Sunday, November 25, 2012
So I wrote this book. It's a collection of usually funny, mostly true stories about growing up in 1970s Southern California called The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son.
According to my calculations, I've sold 432copies. It should be noted that this accomplishment went down with the help of more than a few cherished friends and family members. 432. Not bad, but it's not like I can quit my job. A small publisher considered picking up my next book. Close, but no cigar. Faulkner never made enough from his books to quit his job. Good company, huh? Not that I have delusions of being in Faulkner's league.
Man, being a writer is pretty cool. Getting out and amongst 'em to market the book has been a rush. While I did conventional readings for high school and college classes and at The Book Frog, I did some marching to the beat of my own drummer with the flash reads, the Beer and Cheese Whiz Event, and signings at barber shops and tire stores.
My new book is the story of a beaten down English teacher's transcendental journey to The Spirit Guide Bar, where he sorts out his life with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Richard Feynman, and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. The Spirit Guide Bar is scheduled to be released in March.
You can order a copy or download the ebook at the link below.
Posted by #167 Dad at 9:15 AM
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Long week in the teaching business. Still incredibly frustrated with the profession for so many reasons. Still thinking very seriously about finding a new line of work, but I'm trying very hard to stay positive.
And there is so much to be positive about. More than anything else, I get to work with some great kids. Only a fraction of my students are rude and disrespectful, but dang it, they keep me up at night.
I spent Friday night and all day Saturday with my Academic Decathlon team. I'm good with this. Spending time with my AcDec kids is fulfilling.
I returned to a neighborhood pig roast. Dozens of kids were dancing in the street. My Scottish neighbor played guitar and sang as his French buddy played the drums, teaming up to create some down home American blues music. Great music. Great food. Family. Friends. Yeah the mojo was flowing on my street Saturday night.
Looking forward to Thanksgiving this week and feeling thankful that I have so much many reasons to be thankful.
And then there's The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son. The collection of mostly true stories about growing up in 1970s Southern California is the perfect stocking stuffer. You can order a copy or download the ebook below.
My novel The Spirit Guide Bar will be released in March.
Posted by #167 Dad at 9:58 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2012
A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE TEACHING BUSINESS:
I assigned homework to my junior English class. Just about half of the students complied and turned in their wok the next day.
This was nothing new, but I felt compelled to ask the girl from Germany, the best writer in my class, "What percentage of students in Germany don't do their homework assignments?"
"I don't understand the question, Mr. Snyder."
She looked confused.
"If I gave a homework assignment to ten German students, how many wouldn't do it?"
"Mr. Snyder," she said, " I know what percentages are, but why wouldn't we do our homework?"
"You mean everybody did their homework at your school in Germany."
"Of course we did. Failing to do our homework could bring our grades down. Low grades would damage our chances of being accepted into a good college."
For or five knuckleheads responded by laughing and making cracks like:
"Yeah, but you guys don't have fun like we do, you just go home and study all the time."
How am I supposed to respond to this mentality?
This little incident took place a year ago. I thought back to a scene in the movie Teachers, a film that inspired me so many years ago. Nick Nolte played an idealistic teacher at a chaotic inner city school. Some juvenile delinquent pulled the fire alarm, students were running in every direction and things were out of control. A burnt out old teacher said to Nolte, "You know, half of these kids won't even go back to class. "To which Nolte idealistically replied, "You're right, but half of them will."
I gave a home work to a class of 42 students last week. Ten completed the assignment.
This is just one of a boatload of reasons I'm not sure I can stick with the teaching business.
ON WRITING BOOKS:
I published a book last year. It's called The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son. People seem to think it's nostalgic and funny. You can order a copy by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Eight-Fingered-Criminals-William-Snyder/dp/1468142585
My new book is novel called The Spirit Guide Bar. It's about a burnt out teacher who hikes to the top of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona where he embarks on a transcendentalist journey. The tired educator interacts with likes of Ernest Hemingway, Ulysses S. Grant, Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. The book will be available in March.
The photograph above depicts South Mountain Park.
Posted by #167 Dad at 7:10 AM
Sunday, November 4, 2012
THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR, THE FRANK BAUM SCARECROW, NOT THE RAY BOLGER SCARECROW, EDITING WITH LEDESMA AND GIDAK,THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON, AND THE BOOK FROG
I'm plugging away at the editing process for my novel The Spirit Guide Bar. Thanks to Pete Ledesma and Gary Gidak for their editing help.
I've been thinking about the cover. Since the Scarecrow from a The Wizard of Oz is serves as a motif in the book I want him on the cover. I think all the Frank Baum illustrations are fair game. I know the Ray Bolger Scarecrow is protected by copyright. I'm meeting with my graphics guy Nick Narducci this week.
The Spirit Guide Bar is scheduled for release in March of 2013.
You can purchase a copy of my book The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son by clicking on this link:
If you live in the greater Los Angeles area you can pick up a copy of The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son at my favorite book store THE BOOK FROG. Co owner Pete Ledesma is a former stand up comic. If you buy a book he will tell you a joke.
Posted by #167 Dad at 9:49 AM