Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007


Writers Guide
Using Heartbreak to Enhance Your Writing Session

As the author of Choices Meant for Gods, I used emotional moments in my life to enhance some of my writing sessions. There's nothing like a good bit of turmoil in an author's life to set the muse afire. So I'm using this morning's heartbreaking moment on Bonita Beach to guide me not only in writing today's Writers Guide post for all of you, but in getting all of you to write something emotional, something pivotal, perhaps, in your works-in-progress. So read the following and think of an emotional experience you can use in your writing session today. Then share! Use the comment field to share either the emotional experience you'll call upon or the result with other visitors to The Dragon.

You see, today was the first day of turtle patrol for me. Sea turtle nesting season begins along our nation's coasts May 1 and hatching season ends around the end of October. So from now until the end of October, every Saturday morning will find me on the beach wandering the zones that are my responsibility, looking for evidence of nesting and, later in the season, hatching activity.

This morning, I found a dead sea turtle washed up on our shore.

There she lay, waiting for someone to figure out why such a beautiful young creature was never going to lay eggs. Was her stomach full of cigarette butts that have washed off the roadways and sidewalks into the culverts and down to the Gulf, thus filling her up until she had no desire to eat nourishing food? Maybe her stomach is full of plastic bags that looked to her like yummy jelly fish. She could have become sick from the pollution-spiked red tide infecting the Gulf. She could have been caught and drowned in a shrimper's net and dumped back over the side of his boat before he could be brought up on charges for killing an endangered species.

She's too small to have died of old age. Green turtles grow a bit larger and get far more barnacles than this young lady had. She should have lived many more years. She should have visited her natal beach for years and years and years to come, laying 100 to 130 eggs each time so that her tiny babies set out in the effort to repopulate our oceans with these majestic turtles that are dying off at a rate that surprises and alarms conservationists around the globe.

Instead...I found her washed up on our shore.

"Some days, I just want the turtles to win."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

Oh, Sandy, I'm so sorry! This hits me in a different way, emotionally, and I have a heartbreak of a different sort.

Today is my son's birthday. He is 18 today. I started thinking back to when he was born, how little he was (8lbs. 6-1/2 oz., 21 inches long, 14inches around his head and 14 inches around his shoulders). I remember that feeling of him in my arms, sleeping and counting all his fingers and toes. I could only hold him and cry and Thank God for the miracle he had given me. He was bald, beautiful and other than a small bruise on top of his head (He had a monitor on his head when I my labor was induced because I was preeclemsic--high BP,major fluid retention, etc.), he was as perfect as perfect can be.

I look at him now, and ask myself, where in the hell did the time go? You've met him! He's 6feet tall, broad shoulders, mousy hair, and shaving and driving, and in a month, he will be graduating from high school! A few months after that, he will be off to Navy boot camp and then, God only knows where! I miss my baby!

I hope the mama turtle nested before she died, then there will be some babies to carry on. As a mother, whether you are a turtle or human or what, that instinct is there to do whatever you can to protect your young, even if it means giving up your own life. I just hope her struggle was not in vain. I hope if she died due to human ignorance or out-and-out stupidity, they get what's coming to them, in this life or the next! I hope that is the only casualty you have this turtle season. Hugs to you, dear.

Laura :(

11:35 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Hey, Laura. The story about holding your son is wonderful. And, yes, now that I've met him, it's bizarre to read about him being a tiny, bald infant.

The sea turtle today had died while still out in the Gulf and washed in to the shore last night. It's a terrible end for her because, no, she didn't get to deposit eggs. Such things can't be blamed on any one person (unless a shrimper really did forego the use of a TED on his net and drown her, in which case I'm right there in the vindication department with you), but we just have to tell anyone who'll listen how to prevent such things in the future. I'm a big proponent for writing to our legislators, which is what those Earth Day posts here at The Dragon encourage all us writers to do.

I'm glad your son has such a compassionate mom!

Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

8:39 PM  

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