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From Fly Creek

January 2, 2014

How good to be back!

“Tis I, the Spirit of a Thousand Columns Past, back after a twelve-month silence to talk at you again in the flesh!” 

(Sorry, but I’ve just reveled in the 1951 “Christmas Carol” film starring Alistair Sim; I can’t get the language and tone out of my head. What a film!)

But I am back, like Jacob Marley, not to haunt you but to talk with you again, at least once a month. And how I’ve missed our visits! As you may remember, I took the year’s sabbatical because Parkinsonism was so wearing me down that I thought I’d better break off and catch up on a stack of other writing projects.

And I’m back, not because Parkinson’s has suddenly vanished, as Marley did, but because I really did a lot of gaining ground: That stack of unfinished projects no longer threatens to topple and bury me at my desk.

What have I done? Well, a half-dozen articles in magazines, plus a full-length novel in the publisher’s hands, plus two other books finished and seeking publishers--and two more, each two-thirds done.

What a good boy am I! And Santa, by the way, rewarded me, via my dear Anne, with a magnificent Bose sound system that I’d rev up and crack the plaster in my man-cave, if we weren’t trying to sell this place.

By the way, one of those orphans in the storm, a book searching for a publisher, is meant for children, aged seven to ten; but, I think, it’s fun for adults, too. A test reading with a California class of nine-year-olds doubled them over with laughter, and I’d love to try it out with a couple of appropriate local classes. Teachers, any takers?

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From Fly Creek
  • 'They were out of step but Jim!' All right, skip the drolleries about the headline. The quote is actually the title of a 1918 song by Irving Berlin, who, with George M. Cohan and other songsmiths, was producing patriotic pieces by the dozen as the Yanks were going "Over There!"

    June 19, 2014

  • Replanting has taken root Lots of boxes still to be unpacked and stuff to be put on shelves and into closets, but Anne's and my shift into Cooperstown is almost done. We're securely replanted at 24 Delaware Street and already feeling at home.

    May 8, 2014

  • There's reason to hope I hadn't planned this piece for my April column, but something happened that was impossible to ignore. Within a week, three different friends (count them, three!) from different parts of the country emailed to say they'd come across an old Crier column that they'd saved for twelve years and had sent to many friends because it meant much to them.

    April 17, 2014

  • Let not thy left hand know That headline's a Bible allusion, trenchant advice not to preen when doing good: "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." Amen, I say.

    March 6, 2014

  • How good to be back! "Tis I, the Spirit of a Thousand Columns Past, back after a twelve-month silence to talk at you again in the flesh!"

    January 2, 2014

  • Mammon Triumphs in Turkey Bowl Editor's Note: We're thrilled to announce the return of our columnist, Jim Atwell, and his legendary column "From Fly Creek." Jim's column will be an occasional feature, when he is able to write or he has something he wants to contribute. We celebrate his return with one of his classic columns.

    December 5, 2013

  • Rolling toward a stop I’m slowing down, friends, rolling toward a stop for this column. The best way to describe my reason is through an analogy: I want you to think of me as a horse-drawn wagon and driver â€" not just as the driver, but as the whole shebang.

    December 27, 2012

  • Giving gnomes a home Whack a mole, if you must, but never a gnome. You'd enrage those who dote on them. And there are many such people, though maybe not as many as gnomes. Gnomes are everywhere.

    November 29, 2012

  • Hauling history home Anne and I have a trip ahead of us. We'll be trundling south in our bought-used-but-still-great Mercury Mountaineer SUV.

    November 15, 2012

  • 'So how's it going?' The headline is a question I get a dozen times a day, almost always from friends and neighbors who want a real answer. Bless them for that.

    October 18, 2012