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Imaging with Poetry by Elaine A. Powers, Author

An image of a typed poem, with the letters in the shape of the subject of the poem: the X of the roadrunner's footprint and how it confuses any evil spirits that are following.

I enjoy writing the rhymes for my picture books. I believe the flow of the language enhances the reading experience. Besides, rhyming makes science more fun. My illustrators create incredible images to complete the package.  Recently, I was selecting poems for an anthology.  I couldn’t use the text from  an entire picture book, so I was selecting stanzas that could stand alone.

In one of the craft workshops, I learned about positioning the words to enhance the poem’s content.

For my poem about the X-shape of roadrunners’ feet, I decided to try to paint an image with the words. 

What do you think? Does this make the rhyming more fun?

A colorful image of the orange setting sun, clouds and rainbows, along with roadrunner "spirits" chasing the roadrunner of the American Southwest, who gets away because his footprint is directionless.
The rhyming verses and vibrant images of Don’t Make Me Fly capture the reader’s interest and make learning about science interesting and fun.

Elaine A. Powers is the author of science-based children’s books. The “Don’t” Series includes Don’t Make Me Fly, about the Roadrunner, a favorite siting of those residing in the American Southwest.

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Enjoy “Do Not Fear Tarantulas,” a Music Video, by Elaine A. Powers, Author

A closeup of an animated tarantula on the ground, against a dark background
The tarantula from the

One of the things I’ve learned about writing books is that it’s important to have a critique group. These are people with differing backgrounds, not family members, who are willing to give honest feedback about your work. Not only do they critique what you’ve written, but they can provide new ideas to help your story. If you’re fortunate, you meet very talented people and I have been lucky in this regard. 

The members of one of my critique groups are authors of children’s’ books. But they aren’t only authors, they are poets, artists, and musicians. One member, Susan Oyler, wrote a rhyming piece about tarantulas.  I loved the science in it. I also noticed that the rhythm of the poem matched the cadence of Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King.” So, another member, Lori Bonati, took the poem and put it to music.  She had to tweak it a bit, but it is simply fabulous.  Such a magnificent musical piece deserved to be animated.  So, I got my animator, Anderson Atlas, to bring the tarantula to life. 

Why shouldn’t you be afraid of tarantulas? Here is the delightful answer in song:

Please enjoy it and my other videos on the YouTube channel Curtis “Curtis Curly-tail Speaks,” featuring the perfectly wonderful curly-tail lizard and my friend, Curtis.

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Books, by Popular Demand! by Elaine A. Powers, Author

I inherited my mother’s house, which is in an RV Resort in Ft. Myers, FL. Every year, I travel there at Christmastime to perform in each year’s original Cantata, composed by a very talented woman, Ruth Rodgers, and her husband, Dr. Ted Rodgers. I directed the orchestra, sang, played the trumpet and thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. Sadly, 2017 was the final cantata.

That meant, however, that this past Christmas, I could fully participate in the park’s holiday potluck dinner.  A gift exchange takes place every year—you know, the kind where everyone gets a number and as each number is called, that person selects a gift. The fun part is, they may keep the gift they chose or trade for one another person has already selected. Some gifts are traded (grabbed!) repeatedly until the numbers finally run out.

I decided to take the collection of my “Don’t” series books (Don’t Call Me Turtle, Don’t Make Me Fly, and Don’t Make Me Rattle) as my gift. I also took along some Southwestern-themed wrapping paper and tape since I didn’t know what supplies were in the house. I brought some yummy Tortuga rum cakes from my travels to the Cayman Islands. I was ready.

Green book cover with a tortoise standing on hind legs, pointing at the viewer
Let ME tell you about the differences
between tortoises and turtles.

Cold feet struck that afternoon. Was bringing my own books the right thing to do?  Geez, maybe I should have brought something more appropriate. I searched the house for something I could substitute, but there was nothing. Fate determined the “Don’t” series books would be my gift.

One of my neighbors greeted me at the door that evening . “Is this one of the books you’ve written?”  

I confessed it was.

His reply? “I know what gift I’m choosing.” 

Sure enough, his number was called and he selected my gift.  I was honored and delighted that he wanted my books.

His number was called early, but his possession of the books was short lived. A few numbers later, a woman took the books from him.  Then a few more numbers, and another woman selected the books—and so on! 

My books were one of the most desired gifts of the evening. It was both engaging and rewarding to know that my efforts to make science education fun are working. I hope to inspire many future scientists by creating books written in rhyme, filled with scientific facts, that children and their parents truly enjoy reading.

Happy new year to all!

A brown book cover with a Diamondback rattlesnake inside a circle, showing the sky
I am shy and I love it
when you simply pass by.
An orange book cover with a southwestern roadrunner painted within a circle, blue sky in background
Roadrunners don’t fly–
do you know why?
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Scripts or Books? by Elaine A. Powers, Author

I’m often asked how long I’ve been writing books. I have been writing mostly science-based children’s books–which I like to make fun to read with fantastic illustrations or by writing in rhyme. I’ve been creating mystery stories, as well, for a total of about five years.

