Monday, April 27, 2009

My Father’s Writing Chair

Doesn’t look like much, does it?

But in this chair, my father wrote motion picture scripts, scores of books, radio dramas, filmstrip scripts, magazine articles, and many other writing projects.

He was a pioneer, really, in the production and distribution of Christian films, starting ministries including Gospel Films, Ken Anderson Films, International films, and InterComm.

I, on the other hand, grew up as a reluctant reader. Once I fully understood why this had been, and at the age of 55, I felt directed to begin writing action-adventures and mysteries that I would have enjoyed as a child. My focus was on reluctant reader boys, but I knew, from my own film production and video background, that a good story is a good story. It’ll be enjoyed by everyone, and that’s what I’ve seen with my books.

We lost him, at the age of 88, three years ago last month.

So what’s the significance of his old chair?

I hadn’t thought much about it for a while until I spent endless hours, sitting in it from this past Tuesday night, through Sunday night. That’s because a publisher has shown interest in one of my unpublished manuscripts. The problems were that my story took place in South Carolina and a background character was Blackbeard the pirate.

Why is that a problem you ask.

This publisher wanted the story set in Louisiana, and that meant I had to find a new pirate. The most famous of those, in the New Orleans area, was Jean Lafitte. Thus the need for all those hours, sitting in my father’s old writing chair, in order to complete the revision.

It was as I neared completion of the project, on Sunday night, that I was struck, in a powerful way, with thoughts of my father’s creativity. I wondered how he would have handled a project such as this. And I was reassured that the task would have been completed.

Like I said, the chair isn’t much to look at. It took a few screws to repair the broken back. Vinyl on the corners of the armrests has come apart. I often catch my sweaters on it in the winter. The chair pad cover has worn thin, partially revealing a sponge rubber pad, and I wonder how long the base will hold up, since it lists to one side now.

But one thing is for sure, I have no plans to retire that chair any time soon, because now…it’s my writing chair.

Max Elliot Anderson

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Sneaky Book for Boys - REVIEW

The Sneaky Book for Boys, by Cy Tymony, joins his other books using the sneaky theme.

A few years ago, a television series captured the imagination of boys of all ages. We couldn’t wait to see what ordinary objects MacGyver would put together in order to get himself out of the jam of the week.

Fathers and sons were captivated recently by another book, The Dangerous Book for Boys.” When it first came out, I visualized fathers and sons heading into the back yard to try out some of its suggestions.

The Sneaky Book for Boys is just such a book. Some of the projects are more complex than others, but it’s easy to imagine boys, all over the country, going to the garage or basement to try out some of the ideas. Projects might be helpful for science classes and school projects.

I’ve always enjoyed watching “magic” tricks, and Cy's book has an entire section devoted to those too.

The book is divided into:

Sneaky Tricks

Sneaky Science Projects

Sneaky Resourcefulness

Sneaky Animals and Humans

If you buy this book for one of the boys in your family, or circle of friends, they’ll never again have an excuse to say those dreaded words, “I’m bored.” Might be a great idea for this summer.

You can find additional information about Cy’s other books at

Max Elliot Anderson
Action-Adventures & Mysteries especially for boys

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What does Susan Boyle have to do with writers?

What does Susan Boyle have to do with writers?


In case you missed the first video, here’s a link to one of the most uplifting, inspiring, and amazing experiences you could imagine. But this is only part of the story.

Susan explains to Simon that she just hasn’t been given the right chance yet, and maybe now, things will change. Boy, have they ever. And originally, I thought that was the story.

Now a second song has emerged, from 1999, and Susan’s voice was even better then. Here’s the link to that song. In this one, she sings, “Cry Me A River.”

So what can writers learn from this?

Never give up!

No matter how long it takes, no matter how many people tell you, “No,” just keep at it. If you have the talent, eventually you’ll get that chance, like Susan was looking for. Ten years ago she demonstrated that she could sing, yet nothing happened.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, it’s the people who believe in themselves and keep moving toward their goals who will prevail. This applies for other fields in addition to writing.

Focus on your goals and never give up. Susan didn’t give up, and look at her sail now. As I’ve said before, the right material, in the right house, with the right editor, and the right time, cannot be stopped.

