Vanessa Hua, “Accepted” (Crab Orchard Review, Vol. 19 No. 2: Summer/Fall 2014)

This story (in Crab Orchard Review’s Summer/Fall 2014 issue) is poignant as well as funny.

Self hears this sad girl narrator’s voice in her head, more often than not.

A lie begets a lie that begets another lie and another lie until finally disappointment turns into despair.

The Crab Orchard Review Summer/ Fall 2014 Issue (Special Themed Issue: The West Coast & Beyond)

The Crab Orchard Review Summer/ Fall 2014 Issue (Special Themed Issue: The West Coast & Beyond)

“I hadn’t meant to lie, not at first, but when Jack Min donned his Stanford sweatshirt, after receiving his acceptance (a senior tradition) — I yanked my Cardinal red hoodie out of my locker. When my AP English teacher, Ms. Banks, stopped to congratulate me, I couldn’t bring myself to say, not yet. She’d worked with me on a dozen revisions of my college essay and written a generous letter of rec, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.

Another week passed, and I posed with Jack for the school paper. A banner year for the church our families both attended, and for Sparta High, with two students in a single class admitted to Stanford. When I showed my parents the article as proof of my acceptance, Oppa held the newspaper with his fingertips, as if it were bridal lace he was preserving on a special order.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is such a Fabulous Goddess of Cinema. She’s the new face of Dolce & Gabbana’s beauty line (Self wants that lipstick!) Here’s a snippet from her answers to “20 Odd Questions” in this week’s “Style & Fashion” section of The Wall Street Journal.

One of my secrets to success is: you should never do too much of one thing. You have to leave people saying, “If she had done even more, it would have been better.” Let them suffer!

LOL.

Stay tuned.

Self’s Biblical Revisionist “The Ark” (Local Nomad, Spring 2015)

The theme of the Spring 2015 issue of Local Nomad (edited by Filipino American poet Jean Vengua) was: KILLING GROUND.

Jean solicited a story from self; the short story she sent Jean was “The Ark.”

Accepted!

She wrote the story after watching Darren Aronofskly’s wild and fabulous “Noah,” starring Russell Crow and Jennifer Connelly.

  • Cruelty, he taught his sons, was essential.

Animals of all kind fascinate self, she’s not sure why.

Here’s an illustration from a children’s picture book called, simply, The Ark:

Illustration for Children's Book, THE ARK

Illustration for Children’s Book, THE ARK

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today Was a Good Day: On the Narnia Trail in Rostrevor

Self has never read C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

She has visited Rostrevor, in Northern Ireland. Which, according to Csilla Toldy, a Hungarian poet who lives in Rostrevor, was a place particularly close to C. S. Lewis, a place Lewis has said was the source of much of his inspiration.

The day self arrived in Rostrevor, Csilla took her to The Narnia Trail. This is the first time self had even known there was such a thing.

First, Csilla and self walked through a dark wood.

Then, a great expanse of meadow:

Walking to The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Walking to The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Then, the door of a wardrobe suddenly popped up out of nowhere:

Start of The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Start of The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

And a number of trees with tiny doors:

The Land of Narnia

The Land of Narnia

And — voila! — Narnia!

Beautiful trail.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What It’s Really Like To Raise a Dragon: ERAGON, pp. 44 – 45

And also, don’t forget, the mind-reading. And self won’t bother typing SPOILERS because Duh, it’s mostly description.

Mind-Reading, p. 44:

. . .  the dragon, in turn, would lightly brush against his mind. These mute conversations filled his working hours. There was always a small part of him connected to the dragon, ignored at times, but never forgotten. When he talked with people, the contact was distracting, like a fly buzzing in his ear.

Creaturely Aspects, p. 45:

If there’s any type of writing at which Paolini particularly excels, it’s when he has to describe the dragon. This dragon is no airy-fairy being, it is hard, and it has sinews and corded muscles, and its teeth are like daggers.

