A Photo a Week Challenge: ATMOSPHERIC

Viveka on my guilty pleasures has the most beguiling photographs on this week’s Photo-a-Week Challenge: ATMOSPHERIC. So inspiring!

Thank you, Nancy Merrill, for the prompt: Share a photo (or two or three) with a distinct atmosphere.

Here are a few of self’s atmospheric shots.

Liverpool Docks, yesterday:

20191101_132546

Park in front of IMMA (Ireland Museum of Modern Art, Dublin):

20191029_150351

Dublin, park in front of IMMA, last Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The TGC at Annaghmakerrig, where self spent October:

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Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Republic of Ireland, last week of October

What is it about the Fall? It’s becoming self’s favorite season to travel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Setting: Isla del Fuego

from self’s novel:

  • It has a circuit of nearly a hundred leagues and a length of about fifty leagues, for it is very narrow. At the two extremities it is, at the widest place, about twenty leagues wide. All along the coast are to be found bays that curve in different directions.

This, dear blog readers, is self’s mythical island in the central Philippines. The place where her ambitious MC (a priest!) lives out his life, in the 18th century.

Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: from Blue Water, Distant Shores

Going to be sending this out for query in the next few days.

p. 24:

  • The soft breeze blowing through carried a scent of river mud and a tinge of something else, something pungent and rich, reminding him of the canals back home, the estuaries that carried effluvia from Murcia to the sea.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Francisco Ignacio Alcina, S.J.

  • It is an established fact that these natives came here in boats and since all these are islands, they could not come in any other manner.

History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands, 1668

Writing of the Day: The MC’s Sister Writes a Letter

What self is doing, she does not know. She just keeps tossing off letter after letter. Like, not only does she accept the throwdown of writing about 18th century Philippines, she has to make the whole thing epistolary!

Anyhoo, this section’s fresh as fresh, as she made the whole thing up about an hour ago. Thoughts?

You wrote that it is useless to appeal to the Bishop in Manila, for he cares more for “musk, civet, and pearls” than for his priests, which necessitates your appealing to Spain. And the Governor General is no better, you say, for he “struts about in the richest of silks and brocades”. If this individual were to somehow present to me at this very moment, I would demand that he be strung up from the highest gibbet. For are these things you have requested not proper and necessary for any human being, never mind those who are representatives of the Church and our country?

I am inclined to write a letter to the King himself, to inform him of what is truly going on in the islands, for He may well not know. Oh, to what lengths are we driven to serve both Our God and Our Lord!

Your loving sister,

Dorotea

In so many previous drafts (maybe the 1st to the 10th draft), Dorotea was the MC’s (secret) love interest, but self was unable to keep up the tension after the MC left for his mission in the Philippines, so she decided to turn Dorotea into his sister. There was more to the letter (e.g. curses to the English etc for occupying the islands, which they did for two years, in the early 1760s. They ultimately decided that the country didn’t have enough gold or silver to justify them staying.)

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

Self’s MC Arrives in Manila, 1766

This scene used to be at the end of her novel, because she was going to have her MC recall it in flashback. But on second thought, she couldn’t think of a good enough reason for him to have a flashback at the end of the novel, there was no emotional pay-off. So istead she moved this section to the early pages.

There’s some quasi-mystic thing going on in self’s descriptions, it’s that way throughout.

The sails were lowered, the ship slowly nosed into the harbor. Looking down at the churning water, Matias saw it was viscous, almost metallic in aspect, as though, somewhere, silver had moltened and now lay floating on the surface. Closer and closer to the harbor the ship moved. The ship was now but one of a throng of sea vessels: galleons, tall three-masters, swiftly moving Chinese sampans, squat dinghies. There was a great tumult of activity all along the quay.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Andres de Urdaneta, Pilot

Born 1498 in Villafranca, Spain, died 1568 in Mexico City.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

As a young man, he spent eight adventurous years in the Spice Islands (the Moluccas). In 1553 (He was 55), he entered the Augustinian order and became a friar.

Philip II (of whom, self must interject, there are MANY MANY FAN FICTIONS WRITTEN, possibly by high school students bored out of their minds with World History class; some of these are quite salacious WTH PHILIP II??!!) asked him to guide an expedition to the Philippines and find a route home. Spain had sent five previous expeditions, all ending in disaster.

In April 1521 (He was 23), Urdaneta guided the Magellan expedition to Cebu. By 1st of June, Magellan was dead (Killed on Mactan by a native chief, who is remembered today in the name of a FISH, Lapu-Lapu).

Self would argue that the 1st of June 1521 was a truly significant date, in fact world-changing. Because that was the date when Urdaneta and the remnants of Magellan’s crew embarked from the Philippines and headed for home. By sailing at high latitudes, about 42 degrees N, Urdaneta was able to find a current. He reached the Isthmus of Panama in 123 days. He guided the survivors, all on one ship (out of the five they’d started out with) back to Spain, arriving in September 1522, thereby completing the first circumnavigation of the world. And why Magellan gets all the credit, self just doesn’t know. The second leg of the journey was clearly more important than the first: it was Spain’s sixth attempt to circumnavigate the globe, and the one that finally succeeded.

The Survivors: Sebastian Elcano, a Basque; 17 other Europeans (including Antonio de Pigafetta, a noble from Vicenza, who published his account of the journey); and four natives. All that remained of a crew of 270.

Writing this post made self exceedingly restless, so she walked down to the lake. She took her MacBook with her, which is what she used to take this picture.

Photo on 10-19-19 at 12.35 PM

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Blair & Robertson: History of the Philippine Islands, Vol. IV

On the character of the natives:

  • They are very submissive to authority, and patiently suffer the punishments inflicted. For a very slight offense, an ear will be cut off, or a hundred lashes of the whip given. The land is fertile. The horses are small and the cows are like those of Berberia.

Fabrications

Self is getting a little loopy with her readings on Philippine history. At least, despite the lack of fresh air (due to her not leaving her cottage all day) and the soreness of her fingers (from constant typing), she’s been able to add to her treasure trove of

INVENTED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN HIS MAJESTY CARLOS III AND THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF MANILA

An excerpt:

To His Sacred Royal Majesty Carlos III

I arrived in Manila on the 25th of June of the year seventy-nine to assume my post. I learned that in the three months prior to my arrival, Manila had once again been attacked by our cousins the Portuguese, and that the shipyards in Cavite had been put to the torch. I was also informed that the King of Jolo, a Mahometan, had refused our demands for tribute, putting to death the officer who had delivered our demand, one Sancho Ortiz de Alvarez.

The morale of the garrisons in the main island of Luzon is very low. The aide-de-camp, one Martin de Peñafrancia, was lacking in experience, and his interpreter, an indio named Hernando, could speak Spanish, but not well.

The letter goes on in this vein for several more paragraphs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monterey in 1786: Life in a California Mission, from the Journals of Jean Francois de la Pérouse

The commander’s house, the largest in San Francisco, had a dirt floor “without being boarded, paved, or even reduced to an even surface: the roof was covered in with flags and rushes; the furniture consisted of a very sparing assortment of the meanest kind.” The commander’s wife, while “decently dressed,” received him “seated crosslegged on a mat.”

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