Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas


In case you're new to SNYDERMANIA, you can get your copy of Spirit Guide Bar, The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son, and the Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar CD on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Guide-Bar-William-Snyder-ebook/dp/B00CWICYHA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-2&qid=1419090678

Spirit Guide Bar is a  is a different kind of Christmas story.

Gotta admitted it, sales have really tapered off. I'm thinking of heading out to the local mall to do some  selling out of the trunk of my car this week.

"Pssst. Hey pal, wanna buy a book?"

I guess I really need to finish that last chapter of my new book.

So I'm five weeks into my return  to the teaching biz. It's been tough taking over a class that was taught by at least five different people, but there has been progress. Most of the students can now raise their hands to speak and refrain from tacking classmates while entering the room. I'm now working on getting them to stop banging their pencils on their desks while I'm talking. It's been at least a decade since I last taught junior high and I completely forgot about the psychotic pencil banging phenomenon. Some of the little squirts obviously do it to see if they can make make scream at them until turn red, and fall to the ground gasping for air. Others, and these are the ones that baffle me, seem to pound their pencils on their desks completely unaware that they are making a commotion.  I knew I has accepting a great challenge when I signed on. Surely, I'll figure something out.

Sound proof pencils?

I do like my students and it  is pretty cool to have a two week break after five weeks on the job.

Maybe I'll take another crack at that last chapter.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

MR SNEEDER MEETS A COCKROACH


Life is funny. I left the teaching game at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Seventeen months later, I'm back in the trenches, teaching seventh and eighth graders, many of whom speak very little English. Taking over five classes in the in the middle of the second quarter is no walk in the park. With two of my classes, I look forward to the day my students demonstrate the ability to stay in their seats, and raise their hands before screaming at the lop of their lungs. I'm also looking forward to the day, one little girl calls me Mr. Snyder instead of Mr. Sneeder. 

Early Friday morning, I was making my way through the school hallway when I came face to face with    a cockroach the size of a Buick. A month ago I would have terminated the poor sap. In case you're new to my BLOG, I spent the last seventeen months in the pest control business.  Exterminating insects never  felt quite right. Looking at that giant cockroach, I  smiled and stepped aside to let him pass. 

I drove home Friday night satisfied for two reasons. One, I didn't kill anything. Two, at least I tried to do something good.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Richard Rios "Songs of The Barrio" - Reading his story 'A Rite of Passage.'





Here's my pal, Richard Rios, reading his Thanksgiving story "A Rite of Passage." I read tale to my students on Thanksgiving Eve. The little squirts loved it. The final line of the story never fails to to make me smile.  Richard Rios is one of America's greatest story tellers.



You can order a copy of his collection of stories, Songs From the Barrio, from Amazon.com.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

FORMER BUGMAN BECOMES FORMER FORMER TEACHER


Arizona cockroaches, ants, and scorpions are breathing a little easier. My career as an exterminator is officially over. No more walking into trees and spider webs. No more squirting myself in the face with chemicals. No more getting chased by bees and German Shepherds. I've walked away from the bug biz and returned to the teaching game. After my first week back in the classroom, I can honestly say I'm…tired.  Really, really tired. Perhaps I'll bring my held exterminating can to work with me Monday.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

THE FLY IN THE BUTTERMILK



Writer's block is like a shooting slump in basketball. The only way out of a slump is to shoot your way out, or write your way out. That's what I used to say. Shooting my way out worked in my basketball days, and until about a year ago, writing my way out worked with the book biz.

I've been stuck on the last chapter of my third book for over a year. The slump began when I left teaching, and the fly in the buttermilk is I left teaching to focus on writing. You know, I think this is the first time I've ever used the term "the fly in the buttermilk is..." in a sentence. Richard Boone used the term in the "The Alamo." The 1960 version of the Alamo is one of my favorite movies and Richard Boone was one cool cat as Sam Houston. So there it is, I've used "the fly in the buttermilk is..." in a sentence. Hah, this is a fine example of what's been going on between my ears since I left teaching. I just can't seem to get any semblance of focus going.  I'vebeen bouncing around between pest control, contract writing, tutoring, and adjunct teaching. Right now I'm working three jobs and it seems like I'm spending the bulk of my time, working, driving from one job to the next, preparing for the next day's work, looking for better jobs, or sprawled out on the floor staring at the ceiling. So there it is: I left teaching to write, but the fly in the buttermilk is I'm too darned scattered to write. 

You know I haven't had buttermilk since I was kid. Come to think of it, I really hated buttermilk. 

