When I first moved to Upstate New York in 2012, I couldn't teach students without an advanced degree. So, after two years, I finally completed my master's in literacy from the University at Albany.
Re-entering the world of education brought back intense memories of my son, Nicholas, and his incredible learning journey. I knew that his story—where he learned to read even after being told he was the "worst child I've seen in 20 years of teaching" by the school diagnostician—was good. It became something more when he graduated in the top 20 percent of his high school. Then, it was even better after he received two undergraduate degrees from the University of Tasmania. And then...to go on track to receive a Ph.D. from Oxford University. Well, you can't get better than that.
It was a story that had to be told. Yet, I felt like my writing just wasn't good enough—and that always worried me. But, like Maya Angelou says: "there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
For a short time, I started working with a writing coach just to get the story on paper. While a lot of it was rubbish, she focused on the parts that were fantastic, and what was worth working on. Her pushing me was just the start I needed.
Six months later, I had a 180-page manuscript. My first draft. I even had it bound for Christmas. The tenses were all over the place. The characters weren't developed. The story was "telling" and not "showing." But, it gave me an outline—and that's all I needed. Something to work off of.
So here we are, nearly three years later. A six-part tale, beautifully laid out onto polished pages, with a supportive team of publishers and assistant behind me.
And now, you can own a copy.
Reversed: A Memoir—available in paperback, hardcover, and eBook editions on Amazon.
Out Thursday, March 15.