I grew up next to a national park in a household where we were big fans of Farley Mowat and Gerald Durrell (the title of this blog post refers to one of Mr. Durrell's books, My Family and Other Animals). Animals were another part of the family. We recycled before it was popular, ate organic, had fruit trees in our backyard, and about a zillion rescue animals as pets.
My family still preserves this ethos of conservation. My mom is a staunch supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, still has a zillion rescue animals as pets, and my sister has not only spent hundreds of hours volunteering at her local zoo, but also spent an eight-month gig in the wilds of Madagascar studying lemurs.
So it was great to be able to chat with Jim Knox, the curator of education for Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo. He is a strong advocate for endangered animals, and works tirelessly to help conservation initiatives.
I first met Jim through my writer's group, the Fairfield Scribes. He is currently working on a motivational-themed book incorporating decades of his experiences working with wild animals. Jim has given thousands of presentations, appeared on numerous TV shows, including hosting PBS's Wildzoofari, and has written both for PBS and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
I don't know how he is able to do all he does, but you would never know all the demands on his time from chatting with him. He's very laid back and was infinitely patient with my three girls, who were going out of their minds with excitement over the animals at the zoo.
It's great that we have people like Jim who are at the forefront of conservationism, working hard to help preserve our beautiful and endangered animals. If you'd like to hear Jim in person, you're in luck – he's scheduled to do a TEDx talk on October 5th in Danbury. Space is limited, though, and there's been a ton of interest in it, so it's suggested you make a reservation to save your seat (see flyer below).
I hope to have another post up soon about what Jim's working on, and more opportunities to see him talking live – so watch this space!
I'm a mom - which I think it would be hard for anyone reading this blog not to know. :) While I don't write a ton of fiction or poetry about being a mother, I feel that my kids are central to pretty much every decision I make. They color my perceptions of writing in the best way possible.
However, once in a while I want to capture how is it to be a mom. My poem "New" is one such example. It's my attempt to try to put into words what it feels like that first moment after your daughter is born and she is put into your arms. That first moment when you realize that here is the love of your life - the best thing that will ever happen to you. And that moment when you realize nothing will ever be the same again, that your life has changed in an amazingly profound way.
"New" was published today at Mothers Always Write. I'm grateful that they chose to include it in their September issue, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
As a mother, I know how some parents might view the decisions their children make in the modern world, especially when they come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Even though our society and many societies are fighting for equal rights and ways of thinking, many places and cultures have differing views of what is taboo and what is not.
I wrote "Expectations" with this thought in mind. There are many levels to child-parent interactions and many levels as to what a parent might expect from their child, and also what a child expects from their parent. My story is a drabble - 100 words - so hopefully it conveys my intent in so short a space. I hope you enjoy reading it, and please feel free to leave a comment with your impressions either here or at 101 Words. I'd love to know what you think, both about the story itself and about the ideas expressed within the story. I know this can be a controversial subject, and I wanted to treat it with respect by showing the difficult decisions/situations people must face when they realize who they are/want to be, and what those decisions might cost them.
I'm the website manager and a regular contributor to Reader's Abode, which is composed of an international group of writers hailing from four different continents. We produce a free-to-read, biannual collection of short stories and poems in a variety of styles, from prose to poetry, from science fiction to horror, from thriller to mystery. In between collections, we produce articles on our blog highlighting great resources of free fiction, including one-on-one interviews with authors who have free books available online and also interviews with the editors of free magazines. So if you're looking for fantastic fiction on the web, but don't have a lot of money to spend, then this is a great place to find it.
Reader's Abode just published its second collection of fiction and poetry on September 1st, and I have two poems included in it. "Confused" is a about a tomato searching for its identity and "Electric" is about a TV that gets tired of its viewers. There are also five pieces of fiction from a number of wonderful writers, including science fiction from Randall Krzak, romance from Barbara Russell, horror from Eddie Cantrell and mainstream stories by Alice Hill and Yelena Zeltser. The collection is available to read for free when you sign up for our mailing list.
We also have an exciting lineup planned for the fall and holiday season. Starting in October, we will be doing an eBook giveaway with each blog post article, kindly donated by the authors we're interviewing. Then right before Christmas, we will give a grand prize of all the donated eBooks to one lucky winner. The contest is free to enter - just sign up for our mailing list. Everyone on our list will be entered to win. AND you can win more than once!
So if you're looking for some great reading this autumn and holiday season, take a look at Reader's Abode, sign up for our mailing list, and have a chat with our contributors. Happy reading!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over two hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. Check out my 2024 writing challenge to write a book a week at Author Versus AI. For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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