Cover Art: Halloween-Themed

“Remember you are back by nightfall. The sky looks bright but there is a shiver in the north wind that says there might be a sudden storm.  But I am sure you will not be late.” Here he smiled and added, “for you know what night it is.”

– from the Prologue to Dracula, by Bram Stoker

Do dear blog readers know that Bram Stoker was born in Dublin?

Self only found out when she was in Ireland, earlier this year.

Self is still in Angela’s home in Chicago.

One of the books she found here is Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Self found it in the room she has been staying in, the room belonging to Angela’s eldest, currenly an undergrad at USC)

Because this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme is COVER ART, here’s a picture of the book cover:

Cover Art:  DRACULA by Bram Stoker, Illustrated by Edward Gorey

Cover Art: DRACULA by Bram Stoker, Illustrated by Edward Gorey

And here’s a bit from the book’s Introduction, written by Marvin Kaye:

Dracula is a late flowering of gothic literature, with its formidable array of proud and iniquitous Counts, its ruined castles, its secrets; natural, supernatural, and unnatural.  Certainly, though its expression is more restrained, Stoker’s profane vision wells up from the same dark regions that spawned M. G. Lewis’s fallen Capuchin clergyman in The Monk. Analogies also can be drawn between Stoker’s three-century-old vampire and Charles Maturin’s soul-vampire, Melmoth the Wanderer. But Dracula is more than just a Gothic retread. It is the quintessential reworking and culmination of devices and techniques common to the subgenre of vampire fiction.

Vampire stories share common elements. Almost by definition, they must have an innocent victim or victims menaced by a predatory villain, though sometimes, as in J. Sheridan LeFanu’s novella Carmilla, the vampire is initially winsomely appealing.  The victims are typically numerous, though there is usually only one vampire. Dracula bends this latter convention, but not by much. The Count dominates the three “sister” vampires, just as he does the action.

Fascinating.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Refraction 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is REFRACTION.

Self really likes the way this blogger (Matt von P) and this blogger (Enjoying Life Wherever We Are) interpreted the theme.

And here are some of her own takes.

Capiz Shell Ceiling Light, Café Uma, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Capiz Shell Ceiling Light, Café Uma, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Street Corner, Venice: April 2013

Street Corner, Venice: April 2013

Taken from a vaporetto crossing the Venetian Lagoon:  April 2013

Heading across the Venetian Lagoon on a vaporetto: April 2013

Further Dreaminess: Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga

Abe's Farm in Magalang, Pampanga is a working farm, but also a resort. Self took this picture in the resort's restaurant.

Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga is a working farm, but also a resort. Self took this picture in the resort’s restaurant.

Breakfast (Philippine mangoes are the BEST in the entire world)

Breakfast (Philippine mangoes are the BEST in the entire world)

Suman/Ibus for Breakfast: The sauce consists of melted brown sugar.

Suman/Ibus for Breakfast: The sauce consists of melted brown sugar.

More and More Dreamy in Magalang, Pampanga

The Main Guest House on Abe's Farm

The Main Guest House on Abe’s Farm

DSCN2000

Capiz Shell Lamp Overlooking the Sala (Living Room) of the Main Guest House

DSCN2006

A View of the House Belonging to E. Aguilar “Abe” Cruz

Signs 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Today, all kinds of signs:

Graffiti on the stairs to the tower of Great Saint Mary’s Cathedral; Signs at a train station in Wales (Self was immensely fascinated by how different Welsh sounded from — English. DUH!); and book covers for discovered writers.

The Daily Post challenge for the week tells us to publish an image of a sign. So far this week, self has been interpreting the prompt very literally:

Graffiti: Sighted while climbing to the top of Great St. Mary's, Cambridge, UK:  May 2014

Graffit sighted on the climb to the top of Great St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cambridge, UK: May 2014

This is what "Welcome to Colwyn Bay" looks like in Welsh! Sighted on the train from Holyhood, Wales to Euston Station, London: May 2014

This is what “Welcome to Colwyn Bay” looks like in Welsh! Sighted on the train from Holyhead, Wales to Euston Station, London: May 2014

Fell in love with the poetry of Marcus Cumberlege when I ran across one of his collections at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Scoured all the bookstores in Dublin, but had to go to Kenny's in Galway to get their one used copy, a book called FIRELINES. Love.

