When I went to school to be a medical language specialist, quite an extensive portion of what I learned that year covered English. I learned more about punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure in that year than I had in college. I also learned more about writing from just reading than I ever did in college. By the time I was in my early 20s I had only read probably two books. I was always a magazine guy. I blame my high school for that. They had us reading books that your average teenage would have absolutely no interest in reading. All is Quiet on the Western Front, Diary of Anne Frank, Romeo and Juliet and other literary "classics" set on turning off other like-minded, voice-changing, body hair-growing adolescents to the world of literature. If that's as fun as reading got then I wanted nothing to do with it (while a friend was reading The Hobbit and Poe at his high school. He loved reading. See the connection there?).
When I grew older and ready to give books another chance, I trusted the generation before me screaming the praises of overrated trash like Catcher In the Rye. Thankfully it was my dad--an avid reader--who pushed on me authors like William Goldman, Richard Matheson, Robert R. McCammon, Clive Barker, and some guy named Stephen King. I'm thankful I finally started reading. I feel I really missed out not doing so within the first 2 decades of my life.
Yes, this entry is written extemporaneously and comes off scatterbrained, but today that feels therapeutic. Perhaps my brain is already starting to count those 1500 words anticipated for this weekend.
My Amazon author page is up and running with links to purchase the 3rd issue of Shadows & Light which contains my story "One for the Road." I'd love to hear what you think of it.