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Monday, February 20, 2006

Throw the book at 'em!

Over the weekend, I shared something in common with J.J. Redick, Duke's stellar point guard. OK, so I didn't set the new school record for points scored (I wasn't even close), but I did accomplish a major goal, as did he.
I finished the final rewrite of my great American novel -- Learn Me Good!! This sucker might not be the best piece of writing on the market, but it just ain't gonna get any better than it is now. So now I'm ready to start shopping it out to agents.
Any agents out there reading this, feel free to drop a nice hefty contract in my lap. Any experienced writers out there, please feel free to explain to me just how exactly one writes a good synopsis. . .
The book follows the life of a new teacher in his first school year. Though almost all of the stories and events truly happened, enough details have been tweaked and embellished to rule out the non-fiction category. I don't want to push this as a memoir and have it turn into A Million School Kids and have to face the Wrath of Oprah. By the way, Oprah, if you're reading this, Learn Me Good (available soon--one way or the other) would make a great addition to your much-ballyhooed book club! And if she's NOT reading this, doggonit, Steadman! What are you waiting for? Send her the link!!
No doubt, as soon as this baby hits the presses, Hollywood will come calling faster than Bobby Knight can get a Technical foul. I only hope Carrot Top is available to play me in the theatrical version.
For anyone interested, here's a short blurb that might appear on the back cover.

Jack Woodson (Duke Engineering, class of ’95) is currently living and working in Dallas, TX. He has forty children, and all of them have different mothers.
Jack Woodson was a thermal design engineer for four years until he was laid off from his job. Now, as a teacher (dealing with those forty children), he faces new challenges. Conference calls have been replaced with parent conferences. Product testing has given way to standardized testing. Instead of business cards, Jack now passes out report cards. The only thing that hasn’t changed noticeably is the maturity level of the people surrounding him all day.
Learn Me Good is a hilarious first-person account, inspired by real life experiences. Through a series of emails to Fred Bommerson, his buddy who still works at Heat Pumps Unlimited, Jack chronicles a year-in-the-life of a brand new teacher. He holds a March Mathness tournament, faces a child’s urgent declaration of “My bowels be runnin’!” and mistakenly asks one girl’s mother if she is her brother. With subject lines such as “Irritable Vowel Syndrome,” “In math class, no one can hear you scream,” and “I love the smell of Lysol in the morning,” Jack writes each email with a dash of sarcasm and plenty of irreverent wit.

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