Freedom! Thinks the 21-Year-Old Narrator

And then Tim O’Brien says, Not so fast.

The border with Canada is so close, all the narrator has to do is get to the other side of a river.

  • My conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came down to, stupidly, was a sense of shame. Hot, stupid shame. I did not want people to think badly of me. Not my parents, not my brother and sister, not even the folks down at the Gobbler Café.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien

At some point in mid-July I began thinking seriously about Canada.

Adding to the Reading List: A Process

Self is back home in Redwood City, California. About a mile from her house is a Barnes & Noble (in the Sequoia Station shopping center). She spent about an hour in there today, updating her reading list (The list is her ne plus ultra, her be-all and end-all, her secret game plan, and her whole raison d’etre as a writer).

She’s newly arrived from Mendocino, California (which has a pretty fabulous bookstore: Gallery Bookshop on Main Street), and her first stop is, of course, a bookstore.

Gallery Bookshop had on hand: The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway); Lord of the Flies (William Golding); Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys); The Emily Wilson translation of The Odyssey (Homer); Utopia (Thomas More); As Lie Is to Grin (Simeon Marsalis); Lincoln in the Bardo (George Saunders); Mikhail and Margarita (Julie Lekstrom Himes); and The Summer Book, by Finnish writer Tove Jansson.

This afternoon, in her Redwood City Barnes & Noble, self went in with a long list of about 20 authors who published novels in 2017. She found two of the 20. She moved on to her next list, the list of books recommended by her fellow writers in Hawthornden, Scotland, June 2012. She struck out on all the names on p. 1 (The list is three pages long, single-spaced), except for Tim O’Brien, all of whose books are available in-store. She was kinda hoping it wouldn’t be O’Brien because his books, though very well written, are depressing. Self asked if they had any of Tamar Yoseloff’s poetry collections, but they did not.

So that’s what her reading list looks like for the remainder of 2018. She doesn’t think anything can top Philip Pullman, though. She was such a mess yesterday that a fellow fan fiction writer had to reach out and say, about The Amber Spyglass: It is safe to read “mid-way on p. 419 to 420. Then put the book away forever.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Reading List 2018: Update

Moving so slowly through The Subtle Knife but someone tweeted about the end and self was so upset that she’s picking up the pace to get it over with.

There are years that stand out in her memory for being particularly rich and focused.

For example, the year she went on a memoir binge and read nothing but memoirs.

Then, the year she only read translations.

Then, the year she only read books written by women.

Then, not too long ago, the year she only read travel books.

Then one summer, she only read Henning Mankell. She read seven of his books one after the other.

It’s with no small surprise that self looks back at the books she’s read so far 2018 and finds that her favorites have been novels. Because she hasn’t been able to enter the required headspace to appreciate a good novel for a very long time.

Here are the novels she’s read so far this year: Moshi Moshi, Conclave, The Mandibles: A Family, La Belle Sauvage, The Golden Compass

And they’ve all been really good!

After she finishes reading The Subtle Knife, she’ll read the last book in Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, The Amber Spyglass.

Then she’ll move through some novels she read in her childhood: Treasure Island, The Old Man and the Sea, Lord of the Flies, Wide Sargasso Sea. (This shouldn’t take long, most are very short. More like novellas, really)

Finally, she compiled a list of 20 novels published 2017. She tried to stick to small presses. Avoiding blockbusters at all cost. Reading through that list will probably get her through 2018.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: THE SUBTLE KNIFE, p. 2

So here it is, 2018, the year self decided to barrel through all of Philip Pullman.

Working in strict chronological order (if not in book publication order), she started with La Belle Sauvage, Vol. One of The Book of Dust, the prequel trilogy to His Dark Materials.

Five Stars!

She just finished The Golden Compass.

Four Stars!

She just began The Subtle Knife.

p. 2, Will Parry talking about his mother to his former piano teacher:

  • “She just needs someone to be kind to her, and I think you could do that quite easily, probably.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

AWAKENING That Has Nothing to Do With a Photo Challenge

Self thinks she’s going to change her spirit animal.

It used to be a turtle.

When she was growing up, her parents gave her, each birthday, a Steuben glass animal. She has a whole collection of Steuben glass turtles. Even, a Steuben glass toad.

She thinks she’d rather be a dolphin.

Dolphins are playful.

Dolphins are not poky-slow animals.

COME ON, SELF! YOU ARE NOT A TURTLE! YOU ARE NOT A TOAD!!!

YOU ARE A DOLPHIN!

Awakening.

Stay tuned.

AWAKENING 3: What Shall I Write Today?

DSCN0759

8:17 a.m., Thursday, 12 April 2018, Mendocino Art Center

Work-in-Progress: The Rorqual

(Self hopes this story, which she started writing last year at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, can go into her newest collection)

This has always been, from the very first draft, the opening paragraph:

AlbionJan2017

Sunrise, Albion, California: January 2017

The report came from somewhere on the Bering Sea. The pair had left Yellowknife the previous morning. The woman, it appeared, was headed for Baranof, the man for Kuiu. Both were on foot.

The story was born New Year’s Day 2017, in Albion, California.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Favorite Place 4: Backyard

Cares do not exist in a garden.

DSCN0500

Euphorbia, 23 March 2018

DSCN0309

Viburnum, early March 2018

DSCN0300

Japanese anemone, early March 2018

Home for the weekend.

Redwood City March For Our Lives will be a big one. Tomorrow, 1 p.m.

Stay tuned.

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.

DSCN0070

  • 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!

IMG_0385

  • 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.

DSCN0300

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

« Older entries

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

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

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

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

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog