RIP Christopher Tolkien

It took self all of December to read one book, The Annotated Hobbit.

That book was the only copy in the San Mateo Public Library system, a label on the cover said: DO NOT RETURN IN THE BOOK DROP.

If only the library knew what far-flung places she had taken this copy to!

A few days ago, on 15 January, she heard that Christopher Tolkien, JRR Tolkien’s youngest, who was “a devoted curator of his father’s work,” had passed away. Amazingly, none of the nightly news remarked on it. Philistines!

Here’s a piece in The Guardian about Christopher Tolkien’s legacy.

Stay tuned.

Recommended Reading: Kate Evans in Hakai Magazine, 6 January 2020

Six men set out from Iceland in a small rowboat. Their destination: Eldey, the nesting ground for the rare great auks.

Jumping ashore, they spotted a pair of the birds guarding an egg. In the ensuing chase, the two auks were killed and their egg was accidentally crushed. The men didn’t know it, but they had just killed the last great auks ever seen alive.

Read the article here.

 

Stanford Spokes: A Summer 2020 Learning Project

One Summer. 6 Students. 6 Bikes. 10 States.

This summer, six Stanford students will spend three months biking from San Francisco to D.C., teaching hands-on educational workshops to local middle school and high school students along the way.

Read all about the project here.

Map+Final

Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: PORTAL

The first Tuesday Photo Challenge of 2020 is PORTALS:

  • As this is the first Tuesday Photo Challenge in the new year, I went looking for ideas that might be appropriate for this auspicious occasion. Going from the old to the new reminded me of passing from one room into the next, which led me to the theme of Portal. Of course, there are many types of portals to be found around the world, which makes me look forward to discover which among them will appear in your posts

Look at the marvelous Marrakesh doors in viveka’s myguiltypleasures, from a trip she made in December 2016 (They make self want to goooooo!)

Self was inspired to do her own post about PORTALS:

20191104_155118

Egyptian Door Knocker, Spitalfields, East London

DSCN0357

Three Blind Mice: a Beatrix Potter Pop-Up Book

DSCN0281

Front Door, Self’s Home in Redwood City, California

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Hedgebrook to Self: There’s Always Centrum

Years ago, when Calyx Publisher Margarita Donnelly was still alive, she told self about Hedgebrook. She said, It’s the most magical place. But you can only go once. So don’t waste it.

Self had Hedgebrook, that tantalizing lure, in the back of her mind, for decades. Eventually, she started writing a novel. Then she thought: This could be finally be the project I can apply to Hedgebrook for.

She did not hear back on her application, for almost a year.

Wow, they must have tons of applications, self thought.

Finally, because her landlady was pressuring her to extend her lease, and self didn’t want to do that if she was going to Hedgebrook, she decided to call Hedgebrook.

“Umm, hello,” self said. “Have the results of next year’s residencies already been released?”

Impactful (maybe also painful) silence.

Who is this?

“Marianne Villanueva.”

Another long silence. “The results were announced six months ago. We’ll have someone call you.”

And that’s when self’s gut fell all the way to the bottom of her shoes.

Sure enough, someone did call to tell self she’d been rejected. Not wait-listed. Just flat-out rejected. “There’s Centrum, if you like the area,” said the caller.

“Oh,” self said. “Thanks so much for the recommendation.”

Stay tuned.

The US Secretary of Education is a Grifter

Betsy DeVos Could Face Jail After Judge Rules She Violated 2018 Order on Student Loans

by Tareq Haddad (Newsweek, 10 Oct 2019)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been threatened with the possibility of jail after a judge deemed she was violating a court order for continuing to collect student debts on a now-defunct school.

That ruling, handed down in June of 2018, was made by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim and prevented DeVos and her Department of Education for going after former students at the bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc.

However, Kim said she was “astounded” to discover that DeVos was violating the court order at a hearing in San Francisco on Monday after a filing by the Education Department earlier disclosed that more than 16,000 former students at Corinthian College “were incorrectly informed at one time or another … that they had payments due on their federal student loans.”

At least 1,800 people reportedly lost wages or tax refunds according to the filing.

“At best it is gross negligence, at worst it’s an intentional flouting of my order,” Kim said, reported Bloomberg.

You can read the entire article here.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

Cleaver Magazine, Issue # 28 (Winter 2020)

Flash by Alex Behr, César Valdebenito, Kim Magowan, Tommy Dean, Matthew Greene, Anna Oberg, Savannah Slone, Marianne Villanueva, Mary Senter, Corey Miller, Connor Goodwin, Jude Vivienne Dexter, Francine Witte * Short Stories by Stefani Nellen, Marilee Dahlman, Theo Greenblatt (Trigger warning: sexual assault) * Poetry by Alice Hall, Nathan Lipps, Jeremy Rain * Creative Nonfiction by Keygan Sands and Kharys Ateh Laue * Visual Narrative by Trevor Alixopulos * Art by Nance Van Winckel * Emerging Artists and much, much more!

from A History of Anyway

Intermedia

by Nance Van Winckel

Sad lad of the far north, you with no means and no true lassie, with no way home and no home anyway

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ONE BASIC COLOR

Excited that it’s ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

Excited, too, to be able to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this weeK: ONE BASIC COLOR.

Here are some pictures self took earlier this year, in May. She was in London and then joined her niece Irene in Prague, her first-time ever in that wondrous city:

  • The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Field, just off Trafalgar Square, London
  • The London Eye
  • St. Martin restaurant in the Mala Strada district of Prague, just a few doors away from the American Embassy

Self just realized, looking at her shots and comparing to Cee Neuner’s, that self’s are extremely monochromatic. Ah, well!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Saturday: Angela Narciso Torres

If You Go to Bed Hungry

(an excerpt)

If you go to bed hungry, your soul will get up and steal cold rice from the pot.
Stop playing with fire before the moon rises or you’ll pee in your sleep.

Sweeping the floor after dark sweeps wealth and good fortune out the door.
Fork dropped: a gentleman will visit. Spoon: a bashful lady.


Torres_author-photo-1024x1024

The poem in its entirety can be found on the Poetry Foundation site.

About Angela: She is the author of Blood Orange (Willow Books, 2013). Her second collection, What Happens is Neither, is forthcoming in 2021 from Four Way Books.

Perhaps that is why good things never last long with self: she is always sweeping the floor just before she goes to bed!

Stay tuned.

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