Story. Story. Story (Fiction. Fiction. Fiction)

Last week, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I was in a big hurry. I had to be someplace at 9 a.m.

I looked up. It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. For real.

He made a motion with his hand: Picture?

Picture? I said back.

Picture with me?

Sorry, I said, I don’t have a camera.

Cell phone?


And I could see this person’s eyes. Through the TMNT mask. Not blue. Not green. Not grey. Maybe brown. They were so — hopeful?

Hug, I said.

So I leaned over just the slightest bit.

After: Was it the blue dress I wore that day? Or the determined look on my face?

Whacha think, dear blog readers?

Stay tuned.

Eragon, For the Love of God

Several things self needs to get off her chest right now:


  • Eragon’s thighs are flayed to the bone. Yup, that’s right. His first dragon ride is excruciating hell.
  • Second, he allows his Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Lore, As Explained to Eragon

Since self promised her Young Friend that she would finish reading the entire Eragon series (There are four books) by . . . this year . . . she is manfully plowing through Book 1.

The book can never leave Young Friend’s abode (Because hardcover. Because Most Treasured Possession)

Good thing she’s beguiled by the character of Our Hero: He rides on his dragon to the detriment of his thighs! He knows how to lie! He steals when he has to! He does not (yet) bother with all that ‘girl’ foolishness which means no OTP yet on the horizon!


So far, it’s been (mostly) action, which is good.

The non-action scenes are so EEERGGH!

For example:

Eragon felt uncomfortable as he watched her go. Even now, with no one around, they could not spend their days together.

You know, if you took the above and stuck it in some YA novel of the Dystopian Future, that sentence could apply to any number of ships: Tris/Four, Glass/Luke, even Katniss/Peeta. Self has to constantly remind herself: this is a DRAGON. Eragon is talking to a DRAGON (Please, Young Friend, do not read self’s posts about Eragon. She really admires Paolini. Her only problem is with the emo dragon scenes)

At this point in the book, Eragon’s legs are still bleeding.

How does self know? Because on p. 112, she reads: “Eragon’s legs had continued to bleed where the scabs had cracked.”

Anyhoo, at this point in the tale, Eragon has acquired a very valuable sidekick: an old man named Brom, who knows everything there is to know about dragons. How has Brom come by this knowledge? BIG SECRET.

Brom explains the ins and outs of dragon conception/inception/reproduction:

The dragons are ready to emerge the moment an egg is laid. But sometimes, they wait in the egg (incubating) until the proper nourishing environment is available. So they exist in a kind of suspended animation, until the proper conditions are met. But in the long-ago time, dragons formed an alliance with elves. After that, “a certain number of their eggs, usually no more than one or two, were given to the Riders each year. These eggs, or rather the infants inside, wouldn’t hatch until the person destined to be its Rider came into their presence — though how they sensed that isn’t known. People used to line up to touch the eggs, hoping that one of them might be picked.”

And Eragon, as self knows, has been picked. It’s like the Baby Saphira Dragon knew it was him when he put a hand out and touched her egg. And that just gives her all kinds of FEELZ.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

I WILL NEVER OWN ENOUGH BOOKS Spreads AmazeSauce over Self’s Saturday!

Today, I Will Never Own Enough Books nominated self for the CREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD!

Epic Blush!

The rules say that self has to share five facts about herself. So here goes:

  1. Her favorite indulgence is reading Everlark fan fiction.
  2. She was a Fellow in the Stanford University Creative Writing Program.
  3. Her 2nd favorite indulgence is watching plays. The last play she saw (July 2015) was “King John” at the Globe in London.
  4. She loves riding trains.
  5. She has written a 9/11 story called “Wavering” (Published in a literary magazine now defunct, boo).

So here are self’s five nominees:

  1. TheGypsyMind16
  2. The Alchemist’s Kitchen
  3. Kick-Ass Ireland!
  4. cassandra jp
  5. Kahakai Kitchen


From Every Angle: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is FROM EVERY ANGLE:

Place your subject and then shoot from every angle: high, low, wide, tight, left and right.

