Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes

Escape from Dreamland

For years, I’ve attached a name to the kitchen my wife and I share: French Kangaroo.  One of my nephews created the image to the left at my request; I use it on a Facebook page of the same name, … Continue reading

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Reviving the Town’s Soul

I’ve played with the town of Struggles, Arkansas, using it in a few vignettes I’ve posted on this blog and in a few stories I’ve drafted. When I conceived of the town, I had a specific picture of the place … Continue reading

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The People Who Feed Us

I’m embarrassed that I have not attached more value and significance to a large group of people who, collectively, play a vitally important part in my life. I’ve come late to an expanding appreciation that the food I eat has … Continue reading

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Scurrying Between Pity and Decency and Rage

I just sent a long email, and a text message, to a friend I’ve not seen in a long time. As we grow older and our friends morph into the diaspora of the aged, I wonder whether it’s safe to … Continue reading

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Uprooted by Wind and Madness

Last night, I heard heavy rain slam against the composition shingles above my head. I wished I were a child again, the sort of child who would go outside to experience that cold anger of the winter sky. But I’m … Continue reading

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The Awful Secret

A tiny knot of local would-be writers has been playing with the idea of strengthening our skills by marrying art with writing. The idea is to use a piece of art (painted by the husband of one of the women … Continue reading

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Hiding Behind Rainbows with a Machete in Hand

I dabble in reality the way other people I know dabble in fiction. Those other people write an occasional piece of fiction but they spend the majority of their writing time solidly entrenched in the real world. I, on the … Continue reading

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Spinning Broken Webs

Some days…or weeks or months…I’m ashamed to claim that I am a blogger. I miss posting for days or weeks. And then, when I do, my posts are so random that I cannot in good conscience suggest to a living … Continue reading

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Last Man Down

“On the cusp of my departure, my words are hollow and weak, as I struggle to describe the man I wished I’d been, a speck of the decent man I failed to be. I tried but I failed. I could … Continue reading

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Exploring the World of Wine

Last night’s World Tour of Wines stopped off in Auckland, New Zealand, with a couple of side trips to Christchurch and Wellington. We sampled wines from only a few of New Zealand’s seven hundred wineries; I suppose the only way … Continue reading

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Bitterly Wonderful

Where would the world be in the absence of glass and screen? How would we let light enter our homes in the absence of glass? Would we live closed off from the world, choosing darkness over exposure to weather and … Continue reading

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Scorn

You look around you and you see people who could have been friends but are not. They don’t reject you, they simply don’t embrace you. They are not bad, they do not wish you ill, it’s only that you do … Continue reading

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Affixing Blame on Tuesday

I resent Facebook. Facebook extracted depth from communication, replacing meaning with volume. Depth now splashes in shallow Facebook pools, trying in vain to find its way to the life-sustaining oxygen of conversation. Conversation that died at Facebook’s hand.  Conversation withered … Continue reading

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Edging Toward Utopia

When we moved to Hot Springs Village, I assumed we’d identified our last house and our last community. Speaking only for myself, and not for my wife, I am having second thoughts. I don’t know this is the place for … Continue reading

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African Eatery

We’re going to lunch today at a new African restaurant in Alexander, AR (AKA suburban Little Rock). The place is called Kontiki African Restaurant and today is its grand opening. My spouse is rightfully cautious about going to restaurants during … Continue reading

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Someone New

If the day fails to set your soul on fire, return to the mattress and sleep. If the week fails to give you hope, take refuge in a memory and rest there. If the month fails to give you solace, … Continue reading

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The Bootstrap Boys – Poverty Line

This video was played during the collection for a charity at the Unitarian Universalist Village Church in Hot Springs Village, AR last Sunday (and a Sunday before). I love the music!

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I Need to Open a Restaurant

The painters came yesterday. Three of them. Father and two sons. One of the sons is the man in charge. Our front door is no longer bubble gum pink; it is belligerent red, an aggressive tone that cautions all visitors … Continue reading

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2500

Over the years, I’ve managed to adjust. I’ve taught myself to laugh or shrug when my body and mind would be inclined to offer tears as the automatic response to a stimulus. The replacement of laughs or shrugs for tears … Continue reading

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Food Fetish

We enjoy food. “We” means my wife and I. We’re both food aficionados. We’re fond of food. Food feeds our “freak,” as it were. Some people think it odd that I post photos of food, both on my blog and … Continue reading

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Bristling Sardines by the Wayside

Sometimes I think I have too many stories whirling around in my head. Too many incomplete ideas seek a foothold in a brain unable or unwilling to provide a foundation. Yeah, that’s it. I’m flush with ideas, but not with … Continue reading

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Water Memories and Wishful Thinking

Wave upon wave of moisture-laden air sweeps across the mountain-top, if that’s what this is—this peak upon which my house was built. The level of humidity in the air is most obvious when I look out to the screened porch … Continue reading

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News from the Sewer

It’s becoming increasingly hard to believe anything I see or read in the “news.” Part of the problem is that I don’t know what constitutes “news: anymore. Fox News on television certainly is not news any longer; it’s a combination … Continue reading

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They Don’t Make Clothes for Men Like Me

My body shape does not correspond to the body shapes for which clothing manufacturers make clothing. It’s not just the fact that I am over-ample in the belly at the moment, though I am. Even if I lost my pot-belly … Continue reading

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Short Little Span of Attention

Finally, after an extensive hiatus, I’ll attend a writers’ critique group in downtown Hot Springs today. I’ll take for review a revised first chapter of a would-be-novel I’ve let languish for several months. Whether I continue will depend on whether … Continue reading

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