Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (47 of 51)
Location: Vicksburg, MS USA
In My Own Words:
Everyone wants to be something when they grow up. I always wanted to be a writer. Faced with the necessity of earning a living, I obtained my undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering. After retirement, I started writing reviews for Amazon and, at the age of 66, got back to my original interest of being a writer. My first short story, Josette, was accepted at the age of 68 by Sky… Read more
Everyone wants to be something when they grow up. I always wanted to be a writer. Faced with the necessity of earning a living, I obtained my undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering. After retirement, I started writing reviews for Amazon and, at the age of 66, got back to my original interest of being a writer. My first short story, Josette, was accepted at the age of 68 by Skyline Magazine, and appeared in the February 2005 issue. It is available as an electronic file if you have an email address and Adobe Reader software. Another short story, Lila, appeared in SpinningS Magazine in March 2005 (the archive was still on the Web the last time I looked). At this writing, various additional short stories and several poems are floating around the system being reviewed by various editors. I would note that 'Josette' was accepted on the fifth try, so it pays to keep trying. 'Lila' was accepted on the third try. I do not write novels.
I don't travel as much as I used to when I traveled on various airlines to points around the world (flying now seems to aggravate a prostate problem). I still do some trips around the area, stop over to the Jackson area sometimes to hear musician friends play at clubs, attend local events, stay affiliated with the Vicksburg Art Association and Vicksburg Blues Society, and sometimes take friends to lunch or dinner. I sometimes drop down about 30 miles to the south to Wildman's Den of Sin (one of those places where I can sing karaoke, and nobody cares if I sing off key) - when the weather is good, some of my friends ride their motorcycles down. In summary, I still have a life.
I have been reading novels since I was in grade school about 60 years ago, starting with children's novels. During that time I have read a couple thousand books - probably more (I don't keep track). They are in the back of my mind when I write reviews on Amazon. I rate books based on the category they fall into, e.g., literature, pulp fiction, action/adventure, poetry, romance, children's books, etc. I sometimes review DVD's, music CDs, or other products. I sometimes delete older reviews to keep my list of reviews manageable, so I have written more than I presently have posted. I do not intentionally write annonymous reviews which I consider poison pen (three older ones showed up that way by accident). My e-mail address is in my profile if someone disagrees with me, and I have received sharp notes from a couple authors or from rabid fans but, as Harry Truman said, if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.
So, how do I select books to read? Sometimes I am familiar with authors from past reading. Sometimes I read through reviews written by other Amazon reviewers (the reason for having friends and favorites). Sometimes I browse through bookstores for books that look interesting. Sometimes I look through the list of Pulitzer Prize winners or Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I get books as gifts (my oldest niece introduced me to books by Sue Grafton and a couple other authors); and sometimes authors who are confident in their writing send me ARC copies. I normally do not respond to email advertising that is promoting a book, and I usually ignore Amazon recommendations.
And how do I determine ratings? A book really has to be sucking swamp water for some reason before I will give it one star. If a book holds my interest, and I finish it, it will probably get three stars unless there is a serious flaw (maybe four, just for having a unique plot). Books that are well written, and hold my attention enough to stay up late, will probably get four or five stars -the difference is somewhat subjective. I allow for literary license but get annoyed by careless errors. Amazon just told me I am at tht 4,000 character limit.
Top Reviewer Ranking: 105,922 (Learn More) - Total Helpful Votes: 47 of 51