TRASH: Sylvain Landry Week 32 Photo Challenge

Self is participating in this week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge. The theme is TRASH.

She looked through her thousands of pictures and came up with something she photographed during her November 2015 trip to Florence, her first time in that beautiful city. A picture of a McDonald’s! Which she passed almost every day on her way to some museum or other with her intrepid niece, Irene!

Self isn’t all that down on McDonald’s, but every time she sees one, especially if it’s in an awesomely beautiful place like Florence, she gets somewhat discouraged. Because why would anyone want to eat in McDonald’s when there’s so much (good) local food available?

So the McDonald’s in Florence is her metaphorical image of TRASH.

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Florence, Italy: November 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Time 2: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge Week # 6

Sunset in Mendocino Village.

The sun slips beneath the horizon startlingly fast.

Tried to hurry the pictures but failed to get enough of the sun in time.

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Walking Along Little Lake Street, Mendocino Village

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Headlights of approaching car appear lower right: self didn’t even know the car was in the picture until she loaded to the blog.

Which is why she chose these pictures to illustrate TIME, The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge this week.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

TIME: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 6

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — TIME — is an interesting one: Sylvain Landry had the exact same challenge on his blog this week. For Sylvain, self chose a picture of the notebook she carries around with her everywhere. It’s a habit of hers to jot down random observations, snippets of conversation, names of streets. More often than not, these random details, these overheard conversations, work their way into her stories.

For the Daily Post Photo Challenge, self decided to think a little differently. She decided she’d show the bare, leafless trees of New York’s Central Park, in late November/ early December. What better to show the passing of the seasons (and of time) than bare trees?

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Central Park, Early December 2015

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Really liked seeing these compost bins scattered around the park!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sylvain Landry Week 31 Photo Challenge: TIME

Boy does self love Sylvain Landry’s Photo Challenge.

She picks just one photo (as opposed to the three she loads for The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week’s theme is TIME.

And here’s a picture from a coffee shop on New York City’s Upper West Side, Oct. 2015. She had her notebook open. She carries a notebook with her everywhere so she can jot down random musings as she goes through her day.

No matter how busy she is, she always manages to take down notes on what she observes around her:

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New York City, Upper West Side Coffee Shop, October 2015

Self would describe this process as “layering” — enriching present experience by forcing her to observe details of what’s around her, no matter how mundane. It’s a way of forcing herself to slow down, to savor the moment.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vibrant 3: Venice, November 2015

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is VIBRANT.

Self thinks the photos below, which she took in Venice in November 2015, vividly fit the bill:

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Throng, San Marco Square, Venice: November 2015

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Red Coat Woman, San Marco Square, Venice: November 2015

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Sidewalk Café, San Marco Square, Venice: November 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vibrant 2: New York City’s High Line

Whoever was responsible for bringing the High Line into existence, self thanks you. The most beautiful things about New York City last December were:

  • the weather (shirt-sleeve weather)
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Central Park
  • High Line

She has posted many pictures of the High Line in the last two months. Here are the most vibrant ones:

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The tables above are the outdoor seating for Terroir.

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On the High Line: A Message

And the same message, only in context:

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Chelsea (Former Meatpacking District), viewed from the High Line

P.S. Interesting, isn’t it, the predominance of vibrant yellow? Self almost thinks that was deliberate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Regarding Travel Writing (And Self Sincerely Enjoyed Teaching It Last Weekend)

This past weekend, self taught her second travel writing workshop at the Mendocino Art Center, where she also taught last year.

It was an exciting weekend, with participants writing about Grenada, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Nepal, the Dominican Republic, New York City (just to name a few).

Self does really love teaching this workshop.

How else would she learn that Vegemite tastes like “dirty socks” or that New Zealand’s national candy is something called a chocolate fish? How else would she learn about Pascal’s pineapple lumps (in New Zealand) or about “contracepting elephants” or about “wild game sausage” or that there are hop-on/hop-off buses in Uganda? Or about the delayed reaction time to sand fly bites? Or about Burmese sunblocks made from ground tree bark?

Anyhoo, she used the Best American Travel Writing anthologies for prompts. The 2013 edition was edited by Elizabeth Gilbert and here’s what she says about travel writing in her introduction:

  1. There is no story in the world so marvelous that it cannot be told boringly.
  2. There is no story in the world so boring that it cannot be told marvelously.

Isn’t that such a neat quote?

Self’s next class at the Mendocino Art Center is:

ONE STORY SIX WAYS

Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6 -7, 2016
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Mendocino Art Center
Tuition: $200

To enroll online, go here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Personal Bookshelf in the Mendocino Apartment

Writers travel with a lot of books. Self is amazed at how many she ends up bringing with her.

She’s been in Mendocino most of January. Here’s her stash:

  • Of course, Miguel Hernandez, in the translation by Don Share
  • World of the Maya, by Victor W. Von Hagen, the copy she had with her at 21, when she and her roommate, Sachiko, an anthropology major, rode the third-class public bus from Mexico City to Chichen Itza
  • The Best American Travel Writing, 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Travel Writing, by Cynthia Dial
  • Secret London: An Unusual Guide, by Rachel Howard and Bill Nash
  • Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm, by Phil Pullman
  • Lost Between: Writings on Displacement, edited by Catherine Dunne and Federica Sgaggio
  • Travelers’ Tales Guides to Spain, edited by Lucy McCauley
  • Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia, edited by Teri Shaffer Yamada
  • copies of her first collection, post-Stanford: Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, as well as copies of the anthology she co-edited with Virginia Cerenio, Going Home to a Landscape
  • Conamara Blues, by John O’Donohue
  • Firelines, by Marcus Cumberlege
  • The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason
  • Writing the Memoir, by Judith Barrington
  • Diane Arbus: A Chronology, 1923 – 1971
  • Another Kind of Paradise: Short Stories From the New Asia-Pacific, edited by Trevor Carolan
  • Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge on the Philippine Island of Negros, by Alan Berlow
  • Tonle Sap: The Heart of Cambodia’s Natural Heritage, by Colin Poole

Don’t even get self started on the journals!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

ALPHABET 4 (2016 Daily Post WordPress Photo Challenge # 3)

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First Friday, Laurel Street, Fort Bragg: February 2015

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Entrance to Buddhist Temple, Mendocino Village

Alphabet 3: 2016 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge # 3

London is one of self’s faaaavorite cities in the entire world!

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London cab: Summer 2015

And Kepler’s Books is one of her favorite bookstores in the entire world!

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Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park: Still Around, After 30+ Years! Self has given a couple of readings in Kepler’s over the years.

And this man was very resourceful, she thinks dear blog readers will agree! She spotted him at the 53rd & Lexington Subway Station, New York City:

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53rd & Lexington, Just outside the subway station, New York City, March 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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