Wagging the Tale

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Bixby native Stacy Nyikos spreads her love of poetry to young readers through her work. Photo by Natalie Green.
Bixby native Stacy Nyikos spreads her love of poetry to young readers through her work. Photo by Natalie Green.

Inspiration can come in many forms. Writers have found it in nature, and musicians have found it in art. In the case of Stacy Nyikos’ new children’s book about an unruly dog, inspiration came from a more destructive place.

“It took about six months of watching our puppy, Desi, destroy stuff with her tail before it hit me,” Nyikos says of the impetus for Waggers. “[The idea] was just like lightning striking.”

“Poetry was always something I did in my free time, but when you’re writing a dissertation, you don’t have much of that.”

Waggers tells the tale of a lovable and excitable dog whose wagging tail constantly gets in the way. It is the Bixby author’s seventh book and her sixth illustrated children’s book.

She says she’s always loved writing and looked for creative outlets even in her academic studies at the University of Virginia.

“Poetry was always something I did in my free time, but when you’re writing a dissertation, you don’t have much of that,” Nyikos says. “It wasn’t until after I finished my Ph.D. that I started writing poetry for kids, and then that just turned into something bigger.”

Her first book, Squirt, was published in 2005 and tells the story of a squid who loses his imagination. Squirt was followed in 2006 by Shelby, a shy lem