Camarote de Marinero, p. 53

The new WordPress, and the new MAC operating system, which she installed just this morning, results in a much slower MacBook Air. Go figure.

Nevertheless, she has chosen this afternoon to go over Camarote de Marinero, which no one believes she is still working on, because wtf, doesn’t this woman ever know when to give up?

She is unable to write a synopsis because she just doesn’t know. What’s a synopsis, anyway? In the meantime, at least half a dozen works about Magellan have just been published, mostly by Filipino fiction writers. Oh yay for Philippine history!

Anyhoo, here’s an excerpt from p. 53:

The Archbishop writes to Matias: Inasmuch as there are places in these Islands of Luzon that have not been visited since the Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the natives who are converted pledge allegiance to the King, Our Lord, and I am informed that the natives in the jurisdiction of Ilocos, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Camarines, Marinduque, Mindoro and the provinces of the Pintados do solemnly swear.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Citizenship and Its Discontents

Anomaly is an international journal of literature and the arts that provides a platform for works of art that challenge conventions of form and format, of voice and genre.

Deadline for the special issue on Citizenship and Its Discontents:

30 September 2020

Guest Editor: Grace Loh Prasad

Email: citizenshipfolio@gmail.com

Twitter: @GraceLP

Regarding Juan Sebastian Elcano, Basque

Rick Barot’s collection The Galleons is on the National Book Award’s longlist for poetry! Kudos, sir!

Self finds it interesting: she is writing about the galleons, too! Her book invents a character and puts him in the Philippines at the close of the 16th century.

Today, in her leisurely read of The Economist of 12 September 2020 (She’s fairly sure they skipped an issue; the 19 September issue should have arrived last week. What gives, USPS?), there is a letter about Magellan. Truly, self has entered a zone! A zone where everyone else is also thinking about Magellan! Galleons! The 16th century!

Letter to The Economist from Marques de Tamaron, Madrid:

Ferdinand Magellan was not “the first known circumnavigator (Obituary for Marvin Creamer, August 29th). He commanded the flotilla of five ships and 239 sailors that sailed in 1519 from Spain but he died in combat in the Philippines in 1521 before completing the round-the-world voyage. Juan Sebastian Elcano was then elected leader for the rest of it, reaching Spain in the only remaining ship, Victoria, in 1522. He and the emaciated survivors who dragged themselves ashore were indeed the first true circumnavigators.

Prompted by curiosity (mebbe she should have written about Elcano instead of making up a fictional character for her novel! Oh well, too late now!), self does some google research. Elcano died only four years after his return from that epic voyage. And there is a Spanish thinktank named after him that addresses such topics as climate change, cybersecurity, and international migration. Here is a link to their very interesting blog.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

SPORES

This story was published by decomP Magazine. Self began writing it during a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Weeks later, she found the ending in Dublin.

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.

In this story of the future, there are Earthstars. Earthstars are permitted to mate with either Silverleafs or Shags. Any other pairing is out of the question.

K is a Common.

The inspiration for this story was a book about mushrooms. Morgan Cooke, who she met at TGC, made an audio recording. Must say, self got a big kick out of hearing her story read with an Irish accent. Many, many, many thanks to Morgan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The 90s: Those Were the Days

NOTE: WordPress switched self over to the New Block Editing, which she hates. She can’t find a thing. Can you imagine WordPress PAID PEOPLE to study how to make self slower and more inefficient? Where, for instance, are categories and tags? Now self has to hunt for them. Thanks a lot, WordPress! It’s like those apps that keep downloading on her Android, preventing her from making a call (You have to wait for the app to finish downloading; there’s a download a day).

If you press the button for paragraph, you get a menu that has ten items for paragraph. AAAARGH. Who has the time. Can’t a paragraph just BE a paragraph, does self have to pick and choose one out of ten options for paragraphs?

In the 1990s, and especially after the Rwandan massacre, the American Bar Association (ABA) “recruited an astonishing five thousand American lawyers to go abroad and spend months of their time working pro bono publico, free for the common good, drafting laws and training judges. (“Lawers are bored. We were dying to go,” said one of them, Mary Noel Pepys, a land use lawyer from Kansas who went to Bulgaria and slept in her coat in the winter)”

“At a reception in Sofia in 1994, an older gentleman, a professor at the university, walked up to Sandra Day O’Connor “and pulled out a badly frayed copy of the U.S. Constitution and said he had been reading it for 40 years. O’Connor, who always carried a copy of the Constitution in her pocketbook, choked up. ‘It will serve you well,’ she told the man, ‘and guide you as it has us.’ “

First: Sandra Day O’Connor, pp. 288-289

Can you imagine ANYONE in Trump’s White House pushing such a program. Now, everything is ME ME ME, how much can I get, how much can I get away with. Even Melania can’t summon up any energy to start something as simple as a Sister City Relationship with her hometown (Unless she’s really trying not to call attention to how she left it!)

