About Me:

I’m Carolyn. I read voraciously and omnivorously, but only about 1% as much as I’d like to.

CarolynOI work as an editor, proofreader, and writer; someday I hope to return to teaching.

I collect Nancy Drew books (the old ones with yellow bindings and black-edged pages), most other books, vintage brooches, postcards, bookmarks, and tattoos.

My husband and I spend a lot of time quoting lines from Parks and Recreation, Firefly, The West Wing, and Star Wars to each other. We’re nerds. Nerds who also love to cook and spend relatively short periods of time out of doors (hiking yes, camping no). We used to post (sporadically) about our culinary bag of tricks at The Os At Home.

About the Blog:

Rosemary & Reading Glasses was born from two New Year’s resolutions: (1) to read more and re-watch favorite tv shows less (although that devolved into watching Battlestar Galactica instead. . . UPDATE 1/15: Yeah, we’re watching it again.) and (2) to memorize one poem every week.

I didn’t manage to memorize fifty-two poems, but in the four years since I started the site, I’ve read a huge amount of poetry (not to mention fiction), met delightful fellow book-lovers, and generally enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Why Rosemary? Allow me to quote (the admittedly mad) Ophelia: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” (Hamlet 4.5). Chasing a toddler around—a toddler who doesn’t much care for sleep—isn’t conducive to reading or remembering much of anything, but I wanted to create a record of what I’ve read and thought about, even if it’s just for a few years. A commonplace book that can’t be misplaced, if you will.

Why Reading Glasses? I’ve had distance glasses since I was eight years old, and when I turned twenty-one, my doctor told me that bifocals were in order. I couldn’t stomach it, so I’ve had two pairs of glasses ever since. Whenever I put my reading glasses on, I feel like I’ve made a serious commitment to a reading session.

Thank you for stopping by, and happy reading!

41 thoughts on “About

  1. We have so much in common, Carolyn. Really happy to have found you and your blog and looking for ward to chatting with you more. 🙂

    What did you study in grad. school? What were you teaching?

    • Likewise!

      I was in grad school for English lit, and my focus was early modern drama and poetry . . . with an emphasis on obstetrics and gynecology. Weird, I know. I read lots and lots of midwifery manuals (some in blackletter, whichI hope I never need to do again). Maternal death and the performance of maternity (say 1540ish through 1674) were my areas of focus.

      I taught freshman comp & research classes (don’t we all?), modern lit (1900-1950), drama, Shakespeare, and Milton.

      How about you?

      • I love that you examained midwifery and women’s health! That is fascinating. There is so much there to unravel and dig around in regarding socio-politcal, economics, relationships, etc.

        My emphasis in Victorian British was the novel and my research focused on the ways in which both men and women were portrayed as vampiric figures and how that image evolved and shifted over the course of the entire century. LOTS of gender and psych study, mythology of vampires throughout history and across cultures — went into some pretty bizarre territory. I grounded in the late Romantics, because that is when the image first became very pronounced in Western lit., and moved forward from there, hence my unusual depth of involvement with Byron, Keats and Shelley. But I did do Coleridge’s Christabel — another one for Guillermo! 🙂

        I taught Freshman Comp and developmental writing (my minor was in Composition and Literacy, so I do a lot of teaching of writing in all areas), but I also taught high school (which I am still doing now, but to home schooled high schoolers).

        I have one son too, though older than yours, and we are starting our 7th year of homeschooling. I write, edit, proofread, blah, blah, blah and try to remember who I was before I became a mom — heck, try to remember anything — and LOVE the time with him.

        Did you do both British and American for Modern lit? Who are your favorites?

        I’m teaching moderns for high school this year — we’re reading T. S. Eliot, Grahame Greene, Evelyn Waugh, O’Connor, and C.S. Lewis

      • Sooo much to talk about here! How did you become interested in the vampiric figure? Do you/did you write commentary pieces on the recent spate of vampire books/series?

        Both British and American (and a little Continental) for Modern lit — Woolf, Hemingway, Yeats, H.D., Hughes, Kafka, Garcia Lorca, Eliot, more I’m forgetting. . . my favorite novel to teach was The Razor’s Edge (1944), actually. I collect Maugham’s novels. Brideshead Revisited is one of my favorite novels, but I couldn’t work it into the syllabus.

