Archive for the 'Happy' Category

Super Soccer Saturday 

Beautiful day for South verses Southwest. Sun. Fences. Pizza on the streets. This is the best time of year. Going to spend time outside working, too. Pizza there in case we get hungry.




Nothing Special wins Minnesota Book Award

I was pretty surprised.  I was really honored just to be included in the finalists (a really excellent crew, with fantastic books: Molly Beth Griffin, William Alexander, Margi Preus — all of whom I told that I loved them, for lack of anything better to say). I gave a rambling speech and got this fancy pants trophy that would totally destroy a car if dropped from a couple of stories up.  It was a great night!



If you’d like, you can read a little about it in the Star Tribune. Laurie Hertzel, the writer, also mentions that I was surprised, because I really was surprised.

Publisher’s Marketplace says I have a 2 book deal, and I believe them! Thank you @SourcebooksFire

I’m so very happy about this news. Since Stupid Fast came out 20 months ago, I’ve spent much time visiting middle schools and high schools, talking about books and bullying and being nice and the importance of reading and, really, just having a spectacular time, because the kids I have the privilege of working with are so smart and funny and they make me feel good about the future.

Without the huge support I’ve gotten from Sourcebooks, my publisher, I couldn’t be doing this work. I’m so so so thankful for my editor Leah Hultenschmidt’s great story know-how and my publicist Derry Wilken’s ability to get me in front of librarians and teachers and for all the people at Sourcebooks who get these books out the door.  Writing for and meeting with kids in schools is pretty much living the dream for me.  Sourcebooks made it happen.  Thank you.


Middle School kid with Felton hair. Oddly, his name is Andrew.

Stupid Craft: A new series of teen craft talks at

Okay, I’m really, really psyched about this., which is an amazing teen writing site, is hosting a series of goofy craft videos I’ve put together.  The first one, about concrete detail, is up today.

Check out the post and the accompanying writing assignment from Figment, if you’d like.

Today and for the following five Fridays, I’ll have another Stupid Craft post up!

For Those High School Students who have Suffered from my Laziness…

I’ve been generally remiss about making a study guide for Stupid Fast and I’ve not secretly made my own wikipedia page and I don’t have much biography on this site, all of which has only become problematic in the last few months.

I’m sort of lazy, maybe.  Problems.

Before these recent, troubled and excellent times, several high school students here or there, read Stupid Fast and wrote papers on it and contacted me to ask questions and I liked the questions and had fun answering them.  Right now, there are, apparently, whole classes in several parts of our nation reading Stupid Fast and because I am lazy and haven’t created a reasonable bio and haven’t made any study guide, I’m getting lots and lots of questions from high school students all at once, which I totally love, except these papers they’re writing are time sensitive, and I have to drive up to Minneapolis this afternoon to take my mother out for her birthday, so I can’t help fast enough.

As I was staring at an email from a student in Indiana just now, I received another query from Elizabeth from Mankato (my town) and the questions were so good and comprehensive, I decided it was go time.  Elizabeth, I’ve reserved a few of your questions for just your use, but I otherwise appreciate what you’ve done and I’m going to post this as a general help to others who might share your concern with my scanty bio.  Thank you!

1. Elizabeth, this is what I look like after I eat avocado and also tree nuts (not good).

2.  I was born in Dubuque, Iowa on the day before Halloween a long time ago (1969).  At the time, my father was visiting his mother in New York.  On his flight home, he announced my birth to the man in the seat next to him.  The man responded, “Really?  I lost my London Fog raincoat yesterday.”

3. I met my wife in a creative writing class.  My first response?  “Oh my God.  That woman is seriously tall.”  Later, I found that she is also funny and excellent and a great writer.

4. Steph and I have four kids between us: Leo (14), Mira (10), Christian (11), and Charlie (10 next week).

5. I once had a cat named Gary.  He would hide under the dining room table, leap out when I passed, and bite my hamstring as if he were a lion taking down a water buffalo.  He escaped the house during a blizzard a few years ago and never returned.

6. I’m at Mankato State University because I love teaching.  Love it.  Also, income from writing is really variable and scary.  Plus, the summer before I applied for this job, I worked on a show in New York City, and I missed Steph and my kids so much, I knew I had to stay in Minnesota.  I got extremely lucky to land in Mankato the next spring.

