Reflections 5: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This is a set of photographs as well as a short reflection on a three-week trip to Venice self embarked on in April-May last year.

After over 30 years at the helm of Calyx Books, Margarita had retired. It had always been her dream to re-visit her childhood home in Venezuela, but the political situation made that difficult.

Venice was the stand-in.  Margarita found an apartment in Ca’ San Toma.

Even though self ended up losing a suitcase (long story, never mind), she took hundreds of pictures and re-visited a city that had haunted her dreams since she first laid eyes on it as a child of 11.

April was a good time to go.  There still weren’t that many tourists.  By May, however, the city was getting noticeably more crowded and stressful.  When she next visits Venice, she’ll try for earlier in the year: start of April, perhaps.

Dear blog readers, don’t even think of visiting Venice in the warm months of summer.  In the summer, the canals’ turgid water would no doubt have an undeniable odor, and the large cruise ships nosing into one end of San Marco Square would disgorge even greater hordes of tourists.  As it was, self never got to see the inside of the San Marco Cathedral.  The lines were too long — stretching all the way down one side of the square. May was the cusp.  She was glad she got to flee to Trieste for a few days.

On a vaporetto, late April 2013

Early Evening n the vaporetto to Murano, late April 2013

On the way to the Grand Canal

Just off the Grand Canal

Somewhere Near the Apartment in Ca' San Toma

Somewhere Near the Apartment in Ca’ San Toma

 

Not Quite on the Level of Shakesperean Tragedy, But Nevertheless Unfortunate

The Fourth Genre: Each miniature chapbook contained an excerpt from a published piece.

The Fourth Genre Table at the AWP Book Fair: Each miniature chapbook contained an excerpt from a piece they had published.  What a neat idea!

In spite of the fact that self hit the AWP Book Fair for a couple of hours every single day, she still managed to miss the following exhibitors, don’t ask why:

  • The Allegheny Review
  • The Austin Review
  • Barn Owl Review
  • Bellingham Review
  • Big Fiction Magazine
  • Booth
  • Burnside Review
  • Cutthroat
  • Duotrope
  • Ellipsis
  • Emergency Press
  • Fiction International
  • Five Points
  • Florida Review
  • Four Way Books (She missed Brian Komei Dempster’s reading for Topaz, boo)
  • Gargoyle Magazine
  • Gingko Tree Review
  • Grist
  • Hayden’s Ferry Review
  • Hobart
  • Kelsey Street Press
  • Kore Press
  • Lapham’s Quarterly
  • LSU Press
  • MacGuffin
  • Mid-American Review
  • Milkweed Editions
  • Minnesota Review
  • n+1 Magazine
  • Naugatuck River Review
  • New Delta Review
  • New Issues Poetry & Prose
  • New Letters/ BkMk Press
  • New York Review of Books
  • Newfound Journal
  • Night Train
  • Noemi Press
  • Omnidawn Publishing
  • Owl Eye Review
  • Pacifica Literary Review
  • Painted Bride Quarterly
  • Paris Press
  • Passages North
  • Permafrost Magazine
  • Poetry Flash
  • Press 53/ Prime Magazine
  • Puerto del Sol
  • Quiddity
  • Redivider
  • Rio Grande Review
  • River Teeth
  • Rock & Sling
  • Salamander
  • Sarabande Books
  • Sewanee Review/ Sewanee Writers Conference (Self has never been, but she heard this one is fabulous)
  • Soho Press
  • South Dakota Review
  • Submittable
  • Sun Magazine
  • Sundog Lit
  • Sycamore Review
  • Tampa Review
  • The Rumpus
  • Tusculum Review
  • Upstreet:  A Literary Magazine
  • Versal
  • Veterans Writing Project
  • Virginia Quarterly Review
  • Water-Stone Review
  • Whidbey Writers Workshop
  • Zone 3 Press
  • ZYZZYVA
  • Small Press Distribution

By the time self left Seattle, she had such an accumulation of flyers, reviews, chapbooks and other what-have-you from book and magazine publishers at the Book Fair that she had to check in not just one but two pieces of luggage at Sea-Tac.

Spork Press (based in Austin, TX):  Featuring Handmade Books of Fiction * Poetry * Whatever

Spork Press (based in Austin, TX): Featuring Handmade Books of Fiction * Poetry * Whatever

But, it’s all good.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Family 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme this week is FAMILY.

The prompt on The Daily Post site asks:

What is family?  For some, family is defined by genetics.  For others, it is simply those with whom you share a bond of love.

Son and his best friend, Kramer. Kramer's doing a PhD in UC Davis; he used to be in Harvey Mudd.

Son and his best friend, Kramer. Kramer’s doing a PhD in UC Davis; he did his undergraduate work in Harvey Mudd. Photo was taken at Buck’s in Woodside.

Calyx Press, based in Corvallis, OR, published self's first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila. The editors are my second family.

