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.




A FACE IN THE CROWD: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 21 February 2018

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is “a face in the crowd.”

Self has a lot of pictures of anonymous people, because she travels a lot by herself.

In December 2017, self visited London’s Barbican for the first time. She went to see the Basquiat: Boom for Real exhibit. Life-changing.


Before that, she was in Paris:


Cinema Mac Mahon, on the Avenue of the same name in Paris, December 2017

Christmas Day 2017  in the Tuileries, Paris:


Paris, December 25, 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs to Start Or End With Y

Self’s word for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is WINTRY.

Here’s her shot: a ferris wheel in Paris, last week of December 2017


Paris, Late December, 2017: Because self wanted to say that, for once in her life, she spent the holidays in Paris.

Paris was colder than Ireland.

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.


Self is in the City of Light. Just a block from the Arc de Triomphe, which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ON IT: No wreaths, no technicolor strobe lights, nothing.


She took a long walk this morning, in light rain. No umbrella because it would be just one more thing weighing her down.

She took the metro to the Tuileries. Then, crossed the Seine on a bridge near the Musée d’Orsay. Big Bus Tour buses and Day Tour buses stopped every couple of minutes in front of the museum. They seemed to be almost empty. But, whenever she was within steps of getting on, the buses would pull away from the curb. She decided to turn it into a little game: Let’s see if they’ll  pull away if I actually have my hand on the door handle. But those bus drivers were too suave to play. They’d see her lumbering slowly across the sidewalk, pupose in her gaze. She’d even raise a hand, catch the glance of the driver, but stoically — even, scornfully — they’d pull away, maintaining eye contact with her the whole time. A guide on a passing river barge says, over loudspeaker: “And here to your right is the famous Musée d’Orsay, which was a former railroad station.”

She was walking down the entire length of the building to get to the entrance (The French never make it easy) when she saw a taxi rank with one cab. Like it was waiting just for her. In less than 10 minutes, the taxi dropped her off at her hotel.



The Tuileries, 24 December 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More 2017 Favorites: Big Year


Evening, Trafalgar Square, First Sunday of March 2017


Steep Hillside, One Cow: Albion, California, New Year’s 2017


Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA: January 2017


#amreading: More from BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE, by William Finnegan

How has self spent this Fourth of July? Her first Fourth in Sacramento?

She’s spent most of the day (it’s past 5 p.m.! How did the time pass so quickly?) looking up Game of Thrones Season 7 spoilers (lol), perusing Twitter, and eating quarts of ice cream. That’s right, self said it: she’s eating quarts of ice cream. And an It’s-It (It is soooo hawtt here in Sacramento!)

She is on p. 132 of Barbarian Days, William Finnegan’s Pulitzer-Prizewinning memoir of his surfing days. Here he describes what it felt like to work in a bookstore in Maui:

The bookstore was three small rooms on a rickety old pier at the west end of the seawall. There was a bar next door. Ocean sloshed under the floorboards. The couple who owned the store trained me and, having picked up danger signals from local authorities, fled Hawaii for the Caribbean, leaving me to run the place along with the draft dodger, one of whose names was Dan.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.



#amreading: Exhibition Catalogue, Jim Goldberg’s “Raised by Wolves” (SFMOMA 1995)


“I want to get married and have at least four kids with ten dogs and live in a mansion with a jungle greenhouse with a pet jaguar.” — Runaway

“It is very difficult for a runaway kid to return after he or she has been on the street for more than a few weeks.” — Police Officer

“Adam and Troy have AIDS. Scooter is dead. Katy gave up her kid and is hanging out in bars in Polk Street selling pot.” — Runaway

“You know, they would rather live in filth and hunger with a group that will accept them than they would with a family that will meet all their physical needs, yet inflict on them emotional pain and torment.” — Preacher

“We won’t lose our jobs, this is a growth industry, good as the utility company.” — Counselor


Happy Fourth of July.

Stay tuned.


Last Moments of the Trip With Irene: Evanescent 4


Self with her usual gear: The book she’s reading is the novel THIS IS YOUR LIFE, HARRIET CHANCE!


A Woman stares out into the gardens of the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Woman stood there so long that self got tired of waiting for her to move and made her a part of the picture.


Mementos of a Trip, Never To Be Forgotten: Paris, May 2017


Oh, the Places Self Will Go

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is


  • Have you traveled anywhere exciting lately? This week, let’s see where you’ve been. — David W., The Daily Post

Self is still in Ireland! Which is a long way from her home in northern California. Here’s a wee artwork that artist Bernadette Burns (who lives on Sherkin Island, West Cork — self met her at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre) left behind in her studio. Self taped to it to her MacBook Air as an emblem of what she is: a wanderer.


On Self’s MacBook Air: A Memento From Another Artist

Here’s a shot of Annaghmakerrig Lake in early March. The wind was blowing hard that day. Self was fascinated by the ripples on the lake’s surface and by the outline of trees on the far shore. She would never have known this lake if she weren’t seized by such wanderlust:


Annagmakerrig Lake: Cold Day in Early March

And here’s a picture of the view from Albion River Inn, California, where she spent New Year’s. And began writing a new story, called The Rorqual, which is about a sea invasion of Earth (by creatures called Longnecks). It was the first New Year’s she spent completely by herself, and she made the most of it.


Albion, California: January 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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