Episode 35- Snakes Wear Socks on a Live Stream!

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Episode 35

Guest: Kyle Isacksen author of the children’s book
Snakes wear Socks.


Former science teacher and charter middle school creator – my wife and i received a $150,000 grant (Gates money through EdVisions) to start a project-based middle school which we did in 2006.  Left teaching because I realized that the changes I wanted to make/my vision of education could not be done from within the system, even charter
Former Deputy State Field Director for a 527 nonprofit for 2004 election
Natural Builder – I make houses and walls out of cob (clay, sand and straw) and strawbales
I run the “Be the Change Project” with my wife out of our home/property.  Go here for some background.  We raised $40K to buy the house we’re in outright.  We live with no electricity, no fossil fuels, no car.  We use principles of Gandhian Integral Nonviolence to guide us and offer all we do on the gift economy (we also do some odd work for cash off-site- carpentry, sell books…).  Also unschool our two sons, raise chickens, rabbits, goats on the way, garden/permaculture, radical simplicity, and lots of service at the neighborhood level…A bit of a radical lifestyle within the heart of Reno.  We do our best to live lives that are authentic representations of our values
Have done some great school presentations with a real snake.  Last one was a 550 kid assembly and 6 classes through the day.  Was awesome!
I live in Reno – that’s funny unto itself – but grew up on Long Island.
I have two more children’s stories I would like to publish – “Captain Cut and the Scallywag” and “The Great Dog Migration”
I write in bursts with a fervor a couple times a year for a few weeks at a stretch
I am working on making the world’s largest scale model solar system (book will follow) to stretch through Nevada, mainly, and states beyond

About Snakes Wear Socks
In their debut children’s book, Snakes Wear Socks, Kyle and Katy tell an endearing story of a boy who keeps “losing” his socks as autumn sets in.  His gardening grandpa may know the answer but it’s too far-fetched for young Jeremy Jones to swallow.  However, when Jeremy sees all the kids on his soccer team with the same problem he knows there’s more afoot and suddenly grandpa’s idea may not be so silly after all.

Will he find his favorite socks?  And will the snakes be there, too?  Follow along for the engaging mystery that unfolds.   Snakes Wear Socks is a tale of innocence and imagination.  It is beautifully illustrated by long-time children’s book artist CD Hullinger, and perfect for bedtime or a blustery autumn afternoon.  Snakes Wear Socks will delight young ones with its color, playfulness and silliness.

The story naturally brings readers to appreciate these oft-maligned reptiles and ask, “What do snakes really do when it gets cold?”  Fortunately for them the book concludes with a fun and informative fact page which shows how snakes adapt to cold weather…without socks!

What inspired you to write the book?

What is different or what do you think is different about writing for children versus writing for adults?

What is your process?

What do you like best about being the author of children’s books?

What about your own socks?

What about your snakes?

What advice would you give a new children’s book author?




Write about your favorite book as a child. Where did you read? Did you read with a flashlight? I tried, too uncomfortable. Did you read under a tree? In your room with blankets piled all around?
Write about those moments!


Work of the week



This mainly British colloquial expression — meaning nonsense — is recorded only from the 1960s, but is certainly older. Its origin is uncertain. Some argue it may be from cods, an old term for the testicles that derives from the Anglo-Saxon sense of cod, a bag. It is also suggested that wallop may be connected with the dialect term meaning to chatter or scold (not with the word meaning a heavy blow).

One explanation has it that it refers to the late Hiram Codd, who — despite his archetypally American first name — was British, born in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk in 1838. He spent his life working in the soft drinks business. In the 1870s, he designed and patented a method of sealing a glass bottle by means of a ball in its neck, which the pressure of the gas in the fizzy drink forced against a rubber washer. Making the bottle was a technical challenge, since the ball necessarily had to be larger than the diameter of the neck. It was only in 1876, when he teamed up with a Yorkshire glass blower named Ben Rylands, that the answer was found. The Codd bottle was an immediate success; surviving examples are now highly collectable. You opened them by pushing the ball into the neck, and openers in the shape of short, thin cylinders were supplied for the purpose. One unexpected problem was that children smashed the bottles to use the glass balls as marbles.

The suggestion is that drinkers who preferred their tipple to have alcohol in it were dismissive of Mr Codd’s soft drinks. As beer was often called wallop, they referred sneeringly to the fizzy drink as Codd’s wallop, and the resulting word later spread its meaning to refer to anything considered to be rubbish.

This story reeks of the approach to word history called folk etymology. As one writer has put it, it seems rather too neat an explanation to be true. But nobody’s come up with anything better.


Bring out your dead


Just to give you
something on which
to roll your eyes about
your father and I
got drunk last night
and re-arranged the furniture


Shout outs


Derick Torster our newest blogger.
Dionne Lister and her scammer editor. Jessica Hollis-Brown http://dionnelisterwriter.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/how-to-find-a-trustworthy-editor/


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