What's Up Wednesday- June 18th

 The River, The Lakes & the Stag in Velvet

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've been reading THE FAULT IN OUR STARS aloud to Boy Chris. I can't see the movie until he finishes it, so I'm hurrying things along a bit. (He's got a form of dyslexia, so reading at night when his eyes are tired, is hard for him. But being read to...priceless.)

I also started half a dozen new books this week, but the problem with reading a really good book, is that everything pales in comparison. (i.e. Super hot angel boy...been there, done that. Oh the world was destroyed...please tell me there aren't zombies. I've had my fill of zombies.) It's been hard to find something that hooks me.


I've been connecting the dots on LOVE AND OTHER CURIOSITIES. I've got a beginning, a middle and an end. But then I have all these other little bits and bobs and I'm trying to connect them into a cohesive whole. I feel like I'm stitching stars into a constellation. Right now, if you squint really hard, it looks like a lion or a bear. I'm hoping when all the points of light come together, it will be one hell of a constellation. *fingers crossed* 


It was my first Father's Day without a father. I spent it kayaking down the Myakka River with camera gear and recording equipment in tow. It seemed like a fitting homage to a man who was only truly alive in the wilderness. When we reached the banks of the Lower Lake, there were deer in the grassy meadows. I approached with the video camera, thinking they would scatter. But they didn't. A young stag in velvet came towards me. Very deliberately through the shallow water. He would move ten paces, then stop. A snort of air. A stamp of foot. Then he would move ten steps closer. He got close enough that I could see every eyelash framing his dark eyes. He bowed his head at me. And then stood motionless, looking at me. To have a wild creature, who is just as much aware of you as you are of them, stare at you like that. Look into you. It is a rare thing. It filled the hollow space in my chest with something else. With beauty and with wonder.

We got some amazing footage. Which doesn't even begin to do it justice. Although I have to note, that it is important to pay attention to where your kayak is floating when you're filming. At Deep Hole, a place where hundreds of alligators gather to bask in the sun, I was paying more attention to the camera shot than my location. I accidentally drifted and floated over the top of a 12 foot alligator in shallow water. He didn't have anywhere to go and I spooked him. He thrashed in the water and thumped my boat with that powerful tail. And for those of you who haven't experienced it before, that is one HELL of a thump. If that doesn't get your heart rate going, I don't know what does. *stupid grin* I'm lucky me and my camera gear didn't end up "in the drink".

Deep Hole- A natural spring where alligators bask by the hundreds


  1. Wow, sounds like quite a week! It's so cool that you got close to the deer! And alligators...eep. I'd have been terrified!

    Good luck connecting the dots, and have a great week!

    1. Thanks Emma! Actually, alligators get a bad rap. They are really quite shy creatures. The only reason I got a thump is that I scared one. So I guess fear is more of a universal thing. Though I keep explaining to the gators that I'm mostly harmless. ;)

      Hope you have a great week too!

  2. Whoa, alligators! I went on a fanboat tour in Florida when I was there last year and we saw glimpses of alligators but never that close or that many at one time!
    Good luck connecting those dots!

  3. Thanks Melanie! Apparently, I'm not very good at Connect the Dot. I've been staring at this section for 20 minutes going "Where the heck does this go?" Hah!

    And yeah, the noise of the fan on the Airboat will usually scare away most of the wildlife. Alligators don't like engine noise. But in a kayak, you can just slide right by them without making a fuss. (usually) :)

  4. Those photos are amazing! :O

    I've definitely had to take a step back from dystopians lately. I just read too many... so all the ones lingering in my TBR pile will be there for sometime yet...

    1. Thanks! And yes, I know what you mean. It's so easy to get burned out on a genre. But if you leave it alone for a while, you're like "Oooh Fantasy!" all over again. ;)

  5. Oh, wow that alligator encounter would literally have scared the poop out of me. Yikes! But that stag story...amazing. I can't begin to imagine how awesome that would have been. I like the way you described your story process as stitching stars into a constellation. That's a way prettier metaphor than my darning a ratty sock one. I think I'll try to envision the stars/constellation in my mind now instead. ;-) Hope you have a wonderful week, Kris!

    1. Hahaha! You are too funny! :)

      And I like your sock darning metaphor. It's also probably a lot more accurate.(My MS is a mess of loose threads) But if I think of it as a constellation, it gives me hope. Whereas, I don't know how to darn a sock and would therefore flail miserably.

      Hope your week is splendid and bright!

  6. I have to say, I'm not sure how you can read TFIOS out loud without sobbing. I'd be completely incoherent! Boy Chris is lucky to have his own personal narrator for that one!

    I love your constellation analogy! That's a wonderful way to describe piecing a book together. I'm sure yours will be amazing when it's done. Good luck with the writing now that everything is starting to fall into place!

    Your encounter with the deer and your description of it are so inspiring. I'm glad something so wonderful happened on a day that was difficult for you. Not so glad to hear you had a scary encounter with an alligator though! You are so brave...and perhaps a wee bit crazy ;)

  7. I was holding my breath when I read your animal stories. Amazing.

    Much <3 to you - glad you were able to spend the day outside :)

  8. Lovely photos and as always fabulous stories. Your blog posts are a favorite part of Wednesdays.

    Looking forward to LOAC...I've always enjoyed the stars. :)

  9. I love how you're all 'I'm not hard core'. UM. AN ALLIGATOR BUMPED INTO YOUR KAYAK? I think I would have thrown up. For realsies.

    The way you describe things is freaking poetry, Kris. I could feel the awe and wonder of your encounter with the stag. What a gift! What a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing it. :)

    I also love that you're reading TFIOS out loud to Boy Chris. That book begs to be read out loud. I read certain parts to Brian ... It's just so smart and funny and sad and ... ALL THE FEELS, you know?


  10. I think I would've peed myself if I'd been that close to alligators. Definitely would not have TAKEN PICTURES of them. (It's a very nice picture, though.)