More Writing in a Pandemic

Further in self’s novel about the World War II occupation of the city of Bacolod in the central Philippines (72k words so far):

Don Geronimo entered Honorato’s room just as his eldest son was about to get dressed. It was eight o’clock.

“The Japanese are here,” he said.

Honorato said nothing.

There was a group of them, some in uniform, some in civilian clothing. They had told Don Geronimo they were there to put the Daku Balay under the protection of the Imperial Japanese Army. “We are forbidden to leave the premises without permission. Go through the kitchen. Moses is waiting for you by the side gate.”

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The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Bacolod City: It was used by the Japanese High Command during World War II. Self’s grandfather sent her uncle to the mountains. Her father, only 12 at the time, stayed home.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HATS

Bless Cee Neuner for keeping Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge so FUN!

For this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, HATS, self found a couple of pictures from her archives.

Self’s baseball-cap wearing niece, Angela, an undergrad at the University of Michigan, spent a summer as an intern at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Self had a lot of fun hanging with her:

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The Martian is son’s favorite novel (after the Dune novels; son is an avid science fiction reader). He met the cap-wearing author at SDCC 2018:

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Finally, one of Magritte’s most iconic images, the man in the bowler hat, at an exhibit in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 2018:

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Other hats:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HEARING

Think about what you like to listen to: a voice, the wind, the ocean, music, purr of a cat, birds singing, etc. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

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Son and his cousin celebrating New Year in the Long Ago

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Dearest Mum and the Widow of Dear Departed Dad’s Best Friend, Having a Good Time in Café Romulo, Manila

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Michelle Ruiz Keil, reading from her YA, All of Us With Wings, in the Mission, San Francisco

Looking over these pictures, self is overcome with nostalgia. Fun times, there used to be. Thank you, Cee Neuner, for giving self an excuse to reminisce.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Word of Advice, Cousin

Brideshead Revisited, p. 36:

“None of these people you go around with pull any weight in their own colleges, and that’s the real test. They think because they’ve got a lot of money to throw about, they can do anything.

And that’s another thing. I don’t know what allowance my uncle makes you, but I don’t mind betting you’re spending double. All this,” he said, including in a wide sweep of his hand the evidence of profligacy about him. It was true. My room had cast aside its austere winter garments, and by not very slow stages, assumed a richer wardrobe. “Is that paid for?” (the box of a hundred cabinet Partagas on the sideboard) “or those?” (a dozen frivolous, new books on the table) “or those?” (a Lalique decanter and glasses) “or that peculiarly noisome object” (a human skull lately purchased from the School of Medicine, which, resting on a bowl of roses, formed, at the moment, the chief decoration of my table. It bore the motto Et in arcadia ego inscribed on its forehead.)

“Yes,” I said, glad to be clear of one charge. “I had to pay cash for the skull.”

“You can’t be doing any work. Not that that matters particularly if you’re making something of your career elsewhere — but are you? Have you spoken at the Union or at any of the clubs? Are you connected with any of the magazines? And your clothes!”

Love Blurbs From Grandmothers

Before dashing out to get crispy carnitas from El Taco Grullense on Middlefield Road, self would like to leave dear blog readers with a last image from Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s book:

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Still on Story # 1 because it’s hilarious!

“Let’s just look at the silver eggs,” I say, a sentence that immediately vaults to the top of the Dumbest Things I’ve Ever Said chart, barely edging out “Can I get it extra spicy?” and “I liked the way your hair looked before.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ONE BASIC COLOR

Excited that it’s ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

Excited, too, to be able to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this weeK: ONE BASIC COLOR.

Here are some pictures self took earlier this year, in May. She was in London and then joined her niece Irene in Prague, her first-time ever in that wondrous city:

  • The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Field, just off Trafalgar Square, London
  • The London Eye
  • St. Martin restaurant in the Mala Strada district of Prague, just a few doors away from the American Embassy

Self just realized, looking at her shots and comparing to Cee Neuner’s, that self’s are extremely monochromatic. Ah, well!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

While at Philz, Looking Through Old Photos: Self with Masako Sato, Dearest Mum

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WHITE

This week, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is WHITE.

Self loves having an excuse to go back through her photo archives. Here are her selections:

  • Greek antiquities, British Museum
  • Self’s Iceberg roses, last summer
  • a shell from the Philippines, in a wooden bowl from the Philippines

Love the prompt. Self doesn’t often think of white as a color.

Stay tuned.

2019: Grateful For

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