Friday, August 17, 2012

Counting Alligators, Ninja News, Speed Readers, and More Movie Trivia

Today I have a very special guest, author C. Lee McKenzie. Now, most people count sheep. Lee counts alligators…

Counting Alligators

When all else fails . . . do research. Let's face it, sometimes the writer has to turn off his brain, or at least switch it to idle. When I need to take a break from a manuscript, I dive into research.

When I do, I always find things that let me flesh out a story with confidence, or I get a great idea for a scene that hadn't occurred to me. Sometimes I just bump into something that's interesting and that I never would have found if I hadn't been hunting for information to use in my story--a little serendipity.

When I started writing Alligators Overhead I didn't know much about those reptiles except they scared the bejeebers out of me. But then I read that when Hurricane Katrina destroyed a lot of their habitat, thousands of these expert swimmers drowned, and conservationists worried they might not make a come back. Not so. They're back and they're back up to healthy numbers.

When I read that, I had to ask, "How do they count alligators?" Two ways was the answer. Find the nests and count the eggs. Euuuu! Not a job I'd want. Alligator mommies do not take kindly to anyone messing with her babes.

There had to be an easier way, right? No, but there was a harder one. Take a boat out into the swamp at night, shine the flashlight around the water hyacinths and red eyes stare back at you. Yep. You can count alligators because their eyes glow red at night. Hmm. Maybe the nest method isn't so bad.

In any case, that little bit of information made for a great scene with my two boys on their first venture into the swamp at night and a trail of red-eyed alligators behind them.

Once you start looking into counting alligators, you’d be surprised what pops up, like, Woody Pines and his Louisiana beat. This is Counting Alligators the safe way.

As writers do you put your brain on idle while you research, or do you have other ways to refresh while you’re working through a manuscript?

Great to be here, Alex. Gotta go and count me some alligators now.

Bio: A native Californian, C. Lee McKenzie lives on the edge of a redwood forest with her husband and assorted cats. When she's not writing or blogging she's hiking or practicing yoga. She usually writes young adult fiction that deals with contemporary, realistic issues. In Sliding on the Edge (2009) she dealt with cutting, and in The Princess of Las Pulgas (2010) she wrote about a family that loses almost everything and has to rebuild their lives together. Alligators Overhead is her first Middle Grade novel. Lee blogs HERE and her website is HERE. Watch the trailer for Alligators Overhead on YouTube

Ninja News!

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for my next blogfest, Genre Favorites! I’m overwhelmed by the response. I wanted to keep it simple and open for everyone. Look forward to everyone’s posts on September 17.

George at CineMarvellous celebrated three years of blogging this week Congratulations! Don’t ever quit on us, man.

Do you write historical or alternative fiction? Edi’s Book Lighthouse highlighted a new magazine called Alt Hist that features short stories. You can read about edition number four at Edi’s site.

AJ Walker has a new book out, At The Gates, Book II of the Timeless Empire series. It’s $2.99 for a limited time on Amazon. You can also pick up Book I, Hard Winter, for just 99 cents at Amazon. Congratulations, AJ!

Fast Readers

Someone else recently posted on the subject of how fast some people read. I admit, I’m in awe of those of you who crank through several books a week. I do good to read one or two a month. (I’m not a fast reader.) I also don’t do many reviews, although I will at least post a star rating on Goodreads.

I always buy my blogger buddy’s books though! I have so many on my iPad right now it just might explode. So even though it may take me forever to finally read your book, I do try to show support by purchasing it.

Movie Quotes!

Science fiction edition - because that's how I roll. Can you name the movie or actor who said…

1 – “His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.”

2 – “You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse, You don’t see them (screwing) each other over for a (X) damn percentage.

3 – “Can I ask you a personal question? Have you ever retired a human by mistake?”

4 – “But, the place where you’re supposed to have the toilet paper, you got this little shelf with three sea shells on it.”

5 – “This was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooooo! You got me out here draggin’ your heavy ass through the burning desert with your dreadlocks sticking out of the back of my parachute.”

And the Ninja will be gone a few days next week for a much needed vacation. So no post on Monday, but I will be lurking…

Do you count alligators? Signed up for the blogfest? How fast do you read? And know any of the trivia answers?


Kyra Lennon said...

The idea of counting alligators in any way freaks me out! Luckily, we don't have an alligator problem in the UK! :D

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Thank you so much for the mention, Alex. :) Appreciate it as usual.

I'll never quit on you, I promise. That would make my life so boring. :)

A.J. Walker said...

Now if those eyes start getting closer, it's time to stop counting and start running!

Thanks for the mention, Alex!

The Angry Lurker said...

1 – “His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.”

2 – “You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse, You don’t see them (screwing) each other over for a (X) damn percentage.


3 – “Can I ask you a personal question? Have you ever retired a human by mistake?”

Blade Runner.

4 – “But, the place where you’re supposed to have the toilet paper, you got this little shelf with three sea shells on it.”

Demolition Man.

5 – “This was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooooo! You got me out here draggin’ your heavy ass through the burning desert with your dreadlocks sticking out of the back of my parachute.”

