The Swan ~ Ray Bradbury

Let’s just start by saying I love this story. A little romance, a little feminism, a little hint of time travel or reincarnation, this story has it all. Bill runs into 95-year-old Helen. He had fallen in love with her one day when reading the local paper and seeing her photo. He planned to go to the town ball that evening and dance with her. Then, a friend tells him that Helen had that photo taken 60 or 70 years ago when she was in her twenties. The woman in the picture would not be at the ball. 

Now in an ice cream shop, he meets her in person. And in some ways, they fall in love. Not in the physical sense, but a soulful, intellectual sense. 

Bradbury himself seems to be in love with her as he describes her intelligence, wit, and spirit of adventure. He weaves a relationship that is both believable and dream-like. And he does it simply through dialogue. The characters talk to each other over tea. And with simple conversation, we fall for the characters as well.

The title, The Swan, comes from how Helen sees herself – A delicate swan swallowed up by a scaly wrinked dragon. And when Bill squints just so, he gets a glimpse of the swan.

This month I am participating in the A to Z blog challenge. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

The challenge involves 26 posts in April, all somehow connected to the alphabet. My theme for the month is short stories. The Story Factory needs market research, of course, so I will be reading a short story for each letter of the alphabet and trying to learn some new techniques for my story writing. My lacks seem to be characterization and emotional experience, so I am mainly looking for stories to teach me those things. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments if you know of an amazing story. Another component of the challenge is the blog road trip, where we visit each other’s blogs, leave comments, etc. While I would like to visit a couple of blogs every day, it is more realistic to do Road Trips on Sundays. (Of course, my ongoing, 52 bad story challenge is still on, as well as the 2021 creative hours in 2021.