About this project: From May 2011 through April 2012, I plan to read short stories and blog about the reading experience. If you want to see what I hope to read this year, check out the Plan page. If you want to find out what I’m actually managing to read, see the Weekly Reading Log.
About me: I’m absolutely underqualified to blog about reading short stories. I was not an English major. I took no English classes in college (it wasn’t required at Vassar in the early 1980s). I took Russian literature classes instead, and was a solid B+ student of literature at best. This is because, although I love to read, I’m not a good critical reader of literature. I pick up a book, and I don’t need Calgon to take me away. I just disappear into whatever world the author has created. As a result, my fourth-grader has better skills in reading critically than I do.
In the real world, I was a naval officer. I spent twenty years reading and writing in military jargon, which might as well be a foreign language. After I retired, I finished a master’s degree in the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University (Advanced Academic Programs). I write fiction, submit it, and collect rejection letters, so I call myself a writer. But that’s not what this blog is about.
Some people who get a degree in writing go on to teach. Not me. Instead, I get my English class fix by xeroxing handouts for a reading/language arts teacher at the local middle school, where the older of my two sons is enrolled, and by staring enviously at the reading skills posters on the walls of my fourth-grader’s classroom. When I’m not working for the local Stay-Home Mom Mafia — I mean, volunteering for the PTA — I chauffeur my sons to swim team practice and Scouts, walk the dog, and fight a losing battle with weeds in my garden.