What's Up Wednesday- April 9th

Wild Dolphins, Eleanor & Park and mooore Dolphins 

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up.  Should you wish to join, check out Jaime's or Erin's lovely blogs and sign up with the link widget at the bottom of the post.

I downloaded ELEANOR & PARK last night before bed. I meant to read for about 20 mins, instead I read until the wee hours of the morning. Until Boy Chris woke up and said: "You know Rabbit, there's this thing called "Nighttime" and most people sleep through it."

I still have a book hangover while typing this. But I cannot say enough good things about this book!!! It is such a heartbreakingly, achingly perfect incarnation of that time. I was instantly 15-years-old again, after my Dad kicked me out of the house. All that, uncertainty of that time, that unmoored feeling came rushing back. That risk of trusting another person, not just with your person, but with your heart. This book was simply exquisite. I am pretty stingy with my 5 stars (probably too stingy) To me, 5 stars means I want to turn right around and read it again. It means I try to read it out loud at the breakfast table to Boy Chris so he'll understand why I was up half the night thinking about it. Five stars makes me wish I could write a book that good. ELEANOR & PARK is a solid 5 stars.


I'll be honest, I've written very few words this week. Besides a couple quickie writing parties foSpring Writing Bootcamp I've seriously neglected writer me. 

If anyone has any brilliant ideas on how I can write while kayaking, I'm all ears. :) I do generate a lot of great ideas out there. But this week, by the time all the boats are washed and loaded, I just want to collapse into a sunburned, salty heap.

But of course instead, I read until 3am and then I'm totally wrecked for anything the next day. Smart Biologist is SMART like that. 
"Like primates otters use tools"


Kayaking my arms off. 

But oh, how I love my job!!! Quitting Evil Day Job was the best decision I've ever made. The last few days there have be dolphins EVERYWHERE! Kayaking with wild dolphins is probably one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. (which is saying something, because life is pretty grand) 

If you thought I was going to shut up about dolphins now...I'm sorry to say I'm going to disappoint you. The sequence of pictures below are of a mother and her 2 year-old calf. (I think if you click on it, you can see the pic full size) They spent the better part of an hour with us. Just going about their day. Fishing. Playing. Nuzzling each other.

What inspires me about this interaction? Here are these amazing, intelligent creatures, going about their daily lives. Their world is so different than mine. That cool, blue underwater world. Different sounds. Different sky. A three dimensional water world. I just get the tiniest glimmer of what their life is like. A pinhole camera crack. A keyhole peek. I want to know what they are thinking. I want to know where they spent the night. I want to know what that mother sees when she looks at her baby. We figured out who she is. She's dolphin 7979. Now we're emailing researchers and downloading papers, because I want to know her. This animal that graced me with her presence. This wild thing that trusted me enough to let her baby play next to me in the shallows.


  1. I really enjoyed ELEANOR & PARK as well, although parts of it were tough to read. Rainbow Rowell's characters are just so real. I've heard a ton of great things about FANGIRL, but I have yet to pick that one up. One of these days.

    Those dolphin pics are phenomenal! What a magical experience that must have been, one of those things you'll never forget, I'm sure. It's amazing that the mother allowed her baby to play that close to you. It makes you wonder how they were able to sense that you were a friend and not a threat. I think it's so cool that you found out who she is so you can learn more about her. Keep us posted if you see these two again!

    Kayaking and writing at the same time would bring multitasking to a whole new level. Even though you're loving your job (I can see why!) I hope you find a little more time for writing and sleep this week. :)

    1. I wasn't that drawn to the premise of FANGIRL but after reading ELEANOR & PARK, I'd pretty much read anything and everything from Rowell.

      And I will definitely keep you guys posted on our dolphin sightings. It looks like we might have an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing dolphin study in our area, which would be fantastic. (Hopefully, I won't bore you all to tears w/ too much Biology stuff)

      Hope you have a great week too! After your 16-hour revision session, I think you deserve a little break. ;)

  2. Beautiful...makes going to work that much harder today.


    1. I've written a note for your boss. It says: "Please excuse Steve. He's going kayaking for the day. Deal with it."

      *hands you a paddle* :)

  3. Hello, fellow Floridian! (Yeah, I totally just stalked you. I saw the pictures and was like, that looks like Florida!) Ummmm…can I have your life? Kayaking with wild dolphins is just about the coolest thing I've heard lately. What an amazing experience.

    And yes, I absolutely agree about ELEANOR AND PARK. That book was simply perfect in every way.

    1. Hi Meredith! *clicks over to your blog to stalk you right back* So fun to meet another Florida writer. (I've met a few lately...and they are all awesome.) (Go figure) ;)

      And anytime you find yourself on this side of the state, I'd be happy to take you kayaking. :)

      Hope you have an amazing week!

  4. WOW, those pictures are absolutely STUNNING and what a great experience :-)
    Hmmm I still need to read ELEANOR AND PARK. I read FANGIRL (and loved it :-)) so I really should get to it!

  5. I still need to read Eleanor and Park. I don't normally read contemporary but I loved Fangirl, so I'll probably get round to it at some point!

    Writing while kayaking? Hmm...waterproof notebook? :P

    Those photographs are amazing! I'm so jealous. I love dolphins.

  6. Most of the post is about dolphins, yet I'm most giddy about the otter mention hah. They are adorable little buggers!

    I'm excited about the Eleanor and Park movie that is (hopefully) coming soon.

  7. I looooved ELEANOR AND PARK. You should definitely read FANGIRL next - I loved that one too. I want to read her adult novel ATTACHMENTS sometime soon.

    So cool that you get to hang with dolphins! I hope you're able to find more time for writing this week. :)

  8. ...

    I want your new day job




  9. Love the dolphin pics, Kris! How awesome that would be to kayak and/or swim near them. (You know, if I kayaked or knew how to swim, of course.) I'm so happy that you are loving this shift away from Evil Day Job. I hope to one day find something I love doing that much. :-)

    I really enjoyed ELEANOR & PARK too. I think it was a 5-star read for me as well. I also really liked FANGIRL. She's just such a talented writer. I only wish I could write that well. Hope you're having a wonderful week, and that you figure out how to write while kayaking. ;-)

  10. I loved ELEANOR & PARK too. Such a great book!

    Also, when given the choice between kyaking with dolphins and writing, I think I would be kyaking too. Those pictures are amazing.

    Have a great week!

  11. Eleanor & Park- soooo good. I've loved all three books Rainbow Rowell has written so far. She's the kind of author that I'd read ANYTHING by her at this point.
    Love those dolphin pics. How cool!

  12. amazing pictures! I bet your arms are buff after all that kayaking. Glad you loved Eleanor and Park. I haven't read it yet, but greatly enjoyed Fangirl and Attachments. I'm sure you'll get your writing groove back soon. If I'm not feeling it I just focus on reading more inspiring books. Music helps too.

  13. Dolphins. Oh boy. *sigh* Dolphins.

    Yes, get yourself to a bookstore and grab up FANGIRL and ATTACHMENTS before LANDLINE comes out. You're going to want to read them all. They're that good. :-)


    Glad you're doing so well, Kris. :-) Enjoy your life....you only get one!

  14. Um - WOW. Dolphins. Right next to you in the water. WOW. That is so cool. You really do have the best job in the world. And (I'm going to show my ignorance here) how does that work that you've figured out that she's dolphin 7979? Are that many of the dolphins in the world tagged? This is just really fascinating to land-locked little ol' me! :)

    And I might be the only person left who hasn't read Eleanor and Park but I keep hearing such good things about it... I'll get there, I swear!

    Have a great weekend, Kris!