Norfolk Tales

>> Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hello from Norfolk, Virginia, where the teachers and administrators at Norfolk Collegiate Middle School are putting the hard sell on me to feature Norfolk in my next book. As that next book will be Nemo, and is set in India, that's going to be hard to do. Perhaps I'll name one of the Englishmen Norfolk, although given the treatment I give the British in this one, they may not like that so much.

From what I've seen of it, Norfolk seems like a really great town. I'm always a sucker for harbor towns anyway. I'm not much for going out in the ocean, but as a mountain boy I'm always enchanted by the exoticness of the sea. (Is "exoticness" a word? It seems like there's a perfect word for that which does not involve adding "-ness" to anything, but I'm too tired to come up with it and too lazy to go to Anyway, I think it's awesome to see towering naval vessels and the masts of wooden ships peeking out between the office buildings and apartments downtown. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera handy when I got the driving tour of downtown, and I suspect it'll be dark by the time I get back to my room tomorrow night.

I'm in Norfolk for one big school visit. The kids have been reading and studying Samurai Shortstop in class, and they even have a TEST on it on Friday! The horror! I'll bet I wouldn't pass. A student at Spain Park High School in Birmingham last week challenged me to name all of Horatio Wilkes' six sisters, and I could only do about three of them. Honestly, I'm like James Patterson. I just outline the things and someone far more talented than me writes them.

After a day of meeting students and talking about Samurai Shortstop, I do a community event where I'll try to convince parents to loosen up when it comes to what their children are reading for fun. Not an easy task, but hey, someone's got to do it.

I guess "romance" would have worked. The "romance of the sea." Still not happy with that.

More soon, including big Project Runway news...


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