In his review of a new book about writing in yesterday's New York Times Book Review, Jim Holt wrote: "Look, writing is hard. It's like some vile, incurable disease: There are bad days, and there are worse days. And writing well is a two-stage process: 1) write not so well; 2) fix it."

Also this weekend, the Onion ran a story with the headline: "Unemployed, miserable man still remembers teacher who gave him a love of writing."

By Thomas Swick • Category: writing

darkness at noon

05/19/17 07:09

Yesterday at lunch a former colleague was telling me about how the push in the newsroom now is all toward video. While he was talking, waiters appeared at the table next to ours, with a lit candle stuck in a cannoli, and sang “Happy Birthday” to the woman who was eating by herself. I couldn’t decide which was sadder: a woman celebrating her birthday alone or journalists being made to shoot video.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Americans

one book

05/18/17 09:22

We had people over for dinner recently and one of the women, looking at my collection of books, asked me which was the most interesting. It caught me off guard. I’m used to people asking if I’ve read all my books. (“Twice,” I tell them.) People sometimes ask me what’s the most interesting place I’ve been, a question I always have trouble answering. But after a few seconds thought, I knew exactly what to tell her: Foreign Faces, by V.S. Pritchett, the book about Eastern Europe I bought several hours before spotting Hania behind the bar of London’s Mitre Hotel.   

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

too late

05/17/17 08:14

If only Anderson Cooper's indignation about Trump had existed 12 months ago, back when he couldn't stop talking about him and giving him free publicity.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Americans

You know you live in Florida when you pick up the newspaper and find that the story next to the one of the president sharing secrets with the Russians is about alligator relocation.

By Thomas Swick • Category: Americans

a glut of DJs

05/13/17 09:26

I spent Thursday night in Miami. At happy hour at the Perez Museum of Art a DJ worked outside on the patio. Downtown later in the evening, a DJ blasted music on the small rooftop bar of the Langford Hotel. Yesterday afternoon, stuck in traffic on I-95, I thought: How long before they put a DJ here?  

By Thomas Swick • Category: Americans