Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wild and Wooly Week

Someone dented my car. I was parked next to a black SUV at the JC Penney outlet whilst
shopping with my mother-in-law and Girl. Normally I park away from other cars. We went for a car wash after our venture and there appeared a big old "gotcha!" over my wheel well. I sent a picture to my father (" big mean SUV hurt my tiny car!") and he responded that I should take some mild rubbing compound or abrasive powdered cleaner and see if I could rub the Tahoe paint off, and the spot would then be invisible. "Don't rub too soft..." he said "...but not too hard either." What exactly does that mean, anyway? My father is nearly always right. I say nearly because he was half-wrong this time. Some of the Tahoe paint did come off, but it's not invisible underneath. There is the equivalent of a skinned knee, down to the metal and all. It's as if that big old SUV was bullying my poor little economy vehicle. She's got her first black eye from the big kids. She'll show them. She'll get 38 mpg from now on, and still haul a rooms worth of Ikea home in her spacious interior. That'll teach them. HAH!
I took a sock for a ride this week. I can't show you it's face as it has been submitted to an online knitting e-zine and cannot be seen in public until rejected or accepted. So I will show it in disguise, like on Maury. (cue theme music: "Coming up after the break, this sock confesses it's tawdry affair with it's own sibling!!") We were on our "sunny location" field trip in the middle of MARCH in New England. Now, it was a warm day, but March in New England does not involve the color green. It is more of a muddy blackish-brown with gray splashes. It does not involve bright direct sun, but diffuse sun trying desperately to break through the haze of winter. We hit a local cafe, where people started at me oddly because I was photographing a sock on a plastic foot in public. Next we visited a parking garage, where people started at me oddly because I was photographing a sock on a plastic foot in public. Then we found a local butterfly museum, where people started at me oddly because I was photographing a sock on a plastic foot in public. I noted the trend. It was sad really, especially the pictures in Northampton. It's NORTHAMPTON, for crying out loud. A woman photographing a sock in public is NOT the most unique thing to be seen in Northampton. My favorite moment was when the carload of teenaged girls with various creative piercings and unnatural hair colors stared blankly with open mouths. Somebody missed the 'rebel' boat.
The Editor emailed and took me off the hot seat for a time. She said they're designing covers. She said she loves my manuscript - yes, she used the word "love". She said she followed the directions and made a pair of socks. Life is good. My book does not stink entirely. Frankly, folks, from the moment you hand it over until the moment someone other than a blood relative actually buys a copy, you're pretty sure it stinks, and stinks big time. In fact, it's a lot like parenting. Until it gets a degree and/or a decent job, stays out of jail, does no dangerous illegal thing that puts it's life at risk (that you know of)...really, you're not sure you've got the job down at all. You're winging it and hoping no one figures out just how totally you suck as a parent. That's how I feel about the book. Like it's all a big old sham and someone is going to come along and say something like "Hey, whadda ya think you are, an author???" while guffawing loudly. A thigh-slapping coarse laugh that fills the room. So far, no one's laughing, although they appear to be smiling a lot, which is good. Or...maybe they lie to you to keep you from jumping off tall stuff... ("Yeah, yeah, we know it's awful, but don't tell her just yet, ok?")
Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club came to Webs this
week to speak and sign. This was exciting, with a new feeling to it, watching from the outside as an author with a book coming soon versus a store patron; seeing how it goes, what happens, how it flows. There were a lot of people there for a Monday noontime. I wonder if I could get Julia Roberts to read my book, option it for a movie - - oh, man, that's it!! A sock MOVIE!! I planned out my idea of "how to speak in public when launching a sock book". Gratefully I will not have to read it out loud - phew. I mean, who wants to hear me read patterns? Or even technique? Out loud? But I have to come up with something to say. Actually there's not much I can talk about. I can discuss the characters: "There is 40-inch Circular, he's the hero of our tale..." I could talk about the various patterns and their life changes: "And then the heel of the cabled leg was turned. Yet still it was not a sock. Angst rose up tight and hot in it's throat as it yearned for a direction; a life of it's own. Longing for the completion of a gusset and foot, the heel decided to have stitches picked up along its side..." Not so much, huh? Eh, I have months to work on this.
I love the buzz the store gets when it's nutty. I love the cash wrap covered with knitters needing help or shopping or both. I also love the community gathered around in chairs to hear something of common interest. Not like I am romanticizing this or anything, but seriously, there is something comforting in the buzz when it's busy. It used to make me a little fractured, the sounds like a hive of very busy bees. When The Harlot came last year and there were a zillion people all around waiting for books to be signed, or shopping, or just staring at the poor woman while she signed, I ran into the classroom behind her and hid. It was overwhelming and I remember thinking what it must be like to sit in that seat, and wondered how much alcohol or anxiolytics it'd take to keep one's "arse" planted on the chair. And do you have to ice your hand after a day like that? And is it worth it? I am not only used to it now, but I will go out of my way to be in the store when there's a famous person coming, just to hear the hum. I figure that's a good sign too.

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