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The Call of the Ocean May Not Be Denied by Elaine A. Poweres, Author

ocean off of Cayman BarcI live in Arizona, a landlocked state. I, like many other Arizonans, feel the need to visit an ocean now and then. Many Tucsonan’s head south to Rocky Point. I usually go a bit farther. The photo above is of ocean off the coast of Cayman Brac. This brings peace to my being.

The need to visit the ocean has been captured by a variety of poets. The one that most often comes to mind is Sea Fever by John Masefield. I find the second stanza the most appropriate to me.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

Watching the ocean always stimulates my creativity and I often wish I could spend more time there. As Helen Keller wrote: “I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.”

So I’m sharing this image with you so that you, too, might have cool, quieting thoughts.

However, in order to write the books inspired by the water, I have to go indoors. The salt in the island air is not good for a laptop. When I need a recharge of my muse, I’ll pull this photo out and hear that “clear call that may not be denied.”

I’ve written a couple of adventure tales about Curly-tail lizards called the Lime Lizards Lads. Their stories are set on Cayman Brac. You can enjoy a bit of this special place by going along on their adventures.

colorful children's book cover with illustrations of curly-tail lizardsThe 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?

book cover, with beach and ocean, a pair of sneakers, with curly-tail lizards in them
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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Visiting with Friends on Cayman Brac by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Usually when I travel, if I’ve been to a place once, that’s good for me. Time to move on to the next location on my “to-visit” list. But I have a few favorite places I don’t mind visiting each year. It’s convenient when I write books about those places, because I have to then deliver books to stores there, or I go for inspiration and research for the next book. One such place is Cayman Brac, one of the Sister Islands in the Cayman Islands.

To get to the Brac, I usually fly into Grand Cayman, which is a very nice place to visit as well. My favorite places are Books and Books, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Gardens to see the Grand’s blue iguanas, and Pampered Ponies, where you can take a swim with a horse. But then it is off to the Brac, a short plane ride away. It’s only about 98 miles.

image of Sister Isle Rock Iguana, Cyclura nubila caymanensis
Sister Isle Rock Iguana, Cyclura nubila caymanensis

Even though the purpose of my last trip was to market and restock the stores with my books, my personal reason was to visit with the locals, such as the beautiful lady above. She is a Sister Isle Rock Iguana, Cyclura nubila caymanensis. I was part of the team that caught her last year and watched as she dug a nest for her eggs. Her egg chamber was part of the research project for the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment. She is looking great.

Of course, when I asked her if she remembered me, she ran off into the brush!

a white and light blue book cover with an image of an iguana's headFor educators and homeschooling parents, LPP offers a 30-page workbook called My Unit Study on Iguanas designed for students in grades 2-4. It’s filled with fun and educational pages and puzzles, all about the iguana.

a blue and turquoise book cover with an image of Cayman Islands passport coverAnd your favorite first – third grader(s) might love to make a Passport to the Cayman Islands while learning about these truly beautiful islands.

illustration of head of cyclura nubila iguanaIf you have any interest in the identification booklets that Lyric Power Publishing has created on how to tell the differences between the invasive green iguanas and the native rock iguanas, please contact Elaine Powers at iginspired@gmail.com.

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A Lizards’ Take on the “Cremation of Sam McGee” by Elaine A. Powers

Book cover, lavendar, turquoise and black for Cremation of Sam McGeeIn this episode of Conversations with Dudley Dewlap, I combine my love of theater with the work of one of my favorite poets, Robert Service. Service is famous for his work while in the gold rush fields in the Yukon Territory in Canada.

One poem often quoted is The Cremation of Sam McGee. Dudley Dewlap and Miles Monitor decide to perform this classic piece on their radio show in “Service.”

Things get out of hand as they often do with reptiles.

(SFX: WIND)

DUDLEY: There are strange things done in the midnight sun by men who moil for gold…

MILES: Uh, Dudley, what does moil mean?

DUDLEY: You know, grub, pan for gold enthusiastically.

MILES: Thanks.

DUDLEY: The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.

MILES: Dudley we’re lizards. It’s not good for our blood to run cold.

DUDLEY: The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.

