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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: surfing, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 18 of 18
1. Paula: Surf's Up!

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2. Cricket Magazine Illustration: “What’s Wrong?”

I love doing big, busy spreads with a lot of activity going on. This one was for Cricket magazine. See if you can find the sports-related “wrongs” in this illustration.






(c) Cricket Magazine/Carus

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3. Surf Dog Miracles - a review

Goldish, Meish. 2013. Surf Dog Miracles. New York: Bearport.
Advance Review Copy
(This is my first review with a 2013 copyright date.  And just like that, another year has passed.)

Part of the Dog Heroes series, Surf Dog Miracles is more than just a book about surfing dogs, though they are some fine looking surfers! These dogs surf for fun with their owners, but they also assist people with disabilities and raise money for charities.  Ricochet, a Golden Retriever, surfs in tandem with people having special needs, riding the back of the board to stabilize it in the waves. She has raised a whopping $150,000 for charities that benefit both people and dogs.  Surfing dogs also compete against each other is contests like Del Mar, California's Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.  In 2011,

The money raised at the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon went to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California.  This organization provides many services, including taking care of homeless animals, running a hospital for horses, and delivering pet food to animal owners who are too old or weak to leave their homes.
Surf Dog Miracles contains twelve short chapters which offer the history and particulars of the sport (dogs have been surfing since the 1920s, but the first known solo surfer did not appear until the 1980s) and an overview of what surfing dogs are accomplishing today.  As would be expected, photos are plentiful; they are accompanied by text box insets and captions.  Fun and informative, this slim, 32-page volume also contains a list of surf dog facts, a photo page of common surfing breeds, a glossary, bibliography, and sources for more information.

Like a viral YouTube video, kids will want to see this one again and again.

For teachers:
  • Dewey Decimal Number: 362
  • Lexile®: 1000
  • SRC Quiz Available: Yes

Browse Surf Dog Miracles on the publisher's site. Be sure to check out English Bulldog, Sir Hollywood, quite possibly the most unlikely surfer dog you'll ever see.

And here's "Wet and Woofy." According to the book, it's the video that Steve Jobs showed when introducing the iPad in 2010.  It features champion surf dog, Buddy.

Today's Nonfiction Monday roundup is at A Teaching Life
Next week's roundup is here at Shelf-employed.  See you next week!

1 Comments on Surf Dog Miracles - a review, last added: 9/25/2012
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4. Chase Danger, Super Spy, #2: Pirates of Pineapple Island by Case and Lisa Olivera

4 Stars Chase Danger, Super Spy: Pirates of Pineapple Island Chase & Lisa Olivera Adam Goodman 32 Pages:    Ages: 4 to 7 ................... From Website:  7-year-old super-spies Chase Danger and Princess Ali Bali must think fast when they discover pirates have stolen Zalezgon’s magical pineapples.  But that’s not all!  Ali’s little brother Aiden has been [...]

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RIPTIDE, by Lindsey Scheibe (Flux, May 2013)(ages 12+).  It's the summer before senior year.  Best friends and fellow surfers Ford and Grace are at different crossroads:  Ford wants to move their relationship to the next level while padding his resume with an internship at Grace's father's law firm.  Grace wants to somehow break free from the Ivy League track her parents have placed her on.

But that means she'll have to pay for college on her own.  So she enters a major surfing competition, one being judged by the coach of the UCSD surfing team, in hopes of winning and landing a scholarship.

And that means, she doesn't have time for Ford.  At least not in that way...

RIPTIDE offers an engaging narrative told in alternating voices -- a thoroughly entertaining read about an epic summer of change.

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6. 7 Lokasi Surfing Terbaik di Indonesia

Sebagai sebuah negara yang memiliki banyak pantai, Indonesia juga dikenal sebagai salah satu negara yang paling banyak memiliki lokasi surfing terbaik. Berbagai jenis ombak mulai dari yang sedang hingga yang tingginya mencapai 8 meter ada di Indonesia.Tidak hanya itu, gulungan ombak yang mencapai 7 buah dan datang secara bersamaan juga bisa anda temukan di Indonesia. Jadi, tidak heran apabila banyak wisatawan atau penggemar surfing yang datang ke Indonesia untuk menikmati gulungan ombak yang memacu adrenalin tersebut.


