Tonight I heard Louis's horn. My father heard it, too. The wind was right, and I could hear the notes of taps, just as darkness fell. There is nothing in all the world I like better than the trumpet of the swan.
You goin' to get your deer? I am asked by every man I meet—and they all wait for an answer. My deer-slaying program is a matter of considerable local concern, much to my surprise. It is plain that I now reside in a friendly community of killers, and that until I open fire myself they cannot call me brother.
I find it very disturbing to be advertised, as I have noticed that it is the advertised authors that stink. I am pretty sure I am going to stink from now on, and it might just as well be in Harpers as anywhere else, I suppose. A writer is like a beanplant-he has his day and then he gets stringy.
Familiarity is the thing—the sense of belonging. It grants exemption from all evil, all shabbiness. A farmer pauses in the doorway of his barn and he is wearing the right boots. A sheep stands under an apple tree and it wears the right look, and the tree is hung with puckered frozen fruit of the right color.
Do not be afraid to seize whatever you have written and cut it to ribbons; it can always be restored to its original condition in the morning...remember, it is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is a common occurrence in all writing, and among the best writers.