I did some serious listening recently, in palmetto hammocks and oak scrubs.

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” ― Dalai Lama


You might call it my listening tour of Halpatiokee Regional Park.


Remember anthropologist Margaret Mead? She defined ‘listening tour’. She was out there on the Sepik River with a pad and pencil, and every time you see her with the natives of Papua New Guinea, she’s in listening mode.




Halpatiokee is a Seminole word.  It means ‘Alligator Water’.  Yes, they’re there. And they’re listening, too.  Alligators hear with ears that are located behind their eyes and are very sensitive to vibrations in the water.

I hiked the 3-mile trail that runs along the South Fork River and loops back to the trailhead inside this 470- acre wetland preserve.



The area is a step back in time, to the days of old Florida.




Like steeping tea bags, cypress trees stain the quiet water a dark brown, but it’s so clear that you can see the fish below.



Some of Florida’s most threatened and endangered species live here, eating and sheltering in scrub areas, like the gopher tortoise and the Florida scrub jay.

I met this guy schlepping back to the scrub.


An amazing thing about the gopher tortoise is that it amiably shares its burrow with more than 350 other species. Burrowing owls, Florida mice, indigo snakes, opossums, rabbits, gopher frogs, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and gopher crickets, all enjoy good fellowship underground.


The gopher tortoise is protected by Florida law. This little shaver depends on it.


In the Sunshine State, every day is a perfect day to take a listening tour.




TONI 4/27/17


It’s our blogaversary!

That being said, here’s our very first post ~  4/20/2010

Today we’re starting our blog. For years we’ve sipped great coffee, nibbled tasty treats, talked through the life dramas, and read our writing to each other. Frequently we’ve had a silent partner in all this: Ted Kooser, Jane Yolen, Lary Bloom, Art Plotnik, Anne Lamott. We’ve read their books about writing and let their wise words inspire us. This blog is going to be another silent partner we think, but right now getting going with it is a bit like trying to get clear, cool water from the faucet. We need to run the water for a while to swish out whatever’s been lodging along the old pipes. Sometimes those pipes clank and the water sputters. Sometimes we curse and talk about whether or not the plumbing’s ever going to be right. And then it happens. Luscious, clean, boy-is-this-well-good-or-what water. That’s the way it will be with our fussing with a writing blog. Just keep the tap on we’ve decided. It’ll come.

And come it has.

Words We Women Write was born out of, well, unbridled curiosity and wonder.


The adventure of uncertainty lured us in. (That, and there was nowhere else we needed to be.)


Now, seven years later, we’ve birthed two more ~

Click here to read Patty’s middle-grade novel blog, Isabel the Storyteller.

Click here to read Toni’s poetry blog, mental crumbs ~ in love with carbs and poetry.


Having awesome site stats means you can dance no matter who’s looking.


We still fuss with the plumbing.


Apple geniuses help us tinker, WordPress Happiness Engineers make the irreversible reversible.


And Readers, you are why we’re still having a good time, all the time.

Thanks for coming. 


Patty and Toni  4/20/17
and yes, there is always cake

While Trump takes steps backwards, I ponder taking more positive steps like the Tsimane. A 420 character 9-liner.

Take steps (17,000) & fruits, veggies, nuts =

the healthiest heart in the world.

Live like the small, active community of Amazon Tsimane on the Maniqui

& acquire a pristine, unclogged, positive-outlook

& arteries.

More positive than the PFN’s steps to abolish EPA, roll back Dodd-Frank.

But how about that failed resolution of inquiry* ?

It forced Republicans to reject calls for greater conflict oversight.

Take steps.


NOTES FROM PATTY: PFN = President for Now. And on that resolution: House Republicans derailed a Democratic resolution that would have forced disclosure of the PFN’s potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest. Republicans wanted to avoid a full House vote that would have been embarrassing and divisive for the right.





While Trump takes steps backwards, I ponder taking more positive steps like the Tsimane. A 420 character 9-liner.