Write Anywhere #61

Have you ever had one of those weeks when it seems all the dastardly forces of Resistance are against you and your writing? If it wasn’t time suckers of the first magnitude (sitting on hold all day trying to find an intelligent being to understand they need to fix an incorrect bill) it was emotional vampires trying to attach their fangs and suck me dry of compassion and patience, and everything in between.

What’s a girl to do? Wear a necklace of garlic? Hide under the covers? I decided to high-tail it to the land of sunshine, laughter, and swishing tails.

Write Anywhere #61: The Zoo

"I love people watching!"

“I love people watching!”

I took advantage of a clear day with warming temperatures to make the drive about 20 minutes north to the Tulsa Zoo. I picked the perfect day for watching. Not animal watching, but people watching. Every preschool, daycare, and mommy-and-me group in the metro area convened on the zoo at the same time. I think I was the only adult without a child at the zoo that day. That gave me a unique perspective to watch all the human goings on. Since I didn’t want to take photos of all the beautiful children (frowned upon and creepy nowadays) I snapped some shots of the citizens of the zoo for you to enjoy.

Mr. Lion snoozing in the sun

Mr. Lion snoozing in the sun

"I do believe the human children are splitting my eardrums." "What?"

“I do believe the human children are splitting my eardrums.” “What?”

"Hey kid, throw that popsicle over here. I'm tired of fence."

“Hey kid, throw that popsicle over here. I’m tired of fence.”

"Run! I hear the sound of a thousand tiny feet!"

“Run! I hear the sound of a thousand tiny feet!”

"Ssseriously, all those faces ssmushed against the glass are sscary."

“Ssseriously, all those faces ssmushed against the glass are sscary.”

There was an overall theme to the crowds and one word that hung above every conversation: “No!”

Besides observing all the animals, I practiced my writer’s dialogue deconstruction skills, otherwise known as eavesdropping. The first one sounds so much better, doesn’t it?

One of the best ways to learn about dialogue, and the flow of human conversation, is to listen to it. And the best way to get perspective on the world is to listen to children.

flamingoes Tulsa Zoo 2013 photo by kristin nador

Best overheard conversations of the day:

Teacher: Aren’t the flamingoes beautiful?

Children: YES!

Teacher: Does anyone know why flamingoes are that color?

Children: NO!

Teacher: Because they eat so much shrimp it turns their feathers orange.

Child: That’s like when I eat too many Cheese Puffs it turns my nose orange!

rhinoceros, Tulsa Zoo 2013 photo by kristin nador

A woman and her significant other:

Woman (stomping ahead): “You ain’t no better than me. You’re family ain’t no better than mine!

S.O: “That’s right! They’re ALL rednecks!”

penguin, Tulsa Zoo 2013 photo by kristin nador


Child: “Why are the penguins going under water?”

Parent: “To catch fish.”

Child: “Do they eat the fish they catch or throw them back?”

Parent: (shaking head) “What else would they do with them?”

albino alligator, Tulsa Zoo 2013 photo by kristin nador


Child announces to parents while looking at the albino alligators exhibit:

“I think they’re depending on us for lunch.”

Where did you write this week?

Question: Do you eavesdrop in public? Do you use anything you hear in your writing?


7 thoughts on “Write Anywhere #61

  1. “dialogue deconstruction skills” – I like it! I do, indeed, use that skill in public and it’s hard NOT to use it in writing! As usual, love the pictures – the ostentatious flamingo is my favorite. Do you think the teacher was right – they eat enough shrimp to make them THAT orange???


  2. Shel, according to all-knowing Google, it’s true. The brine shrimp the flamingo eats has beta-carotene, that give the flamingo his pink or orange hue. Smart teacher!

    That’s my new phrase when I’m out in public and I ‘inadvertently’ fail to hear Keeper Hubby speaking to me. “Sorry, I was using my dialogue deconstruction skills on a much more interesting conversation.” 😉


  3. Ha, have to love the tortoises “running” and cute caption. What a gorgeous photo of the flamingos too! I wrote at home this week but you know what? I was out in our barn ( no animals just boy toys) and thought it would be a cool place to write for the views, the sounds and just the general feel you have in a big gabled building. I could pretend it’s a castle:)


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