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Curtis Curly-tail Hanging on my Wall in Lights by Elaine A. Powers, Author

 

wall art of a Curly-tail lizard, lighted, sculpture of sliced gemstones and metal
Curtis-Curly Tail as breathtakingly created as any curly-tail lizard ever will be! Lighted sculpture by Zee Haag.

 

In a previous blog, I described the many artists who brought Curtis Curly-Tail to life in my book series illustrations. Today, I want to share with you a very special version of Curtis created by Tucson artist, Zee Haag.

Zee turns minerals and crystals into works of art. He cuts out pieces from steel and copper. He then “paints” with transparent slices of gemstones.  I could go into the details of the polishing of the metal to the desired color and sheen, and how each gemstone is selected and placed individually and fixed into place, but I feel art such as this should be simply enjoyed.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so instead of describing Zee’s version of Curtis, I’ll let you see it for yourself.

I have several pieces of Zee’s artwork on my walls, but this Curtis was made just for me.

a curly tail lizard on a bahamian beach with blue sky and ocean, sand and green plants
Curtis Curly-tail yacks it up on You Tube
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Many Artists for Curtis Curly-Tail by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Even though I’ve created the Curtis Curly-tail stories (inspired by my close encounter with the REAL Curtis Curly-tail), many talented artists have brought Curtis to life visually.  Each of the Curtis Curly-tail series’ books has had a different illustrator and they each put their own individual style to his image.

The first was my dear friend, Art Winstanley.  He didn’t consider himself a reptile person, but his Curtis had a lot of personality.  He was also the one who set Curtis’ unique coloration.  Curly-tails in real-life are a mottled brown, but Curtis is green and always will be.  This helps him stand out from the other characters. Art drew his illustrations on paper using colored pencils.  Sadly, Art died shortly after creating Curtis.

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding the waves in a red sneaker
Curtis, the perfect curly-tail lizard of Warderick Wells, decides to see where the tourists come from. He sets sail on his adventure in a ship of sneakers.

 

When I needed an illustrator to carry on the Curtis books, I asked Anderson Atlas to create a style similar to Art’s and he did.  He captured the innocence of Art’s work but brought his own energetic, fun concepts to the pictures.

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding on the back of a Hutia, a rodent
Curtis Curly-tail and Horace Hutia become friends after declining hutia are brought to Warderick Wells. But when the hutia damage the cay’s ecosystem, what will the scientists do? What would you do? You pick the ending.

 

In George Town, Great Exuma, I was introduced to one of the famous local artists, Jessica Minns.  I asked her if she would be interested and willing to illustrate the third Curtis Curly-tail book.  Jessica brought a unique Bahamian style to Curtis in the book about poaching.

a children's book cover, blue and white, with several curly-tail lizards on the cover
Captured by poachers, Curtis Curly-tail finds himself on a boat full of native animals being smuggled out of The Bahamas. As he struggles to help the other animals escape, he realizes he may not be able to save himself.

 

However, Jessica didn’t have time to repeat her illustrating for me, so I asked an Eleutheran artist to create the picture for the fourth book.

an illustration of a green curly-tail lizard from the Bahamas
Coming Soon! Book four in the Curtis curly-tail series, illustrated by Monica Carroll

 

Monica Carroll has recently completed the illustrations for Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away, scheduled to be published in 2019.  Her beautiful pictures are definitely worth the wait.

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

 

The talented Anderson Atlas has also created the animated Curtis Curly-tail. He brought Curtis from the limited two dimensional drawing to a three dimensional, talking lizard, sharing his adventures with viewers. Check out Curtis’s YouTube channel!

Curtis Curly-tail is one adventurous lizard! The book series is here.

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Writing in Exotic Locales by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Many people go to exotic locations, like the Bahamas, to enjoy the beach and various water-related activities.  I go for inspiration and time to write.  Of course, not all locations are conducive for intensive writing.  Some don’t have a desk.  Or the sun glare is too bright to read the screen.  Then there’s the issue of having electricity accessible to keep your laptop charged.  However, sometimes, the situation comes together to make for a really special place to write.

Bahamian hotel balcony, with wooden fence, table and chairs. Laptop on table.This is the balcony of my room in the Pineapple Fields Resort on Eleuthera. It’s convenient to the beach and the Leon Levy Preserve.

Now if I could just keep my mind on the task at hand and ignore all the stories that are inspired by the location from taking over my writing time! Don’t worry, I made notes. (Ahhh, retirement. So many books to write, so little time.)

View of pool from Bahamian hotel wooden balcony. Blue pool, lush green palms and vegetation, ocean beyondYes, that’s the ocean beyond the pool.

I’ve been told that some writers go into a room with minimum distractions or an office with limited windows to do their work.

I just can’t imagine . . .

Elaine A. Powers is inspired by life and nature. It was a little fellow, well, bigger than her big toe, who climbed onto Elaine’s shoe on a Bahamian beach and hung out for a couple of hours, curling and uncurling his tail. After he left, Elaine went back to her room and the entire story, Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers, came to her in one sitting. Talk about your destiny calling! She weaves science into fun adventure stories or rhyming stanzas that kids and adults alike simply love. As we say here at Lyric Power Publishing, “Science is Fun!”

