On Writing,  publishing

I’m Reading…

…A lot of great short stories. 

I’ll be able to talk more about why I am doing this in a couple of weeks. After the Anthology Workshop is finished.

But note that I seldom talk about my reading in this blog. It’s just something I do.

Kris calls me a stealth reader, so it feels odd to actually be sitting out in public where she can see me with a pile of manuscripts (like the old days when we were editing Pulphouse and F&SF).

Reading in my family was a waste of time as far as my parents were concerned. So I learned early on to hide my reading and the silliness of that habit just stayed with me. Stunning that I became a writer.

Reading Andre Norton, Doc Savage, Edger Rice Burroughs, James Blish, Algis Budrys, and others got me out of that horrid abusive house when I was a kid and allowed me to be free among the stars.

So it was worth it to me to take the chance and hide my escapes back then.

That is the reason that writing now has to be an escape for me into a fun world, a place I want to be.

Can’t think of one damned reason to write about anything else.


  • Marsha

    “That is the reason that writing now has to be an escape for me into a fun world, a place I want to be.”

    YES! This, this, this. I don’t read dark and disturbing, make-me-cry, and I refuse to write it. I may have a dark moment in a story, but all will come out right and light in the end. Always. There is enough awful in the world without me adding to it.

  • Ellen

    Dean – I was also a stealth reader. As a farm kid I was expected to work and not waste my time reading. I hid books out in the corncrib, under the hay bales, and in the shop behind the tools, so I could sneak away to read and escape the daily grind of working. I love your statement that reading “allowed me to be free among the stars.” I agree.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Heh – I was a stealth reader too, but only because my family had an approved reading list and if I strayed, they got surly. The local library was a small, happy place. I got into the habit of wrapping my books on brown paper cover jackets “to keep them safe,” a habit I dropped once I got to college in the US and realized that I don’t have to apologize for my genre choices anymore.

  • David

    My mother never overcame that feeling that she should be working instead of reading. She grew up without a TV so oddly enough she can watch shows without feeling guilty for not working instead.