Berikut adalah 7 lokasi surfing terbaik di Indonesia yang bisa anda kunjungi, diantaranya adalah:

•    Mentawai Sumatera Barat

Kepulauan Mentawai adalah salah satu tempat surfing yang memiliki setidaknya 400 titik surfing. Dan salah satu pulau yang ada ditempat ini yaitu Pulau Sipora, memiliki sekitar 49 titik. Tempat ini dinobatkan sebagai salah satu tempat surfing terbaik di dunia oleh CNN.

•    Pantai Pelengkung Banyuwangi

Pantai ini berada di sekitar Desa Grajagan dan termasuk ke dalam bagian dari Taman Nasional Alas Purwo Banyuwangi. Di tempat ini ombak bisa mencapai 6 hingga 8 meter dan terbentang sepanjang garis pantai sejauh 2 km.

Di pantai pelengkung sering diadakan lomba surfing yang diikuti oleh berbagai peserta dari mancanegara seperti Amerika, Australia, Prancis, Selandia Baru, dan lain-lain.

Seperti yang telah disebutkan bahwa, ombak di tempat ini memang sangat menantang dan bahkan banyak yang menyamakannya dengan salah satu tempat yang paling terkenal di dunia yaitu, Hawaii.

•    Pantai Uluwatu Bali

Jika anda berkunjung ke Bali cobalah untuk datang ke daerah Uluwatu,dimana anda bisa menemukan pantai dengan ombak yang mencapai ketinggian 5 hingga 8 meter.

Mereka yang berkunjung ke Bali dan menggemari surfing biasanya banyak menghabiskan waktu di tempat ini. Selain itu, pemandangan alam yang indah seperti pantai dan tebing-tebing karang menjadi nilai plus yang dimiliki oleh Pantai Uluwatu.

•    Pantai Ombak Tujuh

Lokasi pantai ombak tujuh ada di Sukabumi Jawa Barat. Tempat ini memiliki ombak yang panjang dan digelari Ombak Tujuh. Nama pantai itu sendiri sebenarnya diambil dari ombak yang sering kali berjumlah tujuh buah.Ombak tersebut biasanya akan beriringan dan membuat para Surfer tersenyum kegirangan.

•    Pulau Nihiwatu Sumba Barat

Nusa Tenggara merupakan salah satu tempat yang paling banyak dikunjungi oleh wisatawan pencinta surfing, dan salah satu tempat yang cukup terkenal dikalangan pencinta surfing adalah Pulau Nihiwatu. Di tempat ini terdapat spot surfing yang berskala internasional. Selain menikmati ombak, anda juga bisa menikmati pemandangan alam serta budaya yang unik dari masyarakat Sumba.

•    Pantai Tanjung Setia Lampung Barat

Pantai yang berhadapan langsung dengan Samudra Hindia ini terkenal dengan ombaknya yang mencapai ketinggian 6 hingga 7 meter dengan panjang kurang lebih 200 m. Pantai tanjung setia menjadi salah satu favorit para surfer untuk menguji adrenalin mereka.

•    Kepulauan Nias

Ombak yang selalu ada sepanjang tahun membuat tempat ini tidak pernah sepi dikunjungi oleh wisatawan. Jadi, jika anda ingin mencoba surfing di waktu waktu yang tidak normal maka cobalah untuk datang ke tempat ini. Beberapa tempat yang bisa anda datangi diantaranya adalah Pantai Lagundri dan Pantai Sorake.

Daerah yang terletak di Sumatera Utara ini seringkali dikunjungi oleh para pemburu ombak karena tempat ini memiliki ombak terbaik. Dua spot surfing terbaik di tempat ini adalah,The Point dan Indikator.

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7. SFG: Scary

Cover of the October edition of The Beachside Resident.

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8. If I’d Had a Camera…

…I would have taken photos of these (below), but I did quicky cartoon pictures instead. My “faux photos”, if you will: The Peeing Goat. Yes, somebody in the neighborhood has a small, black goat tied up in their front yard. I’ve seen him twice when taking a walk. I did a double take the first time, assuming [...]

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9. Answer: Shooting Star [Fact or Ficton?]

Fact or Fiction? Where were you the last time you saw a shooting star and what did you wish for?

I kick my feet in the air and they land solid on my board. My right hand skims the water as I drop into the tube. Sea spray mists my face, salty and sweet. I think about all the surfers who have ever ridden this water. All the boats that ever sailed it too. I think about the ocean and the timelessness of it. That the sound of the surf, sea pounding sand, must be the oldest sound on Earth.

