New 3 for the New Year (2015): BRING ON THE AWESOME

It is such a bee-yoo-ti-ful day! This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is NEW.

As the prompt on The Daily Post puts it:  Let’s celebrate the new!

Tomorrow self will drive up to Mendocino and inspect her new digs. She’s packed almost everything, including Sumatra coffee, a coffee bean grinder, and Krups.

Today, self walked all over her garden.

Here are the first daffodils of the year:


And here is a picture emblematic of the mind frame with which self greeted 2015!

You can see this in AMC, Ontario Mills.

You can see this figure busting out of a wall in Ontario Mills Shopping Center (near Claremont)

She tweeted that 2014 was her BEST YEAR EVER.

She has the feeling 2015 might be equally good.

Because, you know, she is starting it off with her residency in the Mendocino Art Center! High Fives! Plus there’s lots of artists up there who self is just dying to meet.

Followers of self’s fan fiction also know that she is up to 17 chapters, 288 hits, and 14 kudos.


Although nephew Chris Blackett asked for her fan fiction pen name, IXNAY to that because, you know, fluff!  Too much fluff!

Here’s another picture that’s emblematic of NEW MINDSET:


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


“Wild”: The David Denby Review (The New Yorker, Dec. 8, 2014)

Aha! A fairly recent issue of The New Yorker — Hallelujah!

In this issue, David Denby reviews “Wild,” the film adaptation of the Cheryl Strayed memoir.

Self saw the movie several weeks ago, after which she posted a few remarks on Read the rest of this entry »

More From The Economist’s What Is the Deadliest Sin? (June 14 – 20, 2014)

Surely self doesn’t need to remind readers why she is reading a copy of The Economist dating from last June?

Here’s novelist Will Self on PRIDE:

“Most men can withstand adversity,” Abraham Lincoln said, “but if you want to see a man’s character, give him power . . .  It’s impossible to see how power can be exercised without pride, since to consider yourself capable of directing the hearts and minds of others is, ipso facto, to embrace the notion that you are superior to them. Since most power is gained arbitrarily, this is never demonstrably the case.”


BTW, Will Self is also a travel writer. He wrote a book about walking from England to the far reaches of America. Which self thinks is rather a quaint notion. Because, for one thing, to get from England to America, one has to ride a plane. Self explains this part (how he leaps the Atlantic). The book Will Self wrote about the journey is Psychogeography.

Stay tuned.

Pile of Stuff, Pile of Stuff, When Will You End?

When self’s inspiration for her fan fiction dries up, she has a very convenient pile of unread magazines very close by.

This pile reached previously unheard-of heights during Year 2014, because self was so often traveling (by choice: All of self’s trips are self-imposed)

Now to The Economist of June 14 – 20, 2014.

There is a humongous article titled What Is the Deadliest Sin?

Answers are given by seven intellectuals, ranging from a “former Bishop of Edinburgh” to a “conservative MP.”

Self finds the answer of Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder of Kids Company (a support organization for vulnerable children) most interesting. She picked SLOTH as the Deadliest Sin (After reading her answer, self is inclined to agree)

She states: “The sin of sloth is not caring, not noticing, not doing.”

Her explanation begins:

We all suffer from moments of duvet apathy, when we can’t get it together to lift ourselves out of bed. In small doses, sloth is survivable. But on a national scale it can be lethal. Perhaps the contemporary word for sloth would be “complacency” : the condition in which we don’t aspire to greather things. I’m not talking about material enhancement, but an inner lack of ambition or responsibility for yourself and for others — a lethargy of the spirit.

Self is reminded of her good friend Margarita Donnelly, who passed away just before Christmas.

She founded Calyx, the oldest women’s press in America (Self would dearly love to say she started it with a credit card, but she’s afraid her memory might be faulty on this point)

Margarita was the Anti-Sloth. She was that strong voice that was never afraid to take on someone or something if she thought the cause was justified. And self got the full-on exposure to the Margarita Anti-Sloth when she spent time with her in Venice, in 2013.

