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Life is a Beach
Platt-etudes
I Coulda Been in Pictures

HONOR BRIGHT

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Winner of the 1999 Keystone State Young Adult Book Award

In 1944, while much of the world is at war, fourteen-year-old Teddy wages her own war against herself, her twin brother, and her perfect, and perfectly despised, mother. When their mother dumps the twins at their grandmother’s house for the summer, Teddy faces her enemies with arrogance and a sharp anger. She won’t let anyone get too close and spends the days alone, exploring the beach and her grandmother’s fascinating attic. But as the summer unfolds, Teddy uncovers secrets about the past, a past that has left her with badly scarred hands and has left her mother and grandmother bitterly divided. The more Teddy learns, the more she wonders how long her family can let their old resentments keep them apart and what it will take to end her war with them and with herself.

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Reviews

"...a tour de force with a tough, unforgettable protagonist."
--- Kirkus, Book of Special Note

"Platt’s prose is as forceful as her main character, realistically conveying the torments of true mother-daughter conflict while sustaining a plot that develops and surprises to the ending."
---Booklist

"Kids who want a family story with some edge will appreciate the story of Teddy’s hard-won maturation."
---Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

"Don’t expect this young adult novel, set during World War II, to be swathed in the golden mists of nostalgia. It traffics in the complicated issue of parental fallibility, which children often perceive as outright betrayal -- Randall Platt has done a convincing job of painting life at the naturally prickly age of 14."

--- Barbara Lloyd McMichael
Tacoma News Tribune

"Platt's characters are neither famous, rich, nor glamorous. Rather, they are the forgotten --- humanity's vast unknown majority that suffer injustice, illness, and loneliness without headlines or recognition. Yet it is exactly because of this that Platt's novels are so insightful to the human heart and condition."

--- C. Tad Devlin
Producer, Northwest Film Projects

Randall Platt
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TEN CHANGES I'VE MADE TO BOOST MY CREATIVITY

  1. STOPPED LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS - I love being read to, but I can't think about MY stories while listening to someone else's story. So, unless it's a long, boring drive or flight, I no longer listen to audio books. Instead, I think about my current project.
  2. CREATE MY OWN SOUNDTRACK - I create IPod "soundtracks" for my own work in progress. I create a playlist of the tunes which inspire my story and characters.
  3. CUT BACK ON THE FREE ADVICE - I am the sort who will stop and talk to anyone, anywhere about anything. So I don't answer letters or phone calls, but will zap a quick email instead.
  4. SET REALISTIC GOALS - Just because I CAN write fast, does not mean I should, so I no longer try to get it written in two months.
  5. FEWER GROUPS AND FORUMS - I used to belong to several writers forums, clubs and newsgroups, but now only belong to a few and I open my yap only when I have something important to add.
  6. PICK MY BATTLES - Too many things far outside of my control were taking control of my time and mental energies. So, I write fewer letters, join fewer campaigns and stick to the business at hand - being a writer.
  7. TOOK COMPUTER GAMES OFF MY COMPUTER - A minute here and a minute there adds up to vanished hours. I now play only ONE game a day - and that is a crossword puzzle the first thing in the morning to make my head come to life.
  8. CUT BACK ON INTERNETING - Well, if you have read this far, maybe you need to do the same thing. Nah, just joking. Keep Reading. Number 10 scores!
  9. TAKE WORK AND MUSIC EVERYWHERE - I am never without my work-bag. The time we spend waiting adds up. So, even if there is a ghost of a chance that I will be kept waiting wherever I go, I know I will fill that time with work.
  10. TAKE SUNDAYS OFF - Okay, as you can see from the above nine items, I am a workaholic and it's taken me many, many years to realize I need one day to recharge, rethink and reset. Sunday is for family, food, reflection, and many times, sipping champagne. So when 4 am Monday rolls in, I am set for another week.... providing there hasn't been too much of that champagne thing.