Mar 3, 2010

wTf? wEdNeSdAy! Lookie what I made! and Review: ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHIN

wTf? wEdNeSdAy! Everyone needs a day to say wtf? What day is better than Hump Day?

Two parter today, I know, wtf?! I am scared of going over 400, but one is a reviewishness.

1. Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell
Island of the Blue Dolphins (Illustrated American Classics)

I had few preconceived notions about O'Dell's classic, except that everyone kept telling me how much they loved it. Often times, with classics, I find myself hesitant or fearful that I won't understand, but with this book, it is overly simple. We follow an island native and her struggles to survive. Karana, the woman, is eighteen when she and her tribe leave her island with a European or American ship. The tribe leaves after a people from the north kill most of their members, they decide to go East. Upon learning her younger brother was left behind, she leaps overboard and swims back to shore. Her brother is killed by a pack of wild dogs a few days later and we follow her for almost two decades through the day to day and through some interesting adventures. Thought the island is small, she manages to find new places to explore and hide, should anyone come to the island. Karana builds a relationship with one of the wild dogs, a non-indigenous species, and they become best friends.

I am not totally sure of why I love this book. It is strangely written and not that compelling in it storyline. The execution and the way Karana's story bores into your emotional guard make this a powerful read for one afternoon.

2. My pretties: (which may or may not only be interesting to my PB buddies)
I have been devoting much of my time to PB work, hoping fervor for YA will return later this week. My crit group has been very supportive and I have received input from other sources, including an author, on my main PB WiP, MYLAR. A few months ago, I read a suggestion about laying the story out on a board. All PB's are thirty-two pages long, which you'd think would make it super easy. The concept does have its advantages. I created this board with 32 sheets and have started my rewrite, dividing the manuscript into pages as I go. I'll share the board today and the outcome in a few days.

*Robin Radtke is The BFF and I am using the back of the board because she is weird and wants to keep the other side intact, apparently until she's thirty.
(Anita, the other side of the board is a science report titled HOW DOES CHLORINE AFFECT BATHING SUIT FABRIC?)

On page 96 of The Catcher in the Rye.


  1. Good for you. I'm reading, The Total Tragedy of a girl named Hamlet. Atleast the subject matter is kinda classic. :)

  2. Wow. You are so totally organized and awesome.

  3. Totally impressed! with your wtf wednesday art and your organization skills! (And happy that you loved Island of the Blue Dolphin)

  4. And that's the reason Island of the Blue Dolphins still resonates with me over a decade later. Not brilliant writing, but haunting story, I guess.

    A lot of people say you can't appreciate Catcher unless you're in your teens. I tend to agree, as I read it in college. Still a great book, just not as life-changing when you're older.

  5. I need to reread Island of again.
    I'm halfway through Shiver though!
    Love your organization. My house is so cluttered, I don't know where I would put up a big board like that, plus my pages would end up being colored on by my kids :). I guess I could use sticky notes...
    How does chlorine affect a swimsuit?

  6. Laura - Classic indeed!

    Sarah - Thanks on both!

    Sara♥ - Thanks for finding me impressive. I really did like it, it was so...powerful.

  7. Summer - You're right, but I think the righting was innovative for the time. I am digging CATCHER so far.

    Kelly - Excited about the SHIVER news. I hope we share sentiments in the end. Colored pages could be cool. Future illustrators? Hm, chlorine apparently affects lower quality bathing suits much more quickly than their more well-made cousins. Conclusion: get the $60 suit at The GAP after all. Okay, I am totally partial to GAP having worked there for five years during high school and early adulthood. Wait, I'm only 24, jeez.

  8. Never read it. Sounds like I should, but - le sigh - I am having an acute attack of FML right now. I need to get over that before I have the ability to read anything. Love the storyboard idea. Makes me wish I could do that of a WIP. Hmmm...

  9. I am in awe of that board. You would die if you were allowed inside my head. :)

  10. Tina Lynn - Snuggles.

    Elana - Likewise! My head is a very treacherous place to be. Very...bizarre. Not even Tim Burton could survive up there.

  11. Jonathon ~ You're sweet. No, I'm not worried at all about putting my work out there. It's my day job that's killing me and I'm looking for something else because the smile has disappeared from my face. Too. Much. Stress.

  12. I really enjoyed Blue Dolphins too, but like you I can't quite put my finger on why. It was so simple and not much really happened, but the idea of being totally alone is pretty haunting.

  13. Gosh, you are always ACCOMPLISHING things! I guess it is because you start so many. Hail to the SNI.

  14. Jon--I think that the board is all kinds of awesomeness, and I'm super happy that you answered the cholorine question.

    I think you must be a very visual person. As in, learn that way. (which you can see by looking at your blog...) so it would make sense for you to continue to have visual understandings of all your projects...

  15. Love the art and I really want to read Island of the Blue Dolphins, so thanks for the review. :) I'm a fan of haunting stories.

  16. That board is sweet. I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins sooooo much when I was younger. I probably read it at least five times.

  17. Wow, wait to go, Jonathon! That's a fantastic idea- I think I might start doing this as well!

  18. Anna - Exactly!

    TLL - Can you enter my mind and tell it the kind things you say here???

  19. HJ - Who knew so many ppl would care about chlorine...few people have pools here.
    I am so totes a visual's cool sometimes, sometimes it's totally not.

    Jenn - Are you considering my board art?? Or maybe the March is Classic banner? Either way, thanks!

  20. Mariah - Thanks. I have heard several ppl say the same thing, multiple readings. I am not sure I'd ever read the book again, but perhaps that'll change one day.

    Dena - Thanks! Did you see the email Meliss sent out about the book she's using. I am buying it this weekend, so we'll see what wonders I can share.

  21. Classics scare me, but this one sounds really interesting. I guess I'll have to add it to my ever growing list.

    And that board, wow, can I borrow it once you're finished??? Please???

    Happy Wednesday!

  22. Busy busy busy! Nice organizational skills! Haven't read the Island of the Blue Dolphin, sounds awesome! :)

  23. It's strange how sometimes we like a book but can't put our finger on why. Those may be the books that haunt us most. OMG, that sounded way more philosophical than I intended. But then I like Pat the Bunny...

    Your board is a thing of beauty.

  24. Ya know, I've never read Island of the Blue Dolphin, but I'm intrigued by your review.

    I love that board. So neat and organized. BTW, I totally understand how difficult it is to create a PB book. I had a professor when I was working on my elementary ed degree who made us create an illustrated big book to use in the classroom. Just about blew my mind doing that.

  25. Wow, that's dedication for ya man. I'm SO impressed! And I'll forgive ya for going over 400 words.

    Though you know? I pasted my post the other day (cuz it seemed really long) into Word to see how many words it was and it was only 270. Which means the other day when I was razzing you, I was probably totally out of line.

    So. Dude, I'm sorry.

  26. Hello there! Your blog is so interesting! I'm very new to all this bloggery. I really like creating all kinds of things (hints my really corny blog name). So I originally intended for my blog to be a scrapbook of my creations, but I'm seeing it can be a means of meeting other writers. You have inspired me! I like to write...I'm not the greatest but I love telling stories! I'm currently attempting to figure out how to play the WIBIJ (is that what it's called?)...A very interesting idea!!