Independence Day.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Here we are another week ended and the weekend upon us... do we see The Expendables II or Sparkle? Neither you say... I say that too. Gators creep me out, congrats to a milestone... and I too can not read fast, right now it's me versus a cup of coffee.

Trivia... like it! I have a question for you "Who runs Barter Town"?

Jeremy [Retro]

Ciara said...

Growing up in Florida gives me a certain respect for Alligators. During college I lived a few miles from Alligator Alley. You couldn't guess the number of times there was a traffic jam on the little two lane road because and alligator decided to park it in the middle. Also, we they like the lakes around the golf course at my parents house. Respect and stay away people.
I'm signed up for the blog fest,and I can't wait to read Alligator Overhead.

Suzanne Furness said...

Think I might just pass on the alligator counting and rely on sheep to pass the time when I can't sleep! Enjoy your vacation.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Such interesting info on alligators. So excited for C. Lee's new book.

I try to read a book a week at least but I wish I could read 2 or more a week but don't read that fast. I'm on a reading schedule though for my blog so need and like to read a lot.

Unknown said...

You wouldn't get me out in a boat counting red-eyed alligators for...for...for a book contract (oh well, maybe for that I would).

Donna Shields said...

We will leave counting them to the experts lol. Signed up for the blogfest!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I hear you on the fast reading... like you, I buy all my fellow bloggers' books to show support but, migawd, there isn't enough time in the world for me right now to read all of them (something that makes me feel extremely guilty)... not to mention that are other books in the world that I want to read. Sometimes the best cure for book guilt is just watching TV....

Old Kitty said...

I read as fast as a sloth climbs a tree!! But we are both adorable specimens!!

Yay for C.Lee!!!

I score 0/5 with your movie questions!! Oh dear! Take care AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

George, you're welcome and don't quit.

AJ, you're welcome.

Lurker, you got the four!

Jeremy, the answer is Master Blaster. Or Tina Turner's character. Been a while.

Ciara, alligators on the highway is a problem.

Natalie, you have a reason for reading at a good pace.

Cathy, I'm with you!

Kitty, you are adorable!

Brinda said...

C. Lee, I'd also hate to have the job of counting alligator nests!

I keep at least two books going at a time, one in the car (audio) and one on the nightstand. I may read between 4-8 books a month.

Cecilia Robert said...

Red Alligator eyes sound scary! Ooh I think I'll sign up for Genre Favourites blogfest. Sounds like fun!
Happy Vacation! Congrats again for Alligators Overhead., Lee :)

Jo said...

I wouldn't be counting alligator eyes or eggs thank you very much. Especially as there are now lots of pythons in the same areas.

Won't be partaking in your blogfest Alex, I will be on vacation in North Carolina and our cottage does NOT have wifi.

Suze said...

No. 3 -- Blade Runner!

Enjoy your time off next week, Al. said...

My best research occurs when blog hopping. I learn so many gems of info. Alligators' eggs glow at night, for example. Interesting interview. Thank you both.

xoRobyn said...

PS I mean their eyes. =)

Heather M. Gardner said...

I used to be able to read a few books a week. Now I'm lucky to get a dozen read in six months.

Of course I'm signed up for your blogfest. Don't be silly.

1. Data?
2. Ripley!
3. ?
4. John Spartan.
5. Captain Hiller


Rusty Carl said...

1 - Spock STII
2 - Aliens!
3 - is that Blade Runner?
4 - Demolition Man
5 - ID4

Enjoy your vacation!

Bryan Russell said...

Well, I have recurring dreams about being chased by alligators in social situations, if that counts for anything.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Ha! #5 is INDEPENDENCE DAY - love that movie. My husband and I stood on a long line to see it the day it opened. :)

I'm a fast reader - usually at least one book a week. I need some reading time every day or I get cranky. (Just ask my husband.) :)

Sangu Mandanna said...

That's a great guest post, though alligators really and truly do terrify me :-)

Gaaaah I don't know any of those quotes! I feel like #3 is at the tip of my tongue, but I CAN'T GET IT!

Tess Julia said...

Heading over to check out your blogfest and number 5 is Independence Day, Will Smith. Loved that movie!

Anonymous said...

I don't see many alligators in the desert but I remember quite a few on our visits to Florida! They are so prehistoric-looking. And those teeth...

StratPlayerCJF said...

Great guest post, C. Lee!

I', a pretty fast reader, which is good since I get almost no time to read these days, but with my time constraints, I'm still only a book or two a month guy, too.

So now the trivia:

1. Ah, a favorite: Spock in ST2: the Wrath of Khan. "KHAAANNNNNNN-NNN-NNN!"

2. Another all-time favorite: Signorney Weaver's Ripley in Aliens

3. Wow Alex, you're hitting my favs! That's Rachel talking to Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner"

4. Uhhhh. Got no idea on this one. ...shrug...

5. LOL! That's The Fresh Prince of BelAire (Will Smith), traipsing through the desert after shooting down one of the aliens in "Independence Day"

Michelle Gregory said...

darn. by the time i got here, someone had already answered all the trivia quotes. but i'm proud of myself for remembering who said the first one. we just watched that a couple of weeks ago.

Jack said...

I think I signed up for your blog fest. I've never done one I will see if I can figure it out.

