Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory: Stories, p. 4

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Perhaps every can of cashews has a fake snake lurking, but you keep opening them, stupidly, because in your heart of hearts you still believe in cashews. And every time you discover the cruel fiction of the cashew can, you swear to yourself you’ll trust a little less next time, you’ll be a little less open, a little more hard. It’s not worth it, you say. It just isn’t worth it. You’re smarter than all that. From now on, you’re going to be smarter. Well, I’m here to tell you that this time will be different, even though I have absolutely no evidence to support that claim. Open this can and everything will be okay. The salted circus cashews are waiting. They are so savory and delicious.

Samareños, 1649

Faithful readers of this blog know all about Francisco Alcina, Jesuit, who wrote A History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands (available in a bilingual translation from University of Santo Tomas Press)

He was sent to the province of Samar, in the Visayan Islands of the central Philippines, to replace two priests who had been murdered in an uprising.

From Bambi L. Harper, Philippine journalist:

. . . the 1649 uprising in Samar did not remain localized. It spread to Leyte, Cebu, Sorsogon, Camarines, Albay and Masbate … the island of Mindanao also followed suit. Churches were razed, friars and government officials killed.

Of course the Spanish quelled it, in the end. Spain remained in the Philippines until the Americans took over, in 1898. Self has written a 365-page novel that circles this traumatic event, which the clergy blamed on the “Evil One.”

In self’s novel, a young priest is sent direct from Spain. His task: to go the Philippines and fight demons (But the real demons are inside himself, who knew)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Nelson, In Our Mad and Furious City

In every novel, there has to be a character that self favors, above all others, if she’s going to see it through to the end.

It looks like, in this novel, the character self identifies with the most is shaping up to be Nelson.

About Gunaratne’s language: it is pungent, and self loves it very much.

pp. 78 – 79:

To see it there writ across the brick, it have me numb and leave me feeling a sorta deep-down shame. Sorta shame the Lord give you when you love a wretched thing. Was how it feel like when I realize that this Britain here did not love me back, no matter how much I feel for it.

Is how I feel what they meant when they call it a bad tide. It was the people bad mind here, the flow of the water, smell of the air. During a high tide things come fairly. The people them welcome a newcomer like a novelty. Other times the tide is low and them smiles turn to bitterness and hate.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

This Story, Hitting On All Cylinders

A Most Blessed and Auspicious Occasion, Story # 3 in SWWLYIAYDG: Stories by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

“We should’ve eloped,” I say. “We could have avoided all this stress and spent the money on a honeymoon.” Even as I’m saying it I know that’s a stupid thing to say, because a) what money?

HA. HA. HA. HA. HA. HAAAAAAA!!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80: LINES

Leading lines carry our eyes through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. — Tina R. Schell on the blog Travels and Trifles: Expressing Thought Through Photography

Self loved the quote from Pete Bridgewood:

  • Unlike the painter who starts with a blank canvas and builds up his image by the addition of paint, as photographers we work in the other direction.

The photos below are from December 2019, during which, as usual, self did a lot of traveling.

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Old Albuquerque, December 2019

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On the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 27 December 2019

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Kepler’s Books, Downtown Menlo Park, December 2019

Thanks for the interesting prompt, Lens-Artists!

Stay tuned.

 

On Being the Goat-Slaughterer at a Wedding Feast

… my little brother’s studying to be a goat slaughterer at the university, so of course he has a lot of ideas about everything. “You know how much blood that is? You have to do the slaughtering at the end, otherwise you’re going to slip in goat guts while you’re doing the Dance of the Cuckolded Woodland Sprite and the blood will get all over your marriage cloak and the video will end up on one of those wedding fail blogs.”

— from A Most Blessed and Auspicious Occasion (Story # 1 in Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, by Raphael Bob-Waksberg(

RIP Christopher Tolkien

It took self all of December to read one book, The Annotated Hobbit.

That book was the only copy in the San Mateo Public Library system, a label on the cover said: DO NOT RETURN IN THE BOOK DROP.

If only the library knew what far-flung places she had taken this copy to!

A few days ago, on 15 January, she heard that Christopher Tolkien, JRR Tolkien’s youngest, who was “a devoted curator of his father’s work,” had passed away. Amazingly, none of the nightly news remarked on it. Philistines!

Here’s a piece in The Guardian about Christopher Tolkien’s legacy.

Stay tuned.

Story #3 in Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others

Self tried twice to finish Story # 2, Understand.

She finally gave up this evening, and moved on to Story # 3, Division By Zero.

  • Mrs. Rivas was the manipulator in the ward; everyone knew that her attempts were merely gestures, but the aides wearily paid attention to her lest she succeed accidentally.

That sentence is soooo funny. She has a feeling Division By Zero isn’t meant to be funny, though.

Stay tued.

 

A Young Priest Is Sent to the Philippines to Replace a Murdered Friar (Novel Excerpt)

Camarote de Marinero

 “Father, here you go. You have your own room.”

There was a narrow platform which he presumed was his bed. Beneath the platform was a small cabinet.

“Your things here,” the boy said.

Later, he overheard the men talking about him: they called him cochino. Even though Matias was not fat, not even close to, he knew the most well-fed men in the villages were usually the friars. It was new to him, the contempt, the disrespect, because usually men of the cloth were treated with deference. At least, this had been the case in Spain.

Another time, he heard the captain say, “sin experiencia del mundo” and assumed he was the one being referred to.

Poetry Friday: Dorothea Lasky

Excerpt from The Green Lake (in The New Yorker, 9 December 2019):

What work will you leave behind
I ask the tailor
Who has sewn the button upon my shoe
I can walk again

Yesterday everything felt so hopeless
Now I have the energy to sit in the sun
All of the damned seething baths
Now I am finally on my own


Dorothea Lasky is the author of six books of poetry and prose, including, most recently, Animal

Self Reads: Jake Wolff

from “The History of Living Forever,” first published in One Story, Issue 164:

  • Many of the virgins were slaves, taken from their masters before their masters claimed their virginity. The rest were removed from smaller villages near Juijang and Kuaji. I’d heard terrible stories of fathers and brothers bedding their daughters and sisters to save them from their duty, but I believed they were only myths. Such families would not have survived their infractions. You do not steal from the Emperor.

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