Apparently, I am either the first or second person in the world to translate all 38 of William Shakespeare's plays into today's English. (BOOKCAPS has done this kind of translation, but I don't know how many authors worked on their retellings of Shakespeare's plays. Of course, many people have written summaries.) I may also be the first person in the world to translate at least three of Ben Jonson's plays and at least two of John Ford's plays into today's English.
I have written under the pseudonym Martina Donna Ramone, but now I prefer to use my real name: David Bruce.
I would like to see my retellings of classic literature used in schools, so I give permission to the country of Finland (and all other countries) to buy one copy of my eBooks and give copies to all students forever. I also give permission to the state of Texas (and all other states) to buy one copy of my eBooks and give copies to all students forever. I also give permission to all teachers to buy one copy of my eBooks and give copies to all students forever.
Teachers need not actually teach my retellings. Teachers are welcome to give students copies of my eBooks as background material. For example, if they are teaching Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” teachers are welcome to give students copies of my “Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’: A Retelling in Prose” and tell students, “Here’s another ancient epic you may want to read in your spare time.”
I also write collections of anecdotes; most of the anecdotes are funny or at least interesting, while some provoke thinking.
One of my composition students, Maggie Wendell, wrote a paper about the first day of her first class as a freshman at Ohio University. It was a public-speaking class, and she was shocked when she learned that the professor was going to have the students speak for five minutes without preparation on a topic that the professor would tell them. Maggie is a student who likes to be super-prepared for every test and every assignment, so impromptu speaking is not at all her thing. When it was her turn and she got her topic, she immediately began staring at the back wall and spewing whatever verbal diarrhea came into her mind. She even invented an Asian-American friend as she talked about the youth in Asia. When her five minutes was up, she stopped talking and saw that the other students were looking at her and trying to stifle laughter. What was wrong? Were her pants unzipped? Her professor said, “Thank you, Ms. Wendell, for your enlightening talk on the youth in Asia, but your topic was euthanasia. You may know it better as mercy killing.” She said weakly, “I know what euthanasia is," sat down, and after the class was over, immediately dropped it and took another class. Fortunately, embarrassment plus time equals comedy, and by the time Maggie was a senior, she thought that what had happened was funny.
It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a cry rang out, and on a hot summer night in 1954, Josephine, wife of Carl Bruce, gave birth to a boy—me. Unfortunately, this young married couple allowed Reuben Saturday, Josephine’s brother, to name their first-born. Reuben, aka “The Joker,” decided that Bruce was a nice name, so he decided to name me Bruce Bruce. I have gone by my middle name—David—ever since.
Being named Bruce David Bruce hasn’t been all bad. Bank tellers remember me very quickly, so I don’t often have to show an ID. It can be fun in charades, also. When I was a counselor as a teenager at Camp Echoing Hills in Warsaw, Ohio, a fellow counselor gave the signs for “sounds like” and “two words,” then she pointed to a bruise on her leg twice. Bruise Bruise? Oh yeah, Bruce Bruce is the answer!
Uncle Reuben, by the way, gave me a haircut when I was in kindergarten. He cut my hair short and shaved a small bald spot on the back of my head. My mother wouldn’t let me go to school until the bald spot grew out again.
Of all my brothers and sisters (six in all), I am the only transplant to Athens, Ohio. I was born in Newark, Ohio, and have lived all around Southeastern Ohio. However, I moved to Athens to go to Ohio University and have never left.
At Ohio U, I never could make up my mind whether to major in English or Philosophy, so I got a bachelor’s degree with a double major in both areas, then I added a master’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Philosophy. Currently and for a long time to come (I eat fruits and veggies), I am spending my retirement writing books.