I love knowing the sea, something ancient, so intimately. Being right about a wave. Taking it. Touching the water as I carve, leaving a bit of me behind.

I glide into the soup. Hop off, grab my board and walk along the water’s edge. My feet sink into the wet sand. Whistles greet me on my stroll down the beach. Not knowing why, I smile and hunt for Sean in the waves. Feet slapping wet sand behind me makes my heart race and I turn around.

“Had to be the sweetest wave ever! You rode it like a pro,” Sean says, giving me a sideways hug. He takes the towel off his head.

“Let’s celebrate, Ash. Where to?” Sean unzips his wetsuit to just below his belly button and has a Tommy-Burger look in his eye. He frees his arms of  neoprene, shakes his blonde hair. It freezes in the-I’ve-just-been-surfing-and-its-my-life look. He towels off his guns first, works his way to his six-pack, wraps the towel around his waist and slips out of his wet suit.

He’s hot, but best friends aren’t supposed to notice that. I absolutely love watching Sean dry off almost as much as much as watching him pull on his butt-sculpting jeans.

I look to the sea. The sunset casts an orange-purple glow to the sand and the beach sparkles in spots. “This’ll do.” The waves blown out now, everyone’s on shore.

The towel drapes over Sean’s head now. He peeks out from under it and says, “But we don’t have anything to celebrate with.”

“We have each other.” That came out wrong. Or, did it. He’s so smoking hot backlit by the setting sun.

Sean takes the towel off his head. He holds my hand. “Let’s go find a spot on the beach.”

A queasy kind of sickly feeling comes over me on our walk down the beach.

We sit in the sand for a long time without saying a word. Awkward. How is it people stay friends after they’ve done it? Never happened to me before Sean. Sand grinds between Sean’s hand and my thigh. “Come on Ash, for old times sake,” he whispers.

Sean leans toward me, pressing his body against mine. I lay down in the sand. It grinds into my hair when he kisses me, easy, slowly. I want to do it. Remember this time. Like a do-over. But I don’t want to be that girl any more. He plunges his tongue into my mouth. We kiss like old lovers. Perfect and sweet.

I wonder if I’ll ever know who I am after being who everyone else wants me to be. Do I even know how to be me?
A shooting star fades before falling into the Pacific. My alien Dear Abby says yes. I do. She believes in me. The stars save me again, from another mistake.

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10. Sketchbook Project —Do Alligators Surf?

I, for one, would love to see an alligator surfing…from a distance, that is.

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11. Surfer of the Century

The Life of Duke Kahanamoku    by Ellie Crowe  illustrations by Richard Waldrep   Lee and Low  2007     A bit of bait-and-switch on this picture book biography of the father of modern surfing as it focuses more on his accomplishments as a swimmer.   As a kid, "Duke" wasn't much for school, but he loved the water.  He loved swimming and surfing, riding the waves at Waikiki Beach on 100-plus

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12. More Summer Reading

Lest you think from our Back to School post that we’re completely over summer, we thought we’d highlight a few books that will get you through the rest of the dog days.  There are still several more weeks left until it cools down, and these great reads will help you hang on to the summer days:

I’M A SHARK by Bob Shea
Even sharks can be afraid… (watch the adorable video)

DUDE: FUN WITH DUDE AND BETTY by Lisa Pliscou, illustrated by Tom Dunne
Dick and Jane…surfer style!

JUNONIA by Kevin Henkes
10-year-old Alice Rice grows up during her family’s annual summer vacation in Florida.

Check out this hilarious video of Eric Luper interviewing Eric Luper.

WITHERING TIGHTS by Louise Rennison
A summer performing arts camp?  Boys, snogging, and bad acting guaranteed!  Recommend to your fans of “Glee” or Georgia Nicholson.

FINS ARE FOREVER by Tera Lynn Childs
Mermaids are the next vampires…or werewolves…or angels…!  This sequel to

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13. Book List: Sporty Girls

book-thelifeandtimesofgraciefaltrainWhat was a little surprising in this list of sporty gals is the prevalence of soccer as the sport of choice.  I guess it is called “the most beautiful game” for a reason.  We would like to augment this list with further Australian titles so if there is a title that you know is missing, add it in comments!


