New Year, New Free Downloads Available

Happy 2010, folks! Hope your New Year has started off well.

I’ve been meaning to make some new items available for download on my GrayMan Writes web site, and today seemed like a good day to do it.

First, a new essay: “An Unsolicited Proposal for the Secretary of Education.” Here’s the opening:

We often treat education in the United States as a utility; i.e., we take it for granted the way we take for granted that the lights will work when we flip a switch. As long as it appears to be working, most of us give little thought to education, and it only takes a little interruption to arouse a great deal of attention. The Department of Education could and should help this vital national “utility” run better and produce uniformly excellent results, but to do so it should do more than collect and disseminate research, and more than dole out Federal funds for various programs.

With that in mind, we offer this proposal for how the Department of Education could lead by example: the Department of Education should establish, staff, and operate a charter school in metropolitan D.C. and make it the best school in the country….

The full essay is at this link.

Second, some free fiction: a historical short story entitled, “The Surfman.” The market for historical short fiction is almost nonexistent, but hopefully folks who like historical fiction will be able to find it on the web site. Here’s how it begins:

Several hundred yards off Long Beach Island, New Jersey, the small freighter should have been slipping along the wavetops headed who-knows-where. Her captain must’ve been drunk or incompetent to have hit the shoals in broad daylight with a favorable tide, but that didn’t matter to Silas Jacobs. It didn’t so much matter that the ship had ten or twelve sailors on board, and most couldn’t swim a lick; deep ocean sailors were like that. What mattered to Silas was that the ocean was trying to kill them….

If you want to read the story, you can download it here.

Both of these downloads are licensed under Creative Commons, so you can feel free to share them with anyone — all I ask is that you include the right attribution.

And I hope you have a terrific New Year!

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