Self’s MC Arrives in Manila, 1766

This scene used to be at the end of her novel, because she was going to have her MC recall it in flashback. But on second thought, she couldn’t think of a good enough reason for him to have a flashback at the end of the novel, there was no emotional pay-off. So istead she moved this section to the early pages.

There’s some quasi-mystic thing going on in self’s descriptions, it’s that way throughout.

The sails were lowered, the ship slowly nosed into the harbor. Looking down at the churning water, Matias saw it was viscous, almost metallic in aspect, as though, somewhere, silver had moltened and now lay floating on the surface. Closer and closer to the harbor the ship moved. The ship was now but one of a throng of sea vessels: galleons, tall three-masters, swiftly moving Chinese sampans, squat dinghies. There was a great tumult of activity all along the quay.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Butler’s Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Saints, vol. IV

  • If St. Callixtus was thrown into a pit, as his acts relate, it seems probable that he was put to death in some popular tumult.

(Self is just through reading this super-exciting section in which she tries to piece together exactly what earned St. Callixtus the designation ‘Martyr,’ when she hears KNOCK KNOCK!!! It’s someone from the Main House: The Goblin Emperor, which she ordered from Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway, has arrived! YAY!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Penelope V. Flores

“Lately, my preoccupation with names has become an obsession.”

— Penelope V. Flores, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University

Read the rest of her interesting article, How Filipinos Got Their Surnames, in Filipinas Magazine, here.

Self’s MC Takes His First Banca Ride

Several weeks ago, I experienced my first banca ride. The banca is a long, narrow boat, made from the hollowed-out trunk of a tree, that has two long bamboo outriggers on either side for balance. I have watched with fascination as these boats darted across the sea, nimble as dragonflies. With great excitement, I accepted the offer of one of these islanders to go exploring.

I and my guide set off at dawn. There is an island off the eastern shore of Isla del Fuego, which he assured me most solemnly was populated by witches.

Blue Water, Distant Shores, p. 29

Seriously shopping for a publisher now. So disheartening that a lot of the independent presses say “Not accepting submissions.”

Stay tuned.

 

Fabrications

Self is getting a little loopy with her readings on Philippine history. At least, despite the lack of fresh air (due to her not leaving her cottage all day) and the soreness of her fingers (from constant typing), she’s been able to add to her treasure trove of

INVENTED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN HIS MAJESTY CARLOS III AND THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF MANILA

An excerpt:

To His Sacred Royal Majesty Carlos III

I arrived in Manila on the 25th of June of the year seventy-nine to assume my post. I learned that in the three months prior to my arrival, Manila had once again been attacked by our cousins the Portuguese, and that the shipyards in Cavite had been put to the torch. I was also informed that the King of Jolo, a Mahometan, had refused our demands for tribute, putting to death the officer who had delivered our demand, one Sancho Ortiz de Alvarez.

The morale of the garrisons in the main island of Luzon is very low. The aide-de-camp, one Martin de Pe├▒afrancia, was lacking in experience, and his interpreter, an indio named Hernando, could speak Spanish, but not well.

The letter goes on in this vein for several more paragraphs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Novel-in-Progress: Blue Water, Distant Shores

Self added a scene to her novel-in-progress today and is quite happy with it (p. 68 of 341 pp.)

Murcia, 1762

Father Soriano: “Is there no end to your obstinate impudence? What can you hope for?”

Matias: “Why, to fight against devils.”

Father Soriano: “I should strike you for such impiety. What makes you think you can fight against devils?”

Matias: “I shall strike them in the belly and when they least expect it. The Lord shall assist me.”

Father Soriano: “What impudence! The Lord assist — you? Ask away, then. I doubt He will listen.”

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Work-in-Progress: Blue Water, Distant Shores

In which self’s MC, a feckless guy from Murcia named Matias, confesses to the local Abbott that he has suddenly been struck by “the call.” Year: 1764.

Abbott: You have never evinced interest.

Matias: Can one not be struck by the desire? It came to me suddenly.

Abbott: When?

Matias: After the recent flood.

Abbott: I see.

Matias: I was afraid. I promised Saint Anne I would enter the priesthood if she but stopped the wind from howling.

That is one of the passages self happens to really like, whether or not it is historically accurate.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Tayari Jones

For one, Eloe may be in Louisiana, not a state brimming with opportunity, but it is located in America, and if you’re going to be black and struggling, the United States is probably the best place to do it.

An American Marriage, p. 4

2019 So Far: Favorite Reads

In the order in which self read them:

  • The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry (novel)
  • November Road, by Lou Berney (novel)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (science fiction)
  • Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen (novel)
  • Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield (novel)
  • Open Heart: A Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Surgery Ward, by Stephen Westaby (memoir)
  • Landfill: Notes on Gull Watching and Trash Picking in the Anthropocene, by Tim Dee (nonfiction)
  • The Other Americans, by Laila Lailami (novel)
  • The Parasites, by Daphne du Maurier (novel)

AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, by Tayari Jones

Self was going to read The Overstory after finishing The Parasites (five stars, five stars, six stars if that were even possible) but decided she needed a less angst-y read (!!!) So she decided to start An American Marriage, then she read reviews on goodreads which said it was about a love triangle, and she’d had enough of those for a while and was about to put the book aside when she decided to read the first page, and that first line was simply amazing:

  • There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don’t.

Stay tuned.

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