Heck, I might as well go back to full time teaching. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A KNOCK ON THE HEAD, A FLAT TIRE, A SWARM OF BEES, A FACEFUL OF SPIDERS, A BOOK READING, A STACK OF PAPERS, AND A CD FOR SALE


My life as a bug man/writer/teacher has been quite pretty hectic as of late. 

The extermination biz was exceptionally busy this week. I had a flat tire, got chased by a swarm of bees, walked into a tree, and a nest of spiders fell onto my face. It would make for a better story if these events happened in a row. Looking back the spider incident was the most disturbing. I was too hot, tired, and irritated when the spiders landed on my face to be properly freaked out.  I walked back to my truck and squirted my face with pesticides for about 30 seconds. Okay, I didn't squirt myself in the face.

Professor Halberg invited me to her English 101 class for a reading Saturday morning. As usual it was an uplifting experience.  Kinda made up for the faceful of spiders.

I pretty much spent the rest of the weekend grading and prepping for my English classes. Grading papers and pulling brushing spiders off of my face is an unusual juxtaposition.

Life as a bug man/writer/teacher is always interesting. I just thought of something, I may be the only bug man/teacher/writer in Arizona, maybe the world.

Hey, STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR is now available for download on iTunes

iTunes STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR

 and you buy the CDs from CD Baby.

CD Baby STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lyle Tucker's Take on "Danny Gilroy and the Number 2 Pencil"


Here's Lyle Tucker's latest creation for the illustrated version of The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son. Tucker does an outstanding job at depicting Sister Agnes and nun brutality in this charming little scene from "Danny Gilroy and the Number 2 Pencil."

Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, an audio collection of seven stories from Criminal's Son and Spirit Guide releases September 13th. 

Arizona High school teachers have been using the Dave Cruz story on Youtube in their classrooms and I'm getting good feedback. 

Here is the link to Dave Cruz.

You can purchase my books here: William Snyder's books

Here is the link to my website: WilliamSnyder.biz



Saturday, August 16, 2014

SOOOO CLOSE




"Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar," a collection of seven stories from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son and The Spirit Guide Bar, is sooo close to ready to roll. We have a front and back cover and the CDs have been created. 

The release date is set for September 13th, and the collection will be available for download and in CD format.  Details on the Arizona kick off event are coming soon. 

You can listen to one of the stories at this link:


Teachers around the world have incorporated The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son into their curriculum. Okay that was a stretch, but educators in California, New York, and Arizona are trying out the book in their classrooms this fall. A few Arizona college and high school teachers teachers are already using the book for independent reading, narrative writing, and journaling lessons. 

Fingers crossed.

Gary Gidak and Pred Perez work on the music for "General Grant."


Here's a wacky Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son project created by an Arizona high school student.


"Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar" will be available at The Book Frog in Rolling Hills, California on September 13th. Co owner Pete Ledesma has agreed do his Elvis impersonation, and his right arm hand man Jackie has agreed to wear a frog suit to help celebrate the CD release. Okay, I just made that up, but Jackie does have frog suit and Pete does do an Elvis impersonation. It wouldn't hurt to ask.



Saturday, August 9, 2014

COMING SOON


An illustrated version of THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON is in the works. I've teamed up with a brilliant illustrator by the name of Lyle Tucker. Like me, Lyle is from Hawthorne. He currently hangs his hat in Roswell, New Mexico. Roswell, New Mexico. Gotta tell you, I'm jacked up to be able to say I'm collaborating on a project with an artist in Roswell, New Mexico. The fact that is a crazy talented artist doesn't hurt.  I'll keep you posted.



STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR is finished and will be available September 13th. Produced by Gary Gidak of Gidak Digital, this CD includes sound effects, background music, and an outstanding collection of voice actors. Gary is an extraordinary engineer, musician, actor, and writer. I might point out that he is from New Mexico.

What's the deal with New Mexico?

A few Arizona teachers have incorporated the audio version of "DAVE CRUZ" into lesson plans.

You can listen to "DAVE CRUZ" at this link for a limited time:  "DAVE CRUZ"

The CD cover was  designed by Angel Gidak. The Gidak's are quite a talented couple. Angel is a madly talented graphic designer, and she's also a commendable voice over actor. She is a hilarious and just a little bit scary as the man hating lady doctor in "THE BIG V," a story that should be carefully considered by any man considering a vasectomy. By the way, I really enjoy reading this story at events.  Men invariably wriggle in their seats and groan uncomfortably, while women seem to take great pleasure in this painful little narrative.

