America After George Floyd

As self told one young man on Twitter: This is your moment. Better not waste it.

I won’t, he said.

(In his very next tweet he called Joe Biden an “Andrew Jackson Democrat” and she was so confused but didn’t have time to figure out what he meant so she blocked him)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 103: SURPRISE

Whew, where would self’s head be right now if she weren’t doing a Photo Challenge? These Photo Challenges are really helping self stay positive during the pandemic.

The latest Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is: SURPRISE.

Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence, a surprise.     

– Vera Nazarian

Do joing the fun!

Here are self’s recent surprises:

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These cherries from a tree in self’s backyard were so unexpectedly sweet!

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Picking more cherries!

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Her friend Jacinta O’Reilly, a painter in Ireland, sent her this beautiful card that she made herself. What a beautiful surprise to get in the mail!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102: A QUIET MOMENT

  • All around the world people are noticing that their cities and towns are quieter during the pandemic. They say that they can hear the birds in the morning instead of traffic and are more aware of nature’s presence. In quiet moments during the day, I can hear neighbors chatting as they walk past. Children’s voices mingle with the sounds of water sprinklers. It feels like we stepped back to a less hectic time when people stayed at home more.

A Quiet Moment, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102, P. A. Moed

Last fall, self was in Ireland. What a different place the world was then!

During her visits to Ireland, she always finds calm and inspiration. These pictures reflect that mood.

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from a cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

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Just Outside IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Dublin

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This beautiful avenue leads from IMMA straight to . . . the Dublin Castle? It is a wonderful walk.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HATS

Bless Cee Neuner for keeping Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge so FUN!

For this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, HATS, self found a couple of pictures from her archives.

Self’s baseball-cap wearing niece, Angela, an undergrad at the University of Michigan, spent a summer as an intern at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Self had a lot of fun hanging with her:

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The Martian is son’s favorite novel (after the Dune novels; son is an avid science fiction reader). He met the cap-wearing author at SDCC 2018:

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Finally, one of Magritte’s most iconic images, the man in the bowler hat, at an exhibit in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 2018:

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Other hats:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Graffiti & Murals

Self loves this week’s Fun Foto Challenge because there is so much raw energy in street art; graffiti has always fascinated.

All photos: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

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Here are a few other graffiti galleries to sample:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Photo Montage: 2020 So Far

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.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: REST

Self loves the idea of REST.

REST is crucial to her creativity.

Recently, she had an opportunity to see an amazing exhibit at the Bakersfield Museum of Art:

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Night. Rest. Nocturnes. What a beautiful theme.

Not to mention: The paintings she saw were otherworldy, powerful in their depictions of this special and mysterious time of day.

For instance, Jessica Dunne’s, which showed a San Francisco street in fog:

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Just after she drove down to Bakersfield, the Bay Area had a brief string of sunny days. Gorgeous! Self went to the backyard, for the first time in weeks, and saw an eight-foot-high bush completely covered in bright, yellow flowers. So many flowers, she could barely see the green.

What is the reason for such a ridiculous display, flowers? She never fertilizes and barely waters. This is a common euryops, which is the landscape plant of choice for new subdivisions. But she’s never seen them throw out flowers in a display so in-your-face! That’s the ony way she can think to describe it. It is so overpoweringly extra. She took this picture early in the morning:

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Euryops, February 2020

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

Calyx Journal 10: Summer/Fall 2019

Look at this beauty!

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Featuring the 2018 Margarita Donnelly Prize for Prose Writing, Michelle Cristiani’s Blessed Are the Breathing.

From Senior Editor Brenna Crotty:

  • This is the issue of transformation. I knew it would be as soon as we accepted two pieces with the word “Molt” in the title. Although they addressed very different themes — the pain of recovery versus the new freedoms of young adulthood — they both flung the windows open on deep feelings of change. And the more I looked for it in this collection of poems and stories, the more I found it. From the grief and catharsis in Ingrid Wendt’s “Blue Morpho” to Michelle Cristiani’s unfolding account of life after a stroke, this issue is filled to the brim with the challenging and exhilarating work of becoming something new.

It isn’t just the words, though. The featured visual art is stunning as well.

Submissions are open through Dec. 31.

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