June 27, 2009


My grandma & my aunt in the early 1950's

It's summertime. And I haven't been good about writing. Not here on this blog. Or the paper I am supposed to be working on. I have already been heavily attached to a computer for two online courses that I taught in May/June, so I have not been keen on the idea of spending more time computerbound. No matter how small and mobile my computer is. No matter how many chains of cafes have free WiFi.

Instead I read a book on writing.
Reading books on writing has become a(n unlikely) hobby of mine. I blame two things: DVD extras and trips to my last grandparent's house.
[Remember: I don't like writing and so the blog is titled Don't Fear the Ink. And yet now I'm a teacher, so writing and teaching writing is somewhat unavoidable. I read lots of academic books (and some educational ones) for work and sometimes out of curiosity. So that I am now buying books on writing is weird when I would/could just read SciFi or some sort of fiction.]

DVD Extras
First off, I blame DVD extras. They were my gateway drug. I started watching my DVD's with the director's commentary turned on and the shorts on the making of the movie. Each time I heard what the director was intending or how they ended up completing the scene and compared it with my initial and subsequent experience watching it I became even more interested in the story and how it was constructed. So, if movies are stories on film and books are stories in writing (in my current world) I guess I wanted to read and think about how stories are constructed. Hence the habit of buying books on writing.

Visiting Grandma
I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was little up until the point she moved full time to Florida. Over the last two years (which incidently coincide with me teaching) I've gone to see her every time I had at least a week off (i.e., Thanksgiving, December, February, April, and Summer). Each time I was there I lived at retirement pace (i.e., get the newspaper, make coffee and get an Ensure, make breakfast... read or correct assignments while grandma did crossword, talk about random things, get teased about having a doctoral degree and still being worthless at crossword puzzles, get the mail, etc.) Once a trip I would go to the local boxstore bookstore and raid the Writing/Reference section and choose a book. It was something I did. Grandma was amused at my reading instead of writing thing.