#amwritinghistoricalfiction: p. 101

A conversation between the Archbishop of Madrid and Matias, the MC of self’s (set in the 18th century) novel, Blue Water, Distant Shores:

“Are there testimonies of his cruelty?”

“There are,” says the Archbishop. “And yet, without the cruelty of Juan de Salcedo, none of this would have been possible.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: 18th Century What-Not

The following is an excerpt from an Archbishop ‘s conversation with self’s main character Matias, who is being assigned to one of Spain’s farthest colonies, the Philippines:

“There are a handful of civil servants married to native women who have taken to land management. I would not go so far as to call their efforts industrious. They are respectable but not artistic. It would be tedious to describe them.”

Whenever self re-reads this passage, she just has to go

lol

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Reading Last Night at the Main House

When Lise-Ann McLoughlin, an Irish actress and screenplay writer, reads your words aloud and you become a puddle on the floor.

From “The Rorqual,” self’s horror story-in-progress, set in the Bering Sea:

A large shelf of ice had just dislodged — calved — the day before in Hobart Bay. The sea water had risen by several feet. The immensity of the sound — a low thunder that cascaded off the sides of the snow-capped mountains — was deeply unsettling. Here and there, by the water’s edge, were tussocks of green on which grey tippled seals crowded, blunt snouts raised high in the air.

Despair gripped her.

“Can they replace him with a pagophilic?” the Captain asked.

Tamara bit her lip. “I won’t have a pagophilic. I’d sooner kill them than look at them. They murdered all my children but one. And all the people of the Black Hills.”

NOTE: Self invented this creature, the pagophilic. Somewhere in her story is the dictionary definition. But, the short answer: Pagophilics are mutants developed by the U.S. Navy in a top-secret (naturally) facility somewhere north. Something went wrong with the experiments, and the program was discontinued. A few of the pagos managed to escape and are roaming the northern wilds.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#folklorethursday: Ringing the bell at the Bajnath Temple, Himachal Pradesh

Ring the bell and make a wish!

That, at least, is what self was told.

Himachal Pradesh, India, 2012.

Stay tuned.

#amreading Travel Writing: Lawrence Durrell on Alexandria

Going ashore in Alexandria is like walking the plank for instantly you feel, not only the plangently Greek city rising before you, but its backcloth of deserts stretching away into the heart of Africa. It is a place for dramatic partings, irrevocable decisions, last thoughts; everyone feels pushed to the extreme, to the end of his bent. People become monks or nuns or voluptuaries or solitaries without a word of warning. As many people simply disappear as overtly die here. The city does nothing.

— Lawrence Durrell in An Alexandria Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries, edited by Michael Haag (Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press)

#amwritinghorror: More of “The Rorqual”

27 pages!

He felt uneasy and decided to call in his position:

Mocking-bird O for Orange, Mocking-bird O for Orange.

His heart jumped unsteadily while he waited for the response. Finally, there was a burst of static followed by a tinn-y, echoing voice saying, “Oh Joshua, thank God, you’re going to make it — “

“Hello,” Joshua practically screamed. “Hello, I’m at — “

(Don’t know if that call sign is too laughable. Self is a huge Hunger Games fan, and Orange is the baker’s favorite color)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Arctic Sea Ice: Disturbing Change

Ever since self began writing her horror story, The Rorqual, set in the Bering Sea, she’s been following the NSIDC on Twitter.

Today, she read this:

Arctic sea ice extent for October 2017 averaged 6.71 million square kilometers (2.60 million square miles), the fifth lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.64 square kilometers (633,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 820,000 square kilometers (317,000 square miles) above the record low October extent recorded in 2012.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: THIS IS END

#amwritingdystopia #amwritingfantasy #amwritinghorror

sequel to her stories First Life (in Juked.com) and First Causes (in Quarterly West)

Floating, off to the right: the remains of the former space station, the Kobayashi Maru.

It caught fire. The wreckage drifted, was lost. Then found. Then lost, and found again.


Ice, another of her dystopian stories, will be in the Fall issue of Bellingham Review, which drops Nov. 15.

Stay tuned.

#amwritinghorror

Calling this one The Rorqual. What the Rorqual is — well, you’ll just have to wait till the story’s finished to find out.

Setting: the Bering Sea

He remembered the day it all changed. It was the day they spotted a ship, sailing languidly along the ice-clotted harbor. It seemed meandering, yet sure of purpose. It drifted to shore, riding high in the water.

(And, just so you know, self knows absolutely nothing about ships or about seafaring or about the Bering Sea. Which is why she chose to write this story about ships and seafaring and the Bering Sea)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading From the Book of AMAZING RARE THINGS: About An Amazing Naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian

DSCN0253

How Self Reads: Everything In Front of the Couch

MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN (1647 – 1717)

Born in Frankfurt, she “married one of her stepfather’s pupils and they moved to her husband’s native city of Nuremberg in 1670.  Five years later Merian published her first book, Florum Fasciculus primus (A first bunch of flowers), which she followed with two further parts in 1677 and 1680.” These were essentially pattern books “designed to serve as a model for embroidery . . . ”

“Merian’s first scientific work . . .  was her Raupenbuch, or more fully Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumennahrung (The wondrous transformation of caterpillars and their remarkable diet of flowers) . . .  Each part comprised fifty plates showing caterpillars, chrysalises, butterflies and moths in their natural habitat, and represented the results of many years of observation.”

Her pioneering work was performed “between 1699 and 1701,” when she went “to the Dutch colony of Surinam in South America, where she studied the insects indigenous to the country,” resulting in the “magnificent work” Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (The transformation of the insects of Surinam). It was “one of the most important works of natural history of its era . . .  ninety-five” of her watercolours on vellum are in the Royal Collection.

You can see some of her art here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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