I'm a medium reader unless it is a VERY good book. I wish I was like my cousin, he reads insanely fast.

The last quote is from Independence Day, Will Smith. Not sure the name of the chap he plays. That's the only quote I know though.

And yes, I think I will avoid blenders. I'm a bit fond of my fingers.

Carol Kilgore said...

Don't know who said the lines or what movies they're from, but I love #3 and #4!

Enjoy your vacation. See you Wednesday!

Tonja said...

My son loves watching shows like Swamp People or whatever it is. Icky.

Mason Canyon said...

Love the idea of counting alligators and the video was fun. Great trivia questions too. Here's my guess at a couple:
1 - no clue
2 - Aliens
3 - Blade Runner
4 - Demolition Man
5 - Independence Day

Have a great weekend.

Thoughts in Progress

David P. King said...

Glad to see C. Lee on your blog today. Research is truly a favorite part of writing for me. Thanks to today, I can do research on the spot when needed (or google map a place I've never been to capture the true details). :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Awesome post on Counting Alligators and getting renewed with research! - I like research and daydreaming to get my writing back on track.

Blogfest sign up - after I write this comment. Reading - really fast for fiction, really slow for non-fiction. (I read a 500 page fiction book in about 5 hours but I have to be "into" it.)

Trivia answers:
1 - oh, I know this one, but I can't remember it.
2 - Alien or Aliens - Ripley
3 - again, know I've seen it, but aagh!
4 - Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man
5 - Independence Day - Will Smith's line

CarrieBoo said...

Never met an alligator I didn't like...

Wicked post, mate! Chockablock.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I see a pair of those red eyes most nights when I get out of the rare blood van. The van's parking slot is the last, right beside the bayou winding by our blood center. Our resident alligators stays hidden all day, sleeping in the brush and bushes by my parking slot at night. Most nights he grunts and splashes into the bayou as I slam shut the van door.

Other times he just stares at me with heavy-lidded red eyes. Needless to say, I move very fast! He's only four feet long, but I do not want to tempt him!

Gossip_Grl said...

Nice guest blogger choice. Her book sounds great. I am wondering what age group it is geared for? I have 2 grand sons aged 6 & 9 who love to read- sounds like a nice gift idea.
Your blog hop already has like 106 ppl signed up- WTG!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I only know one of the trivia, but it's from my favorite Will Smith movie. I'm a fast reader. Even working, writing and making dinner, I read two or three books per weeks.

cleemckenzie said...

@Kyra You'll notice I'm not volunteering to do any of that counting either, right?

@George Alex is always one to often great mentions.

@A. J. The one running just in front of you is me!

@Retro-Zombie A healthy fear of dangerous reptiles is always . . . healthy! Hope you enjoyed your coffee.

@Ciara Waving at you. Didn't know you had first hand alligator experience!

cleemckenzie said...

@ Suzanne I highly recommend that you don't count alligators at night. It just doesn't have the comfort of sheep!

@Natalie Thanks. I appreciate the good wishes. I'm kind of a fast reader, but I'll never catch up with all the books I have on my list.

@Susan I see you're willing to compromise when a book contract is in the offing. Call me. We should talk. :-)

@Donna There are few experts alive in the alligator counting field. Jobs always coming available.

Cherie Reich said...

I don't think I'd want to be an alligator counter, but it's fascinating that they do that.

As for reading, I try to average one book a week. I wish I could read faster, though.

cleemckenzie said...

@CAthy I hear that. Every time I think I'm caught up one of my friends publishes another book.

@Old Kitty You and I have the same score.

@Brinda Audio books can help with keeping the books flowing, but I have so many near accidents when I try those on trips!

@Jo I envy you your wifi-free vacation. Enjoy!

@Rawknrobyn Whew! Glad you corrected that bit about the eggs. That scared me as much or more than red eyes!

Juliana Haygert said...

I don't consider myself a fast reader. Maybe just a little faster than average. The only reason I can read more than one book a week (not all weeks, though) is because, if the book is good, I can't stop reading. I'll lose sleep in order to read. And I don't regret it. If I could I wouldn't sleep, then reading is a good thing to do ;)

Arlee Bird said...

You're not gonna find me in the wild counting alligators, but I hope C Lee is counting a lot of book sales.

Don't know the trivia and I'm an amazingly slow reader.

Wrote By Rote

cleemckenzie said...

@Cecilia Have fun on the Genre Blogfest!

@Heather here's to more and more books read

@Rusty seems to know all the answers. How do you do that?

@Bryan being chased by alligators counts. And you probably get a great cardio workout, right?

@Madeline You got one more answer than I did!

cleemckenzie said...

@Sangu Fear is a very healthy thing. You and I score about the same on that quiz.

@Karen I'm surprised these reptiles fascinate you, but they are interesting. They've been around for 65 million years. I didn't know that before I started writing this book!

@Liz How about sidewinders? Those are in your neck of the woods, right . . . make that dessert.

@Chris Thanks for the comment and congrats on all those answers to the Trivia. I'm impressed.

Laura Eno said...

I don't want to count alligators! Scary job.
I can read fast but I only did that for school work. I can't get lost in a book if I'm speed reading.

cleemckenzie said...