Grace Faltrain series by Cath Crowley (soccer)
Shutout by Brendan Halpin (soccer)
Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best by Maria Padian (soccer and dance)
Pretty Tough series by various authors (soccer)
Breakaway by Andrea Montalbano (soccer)

Everything else:

  • Dairy Queen series by Catherine Murdock Gilbert (US football/basketball)
  • Netball or Nothing by Bernadette Hellard (netball)
  • Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe (dancing)
  • Dancing in the Dark by Robyn Bavati (dancing)
  • Gracey by James Moloney (running)
  • Surf Ache by Gerry Bobsien (surfing)
  • Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager (surfing)
  • Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (US football)
  • The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane (baseball)
  • Whip It! by Shauna Cross (roller derby)
  • The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner (cross country – younger)
  • The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanan (running)
  • Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes (basketball)
  • Boost by Kathy Mackel (basketball)
  • Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley (snowboarding)
  • The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols (snowboarding)
  • Total Horse Mad by Kathy Helidoniotis (horse riding – 9-14)
  • Breathless by Jessica Warren (swimming)
  • Open Court by Carol Clippinger (tennis)

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14. Jumps - Sketch for today

Today's warm up sketch. 'Jumps'. Also Illustration Friday entry.

Tiddley Pom!


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15. Author Interview: Kelly Bingham on Shark Girl

Kelly Bingham on Kelly Bingham: "I started my career as a story artist for Walt Disney Feature Animation, where I worked for twelve years on films such as 'Hercules,' 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire,' 'The Emperor's New Groove,' and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.' I received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College in 2004, and then moved to Georgia to spend more time with my family and writing. I live in north Georgia with my husband and our five children. Shark Girl (Candlewick, 2007)(excerpt) is my first novel."

Could you tell us about your path to publication, any sprints or stumbles along the way?

I spent over ten years trying to "learn" how to write for children. I took classes and workshops, had a critique group, and wrote a lot. After a long time, I realized my level of writing had plateaued...and it wasn't that good. I then enrolled in something I had wanted to do for years...the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College.

I learned more there in the first semester than I had in the previous ten years of self-teaching. And I began working in earnest on the story I had brought with me to my first workshop...the manuscript that would become Shark Girl.

I finished the first draft of Shark Girl nearly two years later, just before graduation. And within a few days of finishing this, a girl in Hawaii was attacked by a shark while surfing and lost her right arm.

The coincidence was too much, and I couldn't bear the thought of appearing as though I'd capitalized on her loss. So I put the book away for a while.

I sold a picture book and continued working on other projects, and two years later, took Shark Girl out of its drawer, largely because I was urged to do so by my mentors and friends and family. I revised for several months, then submitted it to the editor I had already sold a book to. He didn't want it. I was disappointed but knew better than to give up too soon---rejection is part of the process, right? I tried again and submitted to Candlewick in the summer.

Liz Bicknell was too busy to read the story at that time. She asked me to resubmit in the fall, and in the meantime, she would understand if I wanted to submit it elsewhere rather than wait. But I was more than willing to wait for her, and when the time came, she read the first thirty pages, asked for the rest, and then sent me an e-mail saying she wanted to publish the book! I was thrilled, shocked, and overjoyed!

We started off agreeing the book would be published in 2008. But very soon Liz let me know they were bumping it to 2007. Great news! We tackled revisions, which were minimal, and then shipped it all off in short order. It was a fun, whirlwind experience.

So...from idea to publication took six years. But from submission to publication took only eight months!

Was there anything during your apprenticeship that you felt was especially helpful? Was there anything you wish you'd skipped?

Especially helpful was attending Vermont College. The program is fabulous, eye-opening, and for me, it was life changing as well! I found it helpful to really delve into the structure of story--for me that's always the hard part. Turning points, plotting, sub-plots, psychic distance, point of view---all that stuff was a foreign language to me until I really got into the work of doing the MFA alongside amazing and generous faculty.

I can't think of anything I wish I'd skipped, because it was all necessary to get me where I needed to be. All the mistakes, the floundering, the craft books that I'd read that didn't do much for me, the form rejection letters for sub-par manuscripts....all that stuff was a road I had to travel before I was ready to acknowledge I not only needed to get serious about learning more, but I was willing to work hard to do so, as well.

Congratulations on the publication of Shark Girl (Candlewick, 2007)! Where did you get the initial idea for this book?

