a note that warms my heart

Got such a nice note today that I can’t help but share it.

Feedback — just the knowing that students have put my work to use — warms my heart.

I get frequent requests to use my ten minute plays in classrooms of all levels.  I’m always grateful, and usually ask the teacher or student to share with me how things go.  Sometimes they do.

Thanks, Jenn.

Jenn lives in Perth, Western Australia, and works as a Visiting Teacher for the Deaf at a mainstream high school that boasts an inclusive education unit.

Her note:

Hi Sam,

I hope you’re well.

I requested to use Easy Credit a few weeks ago with the deaf kids who I teach and it has been great! You say on your website that you wonder how things went so I thought I’d take you up on it.

I hope you don’t mind but I made up some focus questions (my role as a Visiting Teacher is to encourage/ develop strategies to include reading, writing & speaking so by using your play we were doing all three!) for afterwards and got some really interesting answers.

I have two year 12 students I teach in individual withdrawal sessions. I used Easy Credit with each of them and we had some fun with swapping around who was playing two characters etc.

My focus questions (which required full sentence written answers) were:
1) Why is the father angry?
2) Why is the mother angry?
3) Do the parents have a good or bad opinion about theur daughter’s behaviour? How can you tell?
4) What is your opinion of the daughter’s actions? Why do you think that?

The first three questions were answered fairly similarly but the fourth was curious.

One of the students said that he had a bad opinion of the daughter because ‘she took money from me and Mum’. (He was playing the role of the Dad in the play and clearly took it to heart, which I found quite interesting in itself).

The other one said he had a good opinion of the daughter because she was ‘being a coolhead without having an argument’.

So, I just thought I’d let you know.

Take care,

Hype for my new book of plays

cover of An Actor's Dozen
cover of An Actor's Dozen

This is the cover of a book I’m publishing.  Consider this the pre-publication publicity hype.

These days, with print-on-demand, self-publishing can be remarkably easy, and cheap.

It’s also possible, of course, to pay editors and graphic artists, etc.

But it’s nearly free if you do your own editing, typesetting, and design — and upload the files yourself.

Of course, then you get book covers that look like…this.

In a few days, this book will be available on Createspace.com, Amazon.com, the local bookstore (Literary Bookpost), the store at The Looking Glass Artist Collective, and from the trunk of my car.

The media blitz will be minimal — but so was the risk.

It didn’t cost me anything but missed sleep.

I seriously doubt any traditional publisher would have been interested in the least.  The cost is high and the market is small.

If nobody buys it — so what?  It’s stored on a computer and printed only when somebody wants a copy (except for the ones I buy, that will be in the trunk of my car).

If people do buy it, good for me.  I make a few dollars profit per book (instead of the tiny royalty a hypothetical traditional publisher would hypothetically pay, if they would hypothetically publish it ).

If anybody wants to read the plays for free — they’re all here, on the website.  Lots of people do every day.  There’s nothing new in the book other than the more portable form and a little more editorial scrutiny.

This is just to state the obvious:  publishing is really changing.