@Tonja Icky is interesting. My boys always loved exploring anything that had that quality involved.

@Mason Thanks. Appreciate your taking the time to see the trailer.

@David Hasn't Google made things amazingly easy to find. Even if you have to cross-check information, everything is there!

@Tyrean I put daydreaming right up there with research when it comes to getting me back into a story.

@CarrieBoo You meet alligators? I'm impressed. Glad to meet you.

cleemckenzie said...

@Roland I need to talk to you! I think you have a stalking alligator. :-) And near a rare blood van? Now I've got the chills.

@Gossip Girl I think Alligators Overhead would be right for your boys ages. It's just a fun romp and my alligators don't bite, really.

@Susan I'm pressed. Do you read while you do other things, like stir the soup?

@Cherie I think one book a week is darned impressive.

SC Author said...

Ooh gosh, that book gives me the chills! Alligators are not my thing. And I WISH I was a fast reader! I CAN skim/read fast, but then I feel guilty because I don't know if I missed anything. Then I go back and reread it like 203948390 times. It's a slow thing. If it's a fast, clear prose, I can read super fast though :) I got done with Harry Potter 7 in two days (same with HP5), and each of the Hunger Games in one. Bigger, heavier books (like classics) take longer for me to read.

jaybird said...

#5 is a Will Smith quote from Independance Day- good one.

I am a speed reader. Which is a mixed blessing. Yes, I can blow through books super fast, which was convenient for text books in school. But as far as fiction goes, sometimes, I forget that I read something. Often, I will pick up a book only to read the first few paragraphs and realize, wow, this sounds familiar!

I also try to buy as many blogger friends books as I can-to help out and show my support. The blogging community has been fantastic to me, I like to give back as much as I can.

cleemckenzie said...

@Juliana & @Lee My husband's a very slow reader, but he remembers everything from a book. I kind of forget everything, except the main points.

@Laura LOL. Speed through Philosophy, but slow down for a good Stephen King. I loved this comment.

Andrew Leon said...

I also have OBS (Overflowing Book Syndrome).

BUDDY said...

Lee - Nice little theme song! As for counting gators, Mike says the best way to do it is to swim downstream underneath them (SCUBA gear is allowed), look up, count their feet and divide by four. I think he's pulling my chain.

D.G. Hudson said...

I counted alligators not so long ago in the Everglades, Florida. I was on a raised platform taking pics of what I thought were a mother and her few babies. Then I looked again and it looked like 30 or so of those little baby alligators. They blended in with the grasses where they lay.

New gator moms aren't known for their conviviality, and I didn't know how fast those little guys might scoot over to where I was. Hubby was in the car several feet away. I decided I had enough pix before those guys took an interest in me.

Yes, I'm in the blogfest. As a reader, I can read several books at a time, but generally I don't rush my reading. I like to savor novels.

Enjoy your time off Alex!

Unknown said...

No reptile counting of any kind, actually counting only keeps me awake. Can't wait for your blogfest and I have no idea how fast I read, I usually just consume a book if I like it enough. Have a great week-end and a wonderful vacation.

Callie Leuck said...

"You can count alligators because their eyes glow red at night."

Ha! That's fantastic and I love it so much. It's so cool what weird information you'll find, and it's so interesting how much more fascinating it can make a story.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I got two of the quotes.

One was from Aliens. Another was from Demolition Man. It almost makes me want to go to Taco Bell for lunch.

Maurice Mitchell said...

What a fascinating story MacKenzie. I went to the swamp on a field trip and it's freaky to see eyes shining back at you. Thanks for hosting this author Alex and I hope your iPad doesn't explode!

Sherry Ellis said...

I had my share of alligators when I lived in Florida. A couple even meandered into our backyard. I don't care to count them, thank you very much!

(I am a fast reader, but my problem is lack of time. I wish I had the time to read more!)

Morgan said...

The alligator stuff is pretty freaky...

And I soooo need to read more... I read *pretty* fast, but I'd much rather be writing than reading if I have spare time...

Huntress said...

As usual, you've given me waay too much to comment on.

Its been many a moon since my last blog fest. Hm. Must make time for Genre Favorites.

answers to questions:
1. Wrath of Khan? Star Trek
2. Aliens
3. Bladerunner
4. ?
5. Independence Day

Anonymous said...

I read fast; it's the time to read that is lacking.

1. Not my favorite Star Trek film, but... KAHN!!!!
2. Aliens (the second one, I think (and thank my dad for letting a six-year-old watch this one when it came on HBO))
3. Blade Runner (Dad's all-time favorite film)
4. Demolition Man (Guilty Pleasure Film)
5. Independence Day ("And what the hell is that smell?!")

Empty Nest Insider said...

It was fun reading Lee's post, and I can't wait to read Alligators Overhead! Of course, it will take me awhile, as I am also a slow reader. I think I'd rather count alligators than flunk another one of your trivia challenges Alex! Have a great vacation! Julie

VikLit said...

I will have to go sign up for the blogfest *makes note*

Rachna Chhabria said...

Red Alligator eyes sounds real scary. I have seen only one Alligator (I think), that too from far, in a zoo. That's the way I like it; a huge distance between us.

LD Masterson said...

