Paul Theroux’s Deep South: Fall, Orangeburg

“Next time you come here, pay us a visit at our church, Revelation Ministries. Promise me you will.”

“I promise,” I said, and the notion of returning made me happy.”

Deep South, Paul Theroux

“To Newcastle!” Peeta says. “Why not to Shanghai?”

Oh, thou jest-est. Or whatever.

The setting is England, in the self-doesn’t-know-what century.

Peeta has just been called up to Oxford, while Katniss and Prim remain in Winchester.

KATNISS

My aunt and uncle wish to take Prim and I to Newcastle.

PEETA

To Newcastle? My God, why not to Shanghai?

KATNISS

Please, do not jest.

PEETA

And you wish to give Prim the opportunity to have a London season?

KATNISS

I do (I could not doom my sister’s future by being selfish enough to go after my own heart’s desires.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Last Year, The Wallace Collection

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Because last summer, she was reading Howard Jacobson’s The Act of Love, which is set mostly on London’s Great Russell Street (an antiquarian book dealer’s! Just across from the British Museum!) and The Wallace Collection, in July 2015 self went to see The Wallace Collection for the first time.

She asked a museum staffer if she knew where Fragonnard’s famous painting was.

“I know exactly,” said the staffer, without missing a beat (very much like the taxi driver who said, when self inquired if he knew St. Bride’s: “Of course! I’m a London cabbie!”). “She’s in the parlor, swinging away.”

LOL!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

This Conversation

Self was in Oxford.

Oxford, as in UK.

The year she got shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards.

Funny, that was also her first visit to Ireland.

In fact, she was IN Ireland when she got the e-mail from her publisher. In Florida.

“Oh,” self e-mailed. “I don’t think I can make it to Oxford, Mississippi. Because, I’m in Ireland.”

And her publisher said, “Well, if you’re in Ireland, I think that’s a lot closer to Oxford than where I am.”

And self thought, Huh, that’s funny.

Then she got an e-mail from the Saboteur Awards people, giving her directions on getting to Oxford. Which included going to London, then taking a train . . .

Wait. London. Train.

HOLY COW YOU CANNOT BE TELLING HER SHE WAS UP FOR A BRITISH AWARD?

Like hell, she said!

Anyhoo, she wound up in Oxford, UK. Drinking champagne, thank you very much. A young woman comes up to self, introduces herself as a Ph.D. student from Oxford. Oxford University, not Oxford as in Oxford, Mississippi. LOL.

The young woman asks self what she does to relax.

Self doesn’t even have to think about it: “I write Fan Fiction.”

And this young woman, this doctoral candidate in Oxford University, doesn’t bat an eyelash. She comes right back at self with: “Which universe?”

And self goes: “Hunger Games. Everlark.”

And that is the honest truth.

Stay tuned.

“Can You Explain Trump? Please?”

“Ooof,” self says, waving her hands dismissively. “Don’t worry about him! American voters aren’t as dumb as you think.”

Then self opens The New York Times digital edition today and sees:

DONALD TRUMP SWEEPS FIVE STATES; HILLARY CLINTON TAKES FOUR.

Everything starts moving in slow motion: her fingers wander to the half-full bottle of pinot noir in her kitchen. She wonders if there’s ever a time when it’s a good idea to excuse herself from an election. Like, say, I GOT LOST IN RURAL IRELAND!  or BRIGADOON HAD ME AT HELLO!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

A Quote For You Today!

  • I don’t think publishers of our kind are in a position to make a success out of a really crappy book. The big guys and gals can do that; they have the marketing and leverage not only to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but also to fill that purse with gold. We can’t.

— Michael Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief, Europa Editions, quoted in Poets & Writers magazine, November/December 2015

Never, Ever

Never, ever in the history of self’s reading of fan fiction did she ever think she would find dialogue like the one below so meaninful:

FINNICK:

Kitty, you okay?

PEETA:

Katniss, okay?

The second line belongs to Tarzan Peeta and Katniss had to teach him English all over again because apparently Peeta was the sole survivor of a shipwreck and ended up on an uninhabited island off some African coast when he was just seven years old and forgot how to wear clothes and even how to speak (He grunts at Katniss the first time he meets her). You can just imagine the poor kid learning how to survive on berries or monkey poop or whatever! Mind-blowing! Absolutely!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

London Last Summer: St. Bride’s (TW: Possibly Disturbing Visual)

Trigger Warning: Possibly Disturbing Content

Took self a long time to find this church (She finally had to ask a cab driver who was parked on Fleet Street; His answer: “Course I know where St. Bride’s is; I’m a London cabbie!”)

The Stations of the Cross were a series of photographs which, well — gulp. Put her in mind of, you know, that:

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Stations of the Cross, St. Bride’s Church, London (June 2015)

And here’s her reading for the day from The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, which is set in Algiers:

In this movie I saw one day, a man was mounting some long flights of stairs to reach an altar where he was supposed to have his throat cut by way of soothing some god or other. The man was climbing with his head down, moving slowly, heavily, as if exhausted, undone, subdued, but most of all as if already dispossessed of his own body. I was struck by his fatalism, by his incredible passivity.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Tarzan Peeta Part 2: Finnick Tries Flirting

Her thoughts drifted back to the mysterious man that had saved her (from drowning) earlier that day. She really hadn’t stopped thinking about him at all since he’d run into the tropical forest like a mad man, wearing her orange sundress. The vision of it made Katniss’s laughter bubble up . . .

“You liked that one, Kitty?” Finnick asked, catching Katniss by surprise.

Her laughter subsided at the pet name he’d coined for her as soon as they’d met on the plane. She stared at him a moment, willing the scowl to stay behind the delicate mask of merriment. She had to play along, knowing she couldn’t tell any of the men about her savior. At least, not yet. Not until she knew more about him. Why was he on the island. Where he came from . . .

Can you believe anyone finding Finnick tiresome?

LOL.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

WIP: The Return to the Ocean, A Fable Set in The Future

All life emerged from the ocean.

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And that’s where we’re going again. When the air around us gets too filthy to breathe.

In a dystopian, far far far future, this conversation takes place:

We’re going under.

When?

Today.

Just like that.

Yes.

Well, I need a little more time to select.

Select?

Yeah. What do you think?

Everything you need is down there.

You’re talking about under.

That’s what I’m saying, yes.

That down there, humans like us can live.

Yes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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