A Time of Growth

It’s been an amazing time of personal and professional growth, and I have so much to be thankful for. I’m still overwhelmed by the response to Blue. Thank you sincerely for making it my first instant bestseller. It is my absolute favorite thing I have ever written so nothing could mean more to me. I’m excited to finally start talking with students as professors have begun adopting it for classes. I hope to have a chance to talk with book clubs too (the novel might make for fun summer reading). The message of the book is simple: we are possibilities. When I released Blue into the world, that’s just how I felt. It was a childhood promise to myself fulfilled.  Blue is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Patricia-Leavy/dp/9463003533/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MXX1V25DZ1S7GC8M7DA

As you may know, I decided to take one full year off from professional travel– invited lectures and conferences– from May 2015 to May 2016. This wasn’t an easy decision, made harder when I had to pass on lovely keynote invitations. But this time off the road and at home in my writing hole has been invaluable. I’ve immersed myself in my first love– writing. I’ve written so much that I hope to start sharing over the next year. I’ve also expanded my publishing partnerships (which I’ll share more about below), I’ve prepared to usher my series authors’ new books into the world, and I’ve had cherished time with family and friends. Never underestimate the power of balance in one’s life. I know that the more time I have for conversations and laughter with friends and hugs with my dog, the more productive I ultimately am. This time has been a wonderful reminder.

In recent months I made two huge announcements. First, I have expanded my partnership with Sense Publishers. In addition to my four other series with Sense, I am now the creator and editor for the Personal/Public Scholarship series. Given my commitment to both engaging forms of writing and public scholarship, this is a dream realized. The editorial board truly blows my mind. My heartfelt thanks to these academic rock stars for generously signing on:

Carolyn Ellis, University of South Florida, USA

Donna Y. Ford, Vanderbilt University, USA

Henry Giroux, McMaster University, Canada

Stacy Holman Jones, Monash University, Australia

Sut Jhally, University of Massachusetts, USA

Kip Jones, Bournemouth University, UK

Jean Kilbourne, Wellesley Centers for Women, USA

Peter Mclaren, Chapman University, USA

I’m ecstatic to announce the launch title in the series will be Seven Minutes from Home: An American Daughter’s Story by award-wining sociologist Laurel Richardson. Laurel is one of my all-time favorite authors. I think this is her best book. Reading the unpublished manuscript was an honor like no other. I will share more as we near its May release.

Second, I expanded my 15 year partnership with Oxford University Press, signing the biggest publishing deal of my career. I’m delighted to serve as creator and editor for the Research to the Point textbook series. We will publish textbooks on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research, both thematic and discipline-specific texts. HUGE thanks to my wonderful editor, Abby Gross, and the entire OUP team. More soon.

My one exception to ‘no travel’ this year was my recent visit to Penn State. For years I have been promising the grad students in art education that I would visit and we were finally able to make it happen. There’s no greater compliment than students inviting you to their school.  Heartfelt thanks to the many involved in bringing me to PSU with special thanks to Sarah Thompson, Sue Uhlig, the GAEdA officers, and my assistant-extraordinaire, Shalen Lowell. Despite some chaotic travel beyond all of our control, it was an extraordinary visit. I absolutely fell in love with everyone I met. These were the most welcoming people anyone could ever hope to meet. After a two-hour workshop on creative approaches to writing, a one-hour lecture on arts-based research, a gluten-free potluck dinner and a lovely breakfast before I left, I had made countless new friends. The work the grad students are doing is inspiring. Soon we will all be reading and viewing their work, the emerging leaders of the field. Perhaps it’s because I have taken time off from visiting schools but I was struck by two things I’d like to share. First, students often thank me for being “nice.” While this is always a lovely compliment, it’s disconcerting too because it reminds me that being nice isn’t necessarily the norm in academia. Let’s change that. Let’s make kindness unremarkable. Second, I spend more time looking forward in my work and less looking back. As a result, when I am introduced before talks and I hear the ‘blurbs’ read about my work and honors I’ve received, I feel bathed in the light of love. But I am also reminded that some people get more than their fair share of credit, while most get far too little. If you find yourself receiving more than one should expect, find ways to share it. Spread the light.

 PSU workshop

Now that I’m back home in my writing hole, I look forward to ushering two of my favorite authors books into the world: If the Truth be Told by Ronald Pelias and Seven Minutes from Home by Laurel Richardson… more on these books very soon. I also look forward to working on revisions for two secret book projects– one I hope will be fun summer reading and the other is the most challenging project I have ever taken on. Can’t wait to share more! #AllWaysOfKnowing #SecretBookProjects

Love and Light,

Patricia

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