I've never been a fan of alligators but the red eyes... that's creepy.

I only know one of the quotes - number 2 is Aliens. One of my favorites. (Liked the first one, loved the second, hated the third.)

Budd said...

1. is that the matrix.
2. Aliens
3. Blade Runner
4. Demolision Man- "scoff- he doesn't know how to use the shells."
5. Will Smith in Independence Day. Said to the alien as he was dragging it back to area 51.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I love reptiles of any kind, but not if they wish me to be their dinner.

Have a great vacation. See you next Friday on the JW.


Carrie Butler said...

Great guest post, Lee! I love doing research. In fact, I just finished a long discussion with someone who suffers the same medical condition as one of my main characters. I took five pages of notes!

Enjoy your vacation, Alex! :)

Christine Rains said...

Excellent guest post! I have no desire to tromp through a swamp for any reason. Alligators and the big bugs both frighten me off!

I'm a fast reader. I just wish I could get a chance read ebooks faster! If I pull out the Nook, my son is immediately there to play with it.

Have a wonderful vacation, Captain!

Ted Cross said...

Love the Blade Runner quote. Best movie ever!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I've driven Highway !0 more than a few times out of Virginia Beach (when I was stationed there at NAS Oceana) on my way to Nawlins. First time I thought those were old tires,until one moved and slipped into the water lmao! And yes, those red eyes are a bit unnerving at night. I wouldn't want to count them, tyvm. I don't think they pay near enough hazard pay and the 6million dollar (plus currency valuation)man/woman is still Sci-fi.

Reading--how fast depends upon what I'm reading and if it's for review or not. I can easily knock out 300 pages in a day, IF I have the time and the interest--not often. I used to read about 5 books a week. Now, with my schedule, I average 2. Occasionally, I manage more--especially if I'm reading for my own pleasure.

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

Miranda Hardy said...

I totally count alligators!!! Then again, you probably knew that since I post all my alligator pictures up. Lol

Can't wait till the blogfest. Have a great weekend Alex!

M Pax said...

Alligator counter. Does one get paid for that?

I like to piddle and do stupid things between project. Trying to get my head in the new one now.

Have a good weekend, Alex and Lee.

Cate Masters said...

I'm not a fast reader either, but I am a compulsive book buyer. My Kindle has more than 300 titles now, and I just found a great book store and bought three hardcovers. Think I need a clone? :)

I'd rather count fireflies than alligators any night!

Patsy said...

I read very fast - just as well as I don't get nearly enough reading time.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Counting alligators! Wow! Hilton Head has a lot of them. Several years ago one got into the Island Club lagoon and consumed all the beautiful ducks there. Thankfully, someone--an alligator hunter?--captured it and sent it elsewhere. Now the ducks are back!

Mary Montague Sikes

Gwen Gardner said...

I think I'll leave counting alligators to the swamp experts. I have been in the swamps, though, when I was a kid. All I remember is the snapping turtle my dad caught that was hissing in the boat bottom. *shivers* I believe that was the first and last time I was in the swamps. Congrats to Lee on her book release. Now I'm off to check out the blogfest:)

S. L. Hennessy said...

AWESOME trivia!! Some truly inspired choices.
1. Star Trek II
2. Aliens (one of be best and most terrifying movies of ALL time)
3. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott's masterpiece - well, that and Alien)
4. Demolition Man
5. Independence Day

Jemi Fraser said...

I'll take teaching over counting alligators any day!!! :)

I loved Lee's book and highly recommend it to everyone!!

Golden Eagle said...

I usually do something unrelated to writing to refresh myself--research is usually too tied into the story for me to feel like I'm giving a project (and my brain) enough space.

I'm a relatively fast reader, though lately I haven't been plowing through as many books. Not enough time. :P

cleemckenzie said...

@Andrew we need a special book club!

@Buddy do not listen Mike! Do not.

@DG OMG That must have been quite an experience seeing all those little guys so close. Big. Little. I'd give them a wide berth.

@Siv I know you're going to have fun at the blogfest and you're going to be hopping!

@Callie I love finding stuff like that. Red eyes glowing! Wow.

@Maurice Thanks. Let's hope it flies, so to speak.

cleemckenzie said...

@Sheri I don't want them in my back yard, either. It's hard enough having them in my book. :-)

@Morgan I've seen freaker things.

@Empty Nest Flunking these quizzes is darned humiliating. I have to admit.

@Rachna Good to have distance between you and alligators. Agree.

@LD So now you're 100% turned off. I totally get that.

@Teresa You love reptiles! That's a nice change from most comment I get.

@Carrie You are a researcher after my heart!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey guys! Thanks for showing Lee your support.
I'm sorry, I was traveling all day and not able to get online. I will catch up with everyone tomorrow!

cleemckenzie said...

@Christine No counting alligators in either of our futures.

@Sia That would be very unnerving, even from the car.

@Miranda I'll have to find those pictures!

@MPax that's what I'm told. Could never be enough. I'm sticking with writing where I make no money, but get to keep my arms.

@Cate probably harder to count fireflies but more poetic.

@Monti Poor ducks. Bad alligators!

Charles Gramlich said...