Self must admit that a 24/7 exposure to such a dynamo did sometimes make her feel like hiding under a rock. Alas, Margarita would not brook self hiding under a rock. Self just had to face Margarita (and Venice) the hard way. Full-on, eyes wide open, muscles flexed in readiness.

Because, self is a product of an island culture, and if given the choice she would willingly spend whole days in the lobby of the Danieli (packed to the gills with YOUNG Asian tourists who arrived with matching Louis Vuitton luggage) sipping Pernod.

But instead she was with Margarita in a small apartment in Ca’ San Toma, and she got lost every single day. And every single street had a bridge with steps going up (as well as steps going down, let’s be reasonable, but the steps going up were extremely challenging, especially when self had no idea where she was going). And when the heavens opened up and it poured rain, self was never within sight of an awning. Never.

Which is why she just had to take off for Trieste one day. Assured Margarita she’d be back, and then lost herself in a very nice B & B next to a restaurant in a convento rustica/rustico, where little red mopeds could be rented by the day, and self was never lost because she hardly moved from the quay. Trieste will always be, in self’s mind, that cocoon where complacency trumped everything else. She can just see herself fleeing there when she’s ready to have a nervous breakdown.

You know, this is turning out to be quite a funny post (as well as a very long one) and self figures that must be a good thing.

She almost made it to Oregon to catch Margarita on her very last day on this earth, but she missed her and instead got to speak to Margarita’s daughter, Angelique, who told her there would be no funeral, Margarita had a “celebration of life” in November, right after Thanksgiving. And self now recalls that Margarita herself called to tell her about this celebration of life, but because self was in that moment in a state of high-functioning complacency, she got her ticket for AFTER the holidays. And totally missed the boat.

But, you know, Venice. She did get to tell Margarita this astounding thing: “I think I will go back to Venice. Want to come with?”

Made Margarita laugh. The week before she passed away.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Finnick and Peeta: The Friendship, the Phone Call

Dear blog readers: hope you don’t mind that self is putting a lot of her Hunger Games fan fiction on this blog (in addition to, of course, blogging about her further adventures as a writer. Which very shortly will be occurring in Mendocino) until the mad/good “crushing-it” phase is over.

Peeta’s stuck in District 12 with Katniss’s seven-year-old son helping out in the bakery, and this situation is no picnic. First of all, Peeta and Katniss were a “thing” before he got reaped (This story is very AU) and she went off and married Gale. But, in a sudden fit of generosity and because everyone in the Seam is starving — it’s been a very long and hard winter, and Katniss went after game in the forest, got caught in an epic downpour, caught pneumonia, was many weeks ill in bed, all her beautiful black hair fell out, and . . . did self mention that this story is full of angst? — Peeta’s dad offered to take Katniss’s son as part-time help in the bakery (There are no child labor laws in Panem, obviously) and Peeta is quite disconcerted because

Her son looks so much like his father.

Which is to say, Katniss’s son takes after Gale.

Which sends Peeta’s emotions into turmoil. So that night, home alone in Victors Village, he calls Finnick, who’s working as an escort in the Capitol.

“Peeta,” Finnick says. “How are things?”

“I’m a bit — nervy,” Peeta says.

“The charming and debonair Peeta Mellark — nervy?” Finnick laughs. “Women problems?”

Peeta shakes his head before realizing that Finnick can’t see him. “I’m a model of virtue,” he says. “What time is it over there?”

“Almost 11,” Finnick says. “Darna’s here.”

Peeta’s mind stutters.

“No, we didn’t have anything going tonight,” Finnick says.

“Really?” Peeta says. “Okay, I believe you.”

“Besides, I’m a bore. After you, I mean. So why exactly are you calling?” Finnick asks.

“I don’t know,” Peeta says.

Finnick sighs. “Look, Peeta, I have to go. I have to be up in a few hours. Got a sunrise appointment with a client.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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