In the summer of 2001, there was a rash of shark attacks across the country. Among the victims was a little boy who had his arm bitten off and later reattached. I started thinking about the situation and thought, what a horrible thing to happen. And how much worse to have it on the news, and forever after be known for only that one thing that happened to you.

So I started writing the story from the point of view of a young boy. But Jane, the fifteen-year old girl from Shark Girl, kept stepping into my story. I found myself wanting to write for an older audience and to write from this girl's point of view. I finally abandoned my original plan and went with Jane. She guided me the whole way.

What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, logistical) in bringing it to life? I'm especially interested in the use of poetry, newspaper articles, etc.

Well, I hadn't written much poetry before writing this book. And I did not set out to write Shark Girl in poetry form, by the way. I wrote in prose, but just groped and fumbled and couldn't get a toehold for six months. Then a friend suggested writing it as a poetry novel, and right away I knew that was the best way to do the book. But I told myself, "you're not a poet. Don't even try it. You'll look so stupid and you'll feel like a fraud." (This is how I talk to myself, isn't it awful?)

Fortunately, I got past that, studied poetry and poets, and began writing volumes and volumes of poems for the book. The experience was electrifying. I love writing in poetry.

There were a few stumbles along the way. I wandered down many wrong roads while writing--I tried multiple point of view, for one thing, and then I experimented with several story lines that eventually petered out into nothing. I included characters I did not need. I had to go through this process to find what I did need, if that makes sense. And another problem I ran into was not knowing how to mix it up--an advisor of mine pointed out that having only poems in the book made it a bit flat. I couldn't figure out what else to do, but eventually expanded the book to include conversations and newspaper clippings, as well as more letters from the public than I had originally intended. This seemed to work well and give another dimension to the story.

I also had to overcome the fear of writing about being an amputee. I thought, "I don't know what that's like. Isn't it wrong of me to write about it? Am I trivializing what people actually go through?" I finally decided I wasn't going to waffle around in indecision, and I jumped into extensive research. The more research I did, the more confident I felt that, yes, I could write about this without being offensive or insensitive.

And logistically, writing the book was tough simply because of the demands on my time back then. I was working full time, going to school for a master's degree, and I had two children. It was always easier to do something else; anything else. And there were those days of discouragement; that whole, "I'll never get this finished" attitude to push aside.

Also, while I wrote the book, many people cautioned me that a poetry novel would be a "tough" sale. And they were right; I think in general poetry novels are approached by editors a bit more cautiously than prose. But in my case, I was fortunate enough to find Liz Bicknell at Candlewick almost right away, and she was so enthusiastic about the book! I feel very lucky to have landed with the right editor.

What is it like to be a debut author in 2007? What moments already stand out?

Being a debut author in 2007 is terrific!! As for stand-out moments: This is the first book I've ever published. So everything is a stand out! I couldn't wait to see the cover...and was thrilled with it, too. (I was amazed at the attention to detail, too. I had one line in the whole book about Jane wearing a pink bikini that day, and there on the cover she is, in a pink bikini. Wow.) I couldn't wait to hold the galley in my hands, and show it to my family. That was fun, fun, fun. And finding my book on the Internet, at bookstore websites (and even on E-bay, apparently,) that was exciting, too. And going out for the big celebratory dinner with my family....what a pleasure. I have enjoyed every minute of this whole experience.

Are you doing anything special to promote your new release?

I have joined up with thirty-eight other debut authors, and we call ourselves the class of 2k7. We're helping each other promote our books by appearing at conferences, writing articles for newsletters like the SCBWI Bulletin, sharing a website, blog, and forum, giving away ARC's, and things like that. It's been wonderful to be linked with such talented and diverse authors. You can check us out at www.classof2k7.com.

What do you love about the writing process and why?

I love it when an initial idea for a book comes along, and it's so exciting it makes my toes tingle. That's when I know I need to sit down and write about it. I love it when a character begins to take shape in my writing and in my mind, and even begins to "speak" to me and tell me her own story; what has happened, how she feels, where she's going, what she wants to do. That's very exciting. And I love it when a draft is coming together and almost "there," because it seems to me at that point, everywhere I look, I find inspiration for the final pieces of the puzzle--characters to add to the story, a scene, a snatch of dialogue, an event, or some small thread to go back and weave into the manuscript. A simple trip to the store at that point can lead to a great idea to go back and weave into chapter one, for example. When the manuscript reaches a certain point, it all seems to come together rather quickly for me. I love that part.