One of my Audio Scripts.

Before that, I wrote scripts. I was involved in several community theaters that often needed original scripts. I wrote a variety of them, many of which were performed locally.

Curtis Curly-tail comes alive at my page at You Tube.

Then my employer transferred me to Tucson, Arizona, and my mother came to live with me. I no longer had time for theater, but the need to write had awakened in me. I met little Curtis Curly-tail on a beach in the Bahamas and my book writing adventure began.

I am greatly relieved to get the stories out that have been cluttering my mind!

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Why is there a Gnome in Grow Home, Little Seeds?

Why is this Gnome in a book about seeds?

When you read the tale of the adventurous seeds of the Leon Levy Preserve, Grow Home, Little Seeds,  you learn all about real plants of the Bahamas. The fabulous illustrations by Monique Carroll bring the seedlings to life in a fun way.

When you turn to the Acknowledgements to learn who helped bring the book to life, you see a gnome. Yes, a gnome in blue clothes with a red hat. Why is there a gnome in Grow Home, Little Seeds?

When the author, Elaine A. Powers, researched the plants of the Leon Levy Preserve, she asked the Bahamas National Trust Botanist, Dr. Ethan Freid, what his favorite plants were. 

Dr. Ethan Friede, Botanist at
the Leon Levy Preserve 
Photo Credit: Melissa Abdo

He replied that they were all his favorites.

 “Well, which plants would you like to see in the book?” Elaine asked. He couldn’t decide, but there was something that he did want: A gnome.

Dr. Freid provided valuable information to Elaine as the book was written, and she decided he deserved his gnome. She learned that Dr. Freid had dressed up as a gnome for Halloween and there were photographs! Thus, the gnome who appears in the book—who looks a lot like Dr. Freid—honors him for his work to conserve the plants of the Bahamas.

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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,, 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 I’d love to write about what you’d like to know.

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Visiting the San Juan Islands in Washington State Inspired My Third Book, by Rhonda Banuelos, Author

A woman on a boat, holding up a children's book
Author Rhonda Banuelos holds her book, The Adventures of Hayley Cat

An idea came to me for our annual summer vacation: a whale watching tour. With a little internet research, I found the perfect place to enjoy such a memorable experience: The San Juan Islands in Washington State.

Photos on the internet featured an archipelago that consists of approximately 172 islands, with the four larger islands offering the most activities for tourists. Each island had its own unique locales and activities, from kayaking tours, hiking, bed and breakfast inns, glamping, sheep farm tours, fishing, and bike riding, just to name a few. There is so much to see and do in the area.

Bellingham offered a whale watching cruise from its port, which included lunch and a two-hour stop at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Once we arrived, we could easily walk around the shops, galleries, restaurants and parks. If we were lucky, we could feed the famous Harbor Seal, Popeye. This looked like an exciting trip for us and I quickly made our travel arrangements.

A black and white cat crosses the deck of a large ship
This black-and-white cat caught the author’s attention on her family’s vacation to the San Juan Islands

San Juan Island has a vibe of a miniature, cute, seaport village. We could smell the brewed coffee coming from the local coffee shops as we boarded our ship on the day of the whale-watching adventure. I noticed a ship docked next to our vessel and I saw a cat walking on the deck. It had black and white coloring, like an Orca whale.

This seemed like such a coincidence to me. My creative juices were flowing, and I realized Book Three of my Hayley Cat series was already forming in my mind. In addition to my theme of the importance of friendship, the story line would include travel, Orca whales and the Friday Harbor Port. Best of all, I knew, would be seeing Popeye, the famous gentle Harbor Seal, who did make it into Book Three as a main character!

We were then whisked away gently on the glorious ocean, enjoying the cool breeze on our faces, excited about our upcoming tour. Behind us was an amazing view of Mt. Baker. And what an incredible sight to see the Orca pods gliding beside our ship.

We passed several islands along the way to San Juan and viewing the quiet and quaint beaches gave us a feeling of wanting to explore every island in depth. We thoroughly enjoyed the Bald Eagles majestically perched among the Douglas Fir trees. So much wildlife so much closer to us than usual, from Canadian Geese to sea lions and harbor seals, to the numerous birds along the shores. I envied those who call these incredible islands home. Living away from the hustle and bustle of the city on these islands is something I would cherish. Our visit was way too short and left us with wanting to return to explore more of the islands as soon as we could. Be sure to see the Whale Museum if you go. The San Juan Islands are truly a treasure trove of wildlife.

The Adventures of Hayley Cat, Hayley Cat Sails the San Juan Islands, inspired by our vacation, is published by Lyric Power Publishing and is available at Thank you for stopping by Lyric Power Publishing today and reading about the kinds of things that inspire us to write our stories.