Calyx Press, based in Corvallis, OR, published self’s first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila. The editors became self’s second family.

Gracie being chased by Scots Terrier w/ pee fetish. She passed away in April 2011.

Gracie being chased by Scots Terrier. She passed away in April 2011.

Poem for the Day After New Year’s (2013)

Poem 53 of the One Hundred Poets (translation from the Japanese by Clay MacCauley)

written by Udaisho Michitsuna no Haha (937 – 995)

Sighing all alone,
Through the long watch of the night,
Till the break of day: –
Can you realize at all
What a tedious thing it is?

The poet was the daughter of Fujiwara no Motoyasu, and became the mother of the imperial commander Fujiwara no Michitsuna.  Self’s personal copy of the One Hundred Poets is the one published by George Braziller in 1989, and edited by Peter Morse.  Each poem is accompanied by an illustration by Hokusai.  Here’s how Morse describes Hokusai’s illustration for Poem 53:

The woman has been awake, for her clothing is rumpled due to her restlessness.  She has come out on the porch with a lantern, presumably at dawn, to look for her missing husband.  We see a pipe and tobacco pouch resting on the pillow within the house, the sign of an absent man.  Around the corner of the house we can see a cistern and water dipper.

This figure of the lone woman appears several other times among Hokusai’s drawings . . .  She is always waiting for a man, a situation generally suggested by the poem.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Stanford Creative Writing Program Stegner Updates, and Other Stuff

Two more rejections came in the mail today:  from The Bellevue Review (Self has friends who’ve been published here, that’s why she keeps trying) and from The Antioch Review.  For the very same story that, a couple of months ago, won her the nicest rejection ever, from Epoch:  made it to the final round!  She just has to grit her teeth and keep going.

As luck would have it, top of her Pile of Stuff is the newsletter of the Stanford English Department.  Self browses through, stops at the Lecturer and Stegner Updates:

Stegner Fellow NoViolet Bulawayo’s first novel, We Need New Names, was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.  Stegner Fellow Austin Smith’s first collection of poems, Almanac, was selected by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and was published in September 2013 by Princeton University Press.  Anthony Marra, a Jones Lecturer, had his first novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, long-listed for the National Book Award.

And there were a few people whose stories will be in the 2014 Pushcart Prize anthology, which means they beat out self, whose story “Magellan’s Mirror” was the sole Pushcart nominee from J Journal.  Self was proud about the nomination, because J Journal is just getting into this process.  Also, she doesn’t know how many other Filipino/Filipina writers got nominated for the Pushcart last year.  She’s willing to bet, not many.  She wonders which Filipino/Filipina got into the Pushcart 2014, along with those lucky Stegners.  Guess she’ll find out in a few months, duh.

But self should stop focusing on the negative.

2013 has actually been one of her more triumphant years.

In January 2013, her first novella, Jenalyn, was published as an e-book by Vagabondage Press of Florida.

In June 2013, Manila Noir, which included a story of hers, was published by Akashic Books.

Waccamaw published a short story, “Bridging,” in October.

Her stories came “very close” with some big magazines.  In fact, most of her 2013 rejections were personal:  she either made it to the final round, or close to.

The most “fun” event she attended in 2013 was the Filipino International Book Festival in October, because she got to hear Luisa Igloria, Angela Narciso Torres, and many other Filipino and Filipino American writers read, and because she got to buy books from Linda Nietes of Philippine Expressions.

Going to Miami was special, especially her visits to Zack’s University of Miami classes, the dinner at Evelina Galang’s house and just experiencing the all-around buzz from a city that seems almost like Space Age meets Skid Row (The food is fantastically W.O.W)

Son got his masters degree from Claremont, and self and The Man had a fun couple of days in southern California in May, during which The Man got to experience the delights of eating out with son and Jennie, while self cleared the decks for Episode 7 of Game of Thrones.  The trip south was The Man’s first visit to son since son began the Ph.D. program in Psychology, three years ago.  It was also our first driving trip down I-5 in perhaps 20 years.  And lo and behold, Harris Ranch was still alive and kicking.  So of course we had to stop, and we had to eat steak.

Then there were self’s visits to Magalang, Pampanga; to Bacolod; to Venice, Italy!

Oh. self suddenly recalls that this is the first winter without The Ancient One.  Bella passed away in October, after spending 18 years of her life with us.  Bella’s passing was a very long, slow, and patient decline, and she passed away lying in the hot sun on the deck, one day when The Man was at work, and self was flying back from Bacolod.  What a sharp contrast to Gracie’s passing, in 2009, which was horrible.  Just the most horrible, painful thing.

Bella’s doggie bed and dishes are still in the backyard because neither self nor The Man has the heart to put them away.  They’re covered with matted brown leaves.

Oh, 2013.

Stay tuned.