What about do you wish you could skip and why?

I wish I could skip all the agony, the self-doubt, the frustration when months trail past and nothing worthwhile has made itself into words. The floundering part is the hard part for me.

Once I start to find my character, get rooted in her world, and roll along, then I'm okay. But that whole first part--where I have an idea but can't figure out how to unlock it and get going---that's like fumbling at a treasure chest with no key in sight and an imaginary clock ticking. I worry I'm wasting time and not getting anywhere, I worry I will never write another book, that the inspiration won't come. It often takes me several months to find my story and start making real progress. I wouldn't mind skipping that part.

How about publishing? What do you love about it? What do you abhor? And again, in both cases, why?

So far, I love almost all of it! Getting published is very exciting and certainly the high points make up for many of the low points along the writing process and submission process. I love seeing my book in print, I love discovering what the cover looks like, writing my thank-you page, working with my editor, and seeing my book for sale. But best of all is the knowledge that people are reading the book and getting something from it!! If I hear from one reader that the book moved them, entertained them, or gave them anything to think about at all, that alone is worth every bad writing day along the way.

The part I'm not so crazy about is the possibility that when you sell a book, you may not actually see it in print. Every once in a while a book is bought and for whatever reasons, does not actually get made. Once a manuscript is gone from our hands, there's not much we can do. But as writers we certainly want our creations read--not just bought by a publisher. The other part of the publishing process that is hard is the whole submission process. It is very difficult to get work read these days, especially without an agent. Frustration is part of the business.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

I would say study your craft. Read all the books you can in your genre. Read the good ones and bad ones and figure out why you like them or don't like them. Get yourself a critique group and offer each other support, but also a little push to dig deeper and go further. Take some classes. Look into SCBWI. And write for the fun of it first and foremost.

You can't write "for publication." Write about the things that matter to you. Be open to constructive criticism, but don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you are willing to work hard enough, you can do anything. Just understand that writing is hard work and can be frustrating at times. Find yourself a community of writers, if you can--it helps so much to have others to talk to about the craft and business.

I would also suggest to people to be kind to themselves. If your kids are really young, this may not be the time to decide you're going to write a novel in a space of six months. Give yourself realistic goals. I think it's more important to write regularly than to write often, if that makes sense. If you can only squeeze in an hour two days a week, then take it. Don't beat yourself up for not getting up at five a.m and writing every day because that is what "real" writers do.

Real writers do what works for them. Set yourself a time and stick to it. And don't worry when that time is up and you can't write for a while. Also, don't worry if you sit down to write and nothing "usuable" comes. It's okay. Not every day can be productive. Understand that all writers feel discouraged at times. Just free write and keep going. And keep reading. Do not compare yourself to others. Given enough time and persistence, you will get where you are going.

How about those interested in writing for the young adult audience in particular?

Know your audience. Know your genre. If you don't have kids at home or feel you aren't familiar with young adults, then get in their shoes a bit before you write. Watch them at malls, surf teen websites, eavesdrop when you're in line behind a couple of teens at the movies. Write your story first and foremost; let the editor tell you if it's out of bounds or too sophisticated. Young adults today are more savvy than ever and subject matter for teens is pretty much wide open.

As with any audience, respect your reader. Never dumb things down, or tread lightly around touchy topics. Your reader's feelings are real, their life is real, and I think any reader appreciates an author who is blunt and honest with their character's emotions and flaws.

The more real you are, the more your reader can connect. And isn't that why we read in the first place? I know I do--I love that connection to a book; that sense of, "I know exactly how that character feels!" And then going on a journey with that character to see what they do and how they do it.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

When I started writing Shark Girl, I honestly thought I wasn't a "real" writer, and that it would be a miracle if I ever finished a manuscript. When I finished the manuscript, I thought it would be a miracle if it ever got published.

I suspect I'm not the only writer who started out this way. I think lack of confidence may be an issue for many of us. I just want to say, do not let that stop you, whatever you do. Just go for it. Just write. And worry about the results later.

If you can't sit down and write a novel from start to finish, as a mentor of mine used to say--then just write two pages a day. Every day. When enough days pass, you will have a two hundred page manuscript.

