Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How A Lizard Sent a City Girl on a Writers’ Retreat

A 3-inch green lizard skulked in the corner of my bathroom this morning. It scared the pants off me (a horrible cliché that I promise will make sense later). My husband wouldn't turn around on the tollway and head back home, so I closed the door and shoved a towel in the gap, so he could catch the little guy later and take him to a nice place in the woods a few blocks away. I threw on some clothes, stuffed my files in my bag, and ran out the door. I was so scared, I forgot to brush my teeth and chomped on gum and mints all day long like a teenager.

If anyone in Plano doesn’t know, Haggard Library has a terrific writers’ reference section. I curled up in a chair and for 6 hours soaked in the wisdom of Elizabeth George (Write Away), Noah Lukeman (The Plot Thickens) and Orson Scott Card (Characters and Viewpoint). I had my own little spontaneous writers’ retreat. Now I’m rejuvenated and ready to apply what I’ve learned to make my WIP characters multi-dimensional and unforgettable.

I called Pamela and she asked, “You won’t pick up a lizard?”

I should have called one of my east-coast city-girl friends who could appreciate my plight.

On the way home, I called my husband and asked if he’d caught my lizard. He said, “You scared the tail off him.”

“Oh, ha ha, you’re so funny,” I said.

“No really. When lizards get scared they drop their tail. I found a lizard running around the bathroom—without a tail. His tail was on the other side of the room.”

Oops. “Poor little guy.”

“It’ll grow back,” my husband assured me.

Whew. As long as it grows back on someone else’s bathroom floor.


Pamela Hammonds said...

I picked up one in my hallway a couple days ago and held it up for Ben to see. And then found myself holding only its tail. The rest of him fell on Ben. I tossed him and the remainder of his tail in a planter on the front porch. And the one that lives in my mailbox I'm sure keeps the bugs off my mail. You need to make friends with the lizards. They're good guys.

Anonymous said...


Pamela Hammonds said...

Yes, well, I always wash my hands after every encounter.

Julie Layne said...

You can call me next time. I've been known to trap even tiny insects under jars until my husband returns from out-of-town trips. :)I don't touch anything smaller than a cat.