Philes and Phobias

The first post is important – as important as any other first for those who find extra meaning in the number one. I am not such a person; however, I can play along. The first page of the first chapter is not the place for revelations; the end of my story should not be my beginning here. There are things I need to say that cannot be said to anyone who knows me, yet I cannot continue being silent. In time, I will tell you everything about me except my true name, for names can become powerful when stolen.

To begin: my first name is not Jane, but it describes me fairly well. Errs is misspelled, which is kind of funny if you think about it. I tell nosy people that I’m six years older than I am because I look six years younger. Although I’ve been engaged 1.5 times, I’ve never been married and plan to remain a single mom until Hell freezes over. (Also, I don’t believe in Hell.)

The only person I trust often tells me that he’s on to me: he says that I like people to think I’m odd when I’m actually “kind of all right.” In truth, I am odd, but no more so than anyone else; I’m just more honest about it. His opinion means everything to me, but he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. He has a mental list of my discovered attributes and quirks, likes and aversions, fears and favorites. The list is incomplete until he learns the worst of me.

Let us begin with the best of me:

The written word is my greatest addiction. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in…wait for it…English, but I went one step further and achieved a minor in Creative Writing because there just wasn’t enough English in my English degree. Of course, this did create a problem with my having to take an extra semester of courses in any other topic because I had too many credits for my major, but that is another story and shall be told another time.

In my world, reading is a sport. Each January 1st, I start with a fresh goal: the number of books and the number of pages to be read by December 31st. This is not a New Year’s resolution – those are rarely kept and usually have more to do with waistline subtraction. This is training. Pretty much every library in the known universe has a reading competition. And, yes, I compete. Last year, I won. That may have been because I was the only one in Munchkinland to actually meet the library’s quota…but I digress. In 2013, I read 50 books and over 16,000 pages; for 2014, I’m aiming for 60 and 20,000.

I believe that Bibliophiles are born not made; my love of reading is in my DNA. My grandfather could not go through a day without a paperback and two packs of unfiltered; he was a chain-smoking book hoarder who made sideways comments about my excessive reading. My mother is a librarian and a lifelong book enthusiast. She has been known to read books to rags, replace them, and then read the replacements to shreds. For a good portion of my life, I have only been recognized when carrying a book. My life can be defined by my love of reading – my personality analyzed by my eclectic taste in genres.

Just to add another generation to the genetic argument, let me tell you about my son: he’s still in elementary school, and he makes all who have read before him appear illiterate. I am convinced that if anyone can engineer the technology that will allow people to be scanned into stories and play out the action, it will be my kid. I’ve already volunteered to be the guinea pig.

Reading is not the only aspect of my love affair with English. I also like to write the books. If not for this pesky fear of success and happiness (not failure), perhaps someone outside my alma mater would be familiar with my work. As it is, I’ve not even tried to be published since senior year, this post being the exception. The trauma behind this publishing block started in 2010. I’m supposed to be over it, but I’ve never been one to forgive or forget. This quality was quite handy when taking five English and Writing courses at once; not so handy for moving on already.

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