You Can’t Read and Write if You’re Dead

July 12, 2006 | 826 Blog Post

Monday night we hosted our first bookmaking workshop, featuring the debut of our new editor, Mr. Blotch. Mr. Blotch is a crusty soul, consistently grouchy and born with one monster arm. He also hates everything that comes across his desk. For example, at the start of the workshop, Erin passed a zine that she, C Jason, Heather, Alex, and Amy had worked on through his window. Mr. Blotch immediately threw a huge ball of shredded paper back out.

I won’t lie: we were scared. He demanded a great story, and said if we didn’t deliver, we’d all be canned. The young writers we were working with were, with a couple of exceptions, quite confident in their writing skills, and that bolstered our confidence a bit.

Starting with the image of a cat riding a dolphin (really, think about it…isn’t it wonderful?), we crafted a tale involving a genie, a pirate ship holding 9,200 pirate cats, a dolphin named Dude, and Mr. Blotch himself as the supersonically powered hero. Everyone worked quietly on his or her own ending, and it was with much excitement and trepidation that we passed the stories through his window.

Long story short: every single story was approved! Mr. Blotch even sounded as though he got a little choked up at some of the endings.

Many thanks to the wonderful writers we had the great fortune of working with! You are inspirations to all of us. Thanks also to Ryan, for some behind-the-scenes magic. And thanks, of course, to Mr. Blotch, for showing us that he’s not always a grumpster.

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