Change 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is CHANGE.

The Daily Post includes a quote from Lao Tzu:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.

Here’s a picture of the Triskel Art Centre in Cork, which was the venue for the Kelly Link/ Heather O’Neill reading last Thursday, during the Cork International Short Story Festival. It used to be a church, and they kept the wooden pews:

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Another event self attended was the launch of a new literary journal, Banshee, edited by three intrepid young women: Laura Jane Cassidy, Claire Hennessy, and Eimear Ryan:

Below, Issue # 1:

Issue # 1, Banshee Literary Journal, Autumn 2015

Issue # 1, Banshee Literary Journal, Autumn 2015

Finally, a sign on the wall of the Galway Train Station. NIIICE! Trains represent movement, movement represents change:

Galway Train Station

Galway Train Station

Funny, in the States, self has grown used to associating the color red with STOP signs.

Here in the UK, she’s seen red phone booths, red sofas, red walls, red sneakers, red sweaters, and now this sign in a train station.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Joseph O’Connor’s STAR OF THE SEA, Prologue

We had chopped across a filthy-tempered Irish Sea and docked at Kingstown to take on provisions; then crept down the jagged south-east coast, making for Queenstown in the county of Cork (or ‘Cobh’ as it is known in the Gaelic language). Seeing Wicklow glide past, or Wexford or Waterford, seemed to many a bitter taunt, a poultice being ripped from a putrefying wound. A consumptive blacksmith from the town of Bunclody jumped the upperdeck rail near Forlorn Point and was last seen swimming weakly towards the shore, every last shred of his will employed to bring him back to the place where his death was certain.

Star of the Sea, by Joseph O’Connor: Prologue, page xvi

Photo Credit: Andrew de Jesus

Photo Credit: Andrew de Jesus

It’s a novel of the potato famine and the Irish immigration to America. And self saw the play of it last night in Galway.

Shattering. The woman sitting next to self couldn’t speak afterwards, she was crying so much.

Stay tuned.

Grid: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self has been off the grid for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, as she was travelling. But now she’s settled, so here is her first attempt at GRID (“Let’s take the humble grid out of the shadows”). They were all taken last summer, in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

The first two shots are windows because self loves windows. And she has always loved windows. These are some of the windows In Unit # 2 in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, where she spent most of the summer.

She also loves how red is given such prominence in the UK: the red phone booths, the red of uniforms, red walls, red paint trim. In everyday life in the UK, there are greater chances of encountering something colored bright red than in America:

Window, Unit # 2, Annaghmakerrig

Window, Unit # 2, Annaghmakerrig

Another Window, Annaghmakerrig

Another Window, Annaghmakerrig

In Self's Writing Studio, Unit # 2 in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

In Self’s Writing Studio, Unit # 2 in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Connected 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CONNECTED:

Are you “fascinated by the aesthetics of engineering?” Then this Photo Challenge is definitely for you!

London, which self visited this past summer, is such a cool city. SUCH A COOL CITY.

And one of the things that makes it so cool are its bridges:

Blackfriars Bridge, London: July 2015

Blackfriars Bridge, London: June 2015

Pedestrian Walkway Over the Thames: London, June 2015

Pedestrian Walkway Over the Thames: London, June 2015

Forget the name of this bridge, but that's Parliament Building on the other end.

Forget the name of this bridge, but that’s Parliament Building on the other end.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Synth”: KTNS-12 Prepares for her Vivisection

Self is madly rotating her readings:

  • The Economist
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Eragon
  • Everlark fan fiction

With regards to the fan fiction, she’s consumed all the newest Everlark stories (And they do seem to be coming at a faster rate, since the last Hunger Games movie is set to screen this November), so she’s back to re-reading her favorites. One of her new favorites is a story called “Synth,” in which a cyborg named KTNS-12 is manufactured by a brilliant scientist named Beetee and his Junior Scientist Assistant named Peeta! YESSSS!

Self loves Cyborg KTNS-12!

She must not show any feelings at all. Feelings are anomalies. Feelings mean she is a defective.

But KTNS-12 has those feelings. Especially when Junior Scientist Peeta is around!

