. I'm taking the opportunity of this unplanned time off to connect with the many artists and creators in this wonderful city that I love. Come with me on my 100-day odyssey of art and creativity in Long Beach. I call it .
Kim Dwinell is an accomplished artist who has worked on many animation productions. Her teaching gigs for last semester cancelled due to budget cuts, she spent the last 6 months making lemonade of her own, rewriting the story line for her creation, Surfside Girls. Mulan, Hercules, Tarzan and Emperor's New Groove (Disney), Cats Don't Dance (Turner Entertainment), Swan Princess (Rich Animation) and the Dilbert TV show (YCB) all have a little bit (some a lot) of Kim in them.
August 8th was Day 38. I met up with Kim Dwinell, creator, surfer girl, runner, mom!
I hadn't heard from Kim in months. A message from Facebook told me she was still there, so I planned on visiting her today to catch up and talk about her creation: surfer-girl Sam, who lives in Surfside, CA and blogs weekly about surfing, her life, her experiences, family and friends.
Kim received a lemon of her own when the funding for the university level classes she was scheduled to teach were cut just before the Spring semester began. It's a hit when work disappears, but sometimes it's for a reason. Kim was unemployed for the first time in a very long time. One week after the news was delivered, she was contacted by Andrea Cascardi of Transatlantic Literary Agency. Ms. Cascardi, over 20 years in the business, had followed a trail of her own... one that started at the facebook page of Surfside Girls' main character, Sam. She loved it, and followed it to Sam's blog and then to Kimmie!
The next 6 months were a whirlwind of rework. The entire story. Kim calls Ms. Cascardi her angel. Someone who provides immensely valuable direction and feedback, guidance leading to stronger characters, a stronger story. They started with the manuscript for Surfside Girls, took it down to the bare bones and rewrote and redrew the entire story. Now, the book is ready, and is being shopped to publishers. How exciting! Some really awesome lemonade, Kim!
We talked about what makes Kim able to write about 12-year-old surfer girl Sam. Well, perhaps it was her time in college as a lifeguard in Laguna Beach. She eventually married husband Mike, who was also part of the crew.
Perhaps it's her perpetual state of being 12.
The best creators live in the place that they create. It's hard to see real situations from behind a desk, looking at four walls.
Perhaps it's the daily encounters with young surfers as she drops son Ethan off for his summer program at Seal Beach.
Perhaps it's the Friday surf date with her friend Lisa. It's an opportunity to meet new personalities, to feed her thoughts as she develops new story lines, new characters.
I take it back. Not perhaps. It's all of those things, and then more.
Kim's thesis for her Master's degree in Fine Arts? The Necessity of Social Media for the Success of Middle Grade Fiction. It's a mouthful, but it's proven true for her. It's how Ms. Cascardi found her. It's how we set up today's session. It's how you come to be reading about her today. It's a lot of Karma.
Now that she's done with her rewrite, Kim will resume her positions at CSU Fullerton and CSU Long Beach where she will be teaching classes in Beginning Animation and Character Design.
Kim was kind enough to demonstrate how the pulley system on their awesome treehouse works. She pulled herself from ground level to the first story of their oh-so-cool treehouse. Video attached.
Honey, can I have one of those?
Want more lemonade?
Tidbits, Things, Trails
- I'd been looking for some fabric paints to work with. I have a few tiny bottles of my own, but I really want more! So I spoke to the folks at Speedball today... and will be getting a package in the mail shortlly! Yippee!
- I went over to the meeting, and there are a few things to mention.
- Muralist Jose Loza is working on a movable mural on fabric. This project is in conjunction with the Westside Division LBPD. He seeks subjects from ages 11-adult, and will be holding photo sessions this week and next. Anyone living in the west side who wishes to be depicted in the mural, please contact Jose at lozaprojects @ gmail.com
- Saturday, Aug 11th, at CountPoint at the Long Beach Playhouse. Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre will be performing, a dance path to follow.
- Denis McCourt of Public Theatre of Long Beach Producing Director is working on a one-day production of "8" that begins at the closing arguments of Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger).
- East Village's 2nd Saturday is this Saturday. 5-10 PM.
- Found the grant writing class! It's upstairs at the Bungalow building, last 2 Saturdays of the month.
A curtsey to Mary and a bow to Diana as we visit this historic ship and it's current exhibit.
Need to contact me? firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish Tsoiasue writes as herself about creative and maker topics for and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin Blog.