by KELLY GUSICH | photos by Soul of Photography

Endless Creativity

student_1Del Mar Heights fifth grader Anne McLean Smith’s favorite thing to do is to write. It’s no wonder that literature studies is her best subject. “I like to write in my travel journal, poems, and stories,” she explained. “I write lots of stories.” Anne is a young creative dynamo; besides acting and playing piano, she is, along with her father Owen, the co-creator of a mystery writer called Hugh N. McGoose. When Anne originally came up with an idea for a book protagonist, her dad came up with the book’s author, who then penned the entire story of Long John Silverback and the Island of the Perfect Pearl.

In the book, Nana the monkey and her friends meet a powerful and mysterious fellow from the sea – a stranger who is loved by some of the island neighbors and hated by others. Nana is swept up in his adventure as she discovers it is actually her story and the destiny of her island at stake. After Anne and her father hired an illustrator for the book, and the story itself was completed, Long John Silverback became available for purchase online.

student_2Anne has been involved with soccer, tennis, and piano for the past five years, and in addition to her writing success she is into acting, having played Becky last year in the play Gold Dust or Bust as one of the three lead roles. She will be in both upcoming plays this spring. Anne is also inspired by her parents, her grandparents, and teachers. For fun, she loves anything beach related, including body boarding, practicing to surf, and playing in the sand with her brothers. “I love looking in the tidal pools for sea life too,” Anne shared. “Sometimes I go fishing with my dad and brothers in the lagoons.”

She is not sure what she wants to do in her future, but two current points of interest in Anne’s life relate to food. “I don’t really like vegetables, yet,” Anne admitted,”and I stopped eating ice cream for almost three years. My dad thought it was very sad. I started back again and he is much happier!”

Vegetables or not, ice cream or not, Anne McClean Smith is loving her adventurous life in Del Mar with her family, Hugh N. McGoose, and Long John Silverback.

Name: Anne McLean Smith (11)
School: Del Mar Heights Elementary School
Grade: 5
Parents: Owen and Margie Smith
Siblings: Twin brothers, Hoyt (9) and Ford (9)
Favorite Spots in Del Sol: Besides Del Mar Heights? The snack shack at the beach!