Kelly A. Harrison at the beach
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other
but in looking outward in the same direction
. --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

From an interview with Kelly...

Q: What writers do you admire?

A: That's a tougher question than it appears. Typically, I like whomever I'm reading or whomever I've just read. I recently finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I'm still moved and haunted by that. But if we're talking classics, I have to start with Hemingway. He once said something to the effect that we need to "make and not show", meaning, I think, the writing should have people saying and doing. It's movement and not explication. If you look at his short stories, you see such a brilliant economy of prose. I just finished [Margaret] Atwood's Oryx and Crake. I'm a little behind in somethings. The novel was a bit of a letdown for me. I love much of what she's written, but I can't help feeling the ending just wasn't right with this one. I'm also reading Richard Bach's One, which I'm considering for a class I'm teaching to college freshmen.

Q: Well, that answers my other question about what you're reading now. What influenced you when you were young?

A: Is that a comment on my age? [laughs] I know, you meant my childhood. I loved things like the Encylopedia Brown books and the first one that really grabbed me as a girl was Harriet The Spy. I'll tell you a story. When I was in Kindergarten, I was reading Dick and Jane. See, there's confirmation of age! My teacher was talking with a parent and I was standing there reading this little book. My teacher asked what I was doing. Reading, I said. "Oh how cute. She thinks she's reading," she said to the parent. I was really reading. She pointed to some of the words, and I said them, and then she says to me, "Well, you're not supposed to be reading in Kindergarten" and then she did something with the parent. I remember being crushed, thinking I had somehow done something wrong. Next thing I know, I have to go into a small room with a different adult to be "tested". I was horrified. Then in fifth grade, I was reading Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series. I forget which book it was, but I didn't know what mitochondia were, so I asked my teacher what that word was. She said, "look it up." I said I tried but that word wasn't in the dictionary. She looked in her teacher's version, didn't see it, and then said something to the effect that I shouldn't be reading books with big words in them. But that didn't stop me. A year or two later I was thumbing through the index of a book my dad bought from some Time-Life series. There it was: mitochonria! I was amazed. I finally had an answer. I learned very quickly that adults don't have all the answers and adults aren't always right. I try to teach that in all of my classes.