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding the waves in a red sneaker
Curtis, the perfect curly-tail lizard of Warderick Wells, decides to see where the tourists come from. He sets sail on his adventure in a ship of sneakers.

 

Sneakers on a beach, with a Cury-tail lizard on one of the shoes

Here’s the REAL Curtis who inspired the Curtis Cuirly-tail series of books. Heck, he even has his own YouTube channel now!

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Stop and Meet the Lizards Part 3 by Elaine A. Powers, Author

In my previous posts, I mentioned the wonderful lizards I met in the Bahamas National Trust’s parks on Eleuthera and Grand Bahama. I continued my lizard encounters in Fort Myers, FL., as well.

brown anole lizard on white frog statue on wood chipsI was fortunate to meet this individual, an anole. He or she was perched upon a decorative rock sculpture outside the front door.  You’ll notice, of course, that the sculpture is a frog, another favorite animal of mine. Carefully, I crouched down to get a close-up of the lizard with my cell phone, not wanting to scare him/her off.  I was so focused on this lizard, that I missed seeing the second one!

two brown anole lizards on the ground, rocks, leavesBoth lizards were worthy of admiring. Have you ever found yourself looking so closely at something that you miss important details or information? I learned I needed to stop back and look at the whole scene, not just one small area, like a frog sculpture with a lizard on it.

That’s true in life, isn’t it?

New lizard stories are percolating in the mind of Lyric Power Publishing’s author, Elaine A. Powers. In the meantime, check out her entertaining and educational lizard adventure series: the perfect Curtis Curly-tail and the adventurous Lime Lizard Lads.

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding the waves in a red sneaker
Curtis, the perfect curly-tail lizard of Warderick Wells, decides to see where the tourists come from. He sets sail on his adventure in a ship of sneakers.

 

The Lime Lizard Lads, curly-tail lizards of Cayman Brac, seek an adventure up on the bluff. Their goal is to reach Nani Cave and meet the dragon that lives there. Gene and Bony soon realize how big and how dangerous the world really is. Leaving home is easy, but can the lads make it back?
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Stop and Meet the Lizards Part 2 by Elaine A. Powers, Author

In a previous post, I mentioned the anole lizards I met while walking in the Leon Levy Preserve on Eleuthera in the Bahamas.  It turned out that the Bahamas are filled with friendly lizards.

After my visit to the Leon Levy preserve, I was off to Grand Bahama, after an overnight stop in Nassau. I visited two wonderful places, the Rand Nature Centre and the Lucayan National Park.  Walking through both, I met a variety of very friendly curly-tailed lizards.

Yes, once again I stopped to Meet the Lizards.

gray Curly tail lizard on gray concrete

Brown curly tail lizard on the sand with grasses around

Unlike the Anolis species on Eleuthera, these are members of  Leiocephalus, which are curly-tailed lizards.  They are called curly-tails because they . . . you guessed it, curl their tail.  The Bahamas have five species of curly-tail lizards.

Usually when I come across a curly-tailed lizard, it takes off before I can get close enough to take a photo.  However, these lizards were very helpful and stopped so I could admire them. I think they were relatives of my dashing protagonist, Curtis Curly-tail.

Now I realize not everyone finds as much joy in lizards as I do, so find out what in nature brings you joy and take a moment to stop and enjoy.

To learn more about Curtis Curly-tail, visit him at  You Tube.

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Stop and Meet The Anole Lizards by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Jimmy Buffett has a song “Off To see the Lizard.” As I walked through the Leon Levy Preserve on Eleuthera in the Bahamas,  I changed the words to “Stop and Meet the Lizards.” I was inspired by the number of lizards I saw on the trail. I had hoped to find an amieva like the ones with the bright blue tails but didn’t. Fortunately, the anoles were very friendly.

I couldn’t make it “Stop and Meet the Snakes” because the racers raced off and the boas were hiding.

Here are some of my new friends from the Anolis species.

A brown anole Bahamian lizard on a gray rock

A Bahamian Anole tan-colored lizard on light-colored rocks and brown dirt

A Bahamian gray Anole lizard climbing a tree

A brown and white Bahamian anole lizard on white rocks on dirt

My new book “Tabby and Cleo: Unexpected Friends” includes the theme of stopping in our busy lives to remember we are animals, too, and part of the ecosystem.

A bright green children's book cover, showing a Five-Fingered Fairy riding a Bahamian Boa

Cleo, a Bahamian boa, one of the misunderstood animals of The Bahamas, rescues Tabby, a Five-Finger Fairy. In trying to find Cleo a safe place to live, this unlikely pair help each other and the people they meet. Tabby loves Bahamian wildlife, Bahamian bush teas, and making friends with both animals and humans alike. This book focuses on important conservation issues that threaten Bahamian wildlife, such as wildlife smuggling, habitat loss, invasive species and human intolerance of animals such as snakes and spiders.

Everyone needs nature in their lives. One of my friends calls it Vitamin N, one of the essential vitamins.

