One of my (secret) dreams after I started teaching and lecturing 12 years ago has been to publish something. I’m not quite sure where that came from, but it was sort of at the back of my mind. Oh, I had other dreams, like singing the role of Figaro, or performing one of Mozart’s piano concertos in a concert hall. But of all these wants, this one about publishing seemed to be the least fanciful and possessing that tiny glimmer of possibility. After all, my throat croaks and my fingers are as nimble as Matt’s are he eats 6 roti pratas (!), so singing and performing are all out.
Things picked up substantially when I started the Ph.D. It’s not necessary to publish when doing a Ph.D program. In fact, a couple of fellows at my research office didn’t publish at all as they just don’t have the time for it. I did, so in a sense, my very first ‘publication’ ever was a paper for an international conference that NUS was hosting in June 2004. Never mind that I thought my paper was pretty crappy, but hey it was peer reviewed, accepted, and my name’s in a Proceedings now. But the Proceedings are only available for conference delegates who show up and pay their fees, or in online databases – and those require subscription too. So yeah it’s a publication, but not the one that I’d ultimately been hoping for.
Many papers later, and 4 years since I first had a paper in the proceedings, I’m thrilled to say here that I’ve finally published a book proper! The type that people can pay good money, buy and read my trashy writing! But seriously, it’s really my doctoral thesis published by VDM Verlag, a German-based publisher of academic literature and theses.
This isn’t a big thing by any measure in academic circles by the way, since this publisher actively solicits academics for theses and works in areas they’re interested in, so it’s not as though they invited my thesis publication because I wrote something that qualifies for a Nobel prize.
Moreover, publishing a book hasn’t been without its trauma. Specifically, given that this book is commercially available and can now be scrutinized by anyone who decides to fork out good money for it, I’ve suddenly become more than a little nervous that someone who reads it thoroughly will send me an email asking about the bloop in Chapter 7. Or the one in Chapter 2. Or the two in the References section. That’s not even considering any one of those game publishers who may decide to sue me off all my pocket money for saying all those things about their games!
And the book’s a whopping USD124 on Amazon.com! I wouldn’t buy my own book at that price. But seriously, I do get an author’s discount, so if anyone is in a mood to spend money, I’ll help you buy one with the discount.:)
All that said, it’s a milestone reached and what lies beyond is in equal parts scary and exciting. Most of all, it’s a dream that’s finally come true, and I should be allowed by 2 seconds of glory before I find myself a hiding hole and hope the wolves don’t find me haha.:)