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A Book with a “Birth” Day

a children's book cover, blue and white, with several curly-tail lizards on the cover

Lyric Power Publishing LLC is pleased to announce the “birth” day of the book above: Curtis Curly-tail is Lizardnapped (an adventure tale featuring endangered flora and fauna of The Bahamas) is four years old this month. And we have created a video to celebrate!

The video can be seen on YouTube at Curtis Curly-tail Speaks.

In the third book of the series, the very curious Curtis Curly-tail mistakes a poacher for a tourist wanting to snap a picture of his perfectly-curled tail. Instead, he is captured, along with critically endangered native plants, Conch and Iguanas. Together the animals plot their escape from the dangerous poachers, but they can’t do it alone. Who will help them? How will they get free of the cages on a speeding boat and return home safely to Warderick Wells?

An Adventure Tale For Readers Age 10+
Lovely Colored Pencil Illustrations by Jessica Minns/30 Pages

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Do Birds Flitter or Flutter? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

a yellow bird with brown and white wings landing on the side of a cactus
Image courtesy of B Wills from Pixabay

I like to write about word use and finding more interesting, active verbs for more exciting writing. For instance, did the lizard skitter or scurry? In writing about a bananaquit, a small bird that flies rapidly from spot to spot, the question came up: Is the bird flittering or fluttering? The same question could be asked of butterflies. Do they flitter or flutter? English is such an interesting language.

Flitter and flutter can both be used as verbs. Even though they are only one letter different, they do describe different motions. Flittering suggests movement in a quick and seemingly random manner. Fluttering, in contrast, suggests the winged creature is flying unsteadily or irregularly. So, even though both words indicate flapping (another similar-sounding word) of wings, fluttering means wobbly motion, while flittering means flying nimbly. So, in the case of my bananaquit, she is flittering from branch to branch.

You’ll get to meet this bananquit in the upcoming book, Curtis Curly-tail Goes to the Doctor. In the meantime, please enjoy the previous books in the series.

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.

a light green and dark green book cover with the image of a duck in waterColor eight different birds in this workbook, including the Bananaquit!

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Do Lizards Scurry, Skitter or Scamper? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

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.

Writers are continually encouraged to use active verbs. A verb is a word that shows action.  A verb can be either active or passive. A verb is active when the subject of the sentence is doing a specific action. For example, ‘The iguana ate the leaves.’  The passive voice of the same sentence is, ‘The leaves were eaten by the iguana.’

Verbs should also convey information about the action. Did the iguana walk over to the leaves or did she run or leap? So, choosing the correct word is important. Which brings me to the topic of this blog:  When describing the movement of a lizard, does she scurry or skitter?  I always thought a lizard scurried, as you will read in my books, like Curtis Curly-tail is Lizardnapped pictured above, but a friend suggested that a lizard skitters. What’s the difference between the verbs?

To scurry is defined as moving in a brisk pace. To skitter also means to move rapidly, but with frequent changes in direction.  So maybe my friend is right in saying that the characters in my books are skittering.

But wait, what about the verb, to scamper? A lizard could scamper with quick, light steps from fear or excitement.

There are so many interesting verbs I should be using in my books.  This was an interesting language study lesson for me.

Check my future books to see how my lizards move! Will they scurry, skitter or scamper?