Available Now: Your Impossible Voice, Issue 5

Today self heard from the editors of Your Impossible Voice that Issue No. 5 is out!


The story they took is “The Elephant.” Self actually sent if from Cork, Ireland. It was the morning she was transferring from Ballyvolane House to Café Paradiso. You know, self just fell in love with Cork and wishes she had stayed there an extra week.

But, back to Your Impossible Voice and “The Elephant.” It is actually quite a disturbing story, but it is what it is. Here’s an excerpt:

For over a week, the elephant’s wild thrashings sent reverberations throughout the ship. It threw itself against the walls of its container, again and again. Sea monsters, the crew awoke thinking. We’re all going to die!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Memories of Trees” : Live Now on PITHEAD CHAPEL, Vol. 3, Issue 9

I’m one of three people still living who can tell what a mango tree looks like.  I’m important because they think they can learn how to make more.

– “Memories of Trees,” Pithead Chapel, Vol. 3, Issue 9 (September 2014)

Sharing the Love: Last Sunday of August (2014)

Today, while self was poking around in her closet, she came upon a binder where she lists all the literary magazines she’s submitted to, organized per year.

She’s decided to share the 2014 list right here, right now. Because it is so onerous keeping that information to herself.

It’s probably as amazing to self as it is to her readers that there are so many. In truth, in the last few years, she has become rather manic about submissions. Looking back at the long trajectory of her writing life, there were many years when she’d send out to just a handful of magazines. She must be making up for lost time.

And, let’s not kid ourselves, the internet has made a huge difference. Now, it’s so easy to just press a button that says “Submit.” Whereas when she first started sending stuff out, every piece had to be printed out, photocopied, slapped into an envelope, then metered at a post office. Frankly, who had the time?

    • Agni
    • Alaska Quarterly Review (Having serious financial problems, may close)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Work in Progress: Inspired by the Darren Aronofsky Movie

    How many readers actually saw “Noah” when it was in theaters earlier this year? The speculative fiction film version of “Noah,” the one that starred Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connolly? Self loved it. In fact, it’s still one of her favorite movies of the year.

    Self is calling this work-in-progress “The Ark.”:

    Two by two, the counting went on, day and night.

    In moonlight sometimes Noah heard his wife singing.

    No more than two, Noah said. One pair, that’s all we can take.

    His wife began to argue with him. There must be a way, she insisted. Her eyes had that stormy look. Like lake water in spring, when the wind blows hard around.

    Right now, it stands at around five pages, double-spaced (1,000 words). Happiness!

    Stay tuned.

    2nd Thursday of August (2014): A Poem By Joan McGavin

    Met Joan McGavin two years ago, in Hawthornden (where she also met Jenny Lewis; and Alison Amend; and Hamish) and had many wonderful adventures which she looks back on with fondness.

    Joan is expecting her first grandchild very soon. Self thought of her today while having her car washed: the Auto-Pride on Woodside Road has a great gift shop, with all manner of gift cards. Self chose one with a cheerful yellow envelope and a parade of babies on the front.

    Joan is currently the Hampshire Poet of 2014 and is organizing the Winchester Poetry Festival and is mega-busy.

    Her collection, Flannelgraphs, was published by Oversteps Books.

    Self likes this poem in particular because she’s just finished writing a short story called “The Freeze.”

    New Skills

    for the globally warmer world
    will include flood wading
    taught by out of work
    circus performers
    ex-stilt walkers
    acrobats and the like.

    Anger management
    will be increasingly called for
    with levels of overcrowding
    making those living
    jowl by cheek
    more and more likely
    to go for the jugular
    of their nearest neighbours.
    Our tutors are tried and tested.

    Tear control –
    though not strictly part of our current
    Adult Education provision –
    is an old skill;
    revision, one-day courses
    will be offered
    by our highly qualified staff
    of tsunami victims.

    Joan speaks so pointedly, though softly.

    Stay tuned.

    Listmania: Six Recently Bookmarked/ 12 Existing Tags

    *     *     *     *

    Naomi Watts *  Oliver Stone * Owen Wilson * Patrick Leigh Fermor * Paul Theroux * Peter Sarsgaard * Pico Iyer * Rebecca West * Ruth Rendell * Sarah Waters * Siquijor * Tom Hiddleston

    Poem for the 2nd Sunday of August (2014): Angela Narciso Torres

    Angela Narciso Torres was one of the contributors to Going Home to a Landscape, the anthology of Filipino women’s writings co-edited by self and poet Virginia Cerenio and published by Calyx Press in 2003.

