Monday, April 21, 2014

S is for Stand By Me, Saved by the Bell, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Shelby B, Simple Plan


Stand By Me is a classic!  It is by far one of my favorite YA movies of all time.  Stand By Me is a coming of age story based of a short story, The Body, written by Stephen King. The story is about a quartet of boys who find out there is a dead body sitting out in the woods after being hit by a train after overhearing their older brothers talking about it.  The older boys belong to a gang, run by Kiefer Sutherland and they decide they are going to find the body and get a reward for it.  The younger boys Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Verne want to see the body for a different reason.  To see a body.  They set off on an adventure spanning two nights traveling along the railroad tracks, and experiencing life as they go.  This movie is filled with an amazing cast: Wil Wheaton, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell, Corey Feldman, and the late River Phoenix. Stand By Me will forever hold a place in my heart, not only for the song it shares it's name with but the touching story it brings. My favorite character is Verne, I love his goofy, loveable attitude, I also love the crazy Teddy. Corey Feldman is a master at playing the strange, mouthy characters. 


If you grew up in the 80's there was only one show that you never missed an episode of.
Saved By the Bell!  Who didn't love Zack, Slater, Kelly, Lisa, Jessie and Screech?  The show followed these six characters through their four years of high school, and some of them into college.  SBTB dabbled in almost every kind of teen pressure. Drugs, Alcohol, Drunk Driving E.T.C.  But most of the time SBTB dealt with relationships: love and friendships.  Zack is the wise cracking, most popular boy in school, he has an on going relationship with Kelly Kapowski, that eventually ends in marriage during the College years.  Slater also had a crush on Kelly in the beginning of the series, but soon develops a comical and romantic relationship with Jessie Spano, the feminist, intellectual who spends most of the show rallying for women's rights and calling men pigs.  Screech the geeky side-kick has been in love with Lisa Turtle since middle school but she doesn't return the affection. Oh yeah!  SBTB pilot originally aired as Good Morning Miss Bliss where the talented Hayley Mills  played the homeroom teacher Miss Bliss! Lisa, Screech and Zack are the only characters from the pilot, Jessie, Kelly and Slater were added later on.  I loved Saved By the Bell, my favorite episode was when the group formed Zack Attack and musical singing group.  (video is poor quality)


Finally a letter I can write about!  I actually have read a book that starts with S!  Shocker! Gasp! Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a book written by Ann Brashares. So first I have a problem with the book. The book follows four girls through the summer as they endure, love, heartbreak and family issues.  The story is not the problem for me, it's the layout.  I like order, and being able to tell what character is speaking.  Brashares jumps around in the book without any indication of which girl is narrating the scene. I like it when an author at least indicates who is in charge of the scene.  Sometimes I found myself lost while reading the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but where I wandered I was enthralled with the story.  Brashares has a gift, she tells the story so well from a teenage perspective you can see yourself in their place.  Lena is the shy introvert who travels to Greece to visit her grandmother she never met.  While there she meets her first love and experiences the awkwardness everything entails. Tibby is the social outcast, who spends the summer working in a local store to earn some extra money. She is also a inspiring filmmaker who wants to make a documentary about the working class. While at the store she meets a persnickety twelve-year old named Bailey who enters Tibby's life as a pest and leaves it as a best friend.  Carmen is the glue that binds the friends together. Her story is about spending time with her father over the summer, only to find out that he has started a new family without her.  Finally there is Bree who goes to a soccer camp in Mexico and falls for one of the coaches and has a forbidden love affair.  So where do the pants come in? In the beginning of the book they go to a thrift/sixties store find this pair of pants that miraculously fits them all perfectly despite their different body types.  The pants act as an anchor for their friendship, and they all make a pact to get back together after the summer ends. I really enjoyed reading the book, but it really was hard to get past the unorganized separation of the stories. 

My Book:

So my niece, (she was seventeen at the time) was one of the few people who read Genevieve's story as I wrote it.  Being as she is my target audience it was really nice having a teenager to bounce back
ideas with and get an opinion from about my book. I decided to give back to her by writing her into it! Shelby B. is the only character in my book based off a real person. Everything about Shelby B, is my niece.  From the name, to the sports she plays, her personality and the clothes she wears. In the book Shelby B. is a junior who is in a lot of the advanced placement classes, including Genevieve's Honors English class.  She's a softball player, and a basketball player. She is a sweet person who is not only beautiful and popular but also one of the nicest kids you will ever meet. That's why I knew I had to add her into my book. What better way to show off the positive side of popularity then to use the perfect example. While creating Shelby's character I would ask her things: her favorite name for a boy, favorite color, favorite kind of shoe, and everything she told me was incorporated into the book. (including shoe and shoe color)  Her favorite boy name influenced her relationship status in the book, and so I created Jake for her. And thus SHAKE was born. Shake is the "celebrity" nickname I gave their coupledom. Shelby + Jake equals SHAKE!  SHAKE is not only the power couple of the school but I use them quite a few times throughout the book for different reasons. Including as a comparison for Genevieve and Dillon's relationship. As you can see from the picture.  My niece is a knockout and the perfect inspiration for Shelby B's Character! (And yes I got full permission to use her picture) I probably would have used a picture of a shake otherwise. Thank you Shelby for letting me write you into my book!  Love you Kid!

What's for Dinner?  Chicken and Rice

Song of the Day:

Simple Plan - Perfect

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