Max Elliot Anderson

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

News Release - Children's Author's Books For Boys Blog Reached The Top Position On Google

Here is a link to one of several news releases about this blog reaching # 1 on Google when people are searching for Books For Boys.

Thank you for visiting.

Max Elliot Anderson
Books for Boys

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

National Library Week & Books For Boys

Remember that National Library Week is this week and runs through Saturday, April 18.
National Library Week was first sponsored in 1958. It’s a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country.

This would be a great opportunity to visit your library and thank the children’s librarians, personally, for the work they do, especially if they devote space for books for boys.

Max Elliot Anderson
Author of:

Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbot's Cave, Lay Ups and Long Shots, and Legend of the White Wolf. Which are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Winner of a Book for Boys!

And The Winner Is...

This turned out to be a very interesting contest. Rather than a lot of fall-down funny stories, they tended to be humor you could see in your head. That’s my favorite kind of humor. And choosing a winner is always difficult in these situations.

Ultimately I went with the one submitted by Linda Groves Worden. Since this blog is specifically aimed at boys, and those who love them, her story is so typical of the attitudes boys would have toward their sports, and any girl who might try to invade their territory.

I hope you like it too. Then see some of the others below.

The Half Court Shot

I attended high school in the early 1960’s. There were no inter-mural nor intra-mural sports for girls at that time in my school district. But that didn’t stop me from wishing I could be on a team. I especially loved basketball. I practiced as much as I could which really wasn’t very much since we had PE class only three times a week and we did not have a basketball hoop at home. But I made certain I used every PE moment I had to practice what I loved and what I became somewhat good at. My height, which didn’t win me any points with the opposite sex for dating, did help my game of basketball.

One day I happened by the school gym during the guy’s basketball team practice. We had a pretty good team and I loved attending school games. All the guys knew me and when they saw me, they started begging me to come join their practice so they could prove how superior they were to me! I’m sure I had been boasting to them that if allowed, I could really help the team bring home big wins!!! As they continued to beg, I decided to walk out onto the floor and show them how to “sink” a shot from the middle of the court. They eagerly stepped back, passed a ball to me and taunted my bravado. I caught the ball, making sure I included as much drama as my personality allowed, dribbled a few times and took aim – the shot was PERFECT!!! The swish could be heard by everyone in the gym because no one’s heart was beating nor was anyone even breathing! It was a moment I’ve never forgotten and never repeated – only because I’ve never tried, however!!

That magic moment was the closest I’ve ever been to being worshipped!!! All the guys, of course, begged me to try again as they were certain that one shot was a fluke – a mere accident!!! But I walked off the court with my head in the clouds and my feet barely touching the floor. Somehow I knew it would spoil the moment forever if I tried to repeat what had just happened. It became a highlight of my high school years which has always brought a chuckle when I have relived it in my mind and at class reunions. Those guys still wish I could have joined their team.

Linda Groves Worden

Here are some others I liked too.

That’s Using Your Head

When I was in high school, oh so many years ago, our Church had a young mens softball team that played against other area church teams. Our team was very good, compiling a 104-11 record over the course of four years. Most of our games were played Saturdays at either noon or 1 p.m., and often on into the season it was very hot especially when the sun was shining brightly in central Mississippi. One particular afternoon a batter hit a high fly ball into center field. The center-fielder, a very fast runner, ran to a spot in the field while looking up. Suddenly his hands shot out beside him, his shoulders shrugging. He'd lost the ball in the sun and could not longer see it. The ball hit him directly on top of his head and bounced into his glove stretched out to his side scoring our team the out. The joke for the rest of the year was that he was a player who really "used his head" in the outfield.

As a side note, he threw up a few innings later. We thought at the time that it was simply because of the heat, but realize now that he probably had a concussion of some sort. Thankfully, he was okay.

Roland Mann

The Baby Sister

My baby sister was right-handed, just like almost everyone else in my family. She ate with her right hand. She held a cup with her right hand. She pulled my hair with her right hand. So when it came time to play with her, we put a ball in her right hand. We were surprised at how seriously uncoordinated little Katie-bug was! You really never knew what direction that ball would fly, but you could guess it wouldn’t be forward or straight.

