Advice for the Soldier Returning From Iraq

Don’t kill yourself. Don’t beat your wife.

— from the title story of Iraq War vet Phil Klay’s collection Redeployment

Tyrone Guthrie Art Centre: It IS Easy Being Green 2

JUST CELEBRATE A COLOR: GREEN!

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

Self went walking about the grounds today. Everywhere, there are drifts of yellow daffodils. The Laundry Room/ Greenhouse has a cozy porch.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What the Writing Desk Looks Like Today, 20 March 2017

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Niall Leevy Brochure from a 2009 Exhibit Called “Inner Light”; copy of self’s book Mayor of the Roses: Stories, Miami University Press

Niall was here last year. Saw his work at Open Studio at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

At the opposite end of the table, self’s book from Miami University Press (There’s another story collection that came after this one: The Lost Language. Self’s Dearest Mum gave copies to all her friends as a Christmas present, but painstakingly tore out all the stories she didn’t like, lol)

You will notice that today the writing table is square. That’s because there are two of them in her unit, and she switches back and forth between them, depending on her need for the scissors, lol

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What the Writing Desk Looks Like Today, 19 March 2017

It is Sunday.

A very peaceful, beautiful Sunday.

Birds are singing, the sun is shining. Self has taken to sleeping in her studio on the second floor of her unit. Because it’s so sunny there, with the skylight.

This is what she happened to be reading today, in addition to writing (and starting a new Everlark):

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Self is keeping up with her “Word of the Day” from the Oxford English Dictionary. Today’s word is dislocate. She actually used it in a story she’s working on. YAY!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ATOP: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 15 March 2017

For this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, ATOP, self goes back to the pictures she took of a London church she visited in 2015. She’s not sure if she’s interpreting the theme correctly (“a view from the top”) but she’ll post this anyway.

Two years ago, self was on a Shadowhunters reading binge. She took The Infernal Devices trilogy with her to the UK, and decided to plan her days around places cited in the books.

In her website, author Cassandra Clare says she used St. Bride’s near Fleet Street as the titular setting for the Shadowhunters Academy. And self did get to see this church. And it was one of the most beautiful churches she had ever seen.

You can see an exhibit on the history of St. Bride’s in the crypt. The spire was designed by Christopher Wren. Building began in 1671 and was completed in 1703:

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Rendering of the Steeple of St. Bride’s (aka “The Church of Journalists”) Just Off Fleet Street

The steeple was destroyed during the Blitz (see newspaper headline below).

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World War II London Newspaper

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A Modern Rendering of the Christopher Wren Steeple

The steeple has been rebuilt; you can see it from the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a long, slim needle that feels surprisingly at home with the modernistic buildings surrounding it.

Self returned to St. Bride’s last year, with poet Joan McGavin. The main space was closed for refurbishing, but the crypt was still open to the public. While Joan went down to look at the exhibit, self chatted with a clergyman, who asked what brought her to St. Bride’s. And she said, Shadowhunters. He was highly amused.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What the Writing Desk Looks Like Today, 16 March 2017

It’s the day before St. Patrick’s Day: YAY!

Also, it is raining.

Here’s what the desk looks like today:

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Busy morning.

Self is preparing to send out a story to a writing contest. It’s hard but, since the contest offers a 1-year subscription in return for a (smaller-than-average) entry fee, she figured it was worth it.

The copy of The Guardian next to her laptop is weeks old. But reading about Spicer et. al. is endlessly entertaining.

The Oxford English Dictionary word of the day is aliasing (noun): the misidentification of a signal frequency, introducing distortion or error.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Book # 4: Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre

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This morning, the first thing after I got out of bed, I looked in the mirror.

— Chapter One, Part One, Young Adam by Alexander Trocchi

About Alexander Trocchi:

Born and educated in Glasgow, Trocchi joined the Parisian literary scene of the early 1950s. He was editor of Merlin — the influential Paris quarterly magazine which helped establish the reputations of fellow expatriates Samuel Beckett and Henry Miller.

In case you were wondering: yes, that is in fact Ewan McGregor on the book cover. The book was made into a film.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

8 February 2017: Self Read at Sixth Engine, Washington DC

Self’s dystopian “First Causes” appears in the latest issue of Quarterly West.

Self very much enjoyed the reading for the launch of the issue because: 1) it was in Washington DC, and she got to see some old friends again; 2) she re-connected with a few people she hasn’t seen in years. Such as Letitia. Who was a student at Old Dominion University in Virginia when self read there for a literary festival (2007?) Now, Letitia is an Editor/Linguist/Poet (see business card below).

Self is tempted to ask Letitia if she’d like to help edit a collection of her speculative fiction she is getting ready to send out:

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The reading was co-hosted by two other literary magazines: 32 Poems and Smartish Pace.

And oh boy it was packed. To the point where the audience was all standing like a can of sardines.

A man threw copies of his poetry collection at the audience. “That is so cool!” a young man remarked. Since self was reading next, she was hard-pressed to think of something attention-getting.

She moved front, started babbling about how fan fiction got her there. And — received enthusiastic applause from somewhere on the right!

Forever grateful to the listeners, and of course to Quarterly West. Here’s a shot she took that night of the (very crowded) venue:

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The bar-restaurant Sixth Engine, downtown Washington DC, night of 8 February 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What the Writing Desk Looks Like Today, 12 March 2017

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Self’s horror story, The Rorqual, now up to 15 pp. YAY!

Stay tuned.

Book #3: Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Mary Oliver’s Swan

Self has never read Mary Oliver before.

How I Go to the Woods

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unbearable sound of the roses singing.

* * *

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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