(SFX: WIND)

DUDLEY: On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail. Talk of your cold! Through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail. If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see; it wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

MILES: Whimper? OK, this is just silly, we’re lizards, we wouldn’t be in Alaska and we certainly wouldn’t be in Alaska in the winter. And if we were in Alaska during the winter we wouldn’t be mushing our way over the Dawson Trail, because we would have frozen to death!

DUDLEY: It’s just a poem Miles. Now, please get into the story:
And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow and the dogs were fed,

MILES: Dogs! There are dogs, too? Don’t you know that they’re predators? And what did we feed them, other reptiles who have succumbed to the cold?

DUDLEY: And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low,

MILES: That’s because you’re in the Yukon, a place not known for its year round growing season.

DUDLEY: The trail was bad,

MILES: You chose it.

DUDLEY: And I felt half mad, don’t say it Miles, but I swore I would not give in; and I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

MILES: Actually that’s a grimace. They look a lot alike.

DUDLEY: Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay; it was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.” And I looked at it and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum; then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

MILES: Hey, let’s discuss this, shall we?

DUDLEY: And I lit the boiler fire;

(SFX: WHOOSH OF FIRE STARTING, FOLLOWED BY SMOKE ALARM GOING OFF FOR A FEW SECONDS)

DUDLEY: Some coal I found that was lying around and I heaped the fuel higher; the flames just soared, and the furnace roared – such a blaze you seldom see; and I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

(Pause, then as if struggling) And I stuffed in Sam McGee,

(Pause)

and I stuffed–Miles, you’ve got to let go of the edge of the door. I’ve got to stuff you in.

MILES: There ain’t no way you’re shoving me into a fire, no matter how hard you stuff.

DUDLEY: It’s a fake fire! This is theater!

MILES: Sure, that‘s what you say, but I don’t see you leaping in there!

DUDLEY: You’ll spoil the whole scene if I can’t stuff you in and triumphantly close the door!

MILES: What do you mean? This is radio – no one can see us!

DUDLEY: Miles, you don’t understand drama.

MILES: Drama, I’ll show you drama! Here, this is the acting bug biting you!

DUDLEY: Aaaagggg. Miles, stop biting my tail, Miiiiiiileeeeeees . . . (FADES OFF)

NARRATOR: (MYSTERIOUSLY) And so concludes another exciting episode of Conversations with Dudley Dewlap. Tune in next time when we hear Dudley say…

DUDLEY: I’m ready for my close up, Mr. Demille.

NARRATOR: You’ve been listening to a rendition of Robert Service’s Cremation of Sam McGee. Doing the disservice was ___________ as Dudley and ____________ as Miles. Directed by__________.

Elaine A. Powers is responsible for this crime against literature.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

 

Conversations with Dudley Dewlap: The World from a Lizard Point
of View is a collection of short comedy, small cast, audio scripts. Most
roles are gender neutral. The primary characters are talk show hosts who
discuss various amusing topics. The scripts can be combined or used
individually. Additional cast can be used for the sound effects. Along
with being entertaining and family friendly, many of the scripts are also
educational. The scripts are amenable to radio theater, readers theater,
or may be adapted for stage. Approximate running times vary with each
script, ranging from 5-20 minutes.

 

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Chatting with Dudley Dewlap About a Hex at the World Soccer Championships by Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of the profile of a carbbean iguana
Image courtesy of Jolyne D from Pixabay

One of my favorite stories for an episode in the Audio Theater Script Series, Conversations with Dudley Dewlap, by Yours Truly, is called The Hex. It is about the use of witchcraft at the annual World Soccer Championships. When I first heard about it, I thought it was an exaggeration, but apparently not. I bet it’s still going on.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

Here, Dudley and Miles discuss Loa, the voodoo-practicing Lizard; and, as usual, Dudley turns the conversation to himself.

“DUDLEY: I was chatting with my pal Loa Lizard last night and he was telling me about soccer. I confess I’ve become obsessed. Listeners, Loa is an iguana from the Caribbean and an expert in voodoo. His name, Loa, means Voodoo guardian spirits.

LOA: Now there be lots of misconceptions about voodoo around and I tries to educate people.

