In my next post, meet Animal Casting Director, Dawn Wolfe of New Jersey as she shares the secrets of getting your dog Spot in the Spot light, or your Kitty camera ready…This Saturday, March 19th, marks the return of WoofStock, a “Day of Peace, Paws and Music,” up at Founders Park, (mm 87) in Islamorada.  I had the pleasure of attending last year’s event (see post of 3/9/10) and meeting its organizer, Joy Martin and Michele Beach of Marr-Velous Pet Rescues.  I hope to attend this year’s event as well.  To learn more, please go to http://www.keyswoofstock.com, and http://www.marrvelouspetrescues.org or follow them on Facebook.  In the weeks ahead, I will also update you on Miami-based Nikki Moustaki’s efforts on behalf of Nitro’s Law, an update from Michele Adams on the Big Pine Bark Park and some other “tails” of the Keys and South Florida…

Sometimes things come full circle. I met author Lisa Pliscou during the submission process for my book, Every Dog has its Week, a year ago, and out of this experience came some great advice and encouragement and a chance to make the acquaintance of a fellow author. The status of Every Dog has changed since then, but a few weeks ago, Lisa, also a dog lover who recalled my work, contacted me and asked me if I would like to be featured on a new blog she had started called “STOKED.”  

Lisa, the author of the Young Adult Novel, Higher Education, (to be reissued September) excitedly awaits the debut of her children’s book titled Dude, Fun with Dude and Betty (HarperCollins due out this May).  This surfing-inspired book features a fun-loving Airedale terrier, making it bloggable subject matter (did I just make up a word) and I will share more about this when the book becomes available.

But this is not just a story about some fun in the surf.  In talking about her book, Lisa explains, “I think the thing about Dude is that you can totally appreciate it as a funny little story, enjoying the zany mashup of the old Dick & Jane sensibility and a hip, modern vibe. If you want to go a little deeper, you can look at Dude an expression of the archetypal surfer’s story featuring a plucky protagonist who overcomes challenges (wiping out) and obstacles (parents insisting he perform pointless tasks) to achieve a triumphant conclusion (he’s back at the beach, ready to surf, and he’s stoked). And if you want to go even deeper than that, the story is straight out of Joseph Campbell: very simply, Dude is following his bliss.”

Growing up on the beaches of Southern California and Mexico, the author who now calls New Jersey home, is no stranger to the world of surfing. By combining her love of surf-culture and writing, Lisa is definitely in the Stoked Zone. By definition, stoked means to be happy, excited, brimming with enthusiasm and satisfaction–fuel that stokes the fires of mind, body and soul. This “stoked” philosophy is evident in her latest projects, as she states, “Personally I’ve always been interested in the idea of following one’s bliss, and Dude — warrior of the waves, ruler of radness, and sultan of stoke — has inspired me to curate my new blog on that very topic. It’s been fascinating and, again, inspiring, finding out what gets other people stoked. They just sort of light up talking about it, and I for one am all for more light in a sometimes murky world!”     

As a writer, working in a world that can be dismissive, and rejecting, having Lisa think of me when she needed a “STOKED” feature was very rewarding and well, it got me kind of stoked while I follow my own bliss, dogs and writing.  As a blogger always reaching out to potential “interviewees” it is nice to be on the other side of the asking. To read my personal “STOKED” quote, and learn more about Lisa Pliscou’s writing and background, please visit her website http://www.lisapliscou.com. (The STOKED testimonials can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of her HOME page).  There is also a form you can fill out and submit for upcoming STOKED features, for readers of all ages.

Thanks for the “STOKE” Lisa. We offer you a “high-tide” for your success and hope your latest book rides in on a wave of good fortune! Next, while vacationing in the Keys, my dog has also asked if she can interview me…it’s very dog-friendly down here and she is feeling almost human-like…I’ll have to take a look at those questions, though, sometimes she’s awfully nosey.