It helps if your subject is a collection of massive rocks.

Here is Yorkshire, last July: Rocks from every angle.

Yorkshire Dales, July 2015: It rained all night before.

Yorkshire Dales, July 2015: It rained all night before.

More of those Yorkshire Rocks

More of those Yorkshire Rocks

Heathcliffe, where art thou, O Heathcliffe?

Heathcliffe, where art thou, O Heathcliffe?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Overheard Today: Last Friday of August 2015

Overheard at a coffee shop:

Customer to Server:  “Can you toast that three times?”

Server: ________

Another Server: “He means, toast that well.”

Lah-di-dah, oh lah-di-dah, it is such a fabulous day!

Stay tuned.

Part 2 of Vanessa Hua’s “Accepted” (Crab Orchard Review, Vol. 19, No. 2: Summer/Fall 2014)

Self is hugely enjoying this story.

(Self has written her own Stanford stories, but OMG does Ms. Hua ever kill it)

Rodin Sculpture Garden, Stanford University

Rodin Sculpture Garden, Stanford University

Flipping open my binder, I found a flyer urging Stanford cadets to apply for the ROTC honor roll with the attached form and an unofficial transcript. A reminder I didn’t have grades, and wasn’t enrolled, a reminder I should give up and go home. Surviving day-to-day brought me no closer to becoming an official student. I imagined my father’s disappointment, my father’s words: ignominious, mendacious.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vanessa Hua, “Accepted” (Crab Orchard Review, Vol. 19 No. 2: Summer/Fall 2014)

This story (in Crab Orchard Review’s Summer/Fall 2014 issue) is poignant as well as funny.

Self hears this sad girl narrator’s voice in her head, more often than not.

A lie begets a lie that begets another lie and another lie until finally disappointment turns into despair.

The Crab Orchard Review Summer/ Fall 2014 Issue (Special Themed Issue: The West Coast & Beyond)

The Crab Orchard Review Summer/ Fall 2014 Issue (Special Themed Issue: The West Coast & Beyond)

“I hadn’t meant to lie, not at first, but when Jack Min donned his Stanford sweatshirt, after receiving his acceptance (a senior tradition) — I yanked my Cardinal red hoodie out of my locker. When my AP English teacher, Ms. Banks, stopped to congratulate me, I couldn’t bring myself to say, not yet. She’d worked with me on a dozen revisions of my college essay and written a generous letter of rec, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.

Another week passed, and I posed with Jack for the school paper. A banner year for the church our families both attended, and for Sparta High, with two students in a single class admitted to Stanford. When I showed my parents the article as proof of my acceptance, Oppa held the newspaper with his fingertips, as if it were bridal lace he was preserving on a special order.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is such a Fabulous Goddess of Cinema. She’s the new face of Dolce & Gabbana’s beauty line (Self wants that lipstick!) Here’s a snippet from her answers to “20 Odd Questions” in this week’s “Style & Fashion” section of The Wall Street Journal.

One of my secrets to success is: you should never do too much of one thing. You have to leave people saying, “If she had done even more, it would have been better.” Let them suffer!


Stay tuned.

Self’s Biblical Revisionist “The Ark” (Local Nomad, Spring 2015)

The theme of the Spring 2015 issue of Local Nomad (edited by Filipino American poet Jean Vengua) was: KILLING GROUND.

Jean solicited a story from self; the short story she sent Jean was “The Ark.”


She wrote the story after watching Darren Aronofskly’s wild and fabulous “Noah,” starring Russell Crow and Jennifer Connelly.

  • Cruelty, he taught his sons, was essential.

Animals of all kind fascinate self, she’s not sure why.

Here’s an illustration from a children’s picture book called, simply, The Ark:

Illustration for Children's Book, THE ARK

Illustration for Children’s Book, THE ARK

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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