Fell in love with the poetry of Marcus Cumberlege when she ran across one of his collections at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Scoured all the bookstores in Dublin, but had to go to Kenny’s in Galway to get their one used copy, a book called FIRELINES. Love.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Diane Arbus in the Year 1928

from Diane Arbus: A Chronology, 1923 -1971, by Elisabeth Sussman and Doon Arbus:

In September, following in her brother’s footsteps, she enrolls at the Ethical Culture School on 63rd Street and Central Park West, a progressive private school begun by Felix Adler, founder of the Ethical Culture Society (1878). Originally known as The Workingman’s School, it emphasizes moral education, psychological development, teacher training, and the integration of “manual arts” with academics. The academic curriculum is designed to parallel the evolution of human civilization, from tree dwellers to contemporary society. Students in each grade study their subjects through the lens of a particular time period and culture.

The school is still in existence! Self just googled. Here’s the link. The name’s been modified but the address is the same.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Elsewhere: a Lit Mag for Writing About Place

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS, ELSEWHERE:

“We envision Elsewhere to be a space for work that has trouble finding its place. We are interested in creative work that deals with marginalization in some form or another. We don’t think of race, gender, class and sexuality as dirty words or as problems to be dealt with outside of literature and art. Rather, we think of them as central to creative activity.”

So, send them your stuff, dear blog readers.

*    *     *    *

A few weeks ago, self was traipsing around southern California in the company of her ex-Assumption Convent classmates (even just typing those words — Assumption Convent — sounds quaint to self’s California ears!). And one of them agreed to spend the day with self, driving to and from San Diego.

And after almost three hours of driving, the two of us ended up in Balboa Park. In a section that was very very hot, with small trails and a children’s playground. And after some woebegone wandering about, self found the greatest discovery:  THE MUSEUM OF TORTURE. And she persuaded her classmate to venture inside and have a look. And indeed there were so many wonders contained therein, wonders such as:

  • the self-mortifying iron ring
  • the iron chastity belt
  • The “Iron Maiden” of Nuremberg (the last recorded use of which was August 1515)
  • All manner of scourges and flails

Self will not get too much into it, but suffice it to say, this museum is so interesting, situated right in Balboa Park.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Endurance 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ENDURANCE.

Endurance as in . . . physical exertion. As in HUMAN LABOR.

Loading sugar cane, a hacienda near Murcia, Negros Occidental

Loading sugar cane, a hacienda near Murcia, Negros Occidental

On the Venetian Lagoon:  April 2013

Rowing a craft on the Venetian Lagoon, April 2013 (The blur was not intentional: These little craft move unbelievably fast)

Cambridge, UK: Just behind the restaurant Plough, May 2014

Cambridge, UK: Just behind the restaurant Plough, May 2014

Linked Today, 4th Monday of September (2014)

Self decided to add a few new bookmarks, one of which is the home page of Red Hen Press.

Another add is Curbside Splendor E-zine. Self doesn’t know how she stumbled upon Curbside Splendor, but she finds herself reading all the way to the end of the featured essay, by Joey Pizzolato. This is a mighty rare occurrence, as self’s brain is usually darting in four directions at once.

She just wrote a Facebook post on Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying, which could be why she reads Pizzolato’s post (on what love is, or what it looks like) with great attention:

As writers and readers, we are drawn to love because we cannot precisely define it. Because, like the soul, or consciousness, we cannot pick it up or turn it over in our hand.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Five-Year Happiness Project

Found, in the Huntington Gardens Gift Shop, on 9/11

Found, in the Huntington Gardens Gift Shop, on 9/11

Self read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project last year. It took her ages to finish, because she found herself poring over practically every page.

Last week, at the Huntington Gardens, she found a small blue journal in the gift shop.  It’s a one-sentence journal, with months marked on the top of each page, and five spaces below, each space marked:  20__, 20__, 20___

Self began the journal on Sept. 11, she filled in the date 2014.

It’s now Sept. 15, and she’s managed to fill in NOTHING since then. But she might today, because she’s heading to Frasier Park, where a friend has a house.

There’s a quote on each page of the journal. Today, Sept. 15, the quote is:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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