I Always enjoy the research myself. I've actually been working on a nonfic book requiring lots and lots of it. A joy.

cleemckenzie said...

@SL How do you know all that stuff?

@Jemi There were days when I might have considered trading teaching for alligator counting.

@Eagle I like to take a real break from any project and do or read something entire different. It kind of clears my head. I think this book is an example. Totally different than anything I've written before.

Shannon Lawrence said...

1. Sounds like Spock?
2. Aliens?
3. No idea
4. No idea
5. Independence Day

I do not count alligators, but I'm not in an alligator-heavy state. ;-p I do enjoy doing research, though, and it is a nice reprieve. It does tend to get me thinking in fast forward about the story I'm writing, though, because I'm usually doing research because a technicality has me stuck or I have questions.

Walter Knight said...

"Pair up in groups of three." Hey, did you see the trailer for "Red Dawn 2012."

LTM said...

Yay, Lee!!! Love that research, yes? Red eyes creep me OUT! When we were in south Alabama, I had the privilege of interviewing the catchers of the largest gator during the first ever gator season! Those guys are doing so well, they're allowing hunters to go out and hunt them for limited times each year.

As for those Woody Pines boys, good stuff. Although in south Louisiana, it's not Highway 10, it's Interstate 10. no worries! Ca c'est bon~

Carrie-Anne said...

Thanks for the heads up about Alt Hist. I'll definitely be submitting some things to them.

I've always been a pretty fast reader (that kind of thing happens when you have hyperlexia at 3 years old). I still remember my best friend being blown away when I said I read Behind the Attic Wall in like two days when we were maybe in the 5th grade. And I still feel disappointed I took 19 long days to read War and Peace. I'd expected to knock it back in at most two weeks.

Anonymous said...

I remember Stallone swearing and getting the paper tickets, then smiling as he walked off to the bathroom. Forgot the name of the movie but I remember Sandra Bullock looking awesome.

mshatch said...

1 – sounds familiar but can't place it

2 – Just watched this the other day (again) Aliens

3 – Blade Runner

4 – no clue

5 – Independence Day

6. looking forward to the blogfest :)

Ink in the Book said...

Right now, I am researching two very different things. The most unusual is soap and how it is made and how it used to be made.

Enjoy your vacation. Mine's coming up Labor Day weekend, give or take a few days.Branson, Missouri. Yay!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Alex,

I don't no any of the answers. I read steadily, not super fast, but not slow either.

No, I don't count alligators ... lol.

Of course I signed up for your blogfest!

Have a great vacation and weekend.

Ella said...

I love this idea counting alligators! You remind me of the huge one I saw in Florida...yikes.
It was as wide as my coffee table....eeeewww~ Nice to meet you!
Your story sounds intriguing~

Alex, I also have a soon to explode iPad, lol

Hope you have a happy weekend! I so want to go to the movies ;D

Anonymous said...

Alligators Overhead sounds like my type of book. Never heard of it - going to check it out - thanks.

Michelle Wallace said...

C.Lee has been all over the blogosphere this past week and I've read quite a few interviews.
I have a new-found respect for knotty pine ceilings... that's for sure! LOL
I'm off to sign up for your blogfest-----

Unknown said...

Aliens and Independence Day, but don't know the rest.

Thanks for sharing Lee's book release!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen alligators at night. I don't think I want to see those glowing red eyes looking at me.

I read fast, but it's still hard to get to bloggers' books. Like you, I purchase the books to show support.

julie fedderson said...

Love #4 and #5 is a movie I can't not watch when it's on. Have a great weekend, Alex!

Tara Tyler said...

i love coming late and reading the answers! i shouldve guessed #2, and knew #5 but the rest, wow!
make sense now!

i'm a slow reader too =)

Lisa Regan said...

The only one I know is the last one: Independence Day! I heart Will Smith!

Jay Noel said...

1. Wrath of Kahn
2. Alien
3. Blade Runner
4. ? (Stumped me on this one)
5. Independence Day

Have a great vacation!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey guys! Enjoyed reading your guesses and comments for Lee. On vacation but will be checking in and lurking...

Allison said...

Cool alligator facts! I appreciate that you buy blogger friends' books--that is awesome of you!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Nancy Thompson said...

Sorry to be so late. Hello from Arizona! Man, is it hot!

So wow, how creative an idea is that? Counting Alligators! Good luck, Lee! And yo, I'm a very slow reader, too, Alex. No shame in that. Hmm, the only flick I recognize is that last one, Independence Day.

Anonymous said...

I've got Alligators Overhead on my Kindle. Can't wait to read it. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex ..I suspect once I get a Kindle .. I'll be like you - loads of books crammed onto it ...

Counting Alligators - is a great name for a book and I sure hope Lee does very well with it -

Enjoy the vacation .. hope you can get some peaceful happy times with your wife ... Hilary

ediFanoB said...

Dear Alex,

yesterday I found no time to go online which happens from time to time. And on such a day you post about my blog!!

Thank you so much for that.

In Germany you have to go to the zoo if you would like to count alligators ;-)

Anyway I like to read about books beyond my comfort zone. But in the following weeks the books from my summer reading list have priority one.

Susan Oloier said...

