bits and pieces

I finished reading that collection of short stories, Jesus’ Son, by Denis Johnson. And even though most of the stories were published in places like The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Paris Review, I just don’t get what’s appealing (or even well done) about them. Guess my stuff will never appear on those pages. (I seem to be okay with that.)

Now I’m re-reading Bruno’s Dream by Iris Murdoch. Altogether different kind of story telling.

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I also finished a first draft of the story of the man wandering in the woods and touching on many of the points of the hero’s journey (which I wrote about a little bit here). It’s nearly 4,000 words! I don’t think this writing approach worked for me. About half way through I disregarded whatever the next step of the hero’s journey was according to the scholars and just wrote in the direction the story was taking itself. If the second half does happen to line up with the HJ, then it was not done so consciously. (I seem to be okay with that, too.)


The photo above is the last known image of Peregrine. Peregrine was a log — about four feet long — that floated around my lake for years. It was part of a burn pile of trees removed from the valley (to make way for the lake), and it didn’t burn fully. When the lake filled, Peregrine floated to the surface and then just seemed to wander around the lake. Each time we visited, we’d seek it, and while it was often by the spillways, it was just as often at the other end of the lake. Some times it was high and dry when the leaking lake water receded, and then it would be moved when a storm recharged the lake.

Peregrine wandered this way for years, but I noticed that after a while it was floating lower in the water. Then, on one visit, I could no longer find it. That was years ago. I suspect that it got sufficiently water logged that it could sink. So it’s possible Peregrine is still in the lake, on the bottom.

Peregrine got its name from a sort of contest I held on my old blog. Readers suggested names, and this name came from someone in a place called Alabama (I know, it sounds made up). She said it was suited to the log’s wandering nature, and I agreed. (My truck, Prolechariot, was also named this way.)

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When I was a boy and even a young man, I loved violent storms. I loved to watch the sky light up and hear the crash and roll of thunder. I enjoyed seeing the branches of the tall trees getting whipped around by the strong winds. I suppose it was an early appreciation of forces greater than I am.

These days, not so much. I’ve noticed my appreciation of a good storm has diminished over my decades of being a homeowner. My house is near the top of a hill, so while I don’t have the basement flooding that many of my friends do (including my son whose first floor is partially below ground level), the high situation seems to subject my house to more of the force of the storm. In recent years I’ve spent nearly $10,000 on a series of sometimes ineffective roof repairs. And though this last time seems to have finally fixed the problem of the leaking skylight (by removing it altogether), I still listen for dripping water in that room, even during a light drizzle, and I still have to do something about the stained ceiling in there.

Plus my poor dog, Flike, is terrified of thunder (and flies). He cowers in the shower stall of our master bathroom at the slightest rumble (which has included our neighbor two doors down throttling the engine of his motorcycle). Friends have suggested Benadryl and thunder vests, but as soon as the thunder stops, he’s back to his ten-year-old puppy self.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic, Rants and ruminations

One Comment on “bits and pieces”


  1. I love storms. And the only way to avoid a leaking skylight is by not having one at all. Good job!


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