DUDLEY: He’s in town for a big human soccer tournament and was hired to find out if the soccer field had been tampered with, if any curses or hexes had been put upon it.

MILES: The humans couldn’t do this for themselves?

LOA: No, the team advisers, or witch-doctors as they be known, were banned by the soccer ruling body.

DUDLEY: So they turned to Loa. Some teams will climb fences into the stadium rather than use the main gate, fearing a spell may have been put upon it.

MILES: You’ve got be making this up.

DUDLEY: I’m not that creative.

Interestingly, Dudley decides he wants to try out for the soccer team.

DUDLEY: Have you seen the game? The players aren’t allowed to use their hands.

MILES: Yes. So?

DUDLEY: Not only do I have powerful legs…

MILES: (BITE CUE) Yes, you can outrun any human.

DUDLEY: But the pièce de résistance is my tail! With my powerful tail, its incredible accuracy, I could be the entire team!

ANNOUNCER: Once again, today’s topic was directly from the news. The issue of witchcraft was discussed at the 2002 soccer World Cup. Really, Elaine couldn’t make this stuff up!”

NOTE: Conversations with Dudley Dewlap: The World from a Lizard Point of View is a collection of short comedy, small cast, audio scripts. Most roles are gender neutral. The primary characters are talk show hosts who discuss various amusing topics. The scripts can be combined or used
individually. Additional cast can be used for the sound effects. Along with being entertaining and family friendly, many of the scripts are also educational. The scripts are amenable to radio theater, readers theater, or may be adapted for stage. Approximate running times vary with each script, ranging from 5-20 minutes. The purchase of the scripts includes performance rights.

Please see all Elaine A. Powers theater audio scripts at Amazon here.

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Another Conversation About Dudley Dewlap and a Famous Eel by Elaine A. Powers, Author

The episodes I wrote from Conversations with Dudley Dewlap are based on real-life events. The “Pet Psychic” episode in the Dudley Dewlap audio script was inspired by real pet psychics. In listening to one of their episodes, I found out that green iguanas want to take over the world. The way green iguanas are spreading around the world as an invasive species, they just might succeed.

two hands extended, holding two small eels
Image of eels courtesy of PENEBAR from Pixabay

People often comment on my unusual pets, so I’ve decided to share the story of an even more unusual pet who lives with a family in Germany (as reported by Reuters). This family has kept a pet eel named Aalfred in their bathtub for 33 years. Yes, I said 33 years.

Pet activists complained Aalfred was being held under unnatural circumstances and asked authorities to release the eel into the wild. However, after examination by a vet, the eel was found to be in excellent health and well cared for. (I’m sure an animal psychic could’ve told the authorities how happy the eel was.)

This story has a happy ending: Aalfred the eel was allowed to stay with his family if they installed an arm-length pipe so he could rest more comfortably. The eel’s family stated, “This was the only reasonable outcome – in any case, we would have protected Aalfred.”

Truth is stranger than fiction.

And, for some truth from the lizard point of view in a comedic audio script, please click on Conversations with Dudley Dewlap.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

Click the book above to check out these audio scripts for your school or theater group. Purchase of any of the audio script books includes performance rights.

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Miles the Water Monitor Wants His Own Day, Too by Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of a large lizard, a water monitor, on a tree branch
Water Monitor image courtesy of Yarachan from Pixabay

Last post, I wrote about my adventures with script-writing and the short, comedic audio scripts of Conversations with Dudley Dewlap. In this excerpt from “First Noel,” Miles and Molly Monitor decide there should be a day honoring water monitors, because Dudley has March 17 or Green Iguana Day (as he calls it). However, Dudley manages to turn the conversation toward himself, as usual. He does give some pretty good advice and I hope you enjoy this tidbit from the script.

MILES: So what would you be celebrating on Dudley Day?

DUDLEY: I’ve been thinking about that.

MILES: Of course, you have.

DUDLEY: The celebration of the perfection of the green iguana.

MILES: ‘Cuse me?

DUDLEY: All animals should strive to seek the perfection that is the iguana. I realize I need to provide instruction in how to achieve ig-ness.

MILES: You came up with instructions? What are they?

DUDLEY: First, always look for a sunbeam to bask in.

MILES: Sounds delightful. Next?

