My first ever school visit to talk to kids about my book is this friday. Friday the 13th, mwah-ha-ha. . . And, well, that's appropriate enough because I'm terrified of kids and know hardly any. Ha ha. I'd like to say now that I'm joking but I'm only kind of joking. Kids are awesome, I know that. But I really do only know, like, one kid, my niece in California. So. I'm anxious. But also super-excited. So, I was in my knitting class last Saturday and I asked this cute eleven-year-old girl named Aya (and no, I'm not taking a kid's knitting class; Aya is just very advanced), what kind of things kids want to know from authors, and she replied, very seriously and solemnly, that they mostly wanted to know about authors' secret identities.
Our secret identities.
I immediately thought that this was something my publisher had forgotten to tell me about. You know: make a postcard of your book to give to people, have a 15-second "elevator talk", have a website, and . . . make sure you have a secret identity, because kids will want to know about it. Ha ha! I LOVE this. I do. But I don't have a secret identity. I'm not quite sure what Aya meant by this but I know she was quite serious. So that's what I'll be working on. I'm pretty sure it will involve dagger-throwing. And, you know, a past that included diving off a sailboat with a knife clenched in my teeth. It may come out that I speak twelve languages with no discernable trace of an accent and that. . . I can control panthers with my mind.
(Saying "panthers" there just reminded me of a funny thing -- I guy in the English dept with me at Berkeley used to challenge himself to somehow work the word "panther" into every single essay he wrote in his entire college career. Isn't that weird?)
So, I'm really looking forward to meeting some actual kids on friday! And then, very soon, I will be talking to teenagers. Yes, teenagers. I'm going to just think about the cool teenage bloggers I have encountered, and think about how very un-intimidating I myself was as a teenager, and thus stave off the terror. I really am very, very excited. That's happening in Topeka, Kansas on May 1st, which from what I can tell so far looks to have an absolutely fabulous library system with really cool librarians putting together innovative programs (and even online sim worlds!); and then I also just got invited to speak at a library conference in Tacoma, Washington in mid-May, which happens to perfectly coincide with a group bookstore talk I'm taking part in in Seattle. So, all of a sudden, I feel like. . . an AUTHOR. And it's awesome!! And the book isn't even out until June!!
Meanwhile, back to work on Silksinger. And at night, when my brain shuts off, there's the knitting. I'm digging it. Here's a glimpse of my first scarf (though the picture doesn't do justice to the colors):
This gorgeous, luscious stuff is up next:
It comes from a non-profit called Manos del Uruguay and is hand-spun and hand-dyed in, yeah, Uruguay, and just holding it I can't help but think about the faraway sheep, and the faraway women stirring vats of dye. There's just something so cool about that. And isn't it bee-oo-tee-ful?
P.S. Poor Alexandra has come down with shingles!!! And she is not feeling at all well, so if you want to send her some cheer, go here.