2nd Quote of the Day: From Self’s Short Story, “Lizard” Included in the Collection, GINSENG AND OTHER TALES FROM MANILA (Published in the U.S. by Calyx Press)

They must have been sitting there a long time. Her grandmother was leaning forward, saying something in a low, insistent voice, while Wito’s mother listened with bent head. Wito saw how intently her grandmother gazed at her mother, how there seemed to be something about her mother that kept drawing the older woman forward, so that it seemed she might reach out any moment and touch or, perhaps, hit her. Wito saw how her mother hung her head, and knew that she was crying. The back of her neck, covered with fine, black hair, looked narrow and exposed. Wito thought she caught the words shameful and waste, but then her grandmother saw her and broke off aprubtly.

When Wito went up to greet her grandmother, the old woman’s cheek felt dry, like parchment, whereas her mother’s cheek was soft and moist, and when Wito turned to leave, her mother softly said “no” and pulled her close. Her mother’s arms encircled her, forcing her to face her grandmother.

—  Marianne Villanueva, “Lizard,” included in The 100 Best Philippine Short Stories in English, Manila: Tahanan Books, edited by Isagani Cruz

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT

“We have some planes.”

The first communication from the terrorists on the four doomed flights. And that was how an ordinary Tuesday became that great unknowable: tragedy.

Self is reading the 9/11 Commission Report this morning, a 900+ page behemoth.

She’s reading all kinds of things in an effort to get herself to write more. And more. And more. And more.

In addition, a few days ago, James Moad II, who edits the War, Literature and the Arts Journal, sent self a link to this, which makes for most fascinating reading.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Cassandra Clare Quote of the Day: Clockwork Princess, pp. 315 – 316

Will beset by a pack of werewolves at a Welsh country inn:

Will was bleeding from his shoulder where one of them had dug deep furrows with his claws; the pain was glorious . . . “Again,” he said, and barely recognized his own voice, strained and cracked and deadly. “Again.”

OMG, self can’t. She can’t even.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Fairy Tale Cottage in Chapter 14 of CLOCKWORK PRINCESS: PARABATAI

Self loves fairy tales. Regular readers of this blog know that very well. She has hardcover copies of both The Annotated Brothers Grimm and The Annotated Alice, both published by W. W. Norton. Her favorite Hunger Games fan fiction writer is Mejhiren, whose bleakly beautiful fairy tales blend Hunger Games and fairy tale elements like the Wild Swans or the Snow Queen so seamlessly. Which brings us to Clockwork Princess.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

In Chapter 14 of Clockwork Princess (Self hates the thought of finishing this book. She tried to keep from reading more than a chapter today, but that was an epic fail), Tessa Gray has been kidnapped by the evil Mortmain, and is being taken to Wales in a carriage driven by hideous Mrs. Black. She manages to throw herself out of the carriage, and tumbles down a ravine, and then follows a stream to a little cottage:

She had seen no sign of human habitation for miles, and was beginning to despair of her plan, when a clearing came into view . . .  It had begun to rain lightly, but even through the drizzle she could see the outline of a low stone building. As she drew closer, she saw that it seemed to be a small house, with a thatched roof and overgrown path leading to the front door . . .  The house was deserted.

The door was already part open, the wood swelled with rain.

DUN DUN DUN!

There are many more descriptive details in the passage, but this chapter is so packed that self will have to turn dear blog readers’ attention to another subject.

Chapter 14 is also the chapter when the terrible thing happens. The cord linking Will Herondale to his parabatai snaps, and the rune just above his heart which represents the bond he shares with Jem starts to disappear. Of course, it couldn’t have occurred at a worse time (unrequited love for Tessa etc etc have taken its toll) and Will himself begins to wish his life could end, too. That is, until he’s attacked by a pack of werewolves. And then, Will being Will, instinct kicks in and he fights:

The lycanthrope screamed, and a dark bolt of glee shot through Will.

That Cassandra Clare. When she writes about Will, her writing is as sure and finely honed as a rapier. He’s her best character, the one she seems to know intuitively. And her writing is at its best when she writes about him.

