Thursday, June 3, 2010
Gators - the wild kind and the publishing kind
Most folks associate gators with Florida, due to its balmy temps and large swamps. Others may think of the Lousianna bayous when the word gator comes to mind. But I'm hear to tell you we have lots of gators in coastal Georgia. The mighty Altamaha delta is near here, and it is truly a gator heaven on earth.
Thanks to my friend who works for Ga. Department of Natural Resources, I know just enough info about gators to get in trouble. He says gators are on the move this time of year, particularly the males, as they search for mates. If you come across one in your yard, unless the situation is dangerous, leave it alone and it'll keep right on going.
Wearing my hat of accidental reporter, I recently had the opportunity to write about the beautiful wood stork colony out at Harris Neck Wildlife Preserve, which is in my home county. The wood stork colony nests on an island that is surrounded by gators. The gators keep any raccoons from swimming across and getting into the colony, and the refuge manages the water level of Woody Pond to be too high for optimum feeding of the wood storks, so they mostly fly to other nearby areas for feeding, keeping them from being a home pie alligator snack.
And here's a pic of a Harris Neck gator in Woody Pond, courtesy of Sharon Lindsay, a wildlife photographer who subbed her pics for our weekly paper. She got a great shot, didn't she?
But to put this in context of writing, I think there are plenty of gators out there in the publishing world. We feel the pinch of their massive jaws when the rejection letters come in. We shudder in the death roll when an unflattering review comes out. For the most part we're content to plod along in the publishing world, walking among the gators, as it were, until one of them takes a chunk out of us. That smarts, but we knew they were there all along, didn't we?
Care to relay a story about your "gator" experience in publishing? I'd enjoy hearing from you in any event!
Muddy Waters, coming Oct. 22