I went to a small rural high school but I was extremely fortunate to have gifted teachers and a strong curriculum.
Several teachers proved influential in my development as a writer— but because of my participation in the school newspaper (which was an English class at my high school: journalism I, II and III), I spent three years in journalism and also sophomore British Lit with one teacher who served as an anchor for many of us.
She encouraged me to go to my first writers conference at University of Pennsylvania in early spring 1991. She drilled the merits of word choice and active voice into my head as fiercely as my math teachers emphasized multiplication tables.
I now wonder if the education system has changed and that’s why command of the English language has faltered (but realistically I know technology and the instantaneous nature of communication and the “teaching to the test environment has led to this decline) or if I just took to the lessons, instinctually knowing that I needed to master them.
Or if I had great teachers.
As a teen, someone (probably this influential teacher Mrs. Herr) told me to keep a list of the books I read— which I did probably for 15 years or so. I even computerized it in the late 1990s which is also how I lost track of the list.
Sometimes electronic records are more ephemeral than pen and paper. (note: the original phrase I put there was ‘computerized things’ but Mrs. Herr did not like the word thing and would cross it out with her red pen. So I made an edit. No, I edited. Because made an edit is unnecessarily wordy.)
But now we have Goodreads. I had an account when it was new, but never quite connected fully with it. Perhaps because I became a mother and read so much less.
But yesterday I recommitted, in part because of this: How to Promote Your Book on Goodreads (Author Media)
Relaunching my account has been an experience in itself so that will be the topic of a later post.
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