“An Intimate Examination of Sock Fluff” Part 11

The next excerpt from my PYI keynote in a series that started in December 2011…

One of the greatest pleasures I know, while driving, is watching my odometer in anticipation of a symmetrical reading. I find beauty in numbers like 010 010 and 088 880. Even 135 351 is lovely, or 075 075. Sometimes I’ll get into my car, a Honda Fit, and realize that on this trip to Zehrs in Guelph or during this drive into Hamilton to visit my sister, my odometer will hit such a number. I’ve yet to meet anyone who understands my excitement on seeing 056 560 or my utter disappointment upon realizing, at 090 112 say, that I have – distracted by traffic or passing scenery or my own thoughts – missed the magic moment of 090 090.

odometer going from 99999 to 100000

Why am I telling you this now? Because last week, trying to put myself back to sleep, on the night I was asked if I could do today’s keynote, I worked something out that kind of fits with this obsession of mine.

I have lived exactly, to the month, one half of my life since my first book was accepted for publication, and my second. That’s right. Since January 1982, I have lived for exactly the same number of months as I did before that moment when I sat in Anne Millyard’s living room with her and Rick Wilks and realized that the sentence “we like your stories well enough that we’d like to meet you” – in their response to my submission – actually meant that they wanted to publish them. I was three months shy of my thirtieth birthday then and I’m now six months shy of my sixtieth. Fascinating? It is to me.


Read the rest of “An Intimate Examination of Sock Fluff”

Part 1 > Part 2 > Part 3 > Part 4 > Part 5 > Part 6 > Part 7 > Part 8 > Part 9 > Part 10 > Part 11 > Part 12 > Part 13 > Part 14

Photo with CC license. Taken from Flickr. Author: Paulimus J

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on October 3, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Guess what – I am like that too! 🙂

  2. Kathy on October 3, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I'm not entirely surprised, Janet, because of the number of people who came up after I delivered this talk last year, to tell me they, too, shared this fascination. But you are my sister, so you'd think I'd know this about you by now!

  3. Carolyn Caldwell on September 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I'm with you. Dates, odometers, licence plates …. It's a wonder I can drive at all for all those beautiful symmetrical numbers.

    • Kathy on September 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      You sound absolutely like my kind of person, Carolyn! ?

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