I'm a fast reader. I can go through a book a week in addition to writing and other stuff.
Hey, enjoy your vacation!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I'm so happy for C. Lee McKenzie and her book! She's great!

Unknown said...

C. Lee: I do love to dive into research. It's always interesting and fun. Congrats on the book and I love hearing how they count alligators. :)

Alex: I admire really fast readers, too. I can get through some books pretty quick, but others...No.

Movie Quotes:

1. Spock Star Trek II ?

2. Ripley Aliens

3. Roy Batty Blade Runner

4. John Spartan Demolition Man

5. Capt. Hiller Independence Day

Rick said...

I'm with Charles. Research is great fun because when we're through with it, we still have the option of making it all up!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I lived in Florida long enough to know to steer clear of alligators. I had no idea those clumsy-looking creatures could move so fast until I saw a three-legged one at Ding Darling Nature Preserve dash uphill at a photo-snapping tourist. Luckily, the tourist got away.

Have a great vacation, Alex. You deserve it. In the meantime, I'm posting about the 9/17 blogfest on my blog tomorrow.

Author A.O. Peart said...

Both alligators and crocodiles scare me to death. Thank God I live in the Pacific NW, where those species are present only at a zoo. Yikes. But Alligators Overhead sounds interesting. Cudos to C. Lee for publishing another book.

Congrats to George on his blogging anniversary, and to AJ on the publishing of the new book.

Have a great vacation, Alex. "See" you on the 22nd :-)

SpacerGuy said...

A friendly dog grabbed me once. Fortunately for me I had a delayed reaction before my canine friend sunk his teeth into me. It really pays to stay out predator territory. I guess alligators do more than just bite you!

Enjoy your time off Alex!

Talli Roland said...

Don't think I'll be counting alligators any time soon - eep! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a slow reader too, Alex -- a book a month is sometimes the best I can manage. But I'm a much faster writer!

Catherine Noble said...

Research has proved to be a terrible distraction for me when it comes to writing, I could spend forever learning about things! I like to do a freewrite for 10-15 mins instead! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Allison, I try to buy all of them.

Edi, you're welcome, and since I'm on vacation right now, I haven't been online much either.

Melissa, you're good!

Thank you, Patricia!

Milo, I'm slow at both!

dolorah said...

I only knew the last two movie quotes, though #3 was lurking at the back of my mind.

Counting alligators sounds interesting - if only for the chase, lol. Yeah, I do research when I need a break too. My mind is always working on the story, but I enjoy just following links and thinking in whole new directions. I think I'll stick to counting sheep though :)

Alex, I know how you feel about your book purchases and slow reading. I've been buying/downloading to my Kindle like crazy, but haven't had time to read very many, and I'm really slow lately about the reviews.

I hope you have some relaxing fun on your vaca.


Helena said...

Funny, but this subject sounds like an old joke: How do you count alligators? Very carefully.

I wish I could speed read. Or better yet, I wish I had lots more hours every week to read books, but it's so hard to find the time.

J.C. Martin said...

How interesting, I didn't know Hurricane Katrina drowned so many alligators.

Looking forward to your blogfest, Alex. Going to my first in a long while!

As for reading, I used to read faster, or maybe I had more time to read, hence I finished books sooner. In any case, I don't think I read very fast.

Nick Wilford said...

I've been seeing C. Lee's book a lot. Looks like a fun read.

I'm trying to get better at quick reading... I have less time to do it than I used to, so I'm maybe not reading more books, but I'm at least treading water!

Cindy said...

Have a nice break and I signed up for your blog fest.

farawayeyes said...

Three days late and a dollar short BUT I know one of the trivia answers.

#5 - Independence Day

Ready for the blogfest.

kjmckendry said...

I would pick the counting alligator eggs over the middle of the night spotting them with a flashlight. Yikes that would be scary.

Have a nice break Alex.

cleemckenzie said...

@J.C. Just shows how resilient these guys are. I'm in the not so fast reader category, too.

@Helena, you're right about the joke!

@Donna good choice those sheep. And research does take you off in directions you might not otherwise go.

@Catherine Research is a great way for me not to write!

@Milo I'd love to be a fast writer.

@Talli & @Spacerguy Good to steer clear of anything with big teeth and strong jaws.

@Angela Thanks Angela. My research says crocs are a heck of a lot meaner than alligators, but both are not pet material.

@Patricia That was one lucky tourist!

@Rick Iove research that inspires creativity. Love getting lost in making stuff up.

@Melissa Thanks for the comment and congrats on all those trivia answers. Amazing.

@Terry Lynn Thanks so much. Love having Alligators Overhead out for readers.

cleemckenzie said...

@edi Zoos are good places to see alligators. IMHO

@Susan That's great. A book a week. How about War and Peace?

@Hilary I wish I'd thought of that title. Maybe next time.

@Linda Thanks for reading the book. Would love to hear what you thought.
@Ella That big? Guess they can be very impressive.

@Michael I hear there's a high turn over in the alligator counting field.
@Nancy Great to see you here.

@Allison Iike to support authors because I know how hard it is to make any headway in this business.

@Medeia & @CM Loved finding your comments!

