New: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge


This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is, fittingly enough, NEW.

Hence this post is about 1) New Books 2) New Experiences and 3) A New Play

New additions to self’s personal bookshelf. The Neruda she bought in Venice Beach. By the Book was a Christmas present.

New Books for the New Year

New Books for the New Year

First Time to Visit Chicago in the Fall:

Downtown Chicago: October 2014

Downtown Chicago: October 2014

Caught the U.S. premiere of Abbie Spillane’s new play, the scorching Strandline, at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre:

This Chicago theatre was founded 25 years ago by actor Michael Shannon.

This Chicago theatre was founded 25 years ago by actor Michael Shannon. It’s an intimate (not to say wee) space. The night self saw it was the first night of previews and most of the people in the audience were actors and actresses.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


Maria Tatar, Fairy Tales, Myth

It is interesting how impossible it is to remember a time when my head was not full of these unreal people, things, and events. When I ask friends and colleagues what is their first precise memory of a fairy tale, they almost all come up with some shock administered by that psychological terrorist, Andersen — the little mermaid walking on knives, Hans in the icy palace of the Snow Queen. But these shocks to people and children who already know and inhabit the other world which gets into our heads and become necessary — a world of suns and moons and forests, of princesses and goose girls, old men and women, benign and malign, talking birds and flying horses, magic roses and magic puddings, turnips and pigs, impenetrable castles and petrification, glass mountains and glass coffins, poisonous apples and blinding thorns, ogres and imps, spindles and spun gold, tasks and prohibitions, danger and comfort (for the good people) after it. The tales collected by the Grimms are older, simpler, and deeper than the individual imagination.

It is very odd — when you come to think of it — that human beings in all sorts of societies, ancient and modern, have needed these untrue stories.

—  from Maria Tatar’s Preface to The Annotated Brothers Grimm (W. W. Norton)

*     *     *     *

So here’s where self is in her Hunger Games Canon-Divergent Fan Fiction:

Peeta has a flashback to his youth, when Katniss taught him about plants.

He tries to remember every plant she pointed out to him in the woods, and composes a list. And that, in entirety, is self’s Chapter 15, which self calls “A Memory of Katniss”:

Hawksbeard * Hound’s Tongue * Lady’s Mantle * Meadow Rue * Mugwort * Mule Ears * Needlegrass * Oatgrass * Owl’s Clover * Ox-Tongue * Peppergrass * Pipestems * Popcornflower * Red Maids * Redberry

And of course, let’s not forget the famous Nightlock.

Stay tuned.

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