This venture came out of the blue, which is to say that it was always inevitable and stewing for decades. I just needed a little push.
So that nudge arrived in fall 2017 when I began to seriously consider taking my ELA classes down the risky road known as NaNoWriMo. Asking 8th-graders to write a novel in a month seems positively mad, but hardly unprecedented. Thousands of kids have pulled this off, and I'm all about taking my students down unexpected paths that offer them a chance to expand their creativity and solve complex problems with language.
The plan arrived too close to NaNoWriMo's traditional November window, so we wrote in January. I decided to write along with the students and pursued the start of a novel that had been been brewing - sans outline (or even the first tangible form of any kind). And that's what I did - until I didn't anymore. Short story: It's a little thing called Poppies, it's totally mental (double meaning, folks), and I'll get back to it soon enough - which is to say somewhere toward the end of the current president's term (may God help us all through this stupefying nightmare).
As the students overcame their own fears and wrote, wrote, wrote, I realized that I needed to show them that they could, in fact, fulfill the promise of this experiment and publish their own works by the end of the school year. That meant I needed to publish online. I needed to go through the process so that I could teach them - because that's what the state pays me gobs of money to do!
And so it came to pass that The Father Unbound - easily my most complex and ambitious novel - now resides on Amazon. My plan will continue in the form of these blogs, another novel to publish very soon, and then a full roll-out through social media. The world shall know my stories. (Note: I didn't suggest the world would love my stories. But that's neither here nor there.)
Now it begins. Deep breath.