Gathering: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

What is the holiday season if not a chance to get together with family and friends to over-indulge in great conversation, food, and maybe even a libation or two?

  • Prompt for GATHERING, The Daily Post Photo Challenge for the week before Christmas

Self’s first post on this theme shows:

(1) a crowd waiting to get in to the Santa Maria del Fiori in Florence:

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WAAAAH! These are the crowds in NOVEMBER? Don’t even want to imagine what they’re like in the spring and summer!

2) an outdoor yoga class in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin:

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St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, July 2015

3) pelicans and seagulls, Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA

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Fall, Half Moon Bay, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Week Before Christmas! Photo of the Day

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On Sixth Avenue, One Week Before Christmas 2015

“Woman, Do Not Weep!”

Florence, Palazzo Vecchio, early November 2015: Self visiting the city for the first time with her niece, Irene, stumbles on a conference to honor the 10th anniversary of the death of Msgr. Luigi Giussani (1922 – 2005):

Woman, do not weep! Do not weep, because I did not make you for death, but for life. I put you in the world and placed you in the company of people.

There is nothing that can block the certainty of a destiny that is mysterious and good!

Fan Fic of the Day: Her Royal Highness Queen Katniss

The house goes into a real upheaval as many men stand up in an outburst. The room is filled with shouts and jeers. Lord Hawthorne decides to wait this one out and not comment. From the opposite side of the room Duke Latier sends him a nod. He turns back to the crowd. The silly little fools continue to jeer and shout as the Speaker tries to regain order.

After the last remarks of the Speaker, the session is dismissed. Out in the gallery, the members of Parliament pour out. Gentlemen in their coats and trousers, a blur of blacks, greys, and browns.

Advice For Writers: Story # 6 of BAD BEHAVIOR

If you really want to be a writer, then don’t move to New York. You’ll just wind up in some dank little dump in the East Village with bars on the windows, and oh, I don’t know.

And:

She had to admit that a large part of the reason she was even trying to get a job was for the approval of people she’d known in Illinois, many of whom were living in New York and thought of her as a hopeless neurotic . . .

— “Trying to Be,” Story # 6 in Bad Behavior

It’s after Story # 6 that self decides she will leave the collection. Because Story # 7 is “Secretary,” which was made into an excellent movie about self-mutilation (The main character was played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, a casting choice that was sheer genius) and how much Maggie’s character wants to be whipped by her boss, played by James Spader.

And self doesn’t believe for one moment that there exists in the universe a woman who secretly wants to be whipped by her boss. Of course, this is fiction, and Gaitskill does have a point she wants to make.

Nevertheless.

Why has this trope proven to be so enduring? Fifty Shades of Grey, hello!

This evening, self went to Barnes & Noble on 86th and had just mentioned to the woman at the Info desk that she was looking for The Strain when the woman said: “Science fiction. Shelved by title. Look under del Toro.” Impressive!

It’s exactly the same type of reaction self got when she was in Hodges & Figgis in Dublin. She barely even had time to say The Bane Chronicles when the saleswoman said, “YA. Look under Cassandra Clare.”

Stay tuned.

 

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