I had the whole day to myself today. My husband was off working so left at five thirty and while I managed to fob the dogs off for a while, it was only just gone eight when I set off with them down the road. This was the first time since my operation that I had walked them to the park, adding an extra mile to the journey, which was just as well as my good intentions to swim ended up falling by the wayside later.
Normally the first thing I play on a Saturday is the Kermode and Mayo film review, but today I wanted to first re-listen to a short story I had heard on Friday. It was Jonathan Franzen reading David Means’ story The Spot on the New Yorker fiction podcast. I tore through the podcast back catalogue last year and then the stories stopped updating, but I realised they must have made changes to the catalogue and resubscribed recently, finding five new short stories to enjoy.
This story was amazing – as was Franzen’s reading. It was largely concerned with a man who when the story opens was describing to a girl a particular spot on the water where it gets sucked down to the main water supply for Cleveland. The story uses the opposition of highly stylised language and dry humour, with shocking and sometimes grotesque content to spectacular effect. It is the sort of story that makes you want to give up trying to write, because it reads like lightening in a bottle. So weird and yet so compelling, so awful and yet so magnetic, so concerned with the every day elements of life but also the wild and unusual. I won’t give the plot away but it is well worth a listen if you like your fiction.
So really, that was today’s excuse for no fiction. I did lie on the bed and toy with a couple of ideas, but they all seemed so inadequate that I decided to pass. Instead I got in the car and drove to a shop where the Internet had told me that I would find a new Logitech keyboard cover for my iPad. The Internet was right, bless it, and the keyboard was on sale. Win!
Driving back, I thought about going for a swim, but then noticed it was 30 degrees and really lost all motivation. Summer has really worn me down and it is Autumn and should not be 30. Plus I had already showered and a swim in chorine would need another shower – ah who was I kidding, I just didn’t feel like it.
I had rented the movie Danny Collins the night before so watched that and other then that, two loads of washing and another dog walk, I had little success in creating anything today, other then possibly another half inch around my waist. Oh and I also came across a great cover version of The Sound of Silence by a band called Disturbed.
I guess somedays it is more about enjoying what others have created for you.