Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 90: DISTANCE

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is DISTANCE.

These days, everyone’s talking about and hopefully practicing “Social Distancing”. Since it’s something we should all be doing, we thought a challenge focused on DISTANCE might be an appropriate reminder of its importance.

Self visited New Mexico over the holidays. The place still fascinates.

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Cranes in a field near Albuquerque, New Mexico: Late December 2019

Self loves London’s bridges. She loves the view, she loves the bustling river traffic.

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London, November 2019

Finally, self was fascinated by Cornwall, which she visited for the first time last May, to attend the Fowey Festival of the Arts (Traditionally held in May, the festival’s been postponed to late September),

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Sailboat near Fowey, Cornwall: May 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pick A Topic From This Photo

Cee Neuner: Pick a topic from this photo.

Possible topics: black and white, tree, sky, road, vanishing point, landscape, horizon, clouds, weather, country side, early morning, or come up with your own topic.

Self picked SKY.

All from her first visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, late December 2019

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Museum Hill, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 28 December 2019

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On the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 28 December 2019

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Still on the I-25, Still 28 December 2019

Check out these other takes:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: CONNECT

The Challenge:

What the world needs now… No, I’m not breaking out into a Hal David and Burt Bacharach pop tune! During this time of social distance, it is more important than ever that we connect with one another. I thought the theme of Connect might make a lot of sense. So, your challenge is to capture anything that either connects or with which you feel connected. 

Self deliberately searched for pictures that show connection despite absence of people,  as a way to honor Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “shelter in place” order for California, her home state.

We will get through this!

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A London Bridge

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This copy of David Copperfield was read over 60 nights in a cave during Captain Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic: On exhibit in the Charles Dickens Museum, London

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Fowey Hall, Cornwall, May 2019

Stay tuned.

“Spores” Part 2

Context: K and R are paired up in a lab (They sort. What do they sort? Something). They don’t get to leave the lab until they’ve met their quota. K has a crush on the boss, who’s Earthstar. She and R are Common (not supposed to look at Earthstar). R (the narrator) told the boss “We be needing foxes” and got punched in the face for his impudence. That’s why K keeps offering him remedies. But he rebuffs her.

Self wrote this in Dublin. You can tell.


“Here,” she says finally, pulling something yellow, bell-shaped, out of her pocket.

I shake my head.

“You sure?” she says. “I got these fresh.”

Hours go by. Then K says, “He’s a stump, that one. Jesus.”

Me standing up straight, trying to forget the pain in my right cheek. “I don’t think we’re at liberty to discuss,” I say.

K’s eyes well up. Copious.

“Shut it,” I say. I don’t want to hear another word. Sighs and pity, I don’t need. Especially her sighs and pity. “I won’t ever look as good as I do now.”

K begins to laugh. Then she sees my face. Her right hand claps over her mouth. “Oh.” I want to cuff her.

“You might be wanting a piss soon,” she says. “Then, if blood comes out of you…”

“You’ll be wanting to feel my fist,” I say.

“Oh,” she says again. But this time, she looks sad. She says, strange-voiced, “I’ll bring oak milk tomorrow. Might help.”


When my friend Summer lay under the beechwood seems a lifetime ago, puking insides, puking until her stomach was a strange convex shape, what happened was, I heard a whooshing noise, and then from the other side of the trees came a Sand Spirit. Drum-beat Ta-ra! It came down from the sky, propellers whirring, dredging hay and thistles. Then snapped her right up.

As they used to say in Marble Arch, when some play was on: The Lady Exits.

For a long time after, I stayed under the beech, whispering Summer, whatya reckon to all this and watching two yella bitterns wing from branch to branch to branch. Until the shadows chased me home.

In P-1, the teachers tell, Heaven is up a winding stair. Hell is like falling off the Whitecliffs—down and down and down and down. Limbo is—somewhere between. Those lessons always gave me the frights.


Part 3 posted here.

“Spores”: Part I

This story, originally published August 2016 in decomP, is one of self’s favorites. decomP is no more, so self will post the story here, in sections. The story’s about violence, how it roots. How there are classes, even in the future. Earthstar is top class, and they can mate with Silverleafs. The bottom of the class hierarchy are Common. And the worst thing you can call another person is “lousy hedgehog.” (lol)

She was reading a book on mushrooms at the time. Which is how she got the idea for the story title. Because it’s about reproduction. In a world where humanity is dwindling.

