Two Dystopian Fantasies: Forthcoming

in Bellingham Review:  ICE

  • What food, what a fool. There’s no food on the ice. Not on top, not under.

In Quarterly West:  FIRST CAUSES

  • Class begins. Fire Lizard tells us to turn on our cornea slips. “Today’s topic,” Fire Lizard says, “is First Causes.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Shine 4: Places, Memory


Lloyd Hall, Banff Center for the Arts


View From a Taxi: New York, March 2015


Mendocino Art Center, Winter 2015

Shine 3: San Francisco Medallion Cab In Rain

All cabs have little TVs in the back seat now.

What does this mean? Does it mean that people are so tethered to their entertainment that they can’t bear missing a) their favorite shows or b) the news?

This evening, it rained. Self quite likes the city when it rains.


What does this mean?

Sitting in the back of the cab, self suddenly remembered the Daily Post Photo Challenge. So she whipped out her camera and started snapping away.


Streets of San Francisco

The cab driver heard self clicking away but didn’t utter a word. San Franciscans have this really steadfast devotion to respecting your privacy.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Reading List: Kate Walbert

Self is doing some adjustment to her reading list.

She was reading Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, which is a big, fat book, and, what with one thing and another, it got to be hard to focus. She’s been reading nonfiction for the last two months and wanted a little change. So she switched her reading to a novel, Kate Walbert’s A Short History of Women (fascinating title)

The novel isn’t written in chronological order, but thankfully the dates of the period covered in each chapter are right there in the Table of Contents.

She noticed that most of the reviews of the book cited the lack of chronology as a problem, so she decided to read in chronological order, and to read each chapter as a stand-alone story.

So far, she’s gotten through 1898, 1899, and 1914.


The story begins with a young woman in Cambridge, who has a deep dark secret involving a childhood best friend and what happened to the friend. It almost got too depressing for self, since she likes to keep her spirits up. Also, the woman goes on a hunger strike to call attention to the need to give women the vote. And in the family tree at the front of the book, this woman’s life goes from 1880 to 1914. So it was pretty overwhelming to read, especially since:

The book opens with the woman very near death, in a hospital. We are told she has two young children.

We learn she had an affair with a young man at Cambridge, a man who stopped seeing her when he got roughed up while creeping through Cambridge late one night to see her. Perhaps the two events are unrelated, but it’s pretty hard to read them as anything but. To make things worse, the two bump into each other again when he is already a successful man of politics, and they rekindle the affair even though he is married and she single mother. Then he leaves her again. Then she decides to go on the hunger strike. Which is so — AAAARGH!

Here is a section from the recently deceased woman’s daughter’s point of view:

I ducked into the kitchen to keep Nurse and Penny company. And what of them? Nurse will marry the milkman, Michael, and settle with him in Wales to live a perfectly miserable life. Children and children. Chores. Michael will drink in the way men do and one thing will lead to the other. Penny will take her cardboard box and take a train east. She’ll disappear like our father did, long before we can even remember him. He fancied himself Lord Byron, Mum said, though he was only a sir and that sir a result of money changing hands.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tin House, By Way of UTNE READER

.At one time, self had a subscription to the Utne Reader.

And even though that subscription has long expired, she hangs on to her back copies.

Today she re-reads a story that was in the Spring 2015 issue. It’s a re-print of a short story originally published in Tin House. The writer’s name is Alia Volz.

The story’s young narrator has a hippie Daddy, a Daddy who still insists on wearing “lavender bell-bottoms” and who goes by the name Firehawk:

  • Arriving at the marijuana garden, we find our plants quivering under an invasion of blue-and-orange-striped caterpillars. Their gruesome, beautiful bodies spiral around stalks, hang from leaves, and writhe over one another.

— from the short story “In Any Light, By Any Name,” by Alia Volz

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: T. J. Stiles

It was reading this quote that persuaded self she needed to join the Authors Guild:

I have supplemented my income with secondary activities. I teach now and then on a freelance basis. I have done some freelance commercial writing. But two years ago I lost my big freelance client, and my income has dropped by 20 to 40 percent a year. In the past, I have resorted to desperate measures. I like to say my last book is so big because it’s a tombstone to the 401k that gave its life so the book could live.

— from “Among the Digital Luddites,” Authors Guild Bulletin, Winter 2015

Shine From Other Places

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is SHINE.

Self is having great fun looking at posts on this theme by other bloggers. Here are a few that she particularly liked:

  • Here’s SHINE in a Colorado Park, courtesy of Full-Time.
  • Here’s SHINE by a lake called Sans Souci, in the south of France, courtesy of Margaretha Montagu.
  • Here’s SHINE by The West Trainz troupe, setting up for a performance at the annual Montreal International Jazz Festival, courtesy of Mainline_Matter.
  • Here’s the SHINE of a fungus cap in Calderbridge, West Umbria, courtesy of Pixelesque.
  • Here’s SHINE from a Portuguese Man o’ War washed up on the Witsand beach in southern South Africa, courtesy of Notes From Africa.
  • Here’s SHINE from Raiatea, French Polynesia, courtesy of Roaming About.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SHINE 2: Night in the City

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is SHINE.

Which is why self took her camera along when she caught a FACINE (Filipino Arts & Cinema International) 23 film screening at the Little Roxie on 16th St.


Halloween Already! San Francisco goes all out!


Heading to the Little Roxie on 16th St.

The film, Ari: My Life With a King, was sweet and gentle and lovely. Rooted in place.

Great script, great editing. By a first-time filmmaker, too. Remember his name:  Carlo Enciso Catu.

Self would like to give a shout-out to Mauro Feria Tumbocon, Jr. for nurturing this festival, now in its 23rd year.

The Festival’s last day is tomorrow. Tickets for individual films are $10.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SHINE: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 21 October 2016

  • Has something bright or reflective caught your eye in the moment? Share a photo of something you were able to explore a bit!

— Nancy Thanki, The Daily Post


Behind San Francisco’s Ferry Building, A Few Days Ago


Bush Street, San Francisco, After Light Rain


In Situ, Ground Floor, San Francisco MOMA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay

Quote of the Day: Lysley Tenorio

“It was always a bogus-looking act, but at some point I just assumed that Filipinos were somehow predisposed to believing anyone who claimed to understand their pain.”

— from the story “Felix Starro” in the Lysley Tenorio collection, Monstress

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