Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Let's go SAILING!

Photo by: Curt Smith
Greetings Creative Writers,

So far, in Kensuke’s Kingdom, we have learned a lot about sailing, but let’s take this knowledge a few steps further.

Michael and his parents go “blue water sailing.” This means that they sail so far out into the ocean that no land is in sight. They spend several days on their yacht – a 42 foot Bowman.

Take a look at this video to see a newer model of the kind of yacht that Michael’s dad bought. 

Could you live on a yacht like that? It looks quite comfortable to me.

By the way, this is a great time to note the differences between the terms “yacht” and “boat”. As I understand it, a yacht is a luxurious watercraft that is usually longer than 30 feet. “Luxurious” would mean that the watercraft is very comfortable and enjoyable.

A boat is usually less than 30 feet long. However, if it is luxurious, it could also be considered a yacht.

A yacht could also be called a ship. A ship is a watercraft that is over 197 feet long. And as you can see, the term “watercraft” applies to them all (wink).

All sailboats have the same basic anatomy or parts. Let’s learn these parts by taking an animated tour of a cartoon sailboat. 

Now that you’ve learned some basic terminology of sailing, maybe you can use this new knowledge in a story. Here is your Creative Writing Challenge…


Can you write a sailing story through the perspective of an unlikely character? For example, imagine if Kensuke’s Kingdom was told through the perspective of Stella Artois instead of Michael. That would certainly change the book, wouldn’t it?

Here’s an idea: What if your story is told through the perspective of a mermaid or a shark that is following a sailboat. What does this mermaid or shark want? Why is the mermaid or shark following this sailboat?

Now, that sounds like a story I’d like to read!

Remember… the possibilities are endless. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I can’t wait to see where you take us. So, pick up a pen and let’s begin.

Happy Writing,

Professor Watermelon

Monday, March 6, 2017

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Greetings Creative Writers!

I’d like to introduce you to Michael Morpurgo and his book, Kensuke’s Kingdom.  This book is a fascinating tale told through the perspective of a young English lad (also named Michael) who embarks on a sail boat journey around the world with his parents and beloved dog, Stella Artois.

Unfortunately, Michael and Stella are tossed overboard and find themselves on a deserted island full of gibbons, orangutans and one other human being - Kensuke.

Together, let’s read Kensuke’s Kingdom and uncover the MUSES and storytelling devises that Mr. Morpurgo used to write this beautifully woven tale of survival and friendship.

But first, let’s meet Mr. Morpurgo himself. I believe he has some writing advice for us. 

Happy Writing,

Professor Watermelon