Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Book Anniversary!

A year ago I launched myself on the beginning of what I hope will be a long journey. On August 28, 2013, my first book, It Wasn’t in the Lesson Plan, was published by Outskirts Press. I had been working on it for almost 2 years with a push from some Fun-A-Day show attendees in February 2011.

The project began when my son Nick asked me what I was doing for Fun-A-Day in January 2011. The concept behind Fun-A-Day is simple – for the month of January you promise yourself to do something fun every single day. It could be making your bed, cooking a different variety of pasta, taking a photo, painting, drawing, haiku writing, singing, pick something! After the month has expired, there is a show where you can share with people what you did. When I bound my writings about my students, people reading their stories at the show wrote little post-it notes, encouraging me to write and publish a book.

When I began the project, I didn’t think I’d have enough to write a different story every night after work. But I found there was a lot in that head of mine and I wanted to share it. Several of my family and friends proof-read for me as I went along, but the yeoman’s job of editing went to Tina Capalbo, whom I met online through the music of Great Big Sea. She had been a teacher and was a benevolent task master. Believe me when I tell you I had to revise and edit a lot after all the other edits! But the suggestions she gave made the book a much better set of stories. Her suggestions made it flow.

Another Great Big Sea connection is my illustrator, James Duncan. He lives in Montreal, but I met him and his wife Fran Courselle and their kids at a GBS concert in Lowell, MA. I sent him the stories I wanted illustrations for and he did a beautiful job. A couple of the drawings of kids whom he’s never seen, had an uncanny likeness to the real kids. And I was over the moon with his cover! It’s a real eye opener.

I’ve been writing a lot at home since the release of the book, and almost have enough for another book. This one will be me speaking my mind about recent education issues. Hopefully by next year, I’ll be crowdfunding once again.

I want to thank every person who’s encouraged me, contributed money for publishing, bought the book, read the book, passed it on to another person, shared the links, liked my It Wasn’t in the Lesson Plan Facebook page. I will continue to write in my blog and for later publishing as I think I have found my not-teaching niche now. I am a writer. Wow! That sounds good!

I am a writer.

Please tell me what story you liked or what struck a chord with you as you read. I’d like to hear. You could also tell me some education issues you'd like me to write about/address. 
You can read some of the book at -

Still learning!

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