7. My angry music reaches back to the 80s and 90s.  I really love The Pixies and Sonic Youth when I’m driving and getting mad at other drivers.  I guess if I had to name a band I love best, it would be Neutral Milk Hotel.  iTunes tells me I listen to them most, anyway.  If you haven’t listened to In the Aeroplane over the Sea, you should!

8. I did play football in high school. I tried for a moment in college, but my thoughts were already elsewhere by that time.  Really, I always wanted to be a writer or an artist or something.  College football took up too much time.  Also, I grew my hair very big, and it didn’t fit comfortably in a football helmet.

9. I was stuck in a cabin near Lake Superior a few years ago.  The only radio I could get was country.  I did get depressed.  Then I started liking a few of the songs, because they told whole stories.  I like stories.

10. Travel is getting better (it used to make me jumpy). I’ve been around Europe and South America. I really like traveling the U.S.  New Orleans and Austin, Texas are my favorite cities I’ve been to in the last year.

11.  Stupid Fast is part of a three book series.  The next, Nothing Special, is coming out in a couple of months.  Even if it Hurts is set to pop in May of 2013.  That writing takes a lot of time.  I’m also working on a series of writing videos for and some other random junk.  Mostly books, though.

12. I’m very proud of my kids.  My son, for instance, plays piano like my old cat Gary on fire (screaming).  Their accomplishments and humor make me very, very happy.

13. My favorite TV show is a tough one, as I tend to go on tears and watch only that show.  I own all of Mad Men.  I love Louie and It’s Always Sunny.  I will watch Seinfeld if its on no matter what (even though I’ve seen every episode 2300 times).

14. The biggest problem facing the world?  Where to start?  Biggest?  I think the root cause of most of the bad stuff is arrogance.  So many think whatever they think is the absolute truth and then they get offended when others think they’re wrong and then they start grabbing for power and fighting to assert their version of the absolute truth and everyone gets more and more miserable as a result.  How’s that for vague?

15. Really the only “real” stuff in Stupid Fast is setting.  It’s Platteville, Wisconsin (except I moved the schools and felt like I didn’t want to call it Platteville).  Also, I drove around and around and around as a teenager.  There is a combination Taco Bell/KFC in Platteville, too.

Thanks, Elizabeth.  I’ll send you your extra questions via email!  I hope this helps others who are suffering due to my laziness.


The Nothing Special ARC Arrived!

Out of the blue, in the door, there was a Fed-ex box…  I expected the box last week and when it didn’t come, I assumed it would never come.  When you least expect it, expect it.  Because it was there!  My box of galleys from the publisher!  And, other than the glaring typo on the first page of text (how did I miss that? Am I an idiot?) it looks really good and I read some, and I liked it a lot, which is a good sign, because I wasn’t sure after I finished it, because I’d gone entirely blind from having stared at it so much.  This book, Nothing Special, is ready for pre-sale reviews.  I am p-syched!

ARC in the morning sun.

4. I have to be thankful for Steph

Why?  You could throw us in a ditch and we’d have a good time.  We could be stuck in a heavy rain, in a big dank puddle, wearing leather sandals and we’d have a good time.

I like watching her make dinner.  I like her watching me wash dishes.  I like going to the grocery store with her.  I like the mall.  I like the gas station.  I like the doctors office.  I like the DMV.

I like it when she picks me up from class.  I like dropping her off at her class.  I like eating Chinese food with her, even if it’s from the basement of the student union in Mankato.  I like Thanksgiving with her, even with all the poor kids going stir crazy after four days of too much pumpkin pie, fantastic sing-alongs, video game anxieties, big-time football, large wolf spiders in the damn shower, broken picture frames and food mushed into the floor — our kids are hilarious and we had a great time.

I like airports with her (early in the morning, late at night).  I like parking lots with her (big ones in the city, little cold ones covered in ice).  I like going to the bank, going to the post office, climbing through the crawlspace with a mousetrap, terrified of what I might find… it’s still good.  I like everything more with Steph.

When I give my kids advice about how you know if it’s right, I’ll say this: is it better when he/she is around?  Is regular life better better?  Is the good better?  The bad better?  The bored off your ass better?

Everything is better.

And now Steph and I are married.  Yes.  Thankful.

Even freaking Perkins is better.

Thus ends 2011 Thanks.  It’s the end of the semester and I will begin my bitching.

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

Herbach's favorite store

My Bizzle

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