John Holland, the self-proclaimed Emergent Learner, sent me the greatest news I’ve gotten all day. The first (real) book I’d ever been published in is now in pre-order courtesy of Teachers College Press! I almost moonwalked out of my house when I saw the posting. For a writer, getting published through another publisher in a book is the equivalent of getting a nod for the All-Star team in the major leagues, getting a screenplay picked up by a producer, or getting a painting up at the big art museum. (Self-publishing is cool, but that’s another conversation.)
For someone who’s not a full-time writer, this only makes me that much more ebullient because I thought it’d take damn near forever to get published. People have no idea what it takes to get published in any genre, much less education or poetry. Very few publishers actually want to admit they’re publishers or work in the book industry, very few authors know exactly what it takes to get published, and very few people believe many books can sell well anymore since blogs and tweets take up so much of a reader’s word limit a day.
Unless people start believing that a full composition of literature merits one’s full attention, and is worth discussing, then we as a reading public may continue seeing the waning enthusiasm for creative writing. Teachers like me fall into this lot, as many of us have become confined to the idea that our stories aren’t worth telling. The mundane corporatization of public education (and education thought) begs that our language change from the ethereal to the ephemeral, the multitudinous to the myopic. We have so many exciting stories to tell, and so many of us who know how to tell it well, and so few people who outwardly ask to hear more of them.
I’m one of the fortunate ones who got the chance to have a slice of their stories told, and I invite those of you reading this to not simply read this book because you like my writing, but because you want to hear more from people like us, who’d share our experiences so candidly in hopes that someone’s listening. I need to know that my writing doesn’t just advance the diversity of literature out there, but it gives others encouragement to keep at that keyboard.
Someone’s reading just beyond the horizon.
Jose, who’s still moonwalking and will continue to do so until January 2011 …