One day, Katie looked at the ball in her right hand. She looked at her left hand. She looked back at the ball, and then transferred it to her left hand. She threw it… straight to my dad. Dad put the ball back in her right hand, and again she threw with her left hand. The ball went dead straight. Little Katie-bug was ambidextrous (at least selectively ambidextrous)!

In third grade, my baby sister joined basketball. When it was time to teach the little tikes how to shoot a basket, the coaches asked, “Which hand do you use to write your name?” My sister answered, “My right.” So she was grouped with the majority of the kids in the right-handers group. Now, no third-grader is skilled at basketball, but Katie was, quite possibly, the worst shot. I’m fairly certain she almost knocked a few kids over. Katie asked if she could join the two lefty kids on the other side of the gym. The coach said no. Katie lined up another shot, this time using her left hand as the dominant hand. The coach corrected her before she could shoot and switched her back over to the right hand. After her third set of attempts, the coach suggested that Katie join the other group of kids. Katie crossed the gym, put the ball in her left hand, and made the shot.

When it was time to play volleyball in sixth grade, Katie told the coach she was left handed. She was quite successful.

Danielle Migler

That Had to Hurt

Well, a few years ago my husband was playing a one on one basketball game with his friend. It was quite a challenge for both of them because they had been playing basketball with each other for so long that they always knew each others next move. At one point, the friend's elbow came up at full force under my husband's chin. Ouch! He bit the end of his tongue in HALF!! Did he keep playing? Of course! The competitive spirit between the two of them wouldn't allow him to stop until the game was over.

A few days later my husband, weak from not being able to eat, got a package in the mail from a family member. What was it? It was a big, bloody, gooey, stinky from not being refrigerated cow tongue!!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

1940's Squirt Sign Cleaned Up A Little

This Blog reached # 1 on Google this week. Thank you!

A few days ago, I reported on a painted, advertising sign that dates back to the 1940’s. It appeared after a demolition crew tore down the building next to it, uncovering this treasure that had been well preserved.

I contacted the people at Squirt who showed an interest in it. And I noticed that sellers on Ebay are offering smaller advertising items with this same character’s logo.

Someone did a little cleaning of the sign so it looks better now. I’d love to see it taken down, board-by-board, and relocated in a museum someplace because it’s a really cool piece of advertising history.

Max Elliot Anderson

Monday, April 06, 2009

WIN a copy of Lay Ups and Long Shots

SPECIAL NOTE: This site hit # 1 on Google today, 4/7/2009

WIN this book!

A new book, LAY-UPS and LONG SHOTS, has recently been released by Darby Creek Publishing. The book is going into its second printing. It contains my short story, BIG FOOT, which shares the pages with fellow children’s authors Joseph Bruchac, Terry Trueman, David Lubar, Dorian Cirrone, CS Perryess, Jamie McEwan, and Peggy Duffy.

This is a beautiful hardcover book. When the dust jacket is removed, a laminated cover, with the same artwork, is revealed.

The inside flap promo copy for my story reads, “Max Elliot Anderson puts his best foot forward with a story about the new kid in town with an unusual ability.”

The back cover copy also reads, “Sometimes in life, success is a long shot – other times it’s as easy as a lay-up. Nine contemporary children’s authors bring their A game to the pages of Lay-Ups and Long Shots – an action-filled anthology that depicts the obstacles and hurdles that all athletes must overcome to achieve success in a sport. With tales of basketball, football, soccer, running, surfing, BMX racing, and even Ping-Pong, you are sure to find a short story that will inspire the athlete within.”

If you have a sports junkie in your family, classroom, or circle of friends, LAY-UPS and LONHG SHOTS is sure to pull them in…even reluctant readers.

How to enter:

Send me the funniest sports story – from any sport - you’ve heard, seen, or had happen to you or your family member or friends. Email your story – it can be as short as a paragraph – to me at by Friday, April 10, at 5:00 PM Central time.

I’ll go through them and select the winner. I’ll sign the book. I’ll also contact the winner for a mailing address and who the book should be signed to. I may post some of the best here later.

Have fun.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Did You Know?

There is a short video called, “Did You Know?” at this link

It’s instructive to parents, teachers, and authors. The video shows how fast technology and information are moving. I think it makes an excellent case for why education in America, reading, and books for boys are critically important.

Max Elliot Anderson