Tour Guide: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 7 February 2018

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge asks us to show “what we love” about where we live. Self lives in Redwood City, California but is spending the next few months in Mendocino, as the 2018 Writer in Residence at the Mendocino Art Center.

Her unit faces a forge/woodsmithing shop, and a local high school. At the end of the day, she can walk to the street and always manage to catch a spectacular sunset.

Today, the sunset was so alluring that self got into her car and chased it down as far as the Mendocino Headlands. She kept her car headlights on while taking this shot.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

LANDSCAPES OF THE MIND: Mendocino Art Center, 27 & 28 January 2018

“You said on the phone the other day that you’re a teacher?”


“What subject do you teach?”

“Everything, pretty much.”

Exotics, by Callan Wink (Granta 128, Summer 2014)

This coming weekend, self is teaching.

A two-day writing workshop on just one subject: Landscapes.

Students will try their hand at writing only one thing: landscapes, both real and invented.

You do not need to be a tested writer, only a writer who is willing to be tested.

Thank you, Mendocino Art Center, for allowing self this opportunity.


  • A journey is more than just a movement through physical space. It is also movement through an emotional landscape. This writing workshop will be about journeys, both real and imagined: journeys of retrieval and nostalgia, as well as journeys of discovery. We’ll map emotions, moods, as well as physical space. We’ll do it all by sitting in one physical space. I’ll share my process with you. I’ll show you how.

Albion, California: January 2017

Stay tuned.

#amreadingpoetry: Bronwyn Lovell, “Advice for the Cold-Blooded”

Met Australian poet Bronwyn Lovell at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig in 2015. A mutual friend, Jacinta Oreilly, gave self her chapbook, Chrysalis, last week, and self has been reading it in Paris.

Thank you, Jacinta! What a lovely present.

Advice for the Cold-Blooded

When wings are the largest
part of your body

you rely too heavily
on the weather.

Listen, then.
You need to know that

the sun will not
always provide.

You must steal heat
from those warm places,

let it take you
to the next blossom

then wait for sunshine
to lift you again.

On days when every
surface is shaded

(however paralysed)
you must force

yourself to move.
Produce your own heat

in tiny increments. Shiver
until you are no longer cold.

NOTE: Chrysalis was shortlisted for the Doire Press International Poetry Chapbook Competition.

New Orleans Review, 2012: “Thing”

The first of self’s dystopian fantasies to be published appeared in New Orleans Review in 2012:


It’s been a week. The creature is still alive. I have been thinking a lot about it, watching it every day, seeing how it changes.

For instance, it no longer reacts when I poke it with the tip of my knife. Little dots of blood appear on the surface of its skin. Perhaps it has no nerve endings?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ASCEND: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 13 December 2017

It’s almost time for self to pack up her books and end another incredibly intense, productive stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

Her last hurrah: in honor of this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, ASCEND, here are shots of the stairs going to her writing studio.



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


#amwritinghistoricalfiction: The English Arrive on Isla del Fuego

p. 243 of self’s novel-in-progress:

An English officer stands on the beach, waiting at attention. Matias gapes.

“England has attacked Spain, sir,” the man announces. “We have 5,000 soldiers in Manila. Colonel Chisholm.”

So Long, NaNoWriMo2017, #stillwriting

Today self spent the whole day writing. Well, she spent all of yesterday writing as well. And the day before that. And the day before that. And . . .

Actually, the only times she hasn’t been writing in November are when she’s been on an airport or an airplane (pretty often, actually, in November, and lest she forget to mention — Aer Lingus sent her from Dublin to Cork, in a three-hour taxi ride because of a cancelled flight from Heathrow, on Nov. 2)

She did not, of course, do 50k words. But she never expected to anyway.

What she has as of today are 282 pages of a novel-in-progress, and she knows pretty much how she wants it to end.

She even thought of a cool-sounding title for her manuscript, a few days ago:

Blue Water, Distant Shores

Sooo fan-ta-ma-tas-tic. She got the idea yesterday. She likes to think she wouldn’t have gotten there if she hadn’t spent so much time working up to 282 pages. Two years ago, this idea was 60 pages which she forced up to 80 pages so she could go to Banff Writers Studio. And she’s had such problems with confidence (because it’s 18th century, and she’s never written a novel before, and she set it in Spain, which she’s only been to once in her whole life). But, slow and steady, and BIG BIG thanks to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig for giving her that space and that peace and that determination to finish her book.

And she is so happy right now. Incredible.

Stay tuned.


Serene: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 29 November 2017

  • Share a visual moment of blissful quiet. –– Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

All pictures below from self’s cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig




Also, failed to reach her goal of 50k words for NaNoWriMo2017, but her novel-in-progress is up to 281 pp.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Work-in-Progress, 275 pp

from p. 18 of self’s novel-in-progress (Working Title: Blue Water, Distant Shores):

He sees the creature for the first time on a cold day in early December. He and his mother are walking past the convent of the Carmelites, on the way to hear mass.

It is immense. Gigantic.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fifth From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Anne Haverty

I used to be quite a normal fellow.

— from One Day As a Tiger by Anne Haverty

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