, publisher or reviewer (a positive review is the best kind of blurb). Traditionally, blurbs are printed on the back or rear dust-jacket but today, they are also put on websites.

I found it amusing that at the publishing discussion, the presenter came up with a new word: blurbist. We all laughed at this creation of a new word.

However, it turned out that blurbist really is a word. As you might suspect, it does mean the “writer of a blurb.”

So, despite my friend, Gene, thinking blurbist was a new word, it wasn’t. I still think blurbist makes a great vocabulary word of the day.

The photo above shows “the blurb” for the Lyric Power Publishing Book, Time and the Garden by Jo Busha. Here’s the cover of the wonderful book of essays about gardening.

a book cover with a photo of a lush, Vermont garden
Jo Busha’s Book of Essays about life, gardening and the natural world

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April 3 National Find a Rainbow Day by Author Elaine A. Powers

photo of a rainbow in so. Az

Science is so interesting! And though I love to make all science fun–rainbows are just plain old fun to start with!

Kermit the Frog sang the question, “Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?” Judy Garland is famous for singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” although I enjoy Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version even more.  So, why are there so many songs about rainbows? Why does seeing a rainbow bring joy and hope to people?

After all, a rainbow is just the light spectrum in the shape of an arc. The colors are revealed in the opposite direction of the sun when light is refracted within a droplet of water, then reflected on the back of the droplet and refracted once again when exiting the droplet. But did you know that all rainbows are in fact circles?  Why do we not see them that way?  The rainbow’s true structure runs into the ground or horizon.

You may also have been told that there are seven colors to a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In fact, there are almost a million colors in the rainbow. These are just the big ones in our visible spectrum range.

Sometimes, you may see more than one rainbow—multiples can occur. When light gets reflected twice inside the water droplets, a second fainter rainbow appears above the main one. Look closely and you’ll see that the colors are reversed!  Now the red line is at the bottom and violet is on top.

So, why are there so many songs about rainbows? Because they are so interesting! You can celebrate this day by creating your own rainbow using a garden hose or a prism. Or sing one of those rainbow songs linked above!

And, since we’re at homebound mostly now, enjoy more fun science! Check out my books at Lyric Power Publishing and ElaineAPowers.com.

infographic of books by category

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Tabby the Five-Finger Fairy–A Star is Born! by Curtis Curly-tail

 

Image Tabby Five finer fairy You Tube
Now on You Tube!
Tabby, the Five-Finger Fairy, who comes from the Five-Finger Tree, Tabebuia bahamensis, loves the native plants, animals and people of The Bahamas. She makes friends wherever she goes!

I like to think of author Elaine A. Powers’s You Tube channel as MY channel. It does, after all, say at the top of the page, “Curtis Curly-tail Speaks!”

 

a curly tail lizard on a bahamian beach with blue sky and ocean, sand and green plants
Curtis Curly-tail Speaks on You Tube

But, I’m like, “Whoo, hoo! Look at that girl go!” I mean, have you seen and heard Tabby the Five-Finger Fairy on You Tube?

I’d read her books, of course–but I think I’m in love! Click the picture and see for yourself!

And remember, I’m here in The Bahamas with Tabby and you’re really far away! While I’m working on the girl, please check out her new video–and her books so important for The Bahamas!

Thanks from all your Bahamian Friends!

A children's book cover, brown background, orange and yellow lettering, with images of snakes from the Bahamas Tabby, the Five-Finger Fairy, introduces the fascinating, colorful Bahamian boas. Learn about the natural history of these native, but often misunderstood, snakes.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1797649396/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4A bright green children's book cover, showing a Five-Fingered Fairy riding a Bahamian Boa Tabby, the Five-Finger Fairy, who comes from the Five-Finger Tree, Tabebuia bahamensis,
loves the native plants, animals and people of The Bahamas. She makes friends wherever she goes!

