This Conversation

Self was in Oxford.

Oxford, as in UK.

The year she got shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards.

Funny, that was also her first visit to Ireland.

In fact, she was IN Ireland when she got the e-mail from her publisher. In Florida.

“Oh,” self e-mailed. “I don’t think I can make it to Oxford, Mississippi. Because, I’m in Ireland.”

And her publisher said, “Well, if you’re in Ireland, I think that’s a lot closer to Oxford than where I am.”

And self thought, Huh, that’s funny.

Then she got an e-mail from the Saboteur Awards people, giving her directions on getting to Oxford. Which included going to London, then taking a train . . .

Wait. London. Train.

HOLY COW YOU CANNOT BE TELLING HER SHE WAS UP FOR A BRITISH AWARD?

Like hell, she said!

Anyhoo, she wound up in Oxford, UK. Drinking champagne, thank you very much. A young woman comes up to self, introduces herself as a Ph.D. student from Oxford. Oxford University, not Oxford as in Oxford, Mississippi. LOL.

The young woman asks self what she does to relax.

Self doesn’t even have to think about it: “I write Fan Fiction.”

And this young woman, this doctoral candidate in Oxford University, doesn’t bat an eyelash. She comes right back at self with: “Which universe?”

And self goes: “Hunger Games. Everlark.”

And that is the honest truth.

Stay tuned.

“Americans Will Talk All Day”

Really?

Pardon, self was not aware.

“Americans will talk all day, but they are terrible listeners . . . ”

— Paul Theroux, Deep South

DEEP SOUTH: Still Another Great Travel Quote

“New York City’s vast Port Authority terminal is a terrifying place in which suddenly to find oneself coping on one’s own . . . It is important to resist the temptation to sit down and weep.”

—  Ethel Mannin, author of American Journey

Sylvain Landry Week 41 Photo Challenge: Incongruous

Self loves the incongruous.

Which is the theme of this week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge.

Here’s her entry: a book in The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles:

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Incongruous in The Last Bookstore, S. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles

Thanks once again to Sylvain Landry, whose prompts always pull something unexpected from self’s photo archives.

Stay tuned.

Future Dublin in The Irish Times

The Irish Times’ Dublin in the Coming Times is a fascinating project which invites Dubliners young and old to submit pieces re-imagining the city.

The first pair of pieces appeared in the paper back in February. Okay, so they were by Actual Famous Writers (Sebastian Barry and the writer known as Dublin Hun).

Another story, by Christine Dwyer Hickey, was published Saturday, 16 April. This is the one is self is reading:

Notes: Dublin is super dystopian. There is a kind of plague rooting in the population. Checkpoints and searches all over the place. A grandmother is desperately trying to save her grand-daughter’s life. Almost the first thing she does is make the girl masquerade as a boy, which go figure:

For weeks her words had shunted into my head, but by the time we reached the river at Chapelizod I remembered only this: I was nine years old, and I was a boy and my name was now Demba.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Abstract in Annaghmakerrig

Instead of seeing “specific objects and people,” focus on “shapes, compositions, and textures.”

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Here you go, lovelies: self’s abstracts for today, all pictures she took in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

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Detail of Painting in Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

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Window of Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

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Shade Pull, Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

Stay tuned.

London Last Summer: St. Bride’s (TW: Possibly Disturbing Visual)

Trigger Warning: Possibly Disturbing Content

Took self a long time to find this church (She finally had to ask a cab driver who was parked on Fleet Street; His answer: “Course I know where St. Bride’s is; I’m a London cabbie!”)

The Stations of the Cross were a series of photographs which, well — gulp. Put her in mind of, you know, that:

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Stations of the Cross, St. Bride’s Church, London (June 2015)

And here’s her reading for the day from The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, which is set in Algiers:

In this movie I saw one day, a man was mounting some long flights of stairs to reach an altar where he was supposed to have his throat cut by way of soothing some god or other. The man was climbing with his head down, moving slowly, heavily, as if exhausted, undone, subdued, but most of all as if already dispossessed of his own body. I was struck by his fatalism, by his incredible passivity.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Today: Keep Writing

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Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig: It is a beautiful April day!

Sylvain Landry Week 40 Photo Challenge: Panorama

The Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge this week is PANORAMA.

Here is one from London, a few weeks ago:

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The Portrait Café, British National Portrait Gallery

Joan met self the day she arrived in London! We had lunch at St. Martin’s in the Crypt (Yes, really a crypt), then went to the British National Portrait Gallery.

This was the day before her camera became half-broke, so as you can see, no black slashes across the image.

Hallelujah! So one can really appreciate the view.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Luck of the Irish

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Self’s most fervent wish: The luck of the Irish be with her, please, while she is in Annaghmakerrig . . .

This place hasn’t failed her yet. She’s writing like crazes. Something in the air?

One thing good about having a half-broke camera (The lens stopped opening all the way, about two weeks ago) is that self has been exploring the visual capabilities of Photo Booth. And it has been fun.

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The slashes of the half-way open lens of her half-broke camera don’t seem as distracting when she zooms in, somehow.

Robby’s wife gave her these white tulips yesterday.

Well, then. Stay tuned.

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