BROKEN 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is BROKEN, and self is finding this quite a challenging theme to handle this week, she knows not why.

So here are some possible interpretations:

A broken line of text:

"Running Around Like a Chicken . . . "

“Running Around Like a Chicken . . . “

More of self’s scribblings:

Self Always Has a Spare Journal Lying About . . .

Self Always Has a Spare Journal Lying About . . .

And finally, something completely different: The Tyrone Guthrie Center in Minneapolis, where in April self saw an absolutely killer production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” The architecture of the building — she’s not sure if this was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s. It’s quite unusual, that bridge sticking out, almost to the river.

The Tyrone Guthrie Center in Minneapolis (Back View)

The Tyrone Guthrie Center in Minneapolis (Back View)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Banff Centre, Last Night

Last night, during the Writing Studio readings in Bentley Hall, poet and novelist John Burnside quoted Shakespeare:

The world must be peopled.

The quote is from Much Ado About Nothing.

Self did a little internet exploration and found an article by John D. Cox in Shakespeare Quarterly (Volume 55.1, 2004) that lists Much Ado About Nothing as one of four “Comedies of Forgiveness,” the other three being Two Gentlemen of Verona, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Measure for Measure.

It was another stellar night. Bentley Hall was packed. Self wanted to link the “peopled” quote to this week’s WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge, FORCE OF NATURE. Stretching things a little bit, because self has just not been on that many hikes. Mostly, she’s been holed up in her room, writing.

Monday was switchover time: our mentors for the first two weeks of the Writing Studio went home, and new mentors came in. Burnside flew in from Berlin, late Sunday night.

Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Just Before Last Night's Writing Studio reading

Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Just Before Last Night’s Writing Studio Reading. Self reads on May 27.

Jeff Millar, Writing Studio Program Coordinator, at the Book Table at the Back of Bentley Chamber Music Studio,

Jeff Millar, Writing Studio Program Coordinator, at the Book Table at the Back of Bentley Chamber Music Studio.

One of the readers last night was Benjamin C. Dugdale, whose bio describes him as “oral storyteller, poet, and experimental filmmaker . . . He is interested in freckles, tea, silent film, and growing his hair out long.” Canadians have such dry humor. Honestly, it takes self at least five seconds before she realizes the person she is speaking to has actually made a joke. What? She’s thick, what else can she say?

She really liked Ben’s T-shirt:

Benjamin C. Dugdale After his Reading Last Night at the Bentley Chamber Music Studio

Benjamin C. Dugdale After his Reading Last Night at the Bentley Chamber Music Studio

Ben’s work is recently published or forthcoming in Free Fall, The Steel Chisel, Sulphur, and Numero Cinq.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Blur 5: Mendocino Again

Spent most of the first three months of this year in Mendocino. Little wonder she has tons of pictures from that time.

The first picture — she’s always wanted to post it, but not until this week’s Photo Challenge — BLUR — did she get the opportunity. One night, the actors were rehearsing, and since self’s apartment was right above, she heard the raised voices. She thought someone was actually being assaulted and went running outside to call someone. The first people she saw were in the Ceramic Arts Studio, and they were like, Oh, that? They’re probably just rehearsing the play. Lol.

Showing at Mendocino Theater in March

Showing at Mendocino Theater in March

Giant Redwoods, on CA-128 north

Giant Redwoods, on CA-128 north

Navarro Point, Just North of Elk

Navarro Point, Just North of Elk

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Twinkle 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge this week urges us to “share with us your photos of twinkling light.”

Here goes:

One of Hundreds of Christmas Ornaments Self Has Collected Over the Years

One of Hundreds of Christmas Ornaments Self Has Collected Over the Years

Another From Self's Collection of Tree Ornaments (None of them Match)

Another From Self’s Collection of Tree Ornaments (None of them Match)

And here’s a picture self took when she visited Chicago in October. It’s the interior of Mooh Dulce (2602 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago), an art gallery which is also the site for America’s oldest Filipino American Theater Company (founded earlier even than Michael Shannon’s The Red Orchid Theater!), Circa Pintig. Much thanks to poet Angela Narciso Torres for hosting self in Chicago and taking her to see Conrad A. Panganiban’s collection of linked one-acts, Apat.

Waiting for Circa Pintig's Apat to begin: Chicago, Mooh Dulce Art Gallery, October 2014

Waiting for Circa Pintig’s Apat to begin: Mooh Dulce Art Gallery, Chicago, October 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Oh Chicago

Self is just back from Chicago. Weather was positively balmy, and self saw four plays:  “Apat” at Circa Pintig, “Animal Farm” at Steppenwolf, “Strandline” at A Red Orchid Theatre, and “Smokefall” at the Goodman.  BLISS.

Here she is with poet Angela Narciso Torres (Angela’s first book, Blood Orange, won the Willow Book Prize.  Angela is an editor of Rhino Magazine). We’re on the train headed downtown from Angela’s place in the suburbs.

BFFs with, by sheeir coincidence, almost the same shade of red lipstick!

BFFs with, by sheeir coincidence, almost the same shade of red lipstick!

Seeing Angela again in a few.  She’s giving a reading at Beyond Baroque in Venice Beach, this Sunday, Nov. 2. Can hardly wait.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

1st Day in Chicago: “Smokefall”

Self embarked on this trip to see plays.

She’s always felt that Chicago is a much more exciting theater city than New York.

Every time she comes (this is only her 3rd time), she sees plays. Didn’t Second City originate here? Second City once did a play on Rod Blagojevich’s hair. It was called “Rod Blagojevich: Superstar.”  Second City is sort of like LA’s Upright Citizens Brigade.

Now Rahm Emmanuel’s in charge.

Last night, self and poet Angela Narciso Torres went to see “Smokefall.”

As in her last play at the Goodman, “Desire Under the Elms,” the set was a mix of realistic and symbolic elements. In “Desire,” there was a huge carcass of a butchered pig hanging above the stage (To give credit where credit is due, it was Angela who remembered about the pig carcass. Self is embarrassed to admit that the one memory that burns most brightly in her mind about “Desire Under the Elms” is Pablo Schreiber, Liev’s half-brother, appearing in the buff).  In last night’s “Smokefall” there was a 1950s kind of kitchen, yellow table and chairs, and a deep red sofa. At the very back of the stage was a slanted gray platform, which characters used to run up and down or to declaim inner monologues and so forth. Clever!

After the play, there was Q & A. Self must say, the first time she ever experienced this kind of after-performance discussion was at the Goodman. Now Cal Shakes has started doing this (at least, they did it last year, after the production of Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan”) It is wonderful to have discussion, right after, because everyone’s head is still popping with ideas.  There was a young man in the audience, sitting in the row directly in front of self and her friend, who looked like the Second Coming of Chris Blackett, even down to the voice (Chris is self’s nephew; he lives in New York City).

Someone asked why the play was called “Smokefall,” which was a very good question.  And the Goodman’s artistic director (who had said he would be joined by some of the actors, but wasn’t) said the word “Smokefall” was taken from a T. S. Eliot poem called “Burnt Norton.” Here’s an excerpt (which was printed on a bookmark inserted into the play’s programme):

Time past and time future
Allow but a little
consciousness.

To be conscious is not
to be in time

But only in time
can the moment in the
rose-garden

The moment in the arbour
where the rain beat,

The moment in the
draughty church at
smokefall

Be remembered; involved
with past and future.

Only through time
time is conquered.

— T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” (1935)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Nighttimes/Happy Times: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Post # 4

Self's birthday last year: she celebrated with Niece G in San Francisco restaurant SPQR.

Self’s birthday last year: she celebrated with Niece G in San Francisco restaurant SPQR.

The view behind the Globe Theatre in London: She stumbled across it only during the intermission for TITUS ANDRONICUS, late April.

The view behind the Globe Theatre in London: Self stumbled across it during the intermission for TITUS ANDRONICUS, late April of this year, when she stopped off in London en route to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland.

Lining up for Improv in LA's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, a few months ago

Lining up for a show at LA’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, a few months ago. The improv surprised self by being so much about politics: When the comedians asked the audience for the name of a city in Libya/Iraq/Iran that had been in the news, audience members came right back with several choices. The only name self had been able to dredge up was ‘Fallujah.’

 

Adventure 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self saw a production of “Titus Andronicus” in the Globe during a week in London, en route to Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, in late April 2014. When she told her friend Joan McGavin that she was going to see it, Joan said: “Bring a bucket. Loads of gore.”

And indeed, Joan was right. There was indeed loads of gore. The production was a bit Quentin Tarantino-ish. But it was still bloody great.

Titus Andronicus at the Globe:  Wild, Bloody, Great

Titus Andronicus at the Globe: Wild, Bloody, Great

Then self proceeded to Ireland, where she had many more adventures. Including, her first actual acquaintance-ship with real swans (as opposed to the swans in Hans Christian Andersen or the Grimm brothers’ fairytales). Here is a picture of a loan swan, powering across a blustery lake, early May 2014:

Sighted Yesterday, on the Way to Annaghmakerrig: A determined swan powers its way across a wide lake, in blustery winds.

Sighted on the Way to Annaghmakerrig: A determined swan powers its way across a wide lake, in blustery winds.

She was so impressed with this swan that she started to write a story about swans which evolved into a story about Noah’s ark, after she saw the Darren Aronofsky movie “The Ark.” The last rejection letter she received for her ark story was just last week:  “Sorry,” quoth the young man, “Revisionist Bible stories aren’t really my thing.”

Self’s most recent adventure was attending the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, this past July.  She’d been hearing about it forever. Last year, she finally bit the bullet and applied. And she got in! And they offered her partial aid.  She is so glad she went soon after getting back from Ireland. For by the time she got to Squaw Valley, in early July, she was fit, mentally and physically, from six weeks of traveling all over Ireland and England. And she made so many new friends.

The Olympic House at Squaw Valley: July, 2014

The Olympic House at Squaw Valley: July, 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Extra, Extra: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The prompt this week:

This week, share a photo that has a little something extra:  an unexpected visitor, or a tranquil landscape with a splash of color.

Here’s self’s first take on the prompt:

What makes the first shot:  the Coke bottle.  The snack lady on this trip was simply delightful.  She asked self more than once if self wanted anything.

The train back to Dublin after catching Janet Pierce's painting exhibit in the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo

The train back to Dublin after catching Janet Pierce’s painting exhibit in the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo

What makes this shot:  the armful of yellow roses someone handed Janet just before self took the shot:

Janet Pierce with her friend, ceramic artist Ann McNulty, at the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo, where Janet's paintings are on exhibit until August 4.

Janet Pierce with her friend, ceramic artist Ann McNulty, at the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo, where Janet’s paintings are on exhibit until August 4.

What makes THIS shot:  the barge?  The reflections on the water?

The view behind the Globe Theatre in London: She stumbled across it only during the intermission for TITUS ANDRONICUS, late April.

The view behind the Globe Theatre in London: Self stumbled across it only during the intermission for TITUS ANDRONICUS, late April.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Another Day at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Anaghmakkerig, Another Irish Writer Discovered

The writer today is David Park.  Here’s a short bio:

Oranges From Spain, a volume of short stories, set against the background of the Troubles, was first published in the 1980s.  Since then, David Park has written five novels:  The Healing, The Rye Man, Stone Kingdoms, The Big Snow, and Swallowing the Sun.  A teacher, he lives in County Down with his wife Alberta and their two children.

Park was interviewed in Netting the Flow, “the first anthology of work by members of the Comber Reading and Creative Writing Group.”

Which of your books gave you the most satisfaction to write?

I don’t often dwell on past books and I never go back to them after they’re written.  There is an element of fear in this because I’m probably frightened that they’ll disappoint me and when they’re out in the world it’s too late to call them back to try and remedy real or imagined imperfections.  This feeling of apprehension is both a positive and a negative because it’s the constant dissatisfaction that acts as the spur to try and try again.  So when I’m asked about favourite books, the truth is that there are only books that dissatisfy me less than others.

Speaking of favorite books, self brought copies of two of her collections —  Mayor of the Roses and The Lost Language — with her on this trip.  One copy of The Lost Language went to Joan McGavin (the 2014 Hampshire Poet) and her husband, who so patiently put self up, when she first arrived in the UK.  She’d never been to Southampton before; Joan met self at the station and then took self to see a play staged in Her Majesty’s Prison in Winchester, in which all of the male roles were acted by prison inmates, and the female roles by students in the University of Winchester.  (This would never have happened in the States, let her tell ya.  They’d be too worried about the young women rehearsing with inmates.)  It was a very excellent play.  Set in World War I, about conscientious objectors and how they were reviled.

She’s managed to give away all her copies except one, her last copy of Mayor of the Roses.  She offered poet Csilla Today a choice of which of self’s collections she wanted to trade her poetry collection for, and she picked The Lost Language.  Interesting choice!  Then self went into her usual disclaimer, telling Csilla the stories were rather “dark.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

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