Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 103: SURPRISE

Whew, where would self’s head be right now if she weren’t doing a Photo Challenge? These Photo Challenges are really helping self stay positive during the pandemic.

The latest Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is: SURPRISE.

Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence, a surprise.     

– Vera Nazarian

Do joing the fun!

Here are self’s recent surprises:

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These cherries from a tree in self’s backyard were so unexpectedly sweet!

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Picking more cherries!

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Her friend Jacinta O’Reilly, a painter in Ireland, sent her this beautiful card that she made herself. What a beautiful surprise to get in the mail!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102: A QUIET MOMENT

  • All around the world people are noticing that their cities and towns are quieter during the pandemic. They say that they can hear the birds in the morning instead of traffic and are more aware of nature’s presence. In quiet moments during the day, I can hear neighbors chatting as they walk past. Children’s voices mingle with the sounds of water sprinklers. It feels like we stepped back to a less hectic time when people stayed at home more.

A Quiet Moment, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102, P. A. Moed

Last fall, self was in Ireland. What a different place the world was then!

During her visits to Ireland, she always finds calm and inspiration. These pictures reflect that mood.

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from a cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

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Just Outside IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Dublin

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This beautiful avenue leads from IMMA straight to . . . the Dublin Castle? It is a wonderful walk.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

KUWENTO (Stories), Self’s First Book

A copy is in Green Library.

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#backreading The New Yorker, 14 October 2019

Found, in a pile of unread New Yorkers, the issue that lauds Jenny Lewis’s Gilgamesh Retold (available now as an audiobook featuring Jenny reading her own work, on the Carcanet website)

 

It’s partly about George Smith, “an engraver of banknotes,” who “spent his lunch hours at the British Museum, studying its holdings.” Eventually, Smith was hired to “help analyze the thousands of clay shards that had been shipped … ” from “Nineveh, an important city in ancient Mesopotamia … the reason so many tablets had been found in one place was that they were the remains of a renowned library, that of Ashurbanipal, a king of the neo-Assyrian Empire in the seventh century B.C.” The script was written in cuneiform, a script “no one could read.”

The article, by Joan Acocella, is very long. But worth noting is that it reviews Jenny Lewis’s new collection, Gilgamesh Retold. Self has heard Jenny read, and her voice — Shohreh Aghdashloo level.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Writing In a Pandemic: Self’s Other Novel

So far, 299 pages, set on the island of Negros in the central Philippines, in the opening months of World War II. Self has not looked at it in almost two years. She’s been devoting most of her time to her 16th century novel, Camarote de Marinero:

In mid-April, Honorato was sent to the mountains.  He had just turned 18.  Don Geronimo worried because he was tall, because he was good-looking, because he was the eldest and bore the hopes of his parents on his slender shoulders.  Hide, his father told him.  Get as far away from here as you can.

The boy, Honorato, spends the war wandering in the mountains with his Dad’s enkargado, Moses. Moses has a bolo and a 32 Colt. Honorato can’t even shoot. But he learns a lot. (Meanwhile, self, who hasn’t shot a gun in her entire life, has to do internet research on the mechanics of a 32 Colt. So she’s learning just as much as Honorato)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Poetry Contest, Rosebud Magazine

Deadline for Submission: 30 September 2020

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Judge: Lester Lennon, Rosebud Poetry Editor

For complete guidelines, go to: http://www.rsbd.net

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

#amwriting More Dystopia, With a Splash of Mandarin!

Zheng shi ruci.

“Oh, please.”

“Your Mandarin isn’t that bad.”

I sit down. She approaches. She smells different now. I allow her to stroke my cheek. Soon I’m panting and salivating, like one of those dogs.

Pavlovian theory. I learned that somewhere.

#amwriting Dystopia

You’re not permitted in my brain. Get out!

I root around in my head, trying desperately to reach Albert, tossing aside superfluous data, everything I think I don’t need for future transports. I’m under attack! Under attack! Under attack!

Shut down, Albert says. Abort delivery. Good-night.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HATS

Bless Cee Neuner for keeping Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge so FUN!

For this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, HATS, self found a couple of pictures from her archives.

Self’s baseball-cap wearing niece, Angela, an undergrad at the University of Michigan, spent a summer as an intern at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Self had a lot of fun hanging with her:

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The Martian is son’s favorite novel (after the Dune novels; son is an avid science fiction reader). He met the cap-wearing author at SDCC 2018:

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Finally, one of Magritte’s most iconic images, the man in the bowler hat, at an exhibit in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 2018:

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Other hats:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

10 Years Ago in Hotel Amerika’s TransGenre Issue

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In that same issue were: Sarah White * Mary Cappello * Elaine Terranova * Kelly Cherry * Jennifer L. Knox * Brian Teare * Ben Quick * Christina Manweller * G. C. Waldrop

GHOSTS

(An excerpt)

I dreamt about my sister, dead these many years. It seemed she was in a place of ghosts. In my dream I put my face up to hers and kissed her cheek and said, “I’ll always be your sister.” But she turned her face away and closed her eyes. Her cheek was cold.

I said, “Do you want me to take you away, dear? Come, come! Let us go!” But she only looked sad and didn’t speak.

My son was with me but in my dream he was a young boy. I mean, my son at seven, not the way he is now. He was impatient with my sighs and tears and wanted to get away from that place. He was bored.

I gave him a pencil and told him, “Draw!” He took the pencil obediently. He drew. But it seemed to cost him great effort.

Now and then I would peep at what he was drawing: a series of empty rectangles. I asked him, “Why don’t you put people in your drawings? See, here, and here, and here. They are all around us!”

He looked up and slowly I saw understanding dawn on his face. He filled his drawings with the outlines of people. I understood then that he, too, could see them, these guests.

I told my sister: You are under a spell. You should never have gotten married. She nodded, but she didn’t seem to want to do anything about it. Eventually I left, I left my sister there in that cold white house in the middle of a barren plain. The landscape looked like that of a northern country, all bare brown fields as if struck by winter. All white trees.

In the back seat of my car was a white box. It made an angry buzz. I wanted to throw it away but I couldn’t because I knew somehow that there was something in that box that belonged to my sister.


Process: As a matter of fact, self did have this dream. Sometimes that happens. If self can get it all down quickly, the story almost writes itself. Which happened here.

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

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