Self read somewhere that Clare is starting a new series, and it’s going to be about the children of Will and Tessa. Wait — WHAT??? Tessa and Will have children ???

Indeed they do! James and Lucie Herondale. And that’s who Clare’s new series will be about.

But self doesn’t want to read about any of Will’s descendants, no matter how many of his fine qualities they inherit. She wants to read about Will. And she doesn’t want him showing up as some kind of oracular ghost, either. Can you do that, Cassandra Clare?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, p. 299

BIG SPOILER BIG. Mother of all SPOILERS.

Did you really think you could escape one day without seeing a Clockwork Princess post, dear blog readers?

Think again!

Because we are nearing the end. That is, the end of The Infernal Devices Trilogy.

Yesterday, while reading, self started crying and crying and crying. Because Will left to rescue Tessa, all by himself, without the approval of the Council. No one went with him, because everyone in the Institute was so worried about Jem, who had taken a turn for the worse.

AAARGH!!!

Will you just stop, people?  Jem is not going to die!  He’s going to be immortal, and outlive Will, while Will is all too mortal. HE, WILL HERONDALE, is going to die! Die die die!

THANK GOD FOR CECILY HERONDALE, Will’s younger sister.

While everyone is all boo-hoo about the angelic wasting-away of Jem, while even Warlock Magnus Bane has been roped in to the task of HELPING JEM TO LIVE SO THAT HE CAN MARRY TESSA AND WILL’S HEART WILL BE BROKEN FOREVERMORE, Cecily thinks of her brother, who’s headed to Wales. Mortmain has taken Tessa there, as if to taunt the Herondales in their own backyard (There was mention of Holyhead, Wales, which self visited last year: she’d taken the train from Dublin and switched to a ferry in Holyhead and completed the rest of her trip by train to London).

Here is Cecily:

She could not help but think of her brother. Part of her mind was there in the Institute, but the rest was with Will: on the back of a horse, leaning into the wind, riding hell-for-leather over the roads that separated London from Dolgellau. She wondered if he was frightened. She wondered if she would see him again.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Broken 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Yesterday, some of us writers went to downtown Banff to take a book-making class.

It was a bee-yoo-ti-ful day! Here’s a sample of the finished product. Self thinks the post goes with the BROKEN theme because we decorated our books with twigs. The twigs were from a pile discarded in front of an organic grocery.

The Finished Product! Took Us 1 1/2 hours approx.

The Finished Product! Took Us 1 1/2 hours approx.

Mine. It was surprisingly easy to make. But I was still the last to finish.

Self’s. It was surprisingly easy to make. But she was still the last to finish.

Another view of self's: She is not a

Another view of self’s: She is not a “crafts” person, but these were surprisingly easy to make.

Thank you to Gingko and Ink, 111 Banff Avenue, the store that hosted the class. The owner couldn’t have been more gracious:

Gingko & Ink, a paper and crafts store on 111 Banff Avenue: The owner of the store taught the bookmaking class yesterday afternoon.

Gingko & Ink, a paper and crafts store on 111 Banff Avenue: The owner of the store taught the bookmaking class yesterday afternoon.

Anyhoo, was happy with the result.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Absurdly Visceral Mad Max: Fury Road

YO! SPOILERS.

Bad guys actually make use of a minstrel.

Only George Miller

At times the road melée put self in mind of Cirque du Soleil. Especially the pole riders.

Again, only George Miller

Five ethereal damsels who seem to have walked straight out of the pages of Vogue sit in an oil rig.

Once again, only George Miller.

People spray their mouths with . . . something. Shiny. Seems to make them bat-shit crazy. Self means, crazier than they already are.

GM, genius.

Skullface.

GM, again genius.

There IS, in this movie, mention of the following: Valhalla, breeders, bags of sun, dying “historic” and half-life.

Charlize Theron at the end seems to have lost an eye. Thankfully, the eyelid is closed.

Woman gets shot in the leg. Charlize: “How does it feel?” Shot woman: “It hurts.” Charlize: “Out here, everything hurts.”

