On Reading and Writing

Now and then I read a fiction novel.  Not so often, though.  I think I burned out on novels a decade or so ago.  I still read short stories, though.  And poetry.  That’s what I write and that’s what interests me and holds my attention.  Sometimes I read twice.  Sometimes three or more times.  That’s how I’ve learned my craft…those second and third readings.

When I want to relax, I read biographies or autobiographies of writers or historical non-fiction.  Right now,  I’m reading Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Nancy Milford.  She is one of my favorite poets and I don’t know much about her life other than the fact that she was very outspoken – for a woman – during her lifetime.  I didn’t know that, somewhere along the way, she developed a drinking and drug problem.  I learned that from the book’s preface.  That’s how far I am in the book.  It’s 608 pages.  I like the fact that the biographer spent time with Millay’s sister and had access to so many private papers and journals,and letters, etc.

I might take a day off,tomorrow and just read.