Stick to it. Put yourself in that chair and do it. Take time to smell the roses, regroup, refresh the well, and find inspiration...but then get back to work. Don't let yourself get too discouraged for too long. And always keep your eyes open for that new idea, that untold story, that character that needs a voice. Be open to trying new forms of writing, and have fun!

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The continuing story
SCENE: KEN has shown up at Barbie's beach house where BARBIE, G.I. JOE and her friends are...partying. BARBIE has convinced G.I. JOE to stay back and keep watch over the house and the party while she i.e. BARBIE, take a walk on the beach with KEN.

Wow! This is nice. Just like the old days, babe! Me...you...

Um...Ken...I think we should talk

...the water and our surfboards. Remember, Barbie, before...he came along?

I think our problems go back much further than that

...we bought matching surfboards... Remember?

Focus Ken! Try and focus!

But those were such great times! You hav'ta admit they were great times... Okay. I'm focused now

Listen - true we were...

Hear? Is that a bigggg wave coming in? I think it is! Why don't we go get our surfboard and...

Forget about the wave, 'kay? Now look into my eyes, Ken. Like...we hav'ta talk!

(BARBIE holds KEN's head between her extended plastic hands but KEN attempts to move his plastic head towards the ocean)

(cont'd BARBIE) Ken! Pay attention! Things have changed. I've changed and evolved! Like...now I have a whole new line of clothing and...I'm a big celeb and...I hang out with the Bratz and stuff.

Me too! I can hang out with your gang! I use'ta be a star! Remember?

Like...see...that's the problem, Ken. You used to be a star but now you're just normal. Get it?

Um...yes... No - not really

Okay. Like...listen. I'm this really big well-known celebrity and you - well - you are a guy who likes to surf with only one outfit to wear. It just won't work!

What if I...give up surfing?

(KEN pivots as if he's on a surf board while talking to BARBIE)

Like...it can't be, Ken. Look at the way you dress. You've been wearing those same surfing trunks ever since we met. It's like - disgusting!

Hey - I hit the waves every day so they're always clean!

Ken...Ken...Ken... My poor Ken. Hit one too many times on the head with your surf board. You just don't get it, do you?

Huh? Get what? You want I should go get our surfboards 'cause if that's what you want, it won't take more than a couple hours if I leave right now...

I give up! Let's go back

Are you sure you don't wanna ride the waves? You use'ta like that

No Ken - I do-not-want-to-ride-the-waves with you

Are you riding the waves with somebody else 'cause if you are... I mean to say, if you is... Is there someone else? Is it G.I. Joe?

G.I. is just a friend, Ken, although he doesn't want to believe it.

(As they walk back, the sound of loud bangs resembling gun shots breaks the stillness of the night)

Uh-oh...I don't like the sound of that

Like...ohmygawd! I just hope it isn't...I pray that it isn't...

Yeah. Me too. Nothing spoils a night of surfing like a thunder storm. The last time I surfed during a storm, my board got hit with a bolt of lightning. I was unconscious for a good two minutes.

That would explain a lot. Uh-oh...is that G.I. Joe out there on the lawn?

(As they near BARBIE's beach house, BARBIE and KEN spot GI JOE shooting away wildly at...something)

(BARBIE cont'd) G.I. Joe! What are you doing?

It's okay, babe! Spotted an intruder and I took care of the problem. He'll never bother you again

(BARBIE, walking on tippy-toes with KEN lagging behind, rushes over and after several unsuccessful attempts at trying to get down on her knees, she bends over at the waist to see who the intruder is)

Like...omygawd! You've shot...

Yeah. No need to thank me, babe! I'm a trained sharp-shooter!


Aw babe! You always say the nicest things!

You shot Blain, the Australian surfer dude.

He's the enemy, babe! A guy has'ta do what a guy has'ta do!

Ken - call the beach rescue

Uh-oh! Surf's up! Gotta go!

(KEN rushes off, leaving BARBIE and G.I. JOE alone)

No need t'thank me, babe

(BARBIE opens her Barbie carry-all purse and produces her cell phone)

'Hello - send an ambulance right away to Barbie's Fun'n'Famous Beach House right away!'

Question du jour: Will Barbie be able to save Blain (former love of her life) or is it too late? To be continued...

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17. NonFiction Monday: Surfer of the Century

Anastasia Suen has started Nonfiction Monday. BookMoot is planning to participate as often as possible, although, my most disliked word is "schedule."

