And now… Larry In The Forest

My newest interactive book for ages 3-8.

You decide which direction the story goes.

Visit my home page to check out my other interactive/eBooks for ages 3-8 and 9-12.

Meet My Iguana

Yes, I considered writing a children’s book called “Meet My Iguana,” but I decided instead to share my experience of caring for a pet iguana.  

This is mango:

Mango is a red iguana.  When the reptile expo came through town, my barely yet a man-child couldn’t resist purchasing the cute little red reptile.  He already had a fairly decent size tank that housed his former pet snake (a whole other story) and couldn’t wait to fill it with another cold-blooded critter.  In addition to the tank, which he lined with substrate to hold moisture, he had to equip the iguana with heat and light sources that provided UVB and UVA rays.  

About 3 months later… Mango grew to approximately the length of the 30 gallon tank.  So, my son built a much larger cage with wood and chicken wire to house his pet.  He lined the floor with heavy plastic, built shelves for him to lounge on and hung rope for the iguana to climb on.  The problem was that his bedroom was too cold for the iguana that enjoys temperatures of 85+ degrees and, because of the chicken wire, the cage could not retain any humidity. He (i.e. his parents) had to then purchase a space heater and a humidifier to place outside the iguana’s cage.  

Iguanas are curious creatures and as my son’s life became more entwined in school and girlfriend, Mango was often left staring at the empty walls of my son’s bedroom.  When my son began a demanding job and moved into his own home, we determined it might be best if the neglected reptile remained behind.  

So, my husband built a wood and Plexiglas enclosure approximately 4 feet long, 3 feet wide and 6 feet tall.  It contains multiple shelves and ramps and linoleum flooring.  The UVB/UVA light hangs from the top of the cage and a small humidifier (that needs to be cleaned regularly) sits inside.  There is a thermometer in the cage to measure the heat and humidity.  We placed the cage in front of a sunny window, over a heating vent to warm it by day, and in a location where Mango has a good view of the goings on around the house. 

When we first put Mango in his new home, the interior of which is white, we noticed little black and/or red specks in the cage that were on the move!  On closer inspection, we found the little pests climbing on Mango as well.  We had a lizard mite infestation.  Ugh!  After a lot of research, it became apparent that there was no easy remedy to rid him of these bloodsuckers.

Short of resorting to pesticides that may kill Mango as well as the mites, we determined the best solution was soap and water.  Every day, we put a very resistant lizard in a warm bathtub (quite the acrobatic feat) and let him soak until all of the mites on his body drowned.  We then washed out his cage with dish soap and hot water.  This went on for about a month until we were convinced the mites were gone.

Mango has razor sharp claws and an exceptionally strong tail.  He has luckily become comfortable enough with his surroundings that he no longer attempts to strike with his tail.  Whenever I handle him, however, I don a denim jacket and thick work gloves.  While he does not intend to hurt me, just his climbing up my uncovered hands/arms leaves bloody gashes, as I have learned through experience.  

Iguanas require fresh vegetables daily.  Their primary diet consists of certain leafy greens, mixed with a variety of other fruits and vegetables that provide needed vitamins and protein.  In the COVID-19 pandemic, I find myself having to go to the grocery store or order online delivery, not because we need food, but because our iguana needs fresh greens. 

Mango is now approximately 5 years old and is 4 feet long from nose to tail.  He still has ample room to move about his cage, but is just barely fitting on the shelf under his heat/light source.  It is time to build him a bigger home or, alternatively, assign him his own room.

The moral of this story is that a human of any age should consider carefully before deciding to choose this exotic reptile for a pet.  Just ask the many residents of south Florida who opted to release their iguanas into the wild. 


 Good choices, spinning a positive light;
 Great choices, filling our lives with abundance;
 Unfortunate choices, setting us back a bit;
 Awful choices, sending us into a tailspin.
 Choices so inconsequential,
 We don’t even realize we are making them;
 Choices so profound,
 There is no turning back.
 Maybe we choose not to make a choice, 
 Because the outcome is too difficult to contemplate.
 Maybe another makes a choice for us or in spite of us,
 And their choice impacts our lives.
 I have chosen to use this moment to write.
 You have chosen to take a moment to read.
 We will each choose to move on to something else.
 What will you choose next?

I Have A Cat

I have a cat,
Imagine that,
She’s fun and friendly,
and plays aplenty.

To learn her name,
Play the game,
Take a look,
And read the book.

In His Head

He is lost in thought.
 Do I know this because he doesn’t hear me?
 No, it is because his hands are in motion,
 As he interacts with the imagined person in his head.
 What might he be thinking?
 Oh, just look at his hands;
 Calmly contemplative or flailing in agitation;
 Revealing the emotion of his illusory dialog. 

“Vi In The Mountains”

If you read my interactive book, “Meet My Friends,” you will have met Vi.  After Vi’s best friend Charley spends a fun-filled week with Vi and her family at their tiny mountain cabin, Vi’s family decides it is time to find a more spacious home.  Join Vi, as she and her family set off to explore three very different mountain communities in search of a new home.

Fun facts:

  • Golf resorts have a lot of rules.
  • Rocks don’t have to be valuable to be beautiful.
  • When your parents look at you like that, you know you are in trouble.
  • A geode’s center is filled with minerals — you may get lucky and find a crystal surprise inside.
  • Gristmills were used to grind grain into flour.
  • Ice cream can have the most unnatural color.

This book is available for purchase in paperback and electronic book formats on The eBook is free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

What do other writers do?

Being fairly new to writing and definitely new to blogging, I am amazed by all of the other writers that are out there.  I can’t help but wonder how they got started writing, what continues to motivate them and how they manage their writing journeys.  

I can’t say that anything in particular kick-started me to write.  It’s more like I caught a writing bug —  it came out of nowhere and I can’t get rid of it.  I have a fairly demanding job that doesn’t allow for much distraction, but when I am not working, writing  is on my mind.  When I take my evening shower, I am writing a book or a poem in my head, totally oblivious to whether I had just shampooed my hair. While I sit next to my husband watching television, I am drawing illustrations for a book.  Late in the evening, I lay in bed outlining my ideas, writing and editing.

What got you started writing and how do you incorporate writing into your daily life? 

To Be One

I see a beautiful landscape,
But to see it is not enough.
I want to burst into a billion particles,
And scatter myself amongst the scenery.

I love a person with all my heart,
But to love them is not enough.
I want to become fluid,
And seep into their very pores.

I hear a song that touches my soul,
But to hear the song is not enough.
I want to soar within the melody,
And suck it deep into my lungs.

I glimpse a moment of pure joy,
But to glimpse joy is not enough.
I want to cling to it with all my being,
And with it to be one.

There Are The Trees

There are the trees.
Oh, how they bring me peace;
their arms wide open,
spreading their tranquility.

There are the trees.
Confident in their uniqueness,
displaying their beauty,
even after their leaves have fallen.

There are the trees.
Emitting the breath of life,
I breathe deep into my lungs.
Ah, the serenity.

There are the trees.
Holding life in their branches,
strong and sturdy,
yet flexible in the shifting winds.

There are the trees.
Grounded to earth,
their roots spreading,
searching for sustenance.

There are the trees.
Oh, how my heart weeps. 
Branches broken and roots unearthed,
as even the trees fall sometimes.

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