Archive for November, 2010

Thankful to Mrs. Olds

I do not make fashionable clothing for myself… I shop the malls for fat man pants (tis the freaking season!).  I failed mightily at manufacturing a cute tortoise pillow back in seventh grade home ec.  It was so hideous, this pillow, I believe my mother threw it out.  But, I do have skills, learned from Mrs. Olds, in seventh grade home ec…  On Thursday morning, when my daughter, Mira, ran down the turkey smelling hallway of the condo, and began to freak out (chocolate pie-fueled freak-out) about the big-toe hole in her favorite sock?  I sewed the sucker with some dark blue thread and tied it all up, based entirely on my knowledge of the domestic arts gleaned through my wildly hormonal seventh grade goggles in Mrs. Olds’ home ec class.

The Hole

The Needle

The Action

Domestic Victory

And so, I am thankful this holiday season to Mrs. Olds, who really had a rough job to do (I was in love with six of my classmates and wanted to marry them and take them to an island to do something, but I wasn’t exactly sure what, although I had some ideas).  I listened in class, as best I could, because I wanted to take care of my many island wives, whom I would also lie down next to, somehow, after the sewing was done…

The hole in Mira’s sock did come back two days later.  My island wives would have been angry.  My daughter was not mad, because she was very entertained by the notion that something as ridiculous as a sock could be fixed.  It can be.  I will stitch it even tighter next round.

Thank you, Mrs. Olds.

More Thanks… Biebering

My son, Leo, who is thirteen in a couple of weeks, likes Led Zepplin and ACDC.  I am thankful that the barber thinks everyone Leo’s age wants to look like Justin Bieber, because it makes both Leo and me giggle.  We think barbers should have ink stamps that say: YOU’VE BEEN BIEBERED that they can slap on unsuspecting young men’s heads after they’ve unknowingly received the biebering do.


Things for which I am thankful…

Of course I love my kids, Leo and Mira.  I’m a fan of my pal Steph, too.  That’s true.  I’ll meditate on my love of family tomorrow, while sitting with them and eating excessively (it will be really fun and sweet).  Today, I want to say that I’m thankful for this shop.  I walk by it often here in Mankato.  Often, when I peek in, there are little dogs standing on little tables.  These dogs are being buzzed, blow dried and beautifully ribboned.  They are very happy little dogs and I am thankful that this shop is a block from my place so I can pause there, my mouth agape, tears squeezed from my unbelieving eyeballs…

Haute Dog!

I’m not joking.  I do love this place.  It reminds me of my pals Sam and Mass and their good-looking dog, Bea.  I’m certainly thankful for the three of them!

Full On Booty Crash

Freezing rain is the most deceitful of precipitations.  I went out of my office, ready to have some weak-jawed coffee from the student union.  The clouds were a heavy gray.  And I felt the spritzing rain and saw the wet pavement with my eyeballs.  Then, a moment later, my new boots were in the air above me and I had to pike wildly not to land on the back of my head.  It turned into a full-on booty crash.  Rain lands on the cold ground and turns to wet ice.  My ass lands on the cold ground and melts the ice.  My boxer briefs are soaked and I shiver, no weak-jawed coffee even, as I was hesitant to continue my journey.

Deceitful Precipitation as viewed from office window.

It did occur to me that Minnesota Mankato can be navigated almost entirely by hall and skyway.  I will try again after my ass dries.

Playing Tales from the Poor House

Last night, for the fourth time, I gave a group of ten or so MFAs a prompt.  We wrote for an hour.  Revised for half an hour.  Then recorded stories (or poems) live.  Because this is for a radio show that is intended to be both an experiment and entertaining, I instructed the writers to go for funny over good (whatever that means).  There were tales of Keebler Elves lodged in human belly buttons, Britney Spears in biker bars, double-meat sandwich stalkers, and bagged cats dropped in deep holes.  Good stuff.   I’m not sure any of the work merits serious consideration beyond a laugh.  But, that’s totally fine.  It was a joyful several hours.  I have all kinds of more serious notions this morning, too.  There are things I want to do, ideas bubbling.  And I remembered something I promise to remember but  most often forget: play for writers is hugely important.  We were all giggling like school kids last night.

An hour later we were laughing

The New Cover

One of the roughest parts of publication is waiting for the cover.  Generally, the author has little control (the publisher does ask, but generally believes, probably rightly so, that the author knows nothing whatsoever about marketing).  I fretted over what would come up for this one.  I shouldn’t have worried. I’m very much in love with this image representing the book (hope that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work as a piece of marketing!).

Stupid Fast on Goodreads

Why not add Stupid Fast to your Goodreads lists?  Yes!

Stuff is beginning to come online for Stupid Fast, my new YA book, which comes out in June of 2011.  It’s a super speedy, sad, jumbled, jumpy, little tale of a young man named Felton Reinstein who has gone from a Squirrel Nut to Stupid Fast in the space of a very short time.  Something about the change drives his family crazy.  Here’s a short summary…

I, Felton Reinstein, am Stupid Fast. Seriously. The upper classmen used to call me Squirrel Nut, because I was little and jumpy. Then, during sophomore year, I got tall and huge and so fast the gym teachers in their tight shorts fell all over themselves. During summer, three things happened all at once. First, the pee-smelling jocks in my grade got me to work out for football, even though I had no intention of playing. Second, on my paper route the most beautiful girl I have ever seen moved in and played piano at 6 a.m. Third, my mom, who never drinks, had some wine, slept in her car, stopped weeding the garden, then took my TV and put it in her room and decided she wouldn’t get out of bed.

Listen, I have not had much success in my life. But suddenly I’m riding around in a jock’s pick-up truck? Suddenly I’m invited to go on walks with beautiful girls? So, it’s understandable that when my little brother stopped playing piano and began to dress like a pirate I didn’t pay much attention. That I didn’t want to deal with my mom coming apart

You can now add the book to your Goodreads reading list (I am a fan of Goodreads).  Do that right here!

I do think female YA readers will like the thing.  I’m really psyched to get it into the hands of boys who have stopped reading.  If you know YA librarians, give them a shout (or send them to me… I’d love to chat with them about boys and reading — reading saved me, for God’s sake).

In the book, Felton loves to run up the Big M

Speaking of Goodreads, you can look at all the Goodreads Class of 2k11 books here!

I’m going to have a glass of water and some bacon, now.

I am…

Geoff Herbach. I am the author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, among a bunch of other stuff. When I'm not writing, I teach writing at Minnesota State, Mankato.

Stupid Fast

Nothing Special

I’m With Stupid

Fat Boy (Gabe Johnson Takes Over)

PowderKeg Stage

My Bizzle

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