There are only two chapters posted, but Chapter 2 ends on a terrible cliff-hanger.


One day, KTNS-12 is brought to a lab where a trio of scientists waits to begin a new round of testing on her.

“This table is surrounded by a cluster of shining instruments on tray tables. Scissors. Scalpels. Gauze. Tweezers. There’s a C-clamp welded to the floor, and beside it stands an IV hook.”

The three scientists are named: Gloss, Cato, and Clove.


Paging Junior Scientist Peeta! Emergency! Paging Junior Scientist Peeta!

But KTNS-12 can’t show fear. She enters the room, all the while reassuring herself by thinking: I am not afraid. I am not afraid.

End of Chapter.

Please, O Esteemed Fan Fiction Author, please updaaaate. Self can’t stand it. Her head is full of horrible imaginings.

Three years ago, self had a story published by the New Orleans Review. The setting was an apocalyptic future (Of course: self is nothing if not obsessed by the apocalyptic future) where strange mutated animals were being kept in an Animal Rehabilitation Center tended by humans who were barely humans anymore. One human had flashing metal wheels in place of legs, etc etc etc. The story is called, appropriately “Thing.” Because people have no labels for that which defies characterization, so it is just called . . . Thing. And, no need for self to tell dear blog readers that a world where there is such murkiness about life that “things” proliferate is a dark, dark world. A world of the most Abject Despair.

Self is inured, in other words, to all kinds of fictional pain.

But the thing about fan fiction is, everything is in progress. A lot of times, stories never get completed. Or, if a story gets completed, it’s sometimes as long as a year between updates. And the tension just builds and builds and . . .

OK, self has got to calm down. Because it’s Sunday night and her life is so full.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Self was going to post about why TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY, but instead she’s decided to post about her wholly self-indulgent Everlarkian FEELZ! Can you believe the last Hunger Games movie is only three months away?

Trigger Warning: Emo Coming Up! Lots and lots of Emo!

Photo # 1:  Peeta, AKA Capitol Mutt, aka The Boy With the Bread, as incarnated by J-Hutch:

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark (Hi-jacked Capitol Peeta Mode)

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark (Hi-jacked Capitol Peeta Mode)

Of course, self would just love to have this entire post have only photos of Peeta, but — Not Fair. So, here’s unctuous Talk Show Host Caesar Flickerman:

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, Game Show Host Extraordinaire

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, Game Show Host Extraordinaire

And, the piece de resistance:

The Girl on Fire Herself: A Design Notebook Sketch for THE HUNGER GAMES

The Girl on Fire Herself: A Design Notebook Sketch for THE HUNGER GAMES

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: 3rd Sunday of August 2015

Listening to The Fray, which in self’s mind will always conjure memories of San Luis Obispo, California.

Because that is where self first heard their songs.

I found God on the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west was all but won.
All alone, smoking his cigarette.
I said, “Where you been?”
He said, “Ask anything.”

— The Fray, “You Found Me”

The Comet (p. 270 of THE 100)

Self, what are you doing? She means, what are you doing? This is so — AARGH!

She skips all the Earth chapters because she isn’t interested in Wells, Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia, Earth creatures, Earth bugs, or Earth anything.

Everything she wants to know about is back on the spaceship where Glass continues tip-toeing around her socialite mother (The future has socialites? On a space ship?) and her mother’s paramours and Glass’s love for Luke, the boy who has a convenient friends-with-benefits relationship with his “best friend” Camille (Why does the best friend have the same name as Marcus Bane’s vampire lover in The Infernal Devices? It is such a distraction, the two sharing a name!)

Since Glass’s chapters are only a third of the book, that means self is really only reading 1/3 of The 100.

Anyhoo, the entire spaceship has a viewing party for a comet. At least, the swells on Phoenix have a party (It’s rather lame: the mother has to wear old, stained gloves, but gloves are an extreme rarity in this dystopian society. Whenever self thinks of Glass’s mother, she thinks of Audrey Hepburn brandishing a cigarette, she knows not why.)