On This Day (Third Monday of December 2013)

It is a beautiful day.  The sun is shining.  Self spent the morning reading (Which makes this a Triple-Beautiful Day)

About mid-morning, she checked in to the blog and discovered that her post about How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa, by Henry M. Stanley, the book she is currently reading, was getting a lot of views.  Her friend Kyi re-tweeted it, etc

So self decided to see if she could pinpoint the exact date on which Henry M. Stanley arrived in Tanzania, found an old man who he thought must be Livingstone, and uttered the line, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

She got side-tracked (what else is new) by stumbling across a site called Finding Dulcinea, Librarian of the Internet.  Specifically, the feature called On This Day in History.

Today, Dec. 16, was the birthday of Dr. Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist, who wrote Coming of Age in Samoa.

Today was also the day when “American Patriots” carried out the Boston Tea Party.

The sidebar to the piece on Margaret Mead has a list of women who were considered “Late Bloomers” (which is, BTW, the only time self has heard Mead referred to in this way).  And here’s the list (Isn’t it nice to know there is still a chance for us, female baby-boomers, to leave our marks?):

  • Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan women’s magazine
  • Corazon Aquino, first female president of the Philippines
  • Georgia O’Keefe, painter
  • Helen Frankenthaler, abstract expressionist painter
  • Katharine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post
  • Mary Higgins Clark, suspense novelist
  • Julia Child, revolutionary cookbook author and TV host

And self never did get to find out what day it was when Stanley found Livingstone.  But she has every intention of finishing Stanley’s book, so this is something she can share with dear blog readers, eventually.

Stay tuned.

Vagabondage Press Wants Your Manuscript

They published self’s novella, Jenalyn. Seriously, folks, this is one daring and intrepid publisher.

Now, they want your manuscript!  Specifically, they are looking for manuscripts for Dark Alley Press and Vagabondage Romance.

So, send them your dark fiction.  Your horror, paranormal, and gothic fiction.  Your romances, love stories, and erotica.

They will consider manuscripts of the following lengths:

  • Novelette:  8,000 to 24,000 words
  • Novella:  25,000 to 45,000 words
  • Traditional Novel Length:  46,000 to 100,000 words

Here’s what they’re looking for:

We encourage submissions with diverse and unusual characters, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  We prefer quirkier characters and quirkier story lines, humorous and clever, non-typical and intelligent heroes and heroines, with character-driven stories.

Provide a pitch and brief synopsis of your work on the first page of your manuscript.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Small Business/ Big Game Contest: Vagabondage Press Is a Semi-Finalist!

Please show your support for small press Vagabondage (publishers of self’s novella, JENALYN:  The press is based in Apollo Beach, Florida) by supporting them in the Small Business/ Big Game Contest!

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO VOTE!

Prizes are services to help small businesses like Vagabondage Press :  The GRAND PRIZE is a commercial spot during the Superbowl!

Please add your vote and help Vagabondage make the final 20.

DOESN’T COST A THING and is just ONE LITTLE CLICK.  You can even vote once a day, if you’d like.

Thanks for your support!  Help keep small presses like Vagabondage viable!

 

Back to Humongous Pile of Stuff

From the Briefly Noted section of The New Yorker of 27 May 2013 (Self doesn’t know why; this got pushed to the very top of her Pile of Stuff):

She skipped the featured book review because it was about Dan Brown’s latest.  She heard some fiddle-daddle that Manila was in there somewhere as the Gate of Hell.  Yawn.  The real Manila, as anyone who’s lived there knows, is too surreal to Read the rest of this entry »

AGAINST THE SHORE & ALONG THE RIM

Self really owes a debt to Trevor Carolan.

This Canadian writer and editor has included her story in the anthologies he’s edited, like Another Kind of Paradise:  Short Stories from the New Asia-Pacific (Cheng & Tsui).  He’s published wunderkind Frances Cabahug (Filipino/Canadian), who at the ridiculous age of 21 wrote a review of self’s second collection, the one published by Miami University Press, Mayor of the Roses.

Self pitched an interview with Linh Dinh to Trevor, and not only did he publish it in the Pacific Rim Review of Books, he also put the interview in the “Best of the Pacific Rim Review of Books” anthology, Against the Shore.

Now comes the second “Best of PRRB” volume, Along the Rim, available from Ekstasis Editions, a Canadian publisher.

This is from the public announcement:

From its inception in 2005, The Pacific Rim Review of Books has cast a close, constructive eye on contemporary literature.  With the publication of these anthologies, the PRRB now confirms its place in contemporary Canadian arts & letters.  Addressing a broad horizon of topics and issues in engaged East-West culture, serious poetry, international relations, history, and ecological inquiry, contributors include such distinguished writers as Gary Snyder, Josef Skvorecky, Red Pine, Rex Weyler, Andrew Schelling, and Michael Platzer, as well as many of the veteran and talented young West Coast writers whose work The Pacific Rim Review of Books has consistently championed.

Copies can be ordered from Ekstasis Editions, Box 8474 Main P.O. Victoria B.C. V8W 3S1.

http://www.ekstasiseditions.com

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