A Note to Readers of the Miss O’ Show (Teacher’s Edition) Site
Back in 2012, my friend Rebecca Cummins invited me up to Montgomery, Vermont, to read at her Celebration of Expressive Arts. “Read what?” I asked. Dispatches from New York City, posted on a certain social media site. Um, well, sure, if you really think people might enjoy it.
The dispatches (in the form of status updates) were downloaded–all 50 pages of them–printed out, triple-hole punched, placed in a binder, and then selected and rehearsed, enough for 2 sets of 15 minutes, during the 9-hour train trip to Burlington. Coincidentally, my colleague Magda Misiuna was looking for an opportunity to create an eBook, having just taken classes to learn the process. Her first one had gone well, and she wanted to turn it into a side business. “Do you have anything we could turn into a book?” she asked. Well, I guess I did.
While discussing this at the neighborhood watering hole with my artist friends Jodi Chamberlain and her partner Lisa DiPetto, Lisa said, “You know, I keep a sketchbook of a lot of your posts.” And so it was that the idea of illustrating the book was born. I selected and arranged posts by season, around 50 pages’ worth; paid Magda and Lisa for their work; and the book , Easier to Live Here: Miss O’ in New York City, debuted on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble for $2.99 on December 12, 2012, where it surpassed Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants as a best seller for about one hour. Foolishly, I failed to make a screen shot.
Since then, of course, a certain marvel named Brandon Stanton started a website and Facebook page, Humans of New York, which has generated three books, global fame, and done a real service to the world via photographs and then stories, too.
Still, I think there is something to my tiny observations in words.
The New York adventure continues–with the dispatches to be posted right here on WordPress. Since its initial publication, however modest, Easier to Live Here has racked up very little return on my investment, financially speaking, but on the sweet side, I’ve very happily amassed 20 encouraging reviews from readers, who are all friends. And still I do wonder if it might have a wider reading public, untapped.
For the uninitiated: You can find the original book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If Miss O’ could sell, say, 50,000 copies, she could take off a year and not only revise and expand the book and pay Lisa for more awesome art, but she could ALSO finish and mount her one-woman show. (Sure, it sounds mercenary, I’d so much rather sell something I made than start a crowd-source fund. Shall we dance?)
More stories to come.
With thanks, and love,