Sometimes, a short conversation or a little quote will inspire you to get off your bum and pursue your dreams. Fort Lauderdale-based novelist Christine Kling, who writes about the adventures of a female tugboat captain, has said, "I've spent most of my adult life working on and living on sailboats, and I feel so fortunate to have led this life. Now comes the best part of all -- writing stories that take place on and around the water, because the way I see it, it's like the Water Rat told the Mole [in The Wind in the Willows], 'Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. '"
This time, it's Kling's turn to dole out the inspiration. On Tuesday, she and two other writers lead a discussion about writing during "A Literary Salon" at the Coconut Creek Library (1100 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek). Kling is joined by fiction writer Cary Michael Bass and poet Karen Schoenhals. The event is free and starts at 7 p.m.
Get a jump-start with this thought from Kling: Florida is full of raw material for writers, because "we have way more than the average per-capita number of crazies, con men, and professional politicians." Call 954-201-2601. -- Deirdra Funcheon
If Yucca Pass the Melting Pot...
Did your Puerto Rican flags get covered in arepas during the Calle Ocho festival? Are you completely in awe of dancing Latin couples who glide gracefully like one body with four legs? Has that colorful ruffled salsa dress been glaring at you every time the closet opens, demanding to be worn? The solutions to all of your problems lie at the Bank of America Fiesta! This Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fort Lauderdale's Riverfront will "Swing to the Sounds of Puerto Rico" in an all-day event, celebrating music, dancing, national cuisine, and surely more Puerto Rican-themed flags, hats, and T-shirts than you can shake a plantain at. While it only takes two to tango, there is no limit to how many awkward, talent-lacking passersby will benefit from the free salsa dance lessons offered by the Salsa Knights at 4:30. This event is free. Visit www.fiestaflorida.com, or call 954-527-0627. -- Jamie Laughlin
Majik City Fridays
Every Friday at I/O Lounge (30 NE 14th St., Miami), three lines are drawn, and the beats are segregated into separate rooms by basic description. While this may be a backwoods, 1950s approach to music, it works well for the short-attention-span crowd. The main room features breaks and electro by Mr. Felos, Emil, Teknik, Hicue, and Mekka. On the patio, you can find what has been described as minimalelectronicmusic, crafted by Click Beep Boom, Michael Louis, and Domingo Castillo. Inside the Bar Room, you'll find old-school freestylist Gor-D, who has so much game, he needs a referee. Tickets cost $5. Call 305-358-8007, or visit www.iolounge.com. -- Jake Smith
Walk Like a Dog, Dance Like a Duck
Forget the Furry convention; here's an over-the-radar way to go out in public dressed like Garfield or Bullwinkle the Moose. From 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Animal Aid presents its second-annual Masquerade Party at the Paladium Night Club (5688 W. Sample Rd., Margate). The $40 ticket gets you a "cruelty-free" dinner buffet and live music. Open bar for those dressed in theme, "i.e., face paint or a mask (no feathers, please)." Call 954-730-8398. -- Deirdra Funcheon