Let the facts flow!

Surfer of the Century by Ellie Crowe, illustrations by Richard Waldrep, Lee & Low Books, 2007

Duke Kahanamoku was an Olympic gold medalist, the father of modern surfing, and an icon of Hawaiian culture.

Crowe tells the story of Kahanamoku's boyhood in Honolulu where daily swims in the ocean developed his strength and technique. Qualifying for the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, he made friends with another American athlete, Jim Thorpe.

Duke almost missed his first Olympic race because he overslept. In a wonderful display of Olympic spirit, his chief competitor, Cecil Helay, from Australia, refused to swim unless the officials let Duke compete. Such magnanimity is hard to imagine in today's endorsement rich, high-stakes winner-takes-home the-Wheaties-box environment.

He popularized surfing and promoted Hawaii all his life. Duke's Creed of Aloha is a fitting ending to an excellent biography of a man who always exhibited good sportsmanship and Olympic ideals.

Richard Waldrep perfectly illustrates the story with wonderous full color illustrations that evoke vintage art deco travel posters.

6 Comments on NonFiction Monday: Surfer of the Century, last added: 3/12/2008
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(the continuing saga of life among the plastic people)
by Eleanor Tylbor
Our story so far:


(struggling to lift the lid of her box)
Somehow...we've...got...to...show...that...we're...here. Can't...move...this...top. If...only my...legs...would...bend...

Stop your moaning, soldier! You're part of the proudest fighting machine in the nation! Ten-shun!

Earth-to-G.I. Joe! Earth-to-G.I. Joe! Knock-knock! Anybody home?

Who's there? Anybody-home-who? Love 'em knock-knock jokes! Go on - tell me the punch line

No Joe - it's not a knock-knock joke. It's not funny one little bit! Like...we gotta find a way to tell those people we're here or else it's curtains for us

Surf's up! I hear it and the smell of salt water!

Ken...Ken...Ken... What you hear is the sound of heavy equipment and the smell of gasoline. Get a grip!

Yeah - get a life soldier sissy-boy! (sniffing) I just love the smell of gasoline in the morning! Hey soldiers - I think I got me an idea. I'm not quite sure yet but I feel something happening in my head. Wait a minute... Yeah - it's definitely an idea. Sometimes it's just dandruff but this time it's an idea...

Oh Gawd! We're gonna die!


'We're gonna diiiiie!'

Ssssssh - quiet - everyone! The enemy is near! They think we can't hear them but I can. I've been trained to hear enemy talk. These aren't your run-of-the-mill, every-day, plastic ears, y'know! Keep your mouths shut and for gawd's sake - youze all, stop your snivelling! I can hear them... They're saying: 'Blow this place sky high!' I gotcha, you bastards! You ain't gonna get away with it! G.I. Joe is gonna blow us all to kingdom come! I got me one last grenade and...

No! Please! Listen to me, Joe! Babe! Soldier boy!

We're all gonna diiiiiie! I'm too young to die. I still got a lot of surfing to do!

KEN:(sung to: "Lot of Livin' to Do")
There are waves, just right for some surfing,
And I'm gonna get me a few,
Lots of curls waitin' in Hawaii,
Oh I got a lot of surfin' to doooooo!

Oh Ken - I love it when you sing! I almost forgot what a good voice you have

I know. Remember when I tried out for American Idol but they wouldn't let me sing to my surf board? Damn Simon! Damn Brits! What do they know about surfing? Oh babe! If only I could touch you! Remember how we used to watch the waves from your beach house, holding hands? The tips of our plastic fingers touching each other. It was magic! Waves came in...and then went out... Came in...and went out...

I get the picture. That seems like centuries ago! Oh why, oh why, must we deserve this fate?

Hey! As long as I got my one leg and arm - I'm gonna save us all! And don't forget I still got my teeth

...we don't have teeth, G.I....

Oh yeah. I knew that. Well...anyway. All I haf'ta do is pull this here string with my one good toe... And... Just a minute now...I'm almost there

No! Stop! You'll blow us all to bits!

Almost there...I got the end... just pull...


Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Surf's up!

(in mid-air)
My-my wardrobe! It's ruined! My life as a fashion icon is over! I am no longer the fashionista that everyone looks up to... The Bratts win in the end

Told you I'd get us outta here, babe! Look - there's my jeep down there! We're as good as free, babe!


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