Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Serpent

“What in the name of God is that?” Brenda’s voice hissed, jarring Carl’s attention, as the unexpected sound erupted from behind his left shoulder. “Why do you do that? You startled the hell out of me.” “Sorry. Well, what is it?” … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

Gingerly Approaching a Moroccan Cooking Binge

Last night, our meal’s main course was Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon, Olives, and Harissa. I made the harissa, which delivers one of my favorite flavors,the day before. I served the chicken over brown rice, alongside a few cucumber spears, … Continue reading

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Here’s to Boston

Thanks to this morning’s newsletter (Fast Forward)  from the Boston Globe, I learned that today is the 120th anniversary of the launch of the first subway in this country. At 6:00 a.m. on September 1, 1897, one hundred people rode … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Congressional Hypocrites

I read this morning that some people, especially in Congress, question whether a legitimate role of government is to help people deal with and recover from catastrophe. The argument, as I understand it, is that neighbors, not government, should help … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harvey

I think it’s impossible to write, with any degree of realism, about living through a flood like that facing the people in and around Houston, Texas today. It’s not just Houston. We ought to remind ourselves that Bay City and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Speechnotes

My post last night, in which I complained about not having speech-to-text software, led me to do a search this morning. Sure enough, I found free speech to text software online at https://speechnotes.co. I am surprised that it is reasonably … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clenched

Dangling from a mesquite shrub on the edge of a cliff, nothing below me but sharp rocks a thousand feet below, I reach up for that helping hand that’s not there. It’s dark here on the precipice, dark and lonely, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Orwell’s Legacy

I remember only vaguely reading George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London and Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.  But I read them all. My … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Price of being Pensive

I read this morning, in the August 3, 2017 online English version of Corriere della Sera about a German man named Roland Siedler, who made a habit of eating and drinking at multiple fine restaurants and bars in Florence, Italy and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nadir is the Cusp of the Fourth House

I thought something had changed in me. I thought I had become someone else. But, no, I’m back to the old normal. Back to the old me. For several weeks now, I’ve been getting up late. For me, late is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing and Thinking and Feeling

We learn about ourselves from our writing. At least some of us do. If we study the words we use in stories and essays we write, we discern patterns that—admittedly beyond the edges of the scientific method—inform us about who … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Impeachara

I do love this “commercial.” Would that it were not fantasy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mourning, Anger, and Bleak Despair

Today, this day after the monstrous attacks in Barcelona and other parts of Spain, I mourn for the dead and injured and their friends and families. And I mourn for civilization, an experiment our species going terribly wrong. We are … Continue reading

Posted in Rant | Leave a comment

Desierto

I watched Desierto tonight. It’s not an uplifting film. It’s an action/horror film whose premise is that a group of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. are forced to abandon the truck in which they are being transported. Because … Continue reading

Posted in Film | Leave a comment

A Taste of the Globe

My global gastronomical journey restarted yesterday afternoon when my sister-in-law came to the house with a bottle of Babich sauvignon blanc, some grapes, crackers, and a couple of cheeses. We added to the feast with garlic-and-jalapeño-stuffed olives. As we sat … Continue reading

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

A Diverse Ending

We saw the  Earth shudder when the first nuclear blast took place. Though we were only a few hundred miles above Earth, we could tell something ghastly was happening below us. The Earth winced, like a person stabbed with a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Scattered

Yesterday, as I was searching for recipes of various kinds, I stumbled upon a website, www.oldfatguy.ca, that intrigues me. The proprietor, who lives in the mountains of British Columbia, enjoys cooking as much as I do, perhaps more. And he … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thrice

Think about the word, “relative.” Are you thinking about a cousin or has the level of humidity in the air captured your attention? Or, perhaps you’re thinking of the degree of connectedness between multiple concepts. Now, think about “aspic.” Does … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drowning in My Own Tears

I wish I knew what part of my psyche is so fragile that I am moved to tears by simple things, things that may move normal people in some way, but don’t twist their spigots the way they do mine. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Who Are We?

Calvin stood motionless as he observed the magnificent beast walk past him, just a few feet away. Apparently, the unicorn did not see Calvin. Otherwise, the animal would have bolted. Instead, it was the picture of serenity as it grazed … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Philosophy, Writing | Leave a comment

Blue Eyes

Her penetrating eyes were talons. Once they had him in their grip, he was helpless. Though he was a victim, he was willing prey. He treasured every glance, every sweep of her eyes across his face. She knew the power of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Five Years

This post, number 2415, marks the fifth anniversary of this blog: August 10, 2012 marked my first post here. I’d written hundreds of other posts on other blogs I’d started years earlier, but that first post on a blog that … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Punishment

In last night’s nightmare, I was behind Janine and another woman. We were on our backs inside a tiny tunnel, the ceiling of which was just inches above my face. The two of them were riding on their backs on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scrawl

There’s something about the word “scrawl” that I find appealing. Appealing may be the wrong word. Magnetic might be more appropriate. I say this because I’ve used the word in several posts on my blog. In one, I named a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

Cars

I drove a car, which my neighbor had borrowed  from a friend, to the gas station. Actually, he had traded vehicles with another friend; he had let his friend use his nondescript sedan in exchange for the use of his … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | 2 Comments