Who Am I to Post A List Of Kentucky's Authors?
It may be easier to start with who I am not.
I am not a literary scholar. I did learn the difference between prose and poetry from Lane Allen, but my knowledge of literary styles and devices ends there. Ask me not to parse passion from pathos, for I would plummet.
I am not a published writer. I do write: biographies, fiction. I hope to one day publish my writings but that’s another story.
I am not a polished writer. I still struggle with the basics of writing skills, such as grammar and sometimes punctuation and sometimes using words accurately, eloquently. I don't think I could ever match the grandiloquent vocabulary of Kentucky's pre-World War II writers, who can?
I am a reader.
I hold forth this single avocation as my only credential to post my list of Kentucky authors.
I read to experience the story, to be carried by the current of the story.
I also study style as I read, the way the writer spins the tale. I watch how words are used. I keep track of how the writer reveals and ripens the main characters. The thread of the story is important to me and this is where I wish not but often find most of my criticisms. Of course, the landing, the way the tale ends, is my final taste test.
I am a reader, yet I am also a spectator of the reader, of myself, measuring how the written words flow from the pages and connect with me.
So, what is my credential for posting my list of Kentucky's authors: I read. I read from the writings of Kentucky's authors.
There is, of course, more about me than that I read.
I am the husband of a marvelous wife, a soul companion, a delightful woman.
I am the proud father of three grown sons, men of distinction.
I am the son of missionaries, raised in central Africa with my two brothers, many years ago: an ordinary family who were in an extraordinary setting. (Read about it here.)
I am old fashioned and somewhat set in my ways, with a myriad of interests, maybe too many.
I am interested in the flowers alongside the road, the eyes of my wife, the way a fence follows a field, clouds in the sky, a child at play, the rain passing through the trees, a cyclist on a city street, the temperature outside, the sounds of a distant train, people in conversation, the movement of water, the future of cell phones and, obviously, Kentucky authors.
It seems that my personal time is shared between collections, recollections and introspection. I twiddle with transistor radios (my collection), with small trains, with woodwork, with lawnmowers, with cooking, with counseling, with my cat. I freed myself from facebook and cable TV. I think of my past more often these days and I pressure myself less than I used to.
Educated as a forest ecologist and hydrologist, I am also a frustrated historian and an amateur geologist. Where others might see trees and rocks and streams and farms, I see communities, processes, patterns and cycles.
I am a believer that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who’s sacrifice of death on the cross paid my debt of sin and, as Scripture explains, I now dwell with the Spirit of God as an adopted child of Almighty God. (See my library of Christian literature here.)
I am a Kentuckian.
I am Ray Albright.