What did you want to be when you grew up?
An actor, a violinist, a movie reviewer, a college professor. I’ve done all of these things, but not gotten paid for all of them.
What was your least favorite class at any point in your education? Why?
I once dropped a history class in college because I hadn’t done well on the first test and was confused and unhappy about what was required of me. Later, I found out that everyone else had performed significantly less well than I had on the test, and that the professor liked to make the point that students should read the textbook in addition to attending his lectures. I think he could have just said that.
What was the first blog post you ever wrote about?
My first post explains the name of my blog, and why I started it:
We got a new game today, and were playing it on our drive home from the bookstore. It’s called “Would you rather…?” and is kind of like a game that teenage girls play late at night when they’re sleeping over. One of the questions was about whether you’d rather have three questions answered or be able to resurrect someone. The kids and I, better at snap judgments, immediately went for the three questions, but Ron was hesitating over resurrection. “Oh come on,” I said, “necromancy never pays; literature shows us this over and over.”
“Oh yeah,” Ron said, “The Monkey’s Paw.”
And then we went on to the next question. Some things are just clear, once you remember all the stuff you’ve read about them.
Do you think blogging is meant for the blogger, the readers, or both? Why?
Writing is always a triangle. The writer is at one point, the readers at another, and the message at a third. What good is it trying to articulate anything unless one has an audience in mind?
Are you reading anything right now?
Of course. I’m always reading, usually more than one book. On my desk I have Stanley Plumly’s latest volume of poetry, Orphan Hours. Beside my chair I have The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride. On my bedside table I have Endgame, by Frank Brady.
Do you habitually follow any blogs?
Yes. I get some by e-mail, some at Feedly, and some I visit by going to my own blog and clicking on “book blogs.”