Opposites 2: Fourth of July Parade!

  • Heavy and light, hard and soft, smooth and textured, inanimate and organic . . .

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post Photo Challenge: OPPOSITES

Saw many great opportunities for pictures today, at the annual Redwood City Fourth of July parade!


Redwood City Cop taking a picture of the Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band: 4th of July, 2016

And, in the picture below, the people on the truck are waving in opposite directions:


Redwood City Cop taking a picture of the Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band: 4th of July, 2016

Finally, the attire of the two people in the photo below are complete opposites:


The Fourth of July: Anything Goes!


Stay tuned.

When Your Favorite Fanfiction Author Updates After 21 Months

Seriously: WHAT READER waits 21 months for the next chapter of a Work-in-Progress?

A fan fiction reader, that’s who.

What author wouldn’t kill for that kind of control?

All right, so J. K. Rowling has millions of fans and her novels get 100,000 reviews on Amazon.com. But she has to work awfully hard, write full-length novels, blah blah blah. The author who updated yesterday has only two works on-line.  Each probably less than 200 pages. And the chapters are about 10 pages long.

Yesterday, when self saw that one of her favorite stories had updated, it was like:


Self stared at the screen, blinking. Was she dreaming? She opened the chapter.

Beautiful amazing everything!

Her theory about fan fiction is: it’s not just the appeal of creating new stories for characters one knows and loves. Fan fiction is all about serialization.

Some authors update on a regular basis: once a week, every Wednesday or Tuesday or Saturday. The readers hang around, fingers poised over the link button, on that designated day of the week.

Others post complete work (One-shots or Drabbles: a term self finally figured out means roughly the same thing as Flash Fiction) and then take it down.

But, talk about building a brand! There are names that have such a reputation that they can keep followers — even if all they do is drop one chapter oh, say, every 21 months or so.

It is simply tragic to get hooked on an incomplete story, but they do abound. There’s nothing worse than saying good-bye on a cliff-y. One website warns readers like so:


No matter what else happens this week, self already knows: it’s going to be a great week. Heck, it’s going to be a great year.

Life goes on, the author is still alive (amazing, everyone’s anonymous on fan fiction, and no one talks about RL — real life), the story is still alive, self is still alive, the world is still alive, and —

Holy Cow! It’s the Fourth of July! Yippeeeeee!

Last year, Fourth of July, self was else. England, probably.

Today, she got stuck in Redwood City downtown, because she saw a movie and when she came out, barricades for the annual parade had been set up — all around her car.

“There was a sign,” a woman told self. She was one of those setting up a booth. “You just didn’t bother to read them.”

Rude! She drove around in circles. Thought she’d end up sleeping in Courthouse Square, in her car. Come to think of it, that would probably make a really really good story. Something like Night at the Museum, only Night In Redwood City, Courthouse Square, Behind a Barricade. Some security person eventually took pity on self (but not before making self squirm for half an hour) and moved a barricade.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.



Miguel Hernandez: Been So Long

A creature must grow
From the seedbed of nothing
and more than one turns up
under the design of an angry star,
under a troubled and bad moon.

an excerpt from “Bloody Fate” (in the collection Miguel Hernandez, NYRB/Poets) translated by Don Share

OPPOSITES: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 1 July 2016

There are so many ways to infuse photos with drama, from choosing an unusual angle to focusing on a strong, vibrant palette. One idea I often explore is contrast. No, not so much in the technical sense of shadows and highlights (important as they certainly are), but more fundamentally: I love the power of a single frame to bring together conflicting elements.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post


Self has been pondering this challenge for a few days. It turns out she likes taking   high-contrast shots, mostly silhouettes, but on re-reading the prompt, she decided to try something different.

Here’s a picture from an illustrated version of Noah’s Ark. The etchings, by Arthur Geisert, are very fine. Self picked this particular drawing because of the way the straight lines of the support beams and the wooden floors are set off against the ark’s round bottom:


An Illustration by Arthur Geist for THE ARK (Houghton Mifflin, 1988)

Here’s a sign showing opposite directions:


Self-explanatory, really: near the Mendocino Headlands

Finally, two sharply contrasting book covers: Another Kind of Paradise is an anthology of short stories from the “new Asia-Pacific” edited by Trevor Carolan. After is an anthology of nineteen stories of “apocalypse and dystopia” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Wandling. Both books are highly recommended (Self has a story in one of them).


Two Anthologies: Wildly Different

Hope you like these interpretations of the theme “Opposites”!

Stay tuned.


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