Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Tale of Two Weekends

I am between two weekend trips. They are a perfect example of what my books are about. Last weekend was the Knit and Crochet Show in Reno and the upcoming weekend is Writers Police Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina.

One of the high points of the Knit and Crochet Show were the classes I took. I realized as I sat in the polymer clay button class that I love learning new stuff. I have wanted to try working with it for a long time, but never quite got around to taking the plastic off the many colorful blocks of clay and book sitting on my to do pile.

It was an all day class and the time flew by. We learned a bunch of different methods and each of us had a plastic bag of buttons to show for our time.

The other class I took was about the picot stitch. I had always thought it was just one stitch with a slight variation, but it turns out there are more kinds of picot stitches than I ever dreamed of. The nice part is I now know how to make them. For any non crocheters, picot stitches are mostly used for edging and embellishments.

I just had time to unpack all my yarn supplies and repack for Writers Police Academy. No gentle sitting around with a hook and yarn this weekend. It’s all about guns, handcuffs, jails, K-9 units, landing helicopters and SWAT teams. It’s a big learning weekend. Last year it rained the whole weekend which made the outdoor murder scene pretty treacherous to get to and a number of demonstrations to get cancelled. But this year, the weather is supposed to be mild and dry.

I know by the end of the weekend I’ll be wiped out from the buses leaving the hotel at 7:30 to take us to the public safety community college where the workshops are held and not taking us back until close to 6. But the experience will have been worth it. Actually being able to touch and try on a gun belt is so different than just looking at a picture of one. And to be able to ask questions about killing people or committing other crimes is invaluable. I mean, you ask some people those kinds of questions and you suddenly find yourself on a a list somewhere.

I have two TSA stories. The first comes from the Reno airport. I discovered when I got home that they had searched my bag. I’m guessing that all the blocks of plastic clay I had left over resembled plastic explosives. Though the only thing they seemed to have handled was the foot long double hooked hook I got at the show. It appeared to have been taken out of its packaging. I really wonder what they thought the threat from it was. Dangerous crocheting?

My other story comes from LAX. I always get everything ready before I go through the first checkpoint, so I was already holding my computer in my arms before I went to the first checkpoint. The man who was checking licenses and boarding passes commented on the large size of my laptop (it is big - the screen is 17 inches). I explained that I was a writer and it was nice having the big screen to work on. He and one of his co workers asked what I wrote. I mentioned the series and then reached in my tote bag to get a couple of bookmarks. Only everything had shifted around and they were hard to find. Meanwhile, a line was forming behind me of people waiting to put there stuff through.

I finally gave them each a bookmark and finished going through security. As I was putting my stuff back together, the guy had followed me and asked if I would sign the bookmark for him. Did I mention that I blush, I mean really blush when I get in any kind of spotlight of attention?

My editor sent me the back copy for the first book in the new series. Now I know for sure that the title of the first book is called Yarn to Go, and the series is being called a yarn retreat mystery. And it’s coming out in July instead of June.


Planner said...

Great stories! Such an interesting contrast between your two weekends: from gentle and soothing to gritty reality.

Congrats on Yarn to Go!

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, there was some blending of the two weekends. I sat next to a knitter and crocheter on the bus back to the hotel and she gave me a couple of cool knitting tips.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, you travel a lot, too, Betty. But it all sounds worthwhile!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it's a great combination of info for my books and a good time.