It also produces “giant dung heaps.”

And “had rubbed against trees, stripping off the bark, and had sharpened its claws on dead logs, leaving gashes inches deep.”

(One thing Paolini doesn’t describe, though, is how a dragon smells. Because this dragon is such a creature, self is certain it must have a particular odor. As all earthly creatures do. And despite the mystery of its origin, this dragon is most definitely an earthly creature. But anyhoo.)

Eragon goes to the forest and is able to summon the dragon with his mind. First it appears as “a fast-moving speck in the dusky sky.” Then, it dives, pulls up sharply, and levels off above the trees.

The dragon is no mere symbol or plot device, it’s a real thing. This is how the dragon lands: It banks slowly and spirals “gently down to the ground.” And then it backflaps, and lands “with a deep, muffled thwump.”

Ooh, self likes!

Stay tuned.

Karin Fossum’s Latest: THE DROWNED BOY

From the Review by Tom Nolan in The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 22-23, 2015:

“One has to be careful when judging another person’s grief,” cautions Norwegian police inspector Konrad Sejer, the “wily old fox” in award-winning Norse author Karin Fossum’s latest somber, intelligent, empathetic procedural novel, The Drowned Boy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). “Everyone grieves in his or her own way. Some people want to move on quickly whereas others want to hold on to it, wrap it round them.” Nonetheless, in the face of the weepy but defensive behavior of a 19-year-old mother whose 16-month-old son was found dead in the pond in back of the family house, the inspector concludes: “She has an odd manner, and I don’t believe her.”

The dead child’s father vows never to stop grieving, even as his brisk wife insists that they get on with life.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Very Good Days

A collection of happy memories (Thanks to The Daily Post for the prompt: TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY):

Look at this beautiful salad! A friend made it for lunch yesterday.

Look at this beautiful salad! A friend made it for lunch yesterday.

Lychee Bubble Tea and Peanut Butter Cupcakes: at Tea Life, Museum St., London

Lychee Bubble Tea and Peanut Butter Cupcakes: at Tea Life, Museum St., London

Anaghmakerrig, Ireland: Sooo beautiful!

Anaghmakerrig, Ireland: Sooo beautiful! Heart of Summer: July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Because, You Know, There Always Has To Be a Quote of the Day

ERAGON!

Got a little behind on this since self had such a busy weekend and moreover last night did not sleep a wink due to usual stuff: list of annoyances; hating on self’s doctor; slights, both real and imagined; and the universe.

“Last year’s security has deserted us; new dangers have appeared, and nothing is safe.”

Self does love these types of quotes, these almost-Biblical-sounding ones.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Hunger Games! DOWN WITH THE CAPITOL!

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.

Today Was a Good Day 2: Summer 2015 in York, Oxford, London

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is:

SHARE YOUR IDEAL DAY, OR RECOUNT A MEMORABLE DAY IN THE PAST.

It is always a good day when self can spend it with friends. Here are photos of friends she visited this summer:

Helene! She hosted self in Yorkshire.

Helene! She hosted self in Yorkshire. Self had not been back to Yorkshire since she was 11. 11 !!!!

Brunch with Jenny Lewis, Joan McGavin, Jennie's granddaughter Abigail, in Jenny's home in Oxford, UK

Brunch with Jenny Lewis, Joan McGavin, Jennie’s granddaughter Abigail, in Jenny’s home in Oxford, UK

Finally, here’s a picture she took at Chez Mamie, 22 Hanway Street (a tiny alley, really, only one block long, off Tottenham Road. She discovered Chez Mamie while walking to the West End to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time).

Almost every night self spent in London, she’d head over to Chez Mamie on Hanway Street for dinner. She’d meet up with another American, Emily, whose daughter was in London shooting a movie:

Chez Mamie in London: Inspiration!

Chez Mamie in London: Inspiration!

So there: three shots of the things that made self happy this summer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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