Hello everyone! Im relaunching my “The New Neighbor” t-shirt campaign! If I can get at least 80 reservations, they will go into print! All of the shirts are high-quality cotton, manufactured and shipped internationally from America! All profits will go towards my “Ryo” film project, and other endeavours! Reserve yours today! https://teespring.com/the-new-neighbor-t-shirts#pid=2&cid=2122&sid=front
I went to my chiropractor today, to tend to a pulled muscle in my leg, that occurred a few days ago.
The office wasn’t that busy, and it’s usually a casual, family friendly atmosphere.
While I was waiting to be called back, a little girl (maybe 2 or 3) went over to get a book for her grandmother to read to her.
The little girl handed the book to her grandmother, then climbed up on her lap to hear the story.
I wanted to hear it too. Maybe more than the little girl.
I was almost ecstatic, but I just kept to myself in my little corner of the waiting area…listening very carefully to grandma’s tender voice.
The grandmother couldn’t read the english part too well, so she read the Japanese translation.
The little girl seemed to enjoy the book, turning the pages faster than her grandmother could read them. Finally, grandma gave up and relinquished the book to her granddaughter.
I was having a surreal moment, one that I thought I would never see. Ever.
The book was “The New Neighbor”…one of my first books ever published, and definitely “my baby” among my other ones. It’s slowly becoming a part of book retailer’s catalogs and websites around the world…and hope it continues to grow.
I had gifted a copy to the clinic a couple of years ago, as a token of appreciation for all the times they had kept me upright and walking. I have no idea how many have seen, or read it until today.
All I know is, as a writer, it’s an honor to discreetly watch someone take the time read and share something that you have written. No one ever expects to read a book, with the author being just five or so feet away. The book was in the habitat that it was meant to be in…no way was I going to upset that.
The little girl eventually put the book back in its place on the bookshelf for the next reader, and chose another.
Small town America teaches you a lot. You may not always love it, but you know it made you who you are today. I grew up in Cordova, Alabama…as well as other small towns. Here are 31 signs you grew up in small town America…
With my son being “halfu”, plus facing the possibility of going to a public school, I wonder always how he will be treated. I just hope that his kind and happy nature will win people over, and he won’t have any problems.
“Being exposed to this kind of treatment day in day out is a subtle reminder that I will never blend into the societal fabric. I’ve heard this being referred to as racial fatigue.”
R.B.Bailey Jr, is an english teacher, published writer, video producer, voice-over artist and blogger, living in Japan for 15 years, now.
Before moving to Japan, he grew up in several small towns throughout the American south…but spent the longest time in Jasper, Alabama. So, he considers it his hometown. He was a skilled woodworker for eight years there, but before that, He sold vacuum cleaners, worked in a fast food restaurant, tore tickets in theater, built bedroom furniture and mobile homes (not trailers…trailers are for horses).
In June 2001, he and his wife packed up and moved to Japan, spending an entire first year with no job, no money. During that time, he would go to the library (for free entertainment) and started reading in earnest again. He also tried his hand at writing, and wrote “Promises Kept”…a story about a small-town deputy, trying to understand why a series of series of bad events was happening. He finished the story in a few days, and right after that, got his first teaching job.
“Promises Kept” sat in his desk drawer for several years to come.
Close to the end of his first teaching job, and inspired by his students (and their parents) questions about America, He wrote “The New Neighbor”. This book is the first in a planned series of books about a young Japanese boy who moves to America with his family. This draft, without illustrations, also went to my desk drawer for a few years. He went on to write more short stories as well…all still needing editing. One story he did finish was “Sense Of Worth”, about a young man, fed up with his life, decided to go after his dreams. He liked it better than “Promises Kept”…he felt like more of a writer, with this one.
Well into the swing of my third job (we won’t discuss the second one), his writing dried up altogether. he was drinking pretty heavy at this time, and just wasn’t into it.
A few years rolled by, he had actually quit drinking (and still quit to this day) and was a brand-new father. Around this time, he was carousing around on his computer and stumbled upon “The New Neighbor”. Don’t know what it was, but he wanted it published in a bad way, now. Together with illustrator Kim Roberts, “The New Neighbor” was finally a complete book in a few months.
The next huge step was getting it published, and this is where he really and honestly acquired a very bad distaste for publishing houses.
He started mailing out 2-3 photocopies per week of “The New Neighbor” to any and all publishing companies that handled children’s books in Japan, together with a nice introductory letter in both japanese and english. No reply, no response. When he ran out of money for photocopies and postage stamps, he started sending query Emails to publishers. This, to him, seemed the most economical and fastest way to go. Still, no dice. One publisher here in Japan did reply…and actually had the nerve to send a photocopied reject letter. They had the title spelled wrong and had the audacity to send a book catalog. He was furious and decided to try something that I had only recently read about…self-publishing.
He discovered Createspace, a subsidiary of Amazon…and was delighted to finally see a printed copy of his book! The book is out there now, next is a matter of getting the word out about it…and himself. With this arrangement, he has the option of buying my own copies at cost plus shipping. This allows me to sell on my own, too.
Using social media and traffic exchange, so far he has reached countless countries and thousands of hits with his blog here on WordPress, and 2,950 “likes” for his Facebook page, R.B.Bailey Jr . He is also on About.me and Google+. He has just started a Goo page, and a Mixi page here as well. He was interviewed by journalist Dale Short for The Daily Mountain Eagle earlier in 2016, and also released the second book in the “New Neighbor” series…”The New Neighbor – Ryo’s New School (Volume Two)” in December 2016.