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Florida Writers Conference Blog

By Alison Nissen

I am often overwhelmed by my own credentials. They aren’t really that impressive, but I fret, nonetheless.

I would review the literary canon at my collegiate library and think: Wow, how am I supposed to read ALL of that? Then I would take, from the shelves, classics. I would hold them, open them, smell them. I would rub their worn leaves between my fingers, caressing the pulpy paper. The musty scent of the stacks would engulf me and I would spend the next hour perusing Hawthorne, Hemmingway, or Homer. I’d review the Forward. I’d test the weight. I’d read the first and last lines. Then, I’d put it back.

I would wander back to my dorm and hunker down for a night with Fanny Flagg or Robert Ludwig to keep me company.

Why? Because I didn’t really want to READ the classics. I just wanted to say…

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