Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Specialty

Some of my favorite blogs to read around the . . . blogosphere are those that have a specialty. Of course, most (if not all) of the blogs that I read are about writing to some degree, but there are a few that do more. Some of my favorites, off the top of my head, are my fellow Alliterati Bane of Anubis, with his acerbic wit, Matt Delman, who talks about Victorian-era technology and steampunk, and Stephanie Thornton, who is not only our Supreme Dictator, but also a veritable font of information about the Ancient Egyptians (and a history teacher to boot!). There's Gary Corby, with all things Classical/ Hellenistic Greece (and Gary, correct me if you're not really Classical so much as Hellenistic or vice versa), and Kiersten White, with her modern-day, good-old-fashioned mom and household humor. There's K. Marie Criddle with her drawgs, Shannon O'Donnell and her quotes, Elana Johnson and her awesome query and blog advice, and my friend Taryn Tyler with her unique voice and insightful views on everything.

(Please note that if I didn't mention you here it doesn't mean I don't read or love your blog. If anyone really wants to see a complete list of my favorites, just check out who I follow-- each and every single one of you are a joy to read).

I've been noticing this lately, that is, that my favorite blogs to read have something else to them. I've also been thinking about what MY specialty could possibly be. History? Well, Stephanie and Gary and Matt pretty much have the three eras I know anything about covered. Music? Hm, my knowledge isn't deep enough there to write about it reliably. My wedding? Sure, if I want to bore all of you to absolute tears. Mad Libs? I really *really* don't want that to be my specialty, much though I enjoy them.

The easy answer is something I've been doing all my life, something I've done professionally and personally, and have a deep love for in all forms: animals. Specifically marine animals, horses, dogs, cats, and some domestic and wild birds. Most animals in general. My qualifications? I was an educator at a local, large marine animal park for a year and a half, after which I was a penguin and alcid (bird) keeper for a year. I've been working with horses since I was twelve (regularly) and have owned and trained my own for almost eight years now. I know bunnies are cute (and also a lot about them otherwise). Also, I am well-versed in wild cat behavior because I have two VERY wild cats at home. Ahem. My focuses are on animal physiology and behavior with an emphasis on pack/herd/flock hierarchy and interactions with humans.

So, now that I've figured out what my specialty is, this is the part where you come in-- what kinds of animals, or what about animals would you be interested in learning more about? Feel free to also ask any specific questions. I'd be more than happy to share, because this is what I know. And darnit, it's about time I embrace and share it.


  1. All great bloggers! I want to know how I get my dog to quit barking for people food. He drives me nuts!

  2. Thank you for the kind words -- I'll definitely own the acerbicism (not a word, I know, but it should be), though wit is too generous...

    Animals... not sure which I'd like to know about, I once wrote a story w/ a squirrel MC, an amnesiac lemur, a basset hound, and plague-ridden bat-eared foxes set in South Africa... and a couple of crazy suircates... It was great fun researching them... so I guess I'd be interested in most anything.

  3. I'm surprised and honored to find my name listed, L.T. Thank you for the sweet shout-out - I'm glad you enjoy my quotes! :-)

    Animals? I've been trying to think of an original picture book animal MC - one that hasn't been overdone. Suggestions???? :-)

  4. I'd love to hear more about the penguins!!


  5. Hi! Thanks for the kind mention.

    Since you semi-asked, the Hellene Mysteries are firmly inside the Golden Age of Greece, which is when all the famous stuff happened. But my blog wobbles all over the place, from prehistory to hellenistic.

    Clearly I'm not too good at staying on message. Despite which I would suggest, pick whatever is relevant to what you're writing, and blog about that. My blog started as an overflow for book research and, because it was organic to my daily life, I stuck with it.

    Animals...exotic, weird stuff I don't know would be very cool. And the deadlier, the better.

    What about interesting symbiotes?

    Could you really train an animal to be a murder device? (Okay, I'm a mystery writer...)

    Could someone really make Honey of Trebizond?

    Weird ultra-deep sea fishes? Weird mega squid?

  6. I love Gary's suggestions for post topics. And yes, we don't have nearly enough animal bloggers kicking around the interwebs. It would be awesome to have one.

    I'd love to have a post (or a couple) on different types of horses and the variety therein. There's a lot of non-specific horse stuff out there in the major media, so some dispelling of myths would go a long way methinks.

  7. Wow, look at you, thinking so hard! Ha ha! I love animals...on TV. Seriously, I am so not an animal person. I'm scared of everything that has two or more legs--and all snakes. So yeah.

    Maybe you can tell me what the extreme fear of animals is and how to overcome that?? :)

  8. I've tried to think of a specialty too. Unfortunately I don't have one!

    I'll enjoy reading about animals here though. I love nature shows and zoos and wild animal parks and even though I don't know much about specific animals I like to see them and learn new things about them. I'll look forward to your expert posts.