Self loves playing with language. She wrote this story in Dublin. She’ll post Trigger Warnings in the later sections.


K thinks the boss is in love with her.

She looks like a mosaic puffball, her skin covered with checkered patterns.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

Varnish and varnish. I’ll say this for K: she is tenacious. Especially about her delusions.

“Me mum’s a thick,” she said once. “A focking thick.”

“Hmmm,” I said.

“She a root rotter,” K said.

“Hit brew and all?” I asked.

“Twelve pints one go. Honest,” K said.

K silent the rest of the day.

I’m weary of K. We have the worst job: growing giant polyphores, thousands and thousands of them, in little paper fans studded with 4-micron ova. The fans burn our fingers. Burn like sulphur. We have to wait hours for the new skin to grow back. Fingers never feel the same, after.

We can’t leave the room until Growing’s over. That means days. We’re the slowest team in the whole White Zone, the boss says. Probably even the slowest in the whole planet.

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. Where those words come from, I don’t precisely know.

“We be needing foxes,” I say once.

“You lousy hedgehog,” the boss says, giving me a good one. My right eye swells up almost immediately.

“You not be asking me to fetch, you lousy Common!” He gives me another good one on the way out.

K trembling there in the corner.


Part 2 posted here.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: SCALE

For the first time in over 10 years, self went to the supermarket and bought a bottle of vodka. In the back of her mind was something a friend had told her: that alcohol contains a natural anti-viral agent. The vodka was set out right at the end of the liquor aisle, an open invitation: Smirnoff, Ketel One, Grey Goose, Belvedere. She nearly picked up the Smirnoff then decided that if she was going to self-isolate, she deserved the best.

In the meantime, she’s cleaning out the closets in son’s room. And found a whole bunch of Lego figures. She scattered them on the floor and took pictures. VOILA! Scale!

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For contrast, a picture she took in the Antiquities gallery of the British Museum, May 2019:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 87 – REFLECTIONS

Miriam Hurdle: “I am fascinated by the reflection photographs in the lakes, the rivers, the building windows, the sunglasses, the mirrors, and the puddles.”

Self is, too!

Here are three from her archives:

  • Two snapshots of the London Eye,  taken from the next bridge over, November 2019
  • Lily Pond in Front of Christ Church, Oxford, UK, 11 November 2019 (Armistice Day)

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Glass, Cups, Saucers

WHAT FUN! Self loves Glass, Cups, and Saucers. Just in general. Thank you, Cee Neuner!

Good morning, Silay! Hometown of Dear Departed Food Writer Doreen G. Fernandez: Self visited in September.

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Gamboa House, Silay: September 2019

Hello, Ateneo Classmates! Reunion Dinner

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Makati, September 2019

Hello, Prague! At the Globe Bookstore/Coffeeshop. Self was in Prague with her niece, Irene.

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May 2019

What a year 2019 was!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge: ACTION

There’s always plenty of action around us, so your challenge is to share some of your best captures of that action with all your blogging friends.

Tuesday Photo Challenge

Ever since self’s Nikon Coolpix stopped working, she hasn’t taken as  many pictures. Taking pictures with her Android is such a bear! Nevertheless, she did manage to take some action pictures:

  • Top Picture: San Mateo Farmers Market, the Yang Gang, January 2020
  • Middle Picture: On the street in front of Ottolenghi in Spitalfields, East London, Nov 2019
  • Bottom Picture: Jollibee Hamburger, a little past midnight, Manila, September 2019

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80: LINES

Leading lines carry our eyes through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. — Tina R. Schell on the blog Travels and Trifles: Expressing Thought Through Photography

Self loved the quote from Pete Bridgewood:

  • Unlike the painter who starts with a blank canvas and builds up his image by the addition of paint, as photographers we work in the other direction.

The photos below are from December 2019, during which, as usual, self did a lot of traveling.

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Old Albuquerque, December 2019

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On the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 27 December 2019

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Kepler’s Books, Downtown Menlo Park, December 2019

Thanks for the interesting prompt, Lens-Artists!

Stay tuned.

 

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