DUDLEY: Swimming in warm water helps you find contentment.

MILES: I agree one hundred percent.

DUDLEY: Always reach for the top.

MILES: Does is have to be a tree?

DUDLEY: Of course not. Never be content with what you’ve achieved – always try for more.

MILES: Excellent advice. Never tolerate mediocrity.

DUDLEY: Bright colors make you look your best.

MILES: But the predators might see you more easily….

DUDLEY: It’s not easy being green.

MILES: Uh, Dudley, I think an amphibian already uses that phrase.

DUDLEY: Are you sure?

MILES: Yeah, he has his own TV show, has been in movies, quite famous. Dates a glamorous pig.

DUDLEY: Really? Give ‘im a call. We’ll do lunch.

MILES: Any other instructions?

DUDLEY: Be different and people will notice you.

MILES: It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.

DUDLEY: A diet with lots of vegetables is good for you.

MILES: Maybe for you herbivores and omnivores, but what about us carnivores?

DUDLEY: And last, but most important, look for the warmth in people.

There you have it–a short bit from one of the scripts in Conversations with Dudley Dewlap. Click the link below to check it out for your school or theater group. Purchase of any of the audio script books includes performance rights.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

Conversations with Dudley Dewlap: The World from a Lizard Point of View is a collection of short comedy, small cast, audio scripts. Most roles are gender neutral. The primary characters are talk show hosts who discuss various amusing topics. The scripts can be combined or used individually. Additional cast can be used for the sound effects. Along with being entertaining and family friendly, many of the scripts are also educational. The scripts are amenable to radio theater, readers theater, or may be adapted for stage. Approximate running times vary with each script, ranging from 5-20 minutes.

 

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Looking for a Funny Audio Script? By Elaine A. Powers, Scriptwriter

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

I’m a retired biologist and I enjoy teaching children and consequently, adults, about science. Science education doesn’t have to be dry and tedious. I like to be creative, so I write rhyming picture books and adventure tales, in the hopes of slipping in facts while the reader enjoys the story.

However, my writing career didn’t start with the books for sale on this website. It actually started with radio/audio theatre scripts and a couple of talkative lizards.

Have you met Dudley or Didi Dewlap? Or Miles or Molly Monitor?

Dudley and Didi are green iguanas, known for being rather self-absorbed but energetic talk-show hosts.

Miles and Molly are water monitors, much more down-to-earth lizards, the perfect sidekick for an iguana. Did you know that green iguanas are arrogant and according to a pet psychic, that they want to take over the world? Not sure how they intend to do this, but it will be interesting to see them try.

In the meantime, Dewlap and Monitor discuss the world from the lizard point of view, and they include the pet psychic, witchcraft and the soccer World Cup in their musings.

The scripts in this book are written in talk-show style and they provide a great deal of information in a very humorous fashion. Not only is the news of the day discussed, but classic works of literature are discussed . . . by lizards. And by the way, they’re “political activists,” too. Reptilian politics, that is.

NOTE: Conversations with Dudley Dewlap: The World from a Lizard Point of View is a collection of short comedy, small cast, audio scripts. Most roles are gender neutral. The primary characters are talk-show hosts who discuss various amusing topics. The scripts can be combined or used individually. Additional cast can be used for sound effects. Along with being entertaining and family friendly, many of the scripts are also educational. The scripts are amenable to radio theater, readers’ theater, or may be adapted for stage. Approximate running times vary with the scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes. Performance rights are included with the sale of the book–as many times as you’d like!

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Sept. 12, 2019 National Day of Encouragement By Elaine A. Powers, Author

What a wonderful day–a day of encouragement. We all need encouragement, whether it be for something small or something big. As a writer, I’m constantly in need of encouragement. It’s one thing to put words on a page–that is easy. But I need encouragement to share my work with the world. I’ve gotten encouragement to write stories, to get them published, to market them to shops, and to speak in public about them.

TEXT WAY TO GO!

My writing career started because the other passengers on a boat encouraged me to publish the story. So, Curtis Curly-tail and the Ship of Sneakers was published. But the real encouragement came from the first children who read it when they asked me, “When is the next Curtis story coming out?” I hadn’t planned another Curtis, but their sweet encouragement led to the stream of books, 26 to date, that have flowed from me. I will be forever grateful.

