Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Open Doors"

It has been at least one week since I posted a blog and during this time my mind has been racing, trying to determine and isolate which moments within my days I want to share. So much has transpired within the past two weeks, I honestly don’t know where to begin. So, to get off the subject of my writing for a moment, I would like to share something new and exciting with my fan base—the Ozuna Publications “Open Doors” project.

Last week I had the privilege of meeting students from Fort Worth’s Tech and North Side High School. A vast majority of these students were graduating seniors, a week away from taking their first steps into adulthood and Life. With the help and support of Ms. Priscilla Lancarte (Tech High School) and Mr. Kenneth Polito (North Side High School), I was able to meet over 100+ students and discuss not only my novel, “Proud Souls” but the concept of pursuing and following dreams. I am a firm believer that everyone has a gift, a special characteristic or trait unique only to them. I also believe that once we discover this gift, it is our responsibility to offer it back to humanity for the betterment of those around us. And I believe if you dare pursue that dream, and attentively listen to the whispers of your own soul, you will be amazed at the support, the encouragement from those around us who long to have something good to believe in and the amount of doors that begin to open. To quote one of my favorite authors—Paulo Coelho—the universe will [begin] to conspire in your favor.

So, what’s my contribution back to humanity??? Great question! The “Open Doors” project will be my gift back to those who have a passion for writing and creativity. I have already taken the initial steps in contacting the appropriate people to help spread the word and stir enough curiosity and enthusiasm about this project. With the vast array of material our students are now responsible for, I believe a creative break is in order. With the help of people from the Fort Worth Independent School District and (possibly) other creative and supportive groups, I will publish an anthology of short stories, created entirely by students of the Fort Worth ISD high schools.

My vision is to have every (high school) English teacher within the ISD announce the contest in the early part of the next school year (‘07/’08) and then press the students and encourage them to submit their would be winning submissions to me on or before the winter break. I would also like to see the same support from the art instructors, as the cover design will be a painting or drawing, also done by a Fort Worth high school student. Then, I will rally supporters and volunteers to help read the submissions, narrowing the finalist down to somewhere between 15~25 students. It is then I will call upon more volunteers, those with a knack for editing and critiquing documents. We will publish the winners and honor them with a certificate of achievement, a t-shirt depicting the cover art and list of authors and stories on the back, and one free copy of the anthology. My hopes are to provide a ceremony where the award winner authors can read their submissions before a crowd of supporters—family and friends—and receive enough encouragement to continue pressing onward and offering their creativity, talents and skills back to the world.

Please stay tuned, as I will publish more information about the “Open Doors” project on my website, including contact information for those people local to Ft. Worth and the surrounding cities, looking to offer their time to see this project through to completion. I will make donations possible via snail mail (directly to my PO Box) or on the web using PayPal. My long-term goal is to see this project gain enough momentum and excitement to encourage neighboring school districts to jump on board, because if we truly believe the children of our communities are the future, then we must do what we can to encourage creative thought, not only in poem and prose, but in voice, in action and in love.


~Bobby Ozuna

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