Writing and knitting

I like to wear fun socks. And I would like to be able to make my own fun socks. So I’m trying to learn how to knit. I’ve looked at a number of knitting websites and watched a number of how-to videos, and I’ve manged to learn how to make a slipknot and cast-on, but beyond that all I’ve basically been able to manage is masses of hopeless tangles. So this morning I sought out the services of a knitting professional grandmother.

I warned her that I’m kind of an imbecile with poor spatial intelligence, but I don’t think she quite understood the degree to which I was stating the simple truth.

Lisa came along more or less as a lark and not surprisingly got the hang of it more quickly than I did. The knitting professional grandmother remained patient and encouraging with me, but after a while she let slip a few “Well, knitting’s not for everyone” comments.

At the end of the lesson, I yanked the yarn off my needles, thinking when I got home I’d practice some more, starting back at the very first step with the slip knot, but the knitting professional grandmother’s eyes bugged out a bit, and she went a little drill sergeant on me. “Are you QUITTING? Is that how you write your novels?? By QUITTING? Do you get a word wrong and erase your hard drive? Is that what you do, MAGGOT, you QUIT??!!??

Despite the fact that I’m completely making up what she actually said, she had a point.

No, I don’t erase my hard drive. I just work at it and work at it and work at it until I have a scarf or fun socks or a novel. And then once I have my scarf or fun socks or novel, I wave it in the face of naysayers, even if the naysayer is myself.

I also told the knitting shop proprietor that I’m going to knit a SCUBA suit, but that was just me being silly.

Best Job in the World

Today I got to visit with the fourth and fifth graders of Christa McAuliffe Elementary in Oceanside, CA and talk to them about how I wrote Kid vs. Squid and how books get published and what a writer’s life is like. I read them the chapter of the book that considers pee as a remedy for stingray stings, and then I answered a whole bunch of smart and funny questions.

Afterward I headed over to the nearby Barnes and Noble and met more readers and signed books and chatted with fellow author Gretchen Ward (Becka and the Big Bubble) and felt relief as the big stack of Kid vs. Squid copies gradually shrunk to just a handful.

I helped a man pick out a book for his grandson who doesn’t like to read (he ended up with Captain Underpants), talked to a pair of brothers about why drawing in pencil is way better than drawing in crayon, and talked to a budding writer about what a nice guy Eoin Colfer is and about our favorite Harry Potter characters (she went with Luna Lovegood, I went with Snape).

Kid readers are the awesomest, and today I had the best job in the world.

Appearance – Barnes and Noble, Oceanside, Nov. 19

This Friday I get to go down to Christa McAuliffe Elementary school and jabber-jabber at the students. And then I’ll be heading over to the Barnes and Noble in Oceanside for more jabber-jabber and book signing. What’s really cool is that a portion of the proceeds of all sales during the signing go to support McAuliffe’s library. Details below:

Author Event, Children’s Event, Bookfair

Come meet Greg Van Eekhout (Kid vs. Squid) and Gretchen Wendel (Becka and the Big Bubble). There will be fun for all ages and it’s all to support McAuliffe Elementary School Library.
Friday November 19, 2010 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Barnes and Noble
Oceanside
El Camino North Shopping Center, 2615 Vista Way, Oceanside, CA 92054, 760-529-0106