She had plenty of time to start some kind of humanitarian thing with Eastern Europe, who knows? But no. She just didn’t care. Too busy re-negotiating her pre-nup to Dear Donald? (Does my pre-nup say I need to hold his hand in public? Then no, I do not need to hold his hand)

Self thinks the public’s perception of the law profession has forever been marred by association with Trump, the seediest President in American history. Think of the Trump lawsuits to block: a) revealing his taxes; b) suing to stop books like his niece’s from being published; or c) suing Democratic officials to make them look bad, such as the suit Gov. Brian Kemp brought against Atlanta Mayor Kesha Lance Bottoms to stop her from implementing her order to make wearing a mask mandatory in Atlanta.

Self is glad she’s reading a book about idealistic lawyers, for a change.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Opening Sentence, The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

Self has decided to juggle reading Evan Thomas’s First: Sandra Day O’Connor with Stendhal’s The Charterhouse of Parma.

She’s trying to finish writing two novels and they’re both political novels, so reading Stendhal should help.

Chapter One, The Charterhouse of Parma:

On May 15, 1796, General Bonaparte entered Milan at the head of that young army which had lately crossed the Lodi Bridge and taught the world that after so many centuries Caesar and Alexander had a successor.

W.O.W. From the foreword: This tale was written in the winter of 1830 and three hundred leagues from Paris . . .

The translation self is reading is by Richard Howard.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Sentence of the Day: Doreen G. Fernandez

  • The drive from Dumaguete through Bais and Mabinay to Kabankalan, Negros Occidental is an excellent road, past hills and valleys, even a zig-zag portion, through fields and towns, and hardly a billboard.

Self has driven this route. Ten years ago.

Doreen G. Fernandez (self’s second mother) had made an appointment to visit Vicente Lobaton, kinilaw artist. Kinilaw is the Filipino version of sushi. And it’s rather a specialty in the Visayan Islands, in the central Philippines. The number one requirement is that the seafood be freshly caught. And in a country with over 7000 islands, there’s no excuse not to have seafood that is freshly caught. Kinilaw is served with a “dressing” called sawsawan. Want to know more? It’s all in Doreen’s book, Kinilaw (1991) She goes on to describe the meal, which involved kinilaw crab, fish, and shrimp. (SO hungry right now)

Doreen was from the self-same island that Dear Departed Dad was from. It has a very non-PC name: Negros. That’s right, the island is named Negros because its people were dark. It has been named that since the 16th century. It is divided into two provinces: Negros Occidental (where self’s Dear Departed Dad, and Doreen, were from) and Negros Oriental. Negros Oriental has this really cool city called Dumaguete, which became the title for one of self’s short stories (It’s in MsAligned 3, published earlier this year)

Vicente, who goes by Enting, has two restaurants on Negros. One is Enting’s Manukan in Sagay; the other is Enting’s Lechonan on 17th St. near Lacson in downtown Bacolod, the capitol of Negros Occidental.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Playing With Language

Excerpts from self’s story “First Life” that appeared in Juked, 2015. The point of view belongs to a boy named Dragon. He’s sitting in a classroom of the future (Just because it’s the future doesn’t mean people don’t daydream, ha!)

Today I’m thick or something because thoughts are dark as dark.


Sunlight and glass, Prisms and mirrors. My mind is floating out there, beyond the windows. Out there, where swish swish goes something, maybe the wind.

 

Wednesday Backreading: The Haunted Room, Essay by Carole de Santi (Women’s Review of Books, vol. 26)

  • “Give her another hundred years . . . a room of her own and five hundred a year,” wrote Virginia Woolf in 1929, of the woman novelist. “Let her speak her mind . . . and she will write a better book one of these days . . .” — Virginia Woolf, A Room of Her Own

  • Woolf “knew very well that creative and intellectual freedom depend on material resources, and that women have always been poor . . . Despite bestseller rankings and lifestyle features, big advances, and superstardom, many women writers seem to be living hardscrabble creative lives. Even those whose ‘rooms’ are more like palaces are nailing down the floorboards, putting buckets under leaky roofs, and wondering how to keep the lights on, particularly those of the incandescent mind.” — Carole DeSanti, The Haunted Room

RIP for the Lost

Just recently, self heard The Octopus Literary Salon, in Oakland, where she and friends had all variously read, had closed. SAD! It was a mainstay of the local literary community.

Self was just looking through her pile of contributor copies (for stories she’s published in literary magazines) and realized that there are quite a goodly number that do not exist anymore. Like, The Rambler? This magazine of nonfiction appeared in North Carolina, survived a number of years, and took two of self’s flash.

How about Isotope? A place for creative and science writing. Edited by poet Chris Cokinos. In the same issue as poetry and plays, an essay on math (with numbers!) or biology. This one published out of Utah.

Here are self’s list of The Departed (the ones she knows about):

  • 5_Trope
  • Alimentum: The Literature of Food (Self loved this magazine. It moved to on-line only, and self still loved it. Then, ALAS!)
  • decomP
  • Elsewhere Lit
  • Isotope
  • LITnIMAGE
  • Our Own Voice  (featuring writing of the Philippine diaspora)
  • The Cricket Online Review
  • The Rambler
  • Used Furniture Review
  • White Whale Review (The editor solicited her after reading her blog)
  • Word Riot

Most of these magazines fell into the experimental and/or social justice arena. They were trying to do something different, and their presence in the literary world was exciting (Face it, if self had to rely solely on the big literary magazines, her career would have been over years ago). They were labors of love (as every literary magazine, big or small, is) and their vision was unique.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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