In general, I have an allergic reaction to writing personal info for the sake of “being personal.” There is a poetry journal somewhere out there in which my bio-line reads something like, “L .R. Smith writes poetry and figures that the rest is nobody’s damn business.” Not one of my finer moments. Fortunately, I now carry an epi-pen for just such occasions as these. So, let me give myself a stab… Right then.
Circuitous, but not infelicitous. That’s the route thus far. I wanted to do voices for cartoons when I was little, but having no idea where to start with that, decided upon plan B: become a poet. Poets, however, need day jobs, so I thought I’d become an academic and write in my spare time. We should probably wait a moment for the academics to stop laughing, catch their breath, and crawl back onto their chairs.
To continue, I put my doctorate in Medieval Studies to good use teaching for several years until I decided that if I was going to get up at 5 a.m. every morning to write, it had damn well better be to write what I wanted and not to work on lecture notes. So, I moved over to “the dark side” of college administration. While I’ve never regretted that switch, I do enjoy the occasional opportunity to teach and share the material I love so much with students who think of the Middle Ages as a historical and aesthetic hiccup between the respective glories of Antiquity and the Renaissance.
While the stories arise from my work in Anglo-Saxon literature and history occupy the majority of my time, I do still write poetry and other things. I’m currently working on a series of poems based (for lack of a better word) on Mendelssohn’s Lieder Ohne Worte. Scriabin has always been more my style than the Romantics, but these pieces by Mendelssohn have, in the last years, become a sort of touchstone back to my mother who died when I was young. This was the style of thing I remember her playing, and the practicing and interpreting of these Lieder has opened new “conversations” with her.
Any more blathering and I’ll need to stab myself with the epi-pen again.