      • Honestly, I don’t know how I got interested, all I remember was I was working on it on my own well-before grad school. My (eventual) thesis chair insisted that there was no vampiric presence in Jane Eyre and made me prove it beyond doubt before she’d agree to chair my committee. Writing something about the current stuff is on the to-do list…..has been for a few years. By the time I get to it, it will be old news, but I’ll probably write it anyway. ;0

        I like Maugham a lot — need to read more of him. Razor’s Edge was aways a favorite movie growing up, but I haven’t read the book. I adore Woolf — which is your favorite? And Eliot — have been a recent convert to him…..reading Murder in the Cathedral right now and The Four Quartets inspired a lot of my novel……reading and teaching Brideshead for the first time this year — don’ know Waugh at all except by rep. I’ll take your love of the novel as a strong recommendation!

        Are you still teaching? Doing any writing?

      • The Razor’s Edge is amazing — I think you’ll love it. My favorite of Woolf’s novels is Mrs. Dalloway (I know it so well that I can almost cite page numbers). I’ve never read Murder in the Cathedral, but I’ve loved Four Quartets since high school (this is embarrassing, but: my first AIM screen name was taken from a line in Little Gidding).

        What’s your novel about, if you feel comfortable sharing?

        I haven’t been teaching lately, though I’ve been on the private school market for awhile. I do write a little (here, and some poetry, and a novel that I wrote during Nanowrimo last year that I still haven’t edited. . . . I’d like to write more!

      • I will definitely check out The Razor’s Edge soon! Mrs. Dalloway is wonderful — have you seen The Hours? I love how they weave in Woolf with a contemporary Mrs. Dalloway and a woman who read and was deeply affected by the novel. It is such a moving film and really gets at the effectiveness of Woolf’s stream of consciousness technique.

        My novel is a riff on the Persephone myth and in a nutshell is about a young woman who doesn’t believe in love. I’m nearly finished with a first draft, but I’ve got a ways to go.

        It’s funny that you wrote your novel during Nano — that’s how I motivated myself to start mine two years ago. Did you really write that much every day? That is so fascinating to me. Pull it out of the drawer, girl! 🙂 It’s hard to write and mother. I do what I can and try not to worry. Everything has it’s season. I hope you can find the time to continue writing. I love your blog and you seem to have a gift.

        What does it mean that you’ve been on the private school market? Are you looking? Subbing?

      • Love The Hours, both the novel and the movie.

        I love the premise of your novel! Is it set in contemporary America, or elsewhere? I have a friend, a poet, who’s at work on a sequence of poems about the ancient Sumerian version of the Persephone myth. So cool.

        I did indeed write that much during Nano — but I think it’s because my husband and I made it a project together. We each started a novel, so every night, as soon as H went to sleep, we’d cheer each other on as we clickety-clacked away on the computers. It was fun! Writing that fast means there’s so much editing, though . . . sigh. One of these days.

        As for the market: I’m looking for a full-time position as a HS English teacher, but not subbing (you would not believe the absurd cost of childcare in Boston.). The hiring season is pretty much over for this year, so I have a respite until the winter.

      • Should I read the novel? Will I like it after falling in love with the movie?

        My novel is set in the past — no real exact date — with a landscape similar to what you’d find in Tuscany, I suppose. Lots of gardens and also the sea…..I want it to have the feel of a fairy tale, someplace where things are not as we know them, because there are quite a few elements of fantasy or magic along the lines of Tolkien or Lewis, but more subtle, if that makes sense. Do you listen to Enya? Or know of the pre-Raphaelite painters? If my novel makes a reader feel as though she is in one of those songs or paintings, I’ll feel it is a success…..that’s a tall order, right?

        Your friend;s work with the Sumerian myths sounds fascinating! I love how so many myths cross over cultures. I did a lot of research into myths for my thesis. Let me know if your friend’s work is ever available for reading!

        Kudos to you for making it through the boot camp of Nano!!!! That is so awesome that you guys did it together — is your husband a writer, too? That must be nice, to have someone to talk with about the craft, etc. What was your novel about? Oh, and about that rapid-fire drafting — writing 15 minutes a day is like that — I write and write and read NOTHING over. I know I will have to rewrite most of it, but I figured the only way I’d ever finish the thing was just to forge ahead and not look back. You do what you gotta do, right?

        Have you taught high school before? I love working with high school kids — they keep me on my toes!

      • I think The Hours is just as good as the movie, if not better. I’d give it a try.