So as you go about your life, stop and meet something in nature.  It doesn’t have to be lizards or even an animals.  Stop and meet the birds, squirrels or flowers along your way.

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I, Curtis curly-tail, am Honored to Write for LPP

Hello, I’m Curtis Curly-tail of Warderick Wells Cay, in the Exumas of the Bahamas.

A yellow green curly-tail lizard stands behind a table on an island, with the words "Curtis Speaks" above him

I’m simply delighted that Lyric Power Publishing asked me to write some guest posts for their website. You see, I kind of owe them for making me somewhat famous. I really get to show off my perfect curly tail over at my You Tube Channel!

Let me start by introducing myself and my species.  I am a member of the Leiocephalus carinatus species. We are found in the Bahamas, Cuba and on the Cayman Islands. I am planning a trip to visit the Lime Lizard Lads on the Cayman Islands, who are the exact same species as me. Isn’t that incredible? What is curious is that the Bahamas has four other species of Curly-tail lizards, but my species is the only one to travel to the Cayman Islands.

We all like to live along the coast in dry areas. We’re called xerophilic or arid-loving. We live on the ground among rocks, shrubs and even pines, but my favorite spot is along the beach. I’ve noticed humans like the beach, too. Maybe I’ll see you there! And, If you’d like to join me on my wild adventures, the Curtis curly-tail series is available here.

Take care and talk soon!

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Why Are Two Books Titled Ship of Sneakers? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

A book cover with a Curly-tail lizard riding the waves in a red sneaker
Curtis, the perfect curly-tail lizard of Warderick Wells, decides to see where the tourists come from. He sets sail on his adventure in a ship of sneakers.

My book business started with the publication of Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers. In this story, a Curly-tail lizard named Curtis travels from his home island of Warderick Wells to the big city of Nassau to see where the tourists come from. When he gets homesick, Curtis must figure out how to get home. Not to worry—Curtis is a smart Curly-tail lizard and he would be bored if life didn’t get exciting from time to time.

Then—and how fun for me!—several people in the Cayman Islands requested their own Curly-tail adventures, and the Lime Lizard Lads, Gene and Bony, were born. The first book in their series, The Dragon of Nani Cave, explores the animals, plants and sites on Cayman Brac, as the two adventure off to find the island’s dragon for themselves.

But, “One is not enough,” the people said. I was asked if could I adapt one of the Bahamas books for the Cayman Islands. Yes, I thought. I can adapt Ship of Sneakers fairly easily. Ha! It turned out I had to rewrite the entire story, but it was worth it. In The Lime Lizard Lads and the Ship of Sneakers, Gene and Bony leave their home on Cayman Brac, one of the Sister Islands, and travel to the tourist sites on Grand Cayman. And since the only way in or out is by airplane, they have quite the adventure!

The Lime Lizards of Cayman Brac, Gene and Bony decide to see where the tourists come from. They set sail on their adventure in a ship of sneakers. Will they ever see the Brac again?

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Why Do I Blog? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

I spend enough time writing my books–why do I blog as well?

Many reasons come to mind.

It’s nice to be able to finish a writing task in a short amount of time. It takes a long time to finish an entire book. I get a feeling of accomplishment when a blog post is completed.

But the more important reason is the opportunity to share with the readers.
I can tell you about
my writing journey,
the animals in my life,
the places I’ve visited,
a little about myself, and
last, but certainly not least,
I can share science information
beyond the scope of my books.

Blogging, you see, can be very beneficial.

A Bahamian curly-tail lizard climbs onto a human shoe on a beach
Curtis the Curly-tail lizard introduced himself to me by climbing on my sneaker. Then, his first story, Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers came into my mind. Coincidence? I think not!

One can also be creative writing for blogs. Here at Tails, Tales and Adventures, Oh, My!, I write as myself.  But at my author website, www.elaineapowers.com, my blog is “written by” Curtis Curly-tail, the Bahamian lizard I met several years ago who inspired me to write the Curtis Curly-tail series of books. The world can be a very interesting place from a lizard’s point of view.

I hope you’re enjoying the posts here. If you have a topic you’d like written about, please let me know by commenting below, or contact me at iginspired@gmail.com. I’d love to write about what you’d like to know.

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Curtis Curly-tail Must Know! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

A lizard curling his tail on a sandy beach
The curious and courageous Curtis Curly-tail scoping out a sneaker on the beach.

Living on a Caribbean island can be wonderful, but it is also rather isolating. Just as we humans enjoy having visitors, Curtis Curly-tail enjoyed seeing people come ashore from their boats. When he watched them leave again, Curtis wondered where they had come from and where they were going.

One day the curious and courageous little guy decided to find out for himself. He crept into a sneaker and traveled to the big city, delighting in the many sights and sounds a small cay doesn’t have. Eventually, though, Curtis wanted to go home. It didn’t take him long to realize that getting onto a tourist boat from his beach was much easier than catching a ride home would be. He would have to get on the right boat and he had no idea how he would cross the water between the boat and his beach.

You can find out how Curtis gets home in Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers, which is published by Lyric Power Publishing and available at Amazon.com.

Thanks for stopping by Tails, Tales and Adventures, Oh, My!