    Her poetry collection, Blood Orange, was the winner of the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry. Her recent work can be found in the Cimarron Review, the Colorado Review, and Cream City Review.

    Here’s the title poem:

    Blood Oranges

    At the river’s edge –
    strewn seed, vermilion
    petals from blood oranges

    we ate. A branch
    stoops from the weight
    of phantom fruit. Falling,

    the leaves exhale
    the spicy-heavy air,
    its punishing sweet.

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

    Self Got The Full-On Star Treatment From TAYO Magazine!

    Oh the FEEELZ!

    TAYO Magazine posted an interview with self.

    Check it out.

    The banner they used for self’s interview was a picture she took in The Red Room of Café Paradiso in Cork.  That is in fact the ceiling light. Love Ger and her cooking and her warmth and all her fun group of friends who invited self to share their champagne.

    Self’s author pic was taken (years ago, cancha tell) by none other than the fabulous Stella Kalaw.

    (It’s very funny because self thought all she was doing was having dinner — in Karilagan restaurant, just hailing distance from Max’s in South San Francisco — with Melissa Sipin-Gabon, fiction writer and editor of TAYO, and it turns out what she was actually doing was giving an interview. BWAH HA HA HAAAA!  If only self had an Effie Trinket around to prep for her propo! Any gaffes are entirely her own)

    Stay tuned.


    Poem for the First Monday of August (2014): Maiana Minahal

    where is my country?

      by maiana minahal (Scroll to the bottom for a link to Maiana Minahal reading)

    right now
    in this country
    someone wants me to answer
    not here
    just like last night
    in this country
    someone invited us to his party
    with everyone else
    but gave us the wrong directions
    just like today
    in this country
    someone’s wife
    hiding behind lacy white curtains
    watches me and my brothers
    certain that we want to break into her house

    right now
    someone’s crooked math
    calculates how my foreign birth
    proves my american roots shallow
    twenty years long shallow
    just like yesterday
    someone’s denying eye
    turned the page past my forefather’s obituary
    the deceased american life
    of another perpetual foreigner
    just like last week
    someone’s high school history book
    forgets my filipino ancestors
    started settling this country
    in 1885
    this history that
    for one hundred years
    for over one century
    refused to see
    their american births and deaths

    right now
    someone wants to take the words from my mouth
    someone wants me to close my eyes
    and stop listening

    right now
    i keep writing poems
    my sisters and brothers and i
    keep writing poems
    for our brothers and sisters
    for our children and grandchildren
    in our country
    my country
    this country

    The poem is from Maiana Minahal’s collection Sitting Inside Wonder (San Francisco:  Monkey Book Press, 2003).

    Here’s Maiana, reading an excerpt from her poetry.  She was one of the contributors to the Filipino women’s anthology self co-edited with Virginia Cerenio, Going Home to a Landscape (Calyx Press, 2003).

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

    Virtual Blog Tour: 2nd Introduction

    One of the rules of participation in the Virtual Blog Tour is to tag three other people.

    Self’s first tag was poet and teacher Luisa A. Igloria.

    Here’s self’s second tag:  Kathleen Burkhalter.

    She was Dear Departed Sister’s  friend before she was self’s.

    Dear Departed Sis died December, 1991.  Self lost touch with Kathleen, but when self started this blog, in 2006, Kathleen found her.

    The internet has saved self in so many ways.

    Now, look at that face.  Isn’t it just pure radiance?

    Kathleen Burkhalter: Writer, Mother, Friend

    Kathleen Burkhalter: Writer, Mother, Friend

    Kathleen Burkhalter grew up in Baguio in the Philippines and spent summers in La Union on the South China Sea. After many life adventures she found herself happily married to Bud Bell and became the mother of six extraordinary children.  She has two degrees from Harvard, the most recent one a masters in Journalism.

    Her personal ghost story collection, Through a Glass Darkly, came out last Halloween.

    She has a blog, Cresta Ola, and lives in New Bedford, Massachusetts with Bud, the family pets (four cats and a yellow lab named Cleo Pan de Sal), and the children, who are constantly stopping over at the family home on their way to big adventures.

    Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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