Achievement: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Stories of Achievement:

1st, Nutschell Ann Windsor, Filipina American, writer, brown-belter in the Philippine martial art of arnis

Nutschell Ann Windsor is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, a UCLA Extension Program Administrator, and co-editor of an anthology called SPROUTS.

Nutschell Ann Windsor is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, a UCLA Extension Program Administrator, and co-editor of an anthology called SPROUTS.

2nd, Angela Narciso Torres, whose poetry collection Blood Orange won the Willow Book Prize in 2013:

Angela Narciso Torres, poet, reading from her poetry collection, BLOOD ORANGE, at Beyond Baroque Literary Center in Venice Beach, CA, Nov. 2

Angela Narciso Torres reading from her poetry collection, BLOOD ORANGE, at Beyond Baroque Literary Center in Venice Beach, CA, Nov. 2

3rd, Matthew Torres, son of Angela, a visual artist and a junior at USC. He painted this in honor of his mother’s poetry collection, Blood Orange.  Took the shot in the lobby of Beyond Baroque Literary Center, just before Angela’s reading.

Matthew, son of Angela Narciso Torres, is a junior in USC. He painted this for his mother, to illustrate her collection BLOOD ORANGE.

Matthew, son of Angela Narciso Torres, is a junior in USC. He painted this for his mother, to illustrate her collection BLOOD ORANGE.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

White Whale Review 1.2

Sometime in this literary magazine’s infancy, the editor contacted self (through this blog) and solicited a short story.

The issue was 1.2

Now, the magazine is in its sixth year.

The story self submitted to them was “Dumaguete.”  Here’s an excerpt:

His mother had taken him to the green campus of Silliman University, and there, among the tall, old acacia trees, they’d stumbled across a small museum that held shells and various voodoo paraphernalia from the small island just offshore, Siquijor. From the city’s seaside promenade, one could just discern the faint outline of the island. All day, outriggers plied the distance between the large and small island, ferrying shell vendours and curious tourists to and fro.  Carlos had heard numerous stories of this fabled place, but his mother showed no inclination to go there.

Intrigued? Want to read the rest of it? Go here.

“Dumaguete” is in self’s third story collection, The Lost Language (which is only available in the Philippines).

Self has been to that island, just off Dumaguete.  At least three times.

DSCN4154

Stay tuned.

P. 149 of THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE

She thinks this novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, is one of Haruki Murakami’s best (She’s read four of his books. Counting this one, five)

What exactly is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami, about?  Self did assiduous research beforehand. Because the book itself is 600 pages. And self wanted to ascertain whether it was worth the hours of her time she would have to commit to reading it.

Here’s what Amazon readers had to say about it:

  • It’s about evil.
  • It’s about defilement.
  • It’s about a love triangle.
  • It’s about a guy who stays home all day and keeps himself occupied with banal activities like looking for his wife’s lost cat or preparing dinner (His wife is the breadwinner).  Eventually he develops a twisted relationship with xxxx.

Apparently no one felt like mentioning the fact that a good portion is set in World War II?  There’s a leader named Yamamoto and a Corporal named Honda.

As far as self knows, this is the first time Murakami has written about World War II.  His delicate, allusive prose has always been about modern life, its sense of anomie. He lured her in. Is this, self wonders, Murakami’s attempt to write a historical novel? The allusiveness gets lost a little bit in the World War II scenes. Now, he’s plainly telling the reader “This happened” and “Then this happened.”

Self is determined — determined! — to read to the very end, because she’s sick of her snail-like reading pace, which has made it impossible for her to finish any of the books on her reading list. Like that one by Sebastian Barry, about the only Protestand in an Irish village who is the village’s official rat-catcher. Or Dark Star, the spy novel by Alan Furst.

Ugh, please.

Self can’t. She just can’t.

Stay tuned.

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