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Who was that Man with a Knife? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Dark book cover showing a man holding a knife

A man stands in the median of a busy road, holding a knife, blood dripping from his hand. Who is he? Why is he in the middle of the road? What happened next? Arizona mystery writers create their own stories based on this real-life event.

When I started writing, I wanted to write murder mysteries. But a theater I belonged to needed scripts, so for several years, I wrote scripts. It was great fun to hear my words out loud instead of just in my head. I learned to write dialog and to keep the storyline trim. Of course, many of my scripts feature reptiles, especially lizards.

Then I was transferred out West and my mother came to live with me.  I couldn’t work all day and do theater at night, so I turned to writing books. I still held onto the dream of writing murder mysteries, but I fell into the science-based children’s book niche and that type of writing took off. Then someone suggested I could write short stories, so that’s what I did.  I wrote a few mystery short stories.

I am a member of the Sisters in Crime organization, and when a speaker had an emergency and cancelled her talk, we had to scramble. We had mystery writers in attendance who had paid expecting some sort of activity to help develop their craft.

One of our members had observed a strange sight a few days before: a man standing in the median of a busy road holding a knife dripping with blood.  She notified the police but never did find out what was going on.

Well, with a group of mystery writers, what else could we do other than write our own interpretations of the event? Recently, those short stories, including mine, were published in an anthology entitled Man With A Knife. Imaginations went to work, and the result is great fun!

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May I Have Some Privacy Please? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

roadrunner in sonoran desert wings spread

GREATER ROADRUNNER

I’m always trying to get an interesting view of the animals and plants I write about in my books and blog post. Roadrunners move very quickly, so I was having trouble getting a good photo. Then I came across this roadie at the Sabino Canyon Visitors Center near Tucson, Az. The roadie was hurrying along the sidewalk when I joined the bird.  Roadie tucked behind some rocks and an agave cactus, but I was still in sight.

Finally, the roadie decided it was safe behind a grouping of boulders and a large prickly pear cactus. Conveniently, the cactus left a window where I could observe the roadie as it spread its wings to expose its dark back to bask in the sun. I was honored by this opportunity to observe and share the bird’s behavior. I think the roadie got nice and warm.

You can read about this behavior and many others in the rhyming book I wrote, Don’t Make Me Fly!

A copper colored book cover featuring an illustration of a Roadrunner bird
“With vibrant illustrations by Nicholas Thorpe, this picture book is jam-packed with scientific facts about roadrunners, delivered in verse form to keep the narrative lively. Roadrunners “…grab their victim/behind its head/And bash it on/the ground until it is dead.” Want to know how to swallow a horned lizard? Keep reading!” AZ Daily Star

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Author Elaine A. Powers Will Be Signing Books at the Tucson Festival of Books, March 14-15, 2020

map of children's area at TFOB

author Elaine A Powers holds a book in front of her booth at Tucson Festival of Books
Come out and say Hello on March 14-15!

On March 14-15, 2020, Tucson will host the third largest book festival in the US, the Tucson Festival of Books. Over 130,000 people come to enjoy this world-of-books every year.

All aspects of the book business are included, with several hundred authors in attendance, many who are involved in panels open to the public. Special programs for children and teens and about science are presented. This event is known for its cultural diversity and promoting literacy among children and adults in Southern Arizona. Millions of dollars have been donated to literacy programs because of this focus.

Author Elaine A. Powers participates in this event by having a booth from which she sells her books. Book lovers enjoy buying books directly from authors and Ms. Powers loves meeting them, as well, and personalizing and signing the books. She says it’s one of the most rewarding parts of being an author.

Ms. Powers will share the booth with author and illustrator, Anderson Atlas. Together, they offer books for all children’s book age groups, and some for adult readers, too.

Stop by and say hello on the weekend of March 14-15.

Tucson Festival of Books
March 14-15, 2020   9:30 – 5:30
University of Arizona
Children’s Section
Booth 324
Grab an Adventure by the Tail
Elaine A. Powers, Author
Anderson Atlas, Author/Illustrator
BOOKS FOR ALL AGES OF CHILDREN