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.

I am also encouraged when children who had the book read to them, incorporate the science into their daily lives and even share it with others around them. Like my friend’s young grandson who corrects adults who call a tortoise a turtle. “Don’t call him a turble!” he exclaims.

And I’m encouraged when an adult tells me after she’s read a book to the young person in her life, “I didn’t know that, either. I learned something new yesterday.”

We all have a story to share. I encourage you to share a story with a special little someone today.

A children's book cover, green with a tortoise standing, coming out of a circle, finger pointed, saying Don't Call Me Turtle

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The Origins of Animal Descriptors by Elaine A. Powers, Author

Baby sheep standing in grassy field
Sheep By Public Domain Picture from Pixabay

The other day I used the phrase, “That dog is looking sheepish.” It got me thinking about animals being used as descriptors. How did we decide what sheepish is? Sheepish refers to being embarrassed after doing something wrong or foolish. Do sheep feel embarrassed? I doubt it. When I looked the etymology up, an earlier meaning was related to the shy or fearful behavior of sheep.

I got curious and researched more of these expressions. Here are a few I found interesting. When someone gets your goat, it means they irritate you. This phrase comes from horseracing. Goats were used as companions for the thoroughbreds, helping to keep the high-strung horses calm. Opponents would steal the goat in order to upset the horse, so it wouldn’t run well in the race.

Calling someone pig-headed is an intentional insult, suggesting the person is stupid and stubborn. This is odd because pigs are rather intelligent animals. It’s suggested that people have a tendency to want to denigrate intelligent animals by saying they are stubborn. Yes, pigs can be stubborn, refusing to move when people want them to—but would you always move if someone was forcing you to? I think this phrase is insulting to both the person and the pig!

The head of a turkey, white feathers and red skin on head
Image courtesy of Skeeze of Pixabay

Another saying is commonly used in advertising: He quit cold turkey. It’s said when someone needs to stop a bad habit and decides to quit in one moment, instead of tapering off. How did a wild, warm-blooded bird become cold and acquire this meaning? The origin of this phrase is not clear, but two are suggested. The first is related to the look of a person’s skin when they are withdrawing from drugs they are addicted to: it is cold and bumpy, like a plucked turkey. Another possibility is that turkey is a relatively quick and easy dish to prepare, but that isn’t nearly as interesting an explanation.

The next time you find yourself using one of these phrases, stop and research where they came from. You will likely learn something about the animal, as well as history.

And for a fun time learning about animals, Lyric Power Publishing offers workbooks and activity sheets on a variety of creatures. We offer two workbooks about the Greater Roadrunner, one for Grades K-2 and the second for Grades 2-4. Thank you for stopping by. We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and will also enjoy and benefit from our workbooks.

A green and yellow book cover with image of Greater Roadrunner

a turquoise and yellow book cover with an image of the Greater Roadrunner

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Remember Clarissa Catfish and White Thunder? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

Two catfish in an aquarium

Clarissa Catfish and White Thunder are characters in the storybook, Clarissa Catfish Visits the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

I was back in my hometown of Peoria, IL., so I stopped by to visit a couple of old friends and a couple of inspirations. Clarissa Catfish and White Thunder from my story, Clarissa Catfish Visits the Peoria Riverfront Museum, are featured in the photo above. You can see why I didn’t want Clarissa to be kidnapped and eaten!

I was delighted to see they are still swimming about in the Illinois River Exhibit. Even though they look similar, Clarissa and WT are different kinds of catfish in my book, Channel and Bullhead. The book is an exciting tale of friendship and danger, plus you will learn a lot of fun facts about Channel cats.

Clarissa’s adventures will continue. The ending of her first book was left open ended. You’ll want to see where she goes next!

an illustrated children's book cover, blue water with a catfish swmming and a bu9ilding in the background
A flooding river takes Clarissa Catfish to the Peoria Riverfront Museum. She had thought exploring the Illinois River was exciting, but once she is taken inside the museum, the real adventure begins. Clarissa explores the exhibits and makes new friends–but will she escape the man who has dinner plans for her?