Old composition pedagogy (very old) used to tell speech givers and essay writers to a) tell them what you’re going to tell them, b) tell them, c) tell them what you’ve told them. I hated that. How dumb do they think we are, I’d think to myself. Yet, there’s some truth to both (the a-b-c and the “we’re kinda dumb”).
Now that I’ve counted down from 10, it’s time for your call to action.
I can think of lots of things you can do:
- Buy my book—after all, 10% goes to NAMI, the organization that supports people with mental illness, a somewhat larger percentages more goes to a small press, and I can retire. Or, at any rate, I can go buy a Cubano Latte from Spencer’s.
- Go get a coffee at your local coffee shop (which gives you a pass for going to Giant Starbucks).
- Hug your child or your mom or your dad or your brother or sister or friend. (That’s if they like hugs. Don’t force them to hug if they’re not into it. Read Roxane Gay’s Hunger and you’ll know why.)
- Recycle. Reuse. Reduce.
- I don’t need to tell you what to do. This is silly.
What I’d really like you to do is read my book, and if you have a few minutes, write a review on Amazon. Or Goodreads. In a book group or have students? I will join you (zoom or in person) and read, discuss, or answer questions. A book like A Tree You Come Home To is meant to be shared. I guess that’s true of all books, isn’t it? Maybe a better way to say it is this: some of you have passed along the road I traveled, have looked into the mirror at the end of the road, have noted those moments of change. We have things in common and we can talk about them.