@Michelle I'm running as fast as I can, but with Alex's huge following I'm not keeping up very well. Thanks for noticing I'm out here. :-0

@tfwalsh Thanks. Hope you enjoy the book.

@Ink Wow! Soap. That's interesting. Makes me want to know more, like who decided soap was a good idea.

@LTM You're right. They could take over the world if left alone. We should be studying them to find out their secret to survival. It has to be more than big teeth.

PR said...

I'm the same with reading, takes me a good month or so to read a book, but I just purchased me a book called 10 days to faster reading; I so hope it works!
No 5 is Independence Day, love that movie. The others I recognise but can't quite place them.
I will be signing up for your awesome blogfest if it'snot too late? :)

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your blogfest.

Glad to know the reptiles have recovered from Katrina... *eye roll* ;p

Katherines Corner said...

Oh my friend I do love my visits. I must admit I don't think i'd like to participate in counting alligators at all. Giggle.
To answer one of your question, I read fairly quickly if uninterrupted that being said, I am always interrupted, xo

Liesel K. Hill said...

Great guest post! So interesting to hear about counting alligators. Who knew? :D I think that #5 quote is Will Smith's character from Independence Day? Not positive. Just a guess! :D Happy Monday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, it's hard to make time for so many books!

Anna, hope it works!

Thanks everyone for visiting Lee and signing up for my blogfest. Miss you guys and will be back soon.

Melissa said...

I really enjoyed this post. So fun and interesting!

I read pretty fast, but -like you- because I try and support so many authors, the TBR list on my Kindle is massive. I may never catch up. LOL

Have fun on your vacation, Alex. :)

klahanie said...

Hey Alex,
Leaping lizards, I'm familiar with C. Lee McKenzie's book, "Alligators Overhead". Fascinating and this is a book you can count on. I told a couple of snakes to go and multiply. To which they hissed, 'We can't because we're adders!'
I count hedgehogs, much safer.

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks for the round up, Alex. Didn't know an alligator's eyes shine red at night. Must be a creepy sight.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I would count alligators that way. Sounds like fun.

Powdered Toast Man said...

With 137 comments before mine, does it really matter what I write? lol
I got two of the sci-fi quotes. That alligator counting thing seems like a great scene in a movie.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Yep, I'm a super slow reader as well. But this last weekend I got some great reading done because I got cut off from the internet for a few days. Wooo ;)

Katherines Corner said...

me again, letting you know your blog is listed on the blogs of note today! xo

cleemckenzie said...

@Anna I know what you're saying. Reading has become a luxury that I fit into my life. It used to be the other way around.

@Katherine I think you're in the majority here. No counting of alligators, thank you very much.

@Liesel Thanks for the comment. I'm sure my guest post was bit of a surprise. I mean I doubt Alex has hosted alligator counting posts in his recent past. :-)

Helen Ginger said...

I don't read as fast as I used to, but I always have a book I'm reading. When I finish one, I start another.

And I've never counted alligators. I would think that to count alligators while in a boat would take great balance.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melissa, I'll never catch up.

Gary - adders - hilarious!

Powdered, it does matter, because I read every sing one!

Katherine, again. That's twice now.

Helen, it would take something.

nutschell said...

Lee has been everywhere these past few weeks! I'm so happy for her.
I can totally relate to your situation. I'm a fast reader myself, but I still have a hard time catching up to all the reading I have to do. Most of the time, I listen to audiobooks but it's never enough. My TBR pile is teetering right now. ONe of these days my nightstand is going to collapse from the sheer weight!


Angela Brown said...

I laughed, recognizing the quote from Independence Day right way lol!!!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Love middle grade for boys so I'll be grabbing this Aligator tale! Sadly I only knew the Bladerunner reference, gotta work harder to get my Trek on.

Hildie McQueen said...

I don't care too much about alligators, they are grumpy. I want to sign up for the blogfest, so I will. I read very fast, but I also get distracted quickly! Nope I never can answer your trivia questions, I guess I don't watch enough movies. :-) Cheerio!!

Unknown said...

Looking at the answers to your quotes, I should have gotten all of them (I've seen all those movies), but I'd only recognized the 5th one (can't forget a Will Smith line!).

I can't believe that Wildlife people thought alligator populations wouldn't come back. Those things survived the dinosaurs! What's a little hurricane?

Nicole said...

Really interesting topic for the guest post! Never would have thought much about counting alligators.

Oh, Will Smith, your lines are so classic! :)

DMS said...

I loved Lee's gues post about research. Until I learned from reading Alligators Overhead how they count alligators- I was clueless. Wishing her tons of success.

I am not a speed reader either- but my co-author, Stephanie, reads pretty fast. I think it is great that you show your support and get the books by your blog buddies and then read them when you get to them. :) I am sure that makes them happy!!


Jen said...

This is a wonderful post! I adore research! In fact, I love it more than writing (for shame, I know). I have to limit myself when I start researching any topic and even when I DO limit myself, there are rabbit trails galore that I happily wander down. I am not surprised she was able to find out such interesting information about counting alligators :)


Gwen Gardner said...

I've never thought about quitting blogging. I've posted erratically, just trying to find my niche. Not sure I've found it, but I at least have a schedule now. I just iove the friendships and interacting with other authors so much.