Casting Sweet Nicholas Hoult as nihilistic “War Boy” Nux. All hail, casting director.

There is a race of white people. Self doesn’t mean Caucasian white. She means Sankai Juko/ buto white. The albino look somehow giving viewers the FEELZ for this awful future dystopia.

The smearing of black across the cheekbones somehow translates to: I’m coming for you, a**holes. And I will CRUSH you. Exhibit A: Charlize

Because out there in the wasteland, symbolic gestures are everything.

Tom Hardy finally gets to give his growl maximum (and welcome) exposure.

Self can’t even.

Stay tuned.

Quote of The Day: NOT Clockwork Princess

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

— Albert Einstein

You’re welcome.

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, p. 212

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Every death scene, no matter whose (with the possible exception of Benedict Lightwood’s) — kills self.

Really, really kills.

The characters say things as they die that — UGH.

Since self’s favorite thing in The Infernal Devices is the dialogue, the fact that someone is dying is a really good reason to get those FEELZ out, in verbal manner.

And on p. 212 — eyes gushing like a faucet, self experiences a death scene.

(It ain’t Will’s, though — BWAH. HA. HA. If it were, she’d never read another word of the series)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Moment in Mad Max When Tom Hardy Removes His Face Device

Lord, self never wanted to like Mad Max: Fury Road.

She saw the trailers and was — OMG, this movie’s been taken over by Charlize!

Not that self has anything against Charlize.

But seriously — there’s a reason this movie is called Mad Max. And that’s because it has to be about Mad Max. Later, Charlize can be in her own movie, and they can call it Imperator Furiosa.

Today, in Banff, took a class on book-making. Not writing — scrapbooking! (So nice to have non-verbal expression, for once! Also, the store was absolutely delightful, and so was the owner.) Wait a minute, self was about to write something about Mad Max. (Er, would you believe self has only seen a handful of movies this year? And it’s nearly half over! Must correct that situation pronto!)

Anyhoo, Tom Hardy. In that facial gear, self kept slipping up and thinking she was looking at Gerard Butler.

Not, however, when he finally succeeded in prying off the unholy device. And —

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new generation has arrived. His FACE, dear blog readers. THAT FACE.

Tom Hardy, you are so beautiful. After that, self never looked away from the screen once, not even while she was madly scribbling lines of dialogue into her take-everywhere notebook. She can barely decipher her scrawl now.

Self must also mention this other presence:  Nicholas Hoult. He plays a “War Boy” named Nux.

Okay, while not beautiful like Tom Hardy, he is moving. Self has seen him play a zombie, play a 12-year-old, play Jack in the Giant Beanstalk movie, and she always always finds him terribly easy to empathize with.

In fact, self would have to say the BEST lines of dialogue in this movie (What? There was dialogue? Hold on . . . Indeed there was! Not of the Shakesperean variety, mind you! But close, lol!)

For instance, somewhere in the middle of the movie:

Nux:  There’s high ground just beyond that thing.

Furiosa:  What thing.

One of the Brides:  He means the tree.

OMG, do you see what self means about the dialogue? It is economical, it is brisk, and it does the job!

Next line of memorable dialogue: Wives (aka Breeders) having a squabble. One wants to give up and return to her oh-so-unholy breeding activities. The other wives chase after her and tell her:

You. Are. Not. Thing.

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Do dear blog readers know that self has a science fiction story set in a dystopian (apologies, but she has to use that word) future? And it is called Thing? It was published in the New Orleans Review, 2012.

Yes, you brides who are all played to great blank affect by possible real-life models: YOU ARE NOT THING.

Three cheers for George Miller for using such a great line in his movie.

And now to Nick Hoult’s lines:

I live.

I die.

I live again.

There was just something so nihilistic, so even Nietzsche about that line. About the movie, in fact. Captured the despair of the characters perfectly.

So, when the credits finally rolled, self waited to see those words:

DIRECTED BY GEORGE MILLER.

Well done, sir. If she were in a movie theatre alone, she would have clapped.

Stay tuned.

« Older entries Newer entries »

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Adventures in life from the Sunshine State to the Golden Gate

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor