Reading: NECESSARY FICTION

“When the shells hit the zoo five-hundred exotic species spurted like awkward pollen and scattered all across the tan streets and plumbing-covered roofs of Baghdad. The leopards ran for the Tigris. An elephant wandered into the middle of the intersection where I sat in the turret of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, praying to the satellite gods to show me the way to a checkpoint that appeared on the intel photo but didn’t seem to exist in reality. Getting lost had been my greatest fear since leaving Kuwait.”

— “Third Order Effects,” a piece by James Stegall (Read the rest of it on the Necessary Fiction site, here)

#StarWarsDay is 4 May 2016

Here’s one of self’s new additions to her button collection (found it in Fort Bragg, CA, March 2016):

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In Honor of #StarWarsDay, 4 May 2016

Set light sabers to ‘stun.’

See ya tomorrow!

 

Admiration 3: Fort Bragg, CA

Self discovered Fort Bragg, California this year.

She stayed for a few weeks, and discovered:

  1. An excellent bakery, in the Depot Building. Just look at that sweet, blue nest confection!
  2. An excellent used bookstore called, in typical Fort Bragg self-deprecating manner, The Bookstore. The second floor had a wonderful seating area. And the day self visited, there was a hardbound copy of Cyrano de Bergerac, which she has fond memories of her Dear Departed Dad reciting to her at mealtimes (He was a frustrated actor. Played Hamlet in high school at the Ateneo)
  3. Writers, writers, writers abound in Fort Bragg. Self began reading Norma Watkins, whose beautiful memoir, The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure, was just published by University of Mississippi Press.

Last Year, The Wallace Collection

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Because last summer, she was reading Howard Jacobson’s The Act of Love, which is set mostly on London’s Great Russell Street (an antiquarian book dealer’s! Just across from the British Museum!) and The Wallace Collection, in July 2015 self went to see The Wallace Collection for the first time.

She asked a museum staffer if she knew where Fragonnard’s famous painting was.

“I know exactly,” said the staffer, without missing a beat (very much like the taxi driver who said, when self inquired if he knew St. Bride’s: “Of course! I’m a London cabbie!”). “She’s in the parlor, swinging away.”

LOL!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Admiration 2: Writers and Writers Organizations and the New Wonder Woman

“Depict something or someone you admire.”

— Krista, The Daily Post

In the last week of March and the opening days of April this year, self was in Los Angeles. First, to attend a reading of her good friend Zack Linmark at USC. His first novel, Rolling the R’s, a great, groundbreaking, kick-ass novel, turned 20, and USC celebrated that milestone by having him read with Jessica Hagedorn and Lois-Ann Yamanaka, two other groundbreakers.

Immediately following that reading was the annual AWP Conference, which is of course also accompanied by the most fabulous book fair in America. And at that book fair, self stopped briefly to chat with staffers at VIDA, a completely volunteer-run organization, which publishes statistics on how many women are published by which literary organs. And it’s eye-opening.

Finally, Wonder Woman. Just because. Watch for her movie. Emily! So proud of your daughter/director. The picture is a grainy still from the Batman vs. Superman movie, which self watched just so she could tell Emily in London: I saw Wonder Woman in costume on the big screen for the first time!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Admiration: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 29 April 2016

  • Show us someone or something you admire (and tell us about them, too!)

— Krista, The Daily Post

Here’s one:  David Bowie, who died of cancer early this year. Self cannot get the lyrics of his songs out of her mind. Here, the chorus of “Changes”:

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes
Turn and face the strange

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Listening to David Bowie on YouTube: “Changes”

Here’s another: Keith Tuma, Miami University Press. This man has steered the Press to indie greatness. Seriously.

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Keith Tuma of Miami University Press, at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles

Finally, shout-out to Nutschell Ann Windsor and Phoebe Lim of UCLA Extension’s Writers Program: Grace Under Pressure, Personified. Here they are at the UCLA Extension Writers Program booth at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles (Fabulous book fair, BTW).

UCLA always has the best swag. They gave out, among other goodies, a UBS stick, a leather-bound blank journal, and really good pens.

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Three Cheers for UCLA Extension’s Writers Program! Love the people. Here they are, doing Spin the Wheel at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

More London 2015

SPOILERS FOR THE INFERNAL DEVICES!

London, June 2015: Hunting for Blackfriars Bridge. Because Blackfriars is where Tessa and Jem, the other leg of The Infernal Devices love triangle (Self ships Wessa. Her fanfiction alias would be PeetasandHerondales, if that weren’t already taken. But anyhoo, Blackfriars) meet every year for eternity to see what’s up with each other (after Tessa married Will! Yes!).

June 19, author Cassandra Clare reminds the Shadowhunter universe that Will Herondale died on that day. KA-BOOM! Self is in her lodgings in London, having a melt-down. Wants to get to the Serpentine River, because that’s where Will took Tessa to look at ducks. But she has too many FEELZ.

Here’s a link to a tumblr author whose Shadowhunter graphic illustrations are just so on point.

Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Helen Ivory

I have always suspected but now
I know for a fact that I am not a human being.
As children, my sister and I were cats.

— from The Double Life of Clocks, by Helen Ivory (Bloodaxe Books, Ltd.)

Poetry Workshop, St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, UK

Self is signed up for this, her first poetry workshop EVER. Sort of excited and nervous at the same time.

Jenny Lewis (fabulous poet, her book is Taking Mesopotamia; met her at Hawthornden) organizes and teaches it together with another fabulous poet, Kate Miller.

3 Spaces Left!

Here are particulars:

DISTANCE AND DEFINITION

Saturday, 28 May 2016
10:30 to 4:30
St. Hilda’s College, Oxford
GBP 50/45

“So much depends, she thought, upon distance: whether people are near us or far from us . . . ” — To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

Workshop Process: “We’ll explore the perennial dilemma of the observer whose memory also feeds in information about a place or an event: how closely to focus on foreground, what space feels like, how changes in atmosphere and the fall of light heighten the experience of entering and occupying the world presented on the page.”

Workshop Materials: “Bring an example of an over-stuffed poem or notebook in need of a good walk.” (What does this mean? Must be a reference to something uniquely British)

Here’s the link for how to sign up. (Cancellations up to seven days before the event will be fully refunded)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Best of AWP 2016 (Love L.A.), Part 2

Awesomeness is a book fair.

A few people were saying the latest AWP book fair was too big, too spread out. But self doesn’t see it getting any smaller. And okay, she probably only saw 1/10 of the publishers who were there. But, still, fun times!

Okay, so Chris Hemsworth was NOT actually at the AWP Bookfair in Los Angeles, earlier this month. But, please, why would self ever shy away from including a fabulous hunk of eye candy like Chris? Are you crazes? He was on the cover of Angeleno magazine!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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