To intensify the mood of the excerpt self is about to share with dear blog readers, she’s including a picture self took of her cell phone in her handbag. She knows everything is too blurry to distinguish any objects in the picture. But the lighted strip actually did emanate from her phone, which was tucked inside her bag.


“Look!” a little girl called out. A white line was rising over the outline of the moon. Instead of fading away like most comets, it grew larger, the tail expanding as it blazed through space. It made even the stars look dim.

Glass stepped forward almost unconsciously, and a couple leaning up against the nearest window shuffled aside to give her space. It was so beautiful, Glass thought in wonder. And terrifying. It was growing larger and larger, filling up the entire viewing space in the porthole, as if it were coming straight at them.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

First Sentence, New Story/ And Self’s Discovery of a New Fantasy Book Series

  • Let me tell you about wind.
Self was going to take a picture for this week's WordPress Photo Challenge, instead she got distracted by bars of light . . .

Self was going to take a picture for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, instead she got distracted by bars of light . . .

It is a red-letter day. Self started a new series by Christopher Paolini. The first book of the series, Eragon.

Over the years, she has had much cause to thank various nieces, nephews, sons of friends who tell her, “Read this! You won’t regret it!” She thought it would be fun to compile a list of series she started because niece/nephew/children of friends brought them to her attention. Here goes:


  • The Hunger Games: Thank you to Niece G, who saw self reading Twilight and told her: “You should read The Hunger Games.” Self put off finishing Book 1 (the last 50 pages) because she thought Peeta was going to die. Until, one fine day, she spilled her angst to Niece G and Niece G said, “Peeta makes it.” Then self had to rush back home because she needed to finish the last 50 pages she’d put off reading. For three years. Two books later, self was a goner. How deep into this stuff is self? She even entertained the notion of meeting up in Dallas for a convening of Everlark fan fiction writers)
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief:  Thank you to son of Gayo A.
  • The Infernal Devices: Thank you to niece in Calgary, Karina Villanueva.
Karina in Calgary: So Adorbs!

Karina in Calgary: So Adorbs!

  • Eragon: Thank you to Isaac S. At first self thought she would never get over The Infernal Devices — the angst! The Victorian Steampunk! London and York! — but Isaac thought she just might like this new series, so anyhoo, she gave it a shot. Hoooooly Smoke !!!! The Prologue was — mind-blowing.

Also just began reading Kass Morgan’s The 100 (which she heard is very different from the CW TV series). The plot goes something like this: 100 juvenile delinquents get sent to Earth to re-populate it. YAY!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Inspiration 2: Yorkshire Landscapes

More for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: INSPIRATION

From The Daily Post:

What is your inspiration? What moves you? What is it that never fails to motivate you, to get you going, or make you happy?

Self will focus on inspirational landscapes. Such as these from Yorkshire:

Yorkshire, July 2015

Yorkshire, July 2015

And more of the same:


And still more of the same:


Honestly, the landscape of Yorkshire is so amazing. Green and hilly and full of eccentric rock placements. Sort of like the towns of Yorkshire themselves, with abbeys and cathedrals and Haworth coffee shops and Shipley punks and Bronte parsonages and cemeteries and Salts Mills and David Hockneys and Yorkshire teas and Victorian Steampunk and 1940s Festivals.

Self hates that they won’t let you take any pictures in the Bronte Museum in Haworth. Inside as well as outside, according to the young woman who was the first tour guide she encountered, standing by the front entrance. The guide had watched self taking a picture of a yellow flower by the front steps.

But self felt she really had to get to Yorkshire, not just because of the Brontes, but because of Will Herondale and the events in Clockwork Prince, book 2 of The Infernal Devices.

There is a very crucial plot twist that takes place in Yorkshire but, in the meantime, we have:  Balcony scene, Demons Ball, Chiswick. Herondale, what else can self say. Tessa being all encouraging (p. 292): “Will, you need not be so careful. I will not break.” And then, you know, Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, Tessa saying Will is like her Heathcliff, the moors, whatever.

So brooding and romantic, Yorkshire is!

So brooding and romantic, Yorkshire is! July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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