More Writing in a Pandemic

Further in self’s novel about the World War II occupation of the city of Bacolod in the central Philippines (72k words so far):

Don Geronimo entered Honorato’s room just as his eldest son was about to get dressed. It was eight o’clock.

“The Japanese are here,” he said.

Honorato said nothing.

There was a group of them, some in uniform, some in civilian clothing. They had told Don Geronimo they were there to put the Daku Balay under the protection of the Imperial Japanese Army. “We are forbidden to leave the premises without permission. Go through the kitchen. Moses is waiting for you by the side gate.”

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The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Bacolod City: It was used by the Japanese High Command during World War II. Self’s grandfather sent her uncle to the mountains. Her father, only 12 at the time, stayed home.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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.

 

Process: Stonehenge/Pacifica

Self decided to look through her old MacBook Air (which, judging from the dates on there, had stories dating as far back as 2006) and found an early version of her flash, Stonehenge/Pacifica, which Wigleaf published in 2012.

It is fascinating to compare the two versions. It seems that, early on, Stonehenge/Pacifica was a poem. The line breaks are short:

STONEHENGE/PACIFICA

It was a dream I had, some restless night.
Perhaps one of those weeks/ months/ years
when we were worried about money.
But when were we ever not worried?
First, there was the mortgage,
and then the two.
Then your mother got sick,
and your fathe died.
And my mother I think developed
Alzheimer’s

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.

A Wee Bit of Humor

There were a few Galvin children who did not develop schizophrenia, Michael being one of them. When his mother was in her 80s, he agreed to assume some of the responsibility for her day-to-day care.

Hidden Valley Road, p. 288:

He soon learned that however frail she might have been, Mimi was still in charge. He would offer her Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner, knowing how much she loved it, and she would refuse, saying she’d had it the night before. He’d make spaghetti instead, and she’d say there was too much of it.

“It got a little confounding,” Michael said. “I almost dumped it on her head.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: TASTING

  • The topic for this week’s CFFC is Sense of Tasting.  This is all about things you can taste, be it sweet, sour, bitter, comforting, fulfilling, addictions, etc.  If you can drink or eat it, you can usually taste it. — Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge

These days, self has been searching for comfort food. But, first: NOSTALGIC MEMORIES of her last picnic at Cal Shakes, Orinda:

Second, comfort food during a pandemic: Maggi on Roasted Chicken is the best! And her favorite cookies from childhood, available at Pacific Market in South San Francisco:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HEARING

Think about what you like to listen to: a voice, the wind, the ocean, music, purr of a cat, birds singing, etc. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

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Son and his cousin celebrating New Year in the Long Ago

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Dearest Mum and the Widow of Dear Departed Dad’s Best Friend, Having a Good Time in Café Romulo, Manila

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Michelle Ruiz Keil, reading from her YA, All of Us With Wings, in the Mission, San Francisco

Looking over these pictures, self is overcome with nostalgia. Fun times, there used to be. Thank you, Cee Neuner, for giving self an excuse to reminisce.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: TOUCH

  • This week you can post anything that stimulates or delights your sense of touch. It can be thorns on a rose, a soft baby’s face or tree bark.Cee Neuner

Self decided to take pictures for this post:

Her neighbor Claudio collects old pieces of wood and turns them into bird feeders. This is all about texture:

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These furry slippers were a gift from Dearest Mum. Even though it’s not cold in self’s house, she wears these slippers every day:

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For dusting her computer screen:

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Thanks for a really fun prompt, Cee Neuner!

Stay tuned.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: PICK A TOPIC, Week Four

You can see the picture on Cee Neuner’s site (Thank you, Cee Neuner, for this series of interesting Foto Challenges!)

Suggested topics: floats, things hanging on trees, rope, fishing items, grass, green, orange, white, blue, numbers, bare branches, or come up with your own topic

Self considered several possible topics (Hanging, Bare Trees, Collections, Displays, etc) before she settled on: GROUPS OF OBJECTS

It was a lot of fun, coming up with a topic!

Thank you, Cee Neuner!

 

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Top, top angst:

Then one of her two children was killed in a plane crash and after that was over she did not want the lovers, and drink being no anaesthetic she had to make another life. Suddenly, she had been acutely frightened of being alone. But she wanted someone that she respected with her.

The narrator doesn’t know how lucky he is, to be stuck in the bush with a “rich bitch” (sic) who can shoot like nobody’s business and still, despite narrator’s gangrenous foot giving off fumes, calls him “Darling.”

But, the narrator must whine. This is one aspect of the famous Hemingway detachment.

P.S. Reading Hemingway makes self want to eat bacon. Every day. Sorry, yes. Despite reading about gangrenous foot today.

Stay tuned.

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