TEECHUR, CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT EDUCATOR, is ridiculously close to being finished. I've been stuck on the last chapter for several months. Things have been hectic since I left my job as a high school teacher a little over a year ago. I've been doing contract writing, tutoring, and pest control to make ends meet. I'll begin teaching as an adjunct at a local college in a couple of weeks. Somewhere in the midst of contract writing, teaching, marketing, and bug squirting, I'm going to sit down and finish that last chapter of TEECHUR. 

I'd like to finish with something clever, but I have a chapter to finish.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of dog, it's too dark to read.
-Groucho Marx

Get your copy of THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON and THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR here

WILLIAM SNYDER.BIZ

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Richard Rios "Songs of The Barrio" - A Reading of His Poem: 'Para Los Tr...





 "Para Los Tres Grandes" is a tribute to three of Mexico's greatest artists and muralists, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Jose Clemente Orozco. Rios's performance poetry is powerful. In honoring the three great artists, he takes the listener on a dark and shameful journey into the history of our neighbor to the south. In reality, Rios takes us on a dark and shameful journey into the history of mankind. The finish is truly maginficent. This poem can be found in Richard Rios's book Songs From the Barrio
Orale, Senor Rios!





Sunday, July 27, 2014

ASPARAGUS AND STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR




This is the cover for Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, an audio collection of seven stories. The stories are from The-Eight Fingered Criminal's Son and The Spirit Guide Bar. Produced by Gary Gidak of Gidak Digital, the collection includes music, sound effects, and a talented team of voice over actors. 

For the eleven people who are familiar with my books, here is the line up:

1. The South Bay Daily Breeze
2. First Kiss
3. Surfer Girl
4. Dave Cruz
5. Vasectomy
6. General Grant
7. Monsignor Patrick J Redehan

The CD will be available in about four weeks. I'll be announcing the date and location of the release event soon.

In the mean time, you can listen to "Dave Cruz" by clinking on the link below.


My third book, TEECHUR, Adventures of a Reluctant Educator, is almost finished.  I'm polishing up the last chapter and the book should release by the end of the year. In case I didn't mention it, writing books is really hard.

Finally, I'd like to announce that I am going to stop eating asparagus.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

How To Make Your Book Signing A Success


This photo was taken at my first book signing at Chandler Auto and Tire. Every book purchased came with a discounted oil change. That's right, I do book signings at tire shops. What of it? I heard David Thoreau did book signings at wagon wheel shops.

What's the opposite of Thoreau?
Ca-atch.

Check out my website for some new author tips on books signing events.

WilliamSnyder.biz

Sunday, July 6, 2014

GIDAK DIGITAL'S STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR

I'm excited to share this sneak peek-listen of Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, a Gidak Digital audio production of stories from The Spirit Guide Bar and The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son. 





             

Here is the link...Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar, "DAVE CRUZ"

Dave Cruz is a mostly true, coming of age story that takes place in 1979 Hawthorne California. Over the last couple of years, this has been my go to story for high school and college readings. Gary's music, sound efffects, and voice over actors really bring the thing to life.





Gary Gidak (left) produced the collection. He also composed the soundtrack and did several voice-overs. Gary is a ridiculously talented, engineer, musician, actor, writer, and zoologist. Okay, he's no zoologist. I was checking if you were paying attention.Voice-over artist Steve Pointer (right) did some outstanding work. His portrayal of General Grant is absolutely riveting.



Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar will be available next month.

Gary and I are planning a release event in the Phoenix area. We're considering having the event at a lawn mower repair shop or a feed store. Got to keep thinks quirky.

For more information, take a look at my website: Stories from The Spirit Guide Bar.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Best Thing About Writing Books


I recently spent an afternoon with Mrs. Halberg's junior English class. These guys were explosively inspirational. The class had been reading stories from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son and they were  kind enough to give me a round of applause when I walked through the door. Doesn't get much better than that. I started with a tried and true reading of "Dave Cruz," after which I was served up with a request for "Daphne Morales and the Silver Corvette." We talked about writing memoirs, the writing process, sensory details, motivation and inspiration. Something clicked as I stood before this collection of bright young minds. I somehow connected with their curiosity, energy, creativity, and maybe even their ability to dream.

I'd been stuck on the last chapter of my new book for a few months, but things have improved since I hung out with this crew. Thanks to a heaping helping of Halberg mojo, that last chapter is back on track and I can actually visualize a finished book.