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Book Launch

Here we have the cover photo for "Tales of Room 34" a book of 27 short stories by 5th graders of Miss E's class. It was quite a project. I spent weeks in and out of the classroom providing feedback on the stories with the rest of the class. And then provided editing comments. They learned a lot, but the stories were 100% theirs. And a lot of them are very silly stories. But they make you smile if you have a sense of the absurd. I think what I like best about the book is that I could see how the stories were reflections of the authors, that there was something unique about each one coming straight from that person's personality. For example, Miss E's story about her cat Shy Ozzie centered on a little girl who is sick and needs to go to the doctor in Ancient Egypt. Shy Ozzie dances for coins to help her. But the subject clearly reflects what's been preying on Miss E's mind all fall. Cut vein and bleed. Just like her mother.

Yesterday there was a book launch 'festivity' at the school where they said all kinds of nice things about the other mom and myself who put the book together. Then they read from their stories. I'm so awful about projects that if it hadn't been for Mrs. C. the book would still be in draft. She got the publication date from the press and I had to meet it. It turned out to be a good thing because all the press dates after February were booked. We turned in just before New Year. But here they were, reading from the hard copies of the book yesterday. And I felt like all of them were my kids. I nearly cried when the two Special Ed kids fought to read part of theirs with the assistance of a classmate.

A mom said how all their children were now 'published' authors. Ummm, no. This seems to be an old-fashioned press that does this for schools. It was all manual, I had to send everything in hard copy. The books aren't available for more than a short time for re-ordering. It's not, frankly, as 'published' as Miss E's blurb books. I know, I know. I had a knee-jerk writer reaction to the comment. Hey, I didn't say anything. I just kept my thoughts to myself. Oh wait. I just put them all here, didn't I? It's sour grapes, that's all. Once again, my kid is in print and I'm not.

Frog Out


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
Great picture! Yay for all the kids and their stories.

One of my students introduced herself in forum this week by saying she's writing and publishing her first novel this year. Yup. Just like that. And it is just like that. Write, publish.

Feb. 9th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
It *seems* like a good model...no middleman between writer and reader. And there's the issue that sometimes editors don't want to take risks with something different. But there's this little issue of buyers finding product. And product not being any good. Details, details.
Feb. 5th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Awww, now you've made me all teary-eyed, damn you!

On the other hand, I can blame you for delays in finishing my synopsis. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Feb. 9th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
What synopsis? There's supposed to be a synopsis? Well where the heck is it, anyway?
Feb. 5th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
Good for all those kids! And their editors, too.

You are too in print. In a major market. With a far larger subscriber base and a much, much tougher set of entrance requirements.

So there.
Feb. 9th, 2011 12:13 pm (UTC)
Story accepted for publication and paid for over three years ago. Not in print any longer. I now have an out-of-print backlist.

And the entrance standards for this anthology were very tough and by invitation only. If you weren't in Room 34, you couldn't submit. Sigh. Another closed anthology.

But on a brighter note, I cn haz Mouse King!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 9th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
They are very thrilled. And it's something they can keep that presumably won't fall apart if their parents paid for the 'deluxe' binding. They had a mass signing in the morning.
Feb. 9th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
What a great project! You know, some of those kids may become writers because they will remember all of the stuff that happened with this project. :)

If Miss E is in print, then she got her genes from you. Does that make her stories your grand-stories?

Well done. I wish I had had someone like you to pull together a project like this when I was little.
Feb. 9th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, she's in print. Google "Meet Our Cats" and "Queen of Day, Queen of Night" (which will make you cry because of Stella) and "Beth and Naomi." All of her books have a preview that contains the entire book.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )