Thank you for all of your kind comments about the book on the blog and on Facebook and Twitter. The kids (and I) are really overwhelmed. We’ve been over here on this figurative island, building the space for so long, and it’s nice to now have a bridge running over here so everyone can walk over and see what we’ve been doing, which is teaching people how to code by making cool retro games.
And we would really really really appreciate your help spreading word. Tell your friends, tell your family members, tell your nearby schools, tell your grandma who always wanted to learn how to make Intellivision-like games.
I realized yesterday that I originally linked to the Deal of the Day page and not the book itself, so here is a link to Hello Scratch. Additionally, there is a forum for the book where you can post questions or comments. The kids check that every day. And I’m going to start embedding the games they make in future posts so you can play them, too.
The whole experience has been really eye-opening. They’ve seen me publish 5 books, but I don’t think they fully realized what went into the process even though they’ve been privvy to dinner time conversations and riffled through everything from contracts to page proofs. When it’s your own book, it’s a different story. Literally.
It’s stressful, writing a book, and they’re little. It’s also amazing to see the way their minds work, and we’ve gotten really really good at working together as a team. Though…. as I write that… I am listening to them upstairs, shrieking and laughing hysterically when they’re supposed to be editing. So… there’s that. What I mean is that they are still kids, and writing with them is a little bit like wrangling cats AND a little bit like cuddling up with your favourite cat.
I built them chapter templates, so they know the information they need to include, and they can type out all of their notes accordingly. Then we sit down and record the chapter. This is because they are (1) slow typers and (2) it’s easier to record it and type later because I’m usually taking screenshots while they’re talking. But there is also a third reason I do this. I really miss them during the day, and this is (selfishly) a chance to feel like they’re in the house. I am sitting here, alone at my desk during the day, but I’m also listening to their voice.
And maybe that is the reason I agreed to all of this. Because they are growing up and apart, which is a good thing, but I want them to also remember this as a bonding experience. We’re a team — the Retromakers — and writing a book together means spending a lot of time together. It’s the epitome of roots and wings. I want us to feel grounded to each other, but I also want to nurture those skills and passions so they fly away towards whatever fulfills them.
[That is a complete lie. I want them to remain mine mine mine all mine. I’m just being honest, kids.]
You may have questions about the process, or your kids may have questions for my kids about writing a book. So ask away. All of us are happy to answer.