STORY: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 7 March 2018

“Be a visual storyteller.” — Jen H., The Daily Post

  • Self’s seatmate on the plane from Manila to San Francisco hailed from San Pablo, Laguna. He was bringing back to the States five of a Laguna specialty: coconut pies.


  • On her most recent trip to Manila, in January, self dropped by the oldest university in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, founded 1611. She dropped by the Creative Writing Department, and the faculty asked her to pose with them for a group shot. YAY!


  • Christmas 2016 was a devastatingly lonely experience, one self vowed never to repeat. Christmas 2017, self was in Paris. A woman from China agreed to take her picture standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.




X Needs To Be Anywhere in the Word 2

This week’s Cee Neuner Fun Foto Challenge is: The Letter ‘X’

This is self’s second word using an ‘X.’

Her previous word was: Juxtaposition.

The word today is: Excellence.


Celebrating Something in Redwood City, California

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beloved 2: From Self’s Recent Trip to Manila, January 2018


First cousin on mother’s side: Maitoni Cu-Unjieng


Home-Cooked Food, with Lots of Fried Garlic


Self is named after this iconic Filipino soup from the central Philippine islands: Batchoy

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs To Have the Letters ‘O’ and ‘U’ in the Word

Another great Fun Foto Challenge from Cee Neuner: Needs to have the letters O and U in the word.

Self’s word is SOUP. Specifically, a delicious Philippine soup that originates in the central Philippine islands of the Visayas:


BATCHOY: Super Special Bowl of Heaven

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


When, a year or so ago, The New Yorker published a review of The Trespasser, by Tana French, self knew she had to read it.

Because of many, many distractions in the almost two years since, self is only getting around to reading The Trespasser now. In Paris.

Not that self thinks this is necessarily a bad choice of reading matter for Paris. It’s really cold outside, and the skies are grey. And the bathroom is enormous. The bathtub could sink a body. An entire body. The building opposite has a harp store, a beauty salon, and a wee grocery (open until 2 a.m.). To the right there is a five-star restaurant. To the left is a four-star restaurant. On one corner is a brasserie (packed to the gills with young Asian customers; self makes a note never to eat there. The only authentic brasserie, in self’s humble opinion, is one where most of the patrons look like they are locals), a block away is a pharmacy.

The last book she read before The Trespasser was also by Tana French: Broken Harbor.

Ms. French’s mysteries feature a constantly changing main narrator, but all are set in Dublin. Broken Harbor’s main protagonist was Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy. The Trespasser’s main protagonist is a woman whose name self can’t even remember, even though she’s on p. 154.

So far, one murder: a 26-year-old woman who “lived a boring life.” Nevertheless, she had “a true-crime library” and “read a lot of fan fiction. The sappy kind, not the sexy kind; my guy was sort of disappointed by that.” She didn’t even do “dating sites,” my God what is wrong with this murder victim? With a life so boring, self doesn’t know why she’s still reading. But reading she is. It’s p. 154, and all we’ve uncovered is a boring life.

Self misses the puck-ish irony of Muriel Spark, the twisted point-of-view of a Ruth Rendell.

Ms. French’s novels are dense with procedural detail. But, please. NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET.

Yesterday (Christmas Day, lest one forget), self did absolutely nothing except watch CNN all day. The ticker tape at the bottom told of various Philippine disasters (It’s almost as if CNN knows the person watching is Filipino): flooding, a bus crash in northern Luzon, a fire in a call center that killed 38 people. Trump was at Mar-a-Lago (of course), posing for happy family pics with Melania, and trying to recover from the stress of holding public office (while being paid peanuts) by playing yet another round of golf.

On a more positive note, self was able to update one of her Gendrya. And today, she learned her story earned her six kudos. Not bad for one day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Merry, Merry


4th Floor, near Charles de Gaulle. The first floor of this building is a store that sells harps. The window stays lighted at night, and she loves to look at the harps on display.

Self was planning to walk along the Champs Elysée. She’s had a big breakfast and is now back in her room, writing her novel-in-progress.

Last night, she walked a few blocks to the Arc de Triomphe and got off this moody night-time shot:


Christmas Eve, 2017

This morning, she went down for breakfast, and eavesdropped on the other guests: they talked of reading books, falling asleep at midnight, taking a leisurely stroll.

She will spend Christmas Day writing.

(Oops, not quite. She remembers the artists in Tyrone Guthrie telling her that things do not all close down on Christmas. She looked up the Louvre. It is open today. The hotel has been asking her to let them clean her room because she’s been inside most of the last two days. So that’s what she’ll do: she’ll take the metro to the Louvre)

Stay tuned.

Recommended Reading: Women Writing (Comics, Nonfiction, Novellas)


Skinning the Rabbit, by Jane Eaton Hamilton (The Sun, July 2017)

The Cone of Uncertainty: Parenting on the Edge of Climate Change, by Sarah Grey (Salvage Quarterly, 28 November 2017)

On Yoga, Diversity Lite, and the Empire of American Wellness, by Namrata Poddar (CounterPunch, 3 November 2017)

The New Bad Girls of Contemporary Literature, by Myriam Gurba (Literary Hub, 1 December 2017)

Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers? by Debbie Weingarten (The Guardian, 6 December 2017)


DC New Talent Showcase 2017


In Search of Lost Butter Chicken, by Sukhada Tatke (National Geographic Traveler: India, June 2017)


Day of All Saints, by Patricia Grace King (Miami University Press, November 2017)

I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do), by Tatiana Ryckman (Future Tense Books, September 2017)



Transformation: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 22 November 2017

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is TRANSFORMATION.

There are many ways self could choose to interpret that challenge. She could show nature and the changing seasons. She could show people in the process of transforming (costumes, aging, and so forth).

For now, she chooses to focus on the transformation of physical space. The first picture is London’s Chinatown in late October. The second is the Blue Room in Paradiso in Cork.

In the first picture, the Chinese lanterns add a whole different aspect to the street.

In the second, it’s the shadows cast by a floor lamp that transform a simple room into a place of mystery.


Chinatown, London: Last Week of October 2017


Paradiso, Cork: Early November, 2017

Other interpretations:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Peeks: Bury Street, Before the Shops Open

Bury Street is where the London Review Bookshop is. It’s a fabulous street, not just because of the Bookshop, and the Cake Shop next to it, but because of other small shops, all along its length.


Joan McGavin introduced me to this specialty bookshop and press, last year.


Such good pastries! Went here with Sue on Monday, to celebrate the Mueller indictments.


Bury Street, off Great Russell, Before the Shops Open: 2 November 2017

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs To Have the Letter ‘K’ Anywhere In the Word

Self adores Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenges: especially the ones on letters of the alphabet.

The current Fun Foto Challenge is for the Letter ‘K.’

Self’s word: SOCKS


Self collects socks: These are from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where son Andrew and his fiancée Jennie were married, on Oct. 14.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog


Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

A blog. My blog


Just another weblog

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard