Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sea the Light

You have waited all year for this one.
Yes, National Lighthouse Day is finally here!
However, there’s been a small hiccup in the lighthouse festivities.
Apparently, after tolerating centuries of those bothersome beacons making sleep next to impossible, a collection of creatures have raised a pretty big stink about this special day.
I wasn’t there, but I imagine that it was a pretty ugly sight. They probably carried signs bearing slogans like…
Weaken the Beacon!
Blink off! (complete with rude fin gestures)
Arrest those Flashers! and
Sure we get the guts, but we want some glory, too!
And so our nation’s leaders – in a gesture of fairness, equality, and shameless political correctness – have given August 7th a double billing.
Yes, it is Sea Serpent Day, as well.

Obviously, it’s time for the Lighthouse vs. Sea Serpent Showdown…
Lighthouses: Save ships
Sea Serpents: Eat them
Lighthouses: Tend to be stationary – both kinds
Sea Serpents: They’re here, they’re there, they’re everywhere, and most folks don’t use their likeness in love letters
Lighthouses: Have worked for centuries to build a brand known for dedication, integrity, and safety
Sea Serpents: Could give a flying flatfish about their brand appeal
Lighthouses: If you report a lighthouse sighting, most people will consider you to be sane and sober
Sea Serpents: Not so much
But folks, we are writers and artists!  And so when it comes right down to it, the only measure that really matters is this…
Lighthouses: Blink… Blink…. YAWN – no plot potential whatsoever.
Sea Serpents:  Bolt from the blue! Ship crushing chaos! Gore, guts, and glory! Sea serpents give stories a BIG splash – fins down!

PROMPT: Don’t take my word for it. A quick book search will provide you with Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet, The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater and Catia Chien, as well as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters.

Meanwhile, the beacon Google gives you this – The Lighthouse Encyclopedia: The Definitive Reference by Ray Jones. Wow. Don’t even start that one if you plan on sleeping tonight.
But wait – maybe we don’t have to choose! What about a lighthouse with a sea serpent keeper, or a sea serpent with an unfortunate lighthouse birth defect? Go for something bold and new today – add a tail to your tale in a bright new way! 

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