        Your novel sounds lovely — I think I know exactly what you’re trying to evoke. It also sounds similar to, though sunnier than, C.S. Lewis’s Til We Have Faces . . . is that a good comparison? I hope you’ll share drafts when you’re ready for readers!

        I wish I had a good one-sentence description of my novel — that’s one of its many faults, I’m afraid. It’s sitting on the fence between lit fic and sci fi, with a protagonist in her late teens, but it’s not YA. Oh dear. What a muddle.

        I haven’t taught high school before, though I’ve had a few high school students in my classes from time to time. I was always so pleased with their enthusiasm and desire to do well; that’s one of the reasons I’d like to make the move to high school teaching.

      • OK, adding The Hours to the list….thanks!

        Funny you should mention Lewis’s faces…..it is an inspiration to me. Not sure it’s sunnier, however….I had originally figured on it being a fairy story for children. then the plot grew more complex and my heroine grew older and things got very dark. It became a novel and like yours, she is in her late teens and it is NOT a YA book. Hmmmm…..sounds like we have even more in common. 🙂 I would be most happy to share a draft with you, and please feel free to reciprocate if you are so inclined to with your own novel. I’d love to read it. And one sentence descriptions are overrated. I use mine because I’m still writing and who knows how it will end up? It seems to satisfy most people and put a stop to questions I’m in no position to even want to answer. It’s all about self-preservation, see?

        Your energy — at least what I’m picking up from chatting with you — would appeal to high schoolers and because you’re connected to contemporary culture, you’d be able to pull all kinds of things in to show them how reading and writing is so relevant to everything they think about and live through. I hope you find the right place at the right time.

      • Thanks, Angela! I’m looking forward to reading your draft, and I think you’re right on about self-preservation — that’s why I need to get my one sentence together! So far I’ve shown the first page (yep, just that one) to a grand total of three people. The next twenty or so pages are covered in red ink, and that’s where I left off once I started the winter/spring round of interviews. And then I got sick, and then I started reading too much . . you know how it goes. But now I’m motivated to start again!

      • I love that you actually had the guts to give someone ONE page — that’s awesome! You’ll get your sentence — not sure how conducive Nano is to even being fully cognizant of what you are doing. Perhaps you might sit down one quiet (what’s that?) afternoon and read it uncritically with no threatening colored pen in hand and see what comes through to you on a full read…..I’m looking forward to seeing where it all takes you and chatting with you about it, if you are so inclined. Speaking of….didn’t mean to overcrowd your “About” page com-box with all of my chatter…..we can email, too. 🙂

      • I don’t mind! Thank you so much for the support — it’s very kind of you. I’m working on a short-short this week and then it’s back to the novel next week. And I’m happy to email if you are!

  2. One of the greatest tragedies of our time – Firefly getting cancelled. I don’t know if my partner in crime ever really got over the loss. I also think he’d leave me if Nathan Fillion showed up on our doorstep.
    Looking forward to your posts!

    • I agree with you completely! I loved Nathan Fillion in the new Much Ado (most delightful) —charming as ever. Looking forward to your posts too — love your blog title!

  3. Nice to meet you, Carolyn. I love the title you’ve chosen for your blog, and your bio here. I’ll look forward to reading and reviewing with you in the coming months 🙂

  4. Thanks for visiting Catching Days, Carolyn. It’s so nice to meet you. I love the name of your blog and the reason behind it and that we currently have the Shakespeare connection! And I LOVE The West Wing too : )

  5. Pingback: Recommended Reading (and a Classics Club Checkmark): Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon | Rosemary and Reading Glasses

  6. I have a memoir suggestion you might want to check out. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch. After her older sister died, Nina came up with a way to celebrate her sister’s life. She read a book a day for a year. It is a deeply moving tribute to her sister as well the importance and the healing power of reading.

  7. What a great About post! I love your cover photo as well. As a mother of three year old twins, I know what it’s like to spend more time running around and not enough time reading. Look forward to reading more of your blog!

  8. Intangible

    Life is dust and ash.
    The flesh is torn and hashed.
    Today is intangible and void.
    Dim, weak and halfway destroyed.
    It’s prone to slip and bound to fail.
    Yet we rest on its shaky frail.

  9. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Award | AlliesOpinions

  10. Pingback: What I Read in April & May 2018 | The Bookshelf of Emily J.

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