Posted tagged ‘The Swimmer’

bits and pieces

January 25, 2021

I recently watched the movie “The Swimmer” based on the short story of that name by John Cheever. I had read the collected stories of Cheever *mumble* decades ago, and watching that film made me want to read his stuff again. So I found a used copy online (through ABE Books, which I understand is now owned by Amazon). It was listed as hardcover, with the dust jacket, and in like-new condition. And all for $5.00. So I ordered it.

When it came last week, I got a battered, sun-faded, paperback copy of it. Readable, yes, but not what I had ordered. So, with no hope of any response or satisfaction, I wrote to the bookseller explaining my disappointment. I was surprised two days later when I received a contrite email from the bookseller saying they did not have the hardcover copy I wanted and so they were refunding my purchase. Small victories.

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Small Paul says “Jambo,” y’all!

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The brain is a wild place, and I’m writing a story about going down one of its freakier paths right now.

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It took me more than two weeks into the new year to get out to my cabin. It was nothing more than a relaxation visit in the middle of the work week, and the weather was just nice enuf for sitting in the sun. We saw no deer or bears or turkeys, and only a couple of squirrels. But the birds had found the filled feeder and had emptied it in the time we were away, so we refilled it, and they soon returned. Mostly tufted titmice, but some chickadees as well. There had been an ice storm down there (as there had been at home), and many trees had come down. At least one of the pines I’ve been cultivating was leaning drastically, but it is so deep in the brambles, that I can’t get to it to try righting it.

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I’ve actually written a couple of stories in recent weeks, but they’re only in first draft form, and I need to let them gestate for a while. I am still waiting for my next great subject to reveal itself, and I think I got spoiled with Obelus and how quickly and easily it all came to me from start to finish. I have to keep reminding myself that writing is hard, painstaking, and generally slow work.

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Right now I’m reading Huck Out West by Robert Coover. So far, it’s not happening for me. I’m really hoping that he’ll do something astonishing with the character that is a worthy follow up to the original, but I fear it’s just going to end up being a fan fiction.