Fan Fiction Writer Appreciation Day

Today is Fan Fiction Writer Appreciation Day on tumblr.

YAY!

To show her appreciation, self is quoting from the most recent chapter of a fan fic she’s been following since the start of the year.

“Double turns, Katniss, this isn’t a district company!” Plutarch shouts at her as she drops out of her first turn. Katniss hadn’t even realized she’d singled the piqué and she nods as she goes into her second turn, a double this time.

“They should also be clean, Katniss!” Plutarch sounds exasperated with her. Katniss breathes out, and does the last four piqués into a soutenu, finishing with a pas de chat. She holds herself there, waiting for Plutarch’s nod of approval, then drops her arms when nothing comes.

Oh, down the rabbit hole self goes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Reading (2016)

  1. Memoir, Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies
  2. Brick 96
  3. 2nd poetry collection, John Clegg, Holy Toledo
  4. Nonfiction, Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
  5. Walasse Ting, 1 Cent Life
  6. Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

Actually a Very Good Question

Self has been browsing movie reviews, and binge-watching Ripper Street, and tweeting with fans about it, and beginning yet another fan fiction, which she needs like a hole in the head, but this one’s irresistible, this one’s got a Really Really Dark Peeta, a Peeta who just might be a murderer! Like Jack the Ripper! . . . Sorry! Back to the reason for this post.

From Critic After Dark’s review of The Shallows (which self saw aaaaages ago, at the start of the summer — feels like a lifetime!) starring Blake Lively, whose legs are so on point self can’t even:

Then of course death crashes the party in the form of a humpback whale carcass. Clever way to account for the Great White cruising nearby (otherwise it’s a bit of a puzzler why the shark — which habituates the waters of California, Northeast United States, South Africa and Australia — is hanging around a Mexican beach) but also raises a whole other question: why forego this tasty, properly wet-aged all-you-can-eat buffet of rich blubber and tender meat for a bony surfer who would hardly make up a satisfying snack?

In answer to which self wishes she could insert a hundred “shrug” emojis!

And self  has a question of her own for reviewer Noel Vera: How does he know the carcass is that of a humpback whale? Because it literally is half gone. So there is no possible way to determine whether it really does have a humped back. Har, har, har! Sorry, self just couldn’t resist making a lame joke.

Self will close with a list of the summer 2016 movies she most enjoyed:

  • The Shallows
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Our Kind of Traitor
  • Café Society
  • Love & Friendship
  • Ghostbusters
  • Bad Moms

Oh, summer. Self can’t believe it’s almost over.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Another Sentence of the Day: Self Getting Hungry!

Before school I would go for a run with my dog, Rambo, then make two large peanut butter cookies in the toaster oven and eat them, steaming hot, on the bus.

— Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies

Really enjoying this book. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: August in New York

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New York City Brownstone, Upper East Side

It was the end of August. New York was filled with the sound of small explosions: high heels on pavement, sudden flurries of pigeon feathers, screeching tires, contentious voices.

Military History: 1899, The Philippine Revolution

It is very interesting to read an article (in the American magazine Military History) about Colonel Frederick Funston and how, on 26 April 1899, he led the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment across the Rio Grande in Pampanga to take the town of Calumpit.

On 10 January 1899, Spain ceded the Philippines to America in a dastardly move, and the Filipinos wouldn’t have it, so America was forced to send 21,000 troops to the Philippines to quell the Filipino “uprising.”

The magazine refers to the Filipinos as insurrectionists but Filipinos referred to themselves as revolutionaries. (It must be noted that the Americans possessed far superior firepower to the Filipinos. Among the weapons in the American arsenal: the first magazine-loading rifle, the Krag-Jorgensen)

Anyhoo, the magazine is full of interesting information about the Kansas Volunteers, which is a little disorienting because self’s sole reason for reading the article is to glean information about the Filipino side (who were defeated by, among other things, that high-tech Krag-Jorgensen rifle! As well as by the Americans’ expert use of  “the artillery barrage.” And by the Filipinos’ relative inexperience — most were used to fighting as guerrillas, not as part of a massed assault. The writer of the article maintains that “a third” of the Filipino fighters were without guns or rifles of any kind. They faced the Americans with bolos and wooden spears).

The article is accompanied by many, many detailed illustrations, including this colorized photograph (No photographer cited) of the 20th Kansas lined up on a bank of the Rio Grande:

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Colorized Photograph of the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment Lined Up on a Bank of the Rio Grande in Pampanga, the Philippines: April 26, 1899

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Basho and “The Freeze”

Self is still reading Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

In the poem below, Basho describes entering the province of Kaga:

I walked into the fumes
Of early-ripening rice,
On the right below me
The waters of the Angry Sea.

* * *

The poem suddenly reminds self of her dystopian short story “The Freeze,” which Bluestem Magazine published last year. Sometime while Obama is President, the Russians do something that shuts the whole world down.

Everyone starts dying. A woman decides to walk out of San Francisco and head south. To make sure she doesn’t lose her way, she decides to walk Highway 1, always making sure that the ocean is to her right. She meets a band of teen-agers.

The story begins with the woman chanting the following:

Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.

And darn if self hasn’t just decided that the story ended much too soon. She has to continue, if only so she can figure out for herself what happens to the woman and her teen-age companions. She’s thinking: sequel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Basho left Edo in the spring of 1689 and travelled the great arc of the northern routes (Oshukaido and Hokurikudo) in six months, arriving in Ogaki in the autumn of 1689.

He got to the River Oi and wanted to cross but it had rained all day and the river was too swollen to allow it. He continued without crossing the river until he got to the “steep precipice of Sayo-no-nakayama”:

Half-asleep on horseback
I saw as if in a dream
A distant moon and a line of smoke
For the morning tea.

Self was mistaken about the entire work being written in haiku. Here’s a prose passage:

My head is clean shaven, and I have a string of beads in my hand. I am indeed dressed like a priest but priest I am not, for the dust of the world still clings to me.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

Stay tuned.

Basho, Still Summer

If nothing else,
I have this tree at least
To take shelter in –
A pasania in summer.

(A pasania — self wasn’t sure what that was, so she looked it up. It’s a type of beech. In the course of looking, she stumbled upon this interesting blog: Street Trees of Tokyo)

The thing with Basho —  feelz get her on every page. Every page.

Stay tuned.

“The Mystery of ISIS” by Anonymous

The New York Review of Books, 13 August 2015

Self is not kidding: for the first time ever in her many years of reading The New York Review of Books, there is a piece whose writer is identified only as “Anonymous.”

It’s a review of two new (well, relatively new; the issue self is reading is a year old) books about the rise of Islamic State aka IS/ISIS/ISIL/Army of the Levant and its founder, Ahmad Fadhil aka Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan (Regan Arts) and ISIS: The State of Terror, by Jessica Stern and J. M. Berger (Ecco)

The reviewer asks:

  • “Who (in 2003) could have imagined that a movement founded by a man from a video store in provincial Jordan would tear off a third of the territory of Syria and Iraq, shatter all these historical institutions, and — defeating the combined militaries of a dozen of the wealthiest countries on earth — create a mini-empire? The story is relatively easy to narrate, but much more difficult to understand.”

The piece is very long and dense with information. Among its many references is one to Lawrence of Arabia (who said “. . . insurgents must be like a mist — everywhere and nowhere — never trying to hold ground or wasting lives in battles with regular armies.”) and another to Chairman Mao (who insisted that “guerrillas should be fish” swimming “in the sea of the local population”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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