Poetry Thursday: Csilla Toldy

Self met Csilla at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, which has introduced her to so many wonderful voices.

From the collection Red Roots — Orange Sky (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2013)

A FRAGMENT

In Parc de Luxembourg,
hiding under fallen leaves —
A fountain — messenger
from a sea of amber — Verdigris.

Its well-stone, formerly
Neptune’s set of teeth, now
water-pouring standstill
tossing threat for dragons.

In its far angle a more
Humanoid structure,
a spun-into-form world-element.
It longs, broods and hovers —

above all that is left.


Csilla Toldy was born in Hungary. She escaped from the socialist bloc through the green borders at the age of eighteen in 1981. She now lives in northern Ireland.

Hedgebrook to Self: There’s Always Centrum

Years ago, when Calyx Publisher Margarita Donnelly was still alive, she told self about Hedgebrook. She said, It’s the most magical place. But you can only go once. So don’t waste it.

Self had Hedgebrook, that tantalizing lure, in the back of her mind, for decades. Eventually, she started writing a novel. Then she thought: This could be finally be the project I can apply to Hedgebrook for.

She did not hear back on her application, for almost a year.

Wow, they must have tons of applications, self thought.

Finally, because her landlady was pressuring her to extend her lease, and self didn’t want to do that if she was going to Hedgebrook, she decided to call Hedgebrook.

“Umm, hello,” self said. “Have the results of next year’s residencies already been released?”

Impactful (maybe also painful) silence.

Who is this?

“Marianne Villanueva.”

Another long silence. “The results were announced six months ago. We’ll have someone call you.”

And that’s when self’s gut fell all the way to the bottom of her shoes.

Sure enough, someone did call to tell self she’d been rejected. Not wait-listed. Just flat-out rejected. “There’s Centrum, if you like the area,” said the caller.

“Oh,” self said. “Thanks so much for the recommendation.”

Stay tuned.

The Training in Miracles: p. 158 of Self’s Historical (Well, Maybe NOT So Historical After All) Novel

From 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., this group was kept constantly occupied with reading and rigorous forms of self-affliction: lying face-down on the stone floor of the chapel, or bathing from a pump in the chilly pre-dawn. This was calculated to prepare them for the rigors of an overseas mission. They dedicated themselves to the study of languages, such as Dutch, English, French, and German. They received medical instruction, for they would be required to run hospitals. Last, they received guidance in the writing of their own sermons, and in the performance of miracles.

(If indeed this turns out to be an ACTUAL HISTORICAL NOVEL, then self will have to cut out all the parts about miracles)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67: LAYERED

Layered landscape.

“You can include images of buildings, landscapes, seascapes, clouds . . . ”

The prompt was so interesting!

Here are self’s takes on LAYERED.

  • Worktable in her writing studio at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre: layered in books and papers

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  • Layered plantings at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre:

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  • Layers of purple, her daughter-in-law’s favorite color. Bought her this bouquet on her birthday in September.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Three of a Kind: Photo-A-Week Challenge

Self has an enduring love of windows, which is why she is constantly taking pictures of them.

This week, she joins A Photo A Week Challenge. This week’s prompt: THREE OF A KIND (three photos of the same subject)

Below, three views, same window in the Main House, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Monotones (One Single Color)

Cee Neuner has very interesting prompts. This week’s is MONOTONES. Love it.

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Lake Annagmakerrig: 4:30 a.m., 8 November 2018 (Just realized that it’s too light in the photograph for 4:30 a.m. DUH! The photo is time-stamped for California time, which is eight hours ahead of Ireland. The actual time in Ireland when self took the picture was 12:30 p.m.)

It amuses self to think about how the first color that usually comes to mind when one thinks of Ireland is green.

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Clouds, Annaghmakerrig: 7:30 a.m. (California time, which means 3:30 p.m. in Ireland), 7 November 2018

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Fatsia, Backyard, Redwood City: 11 a.m., 26 September 2018

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: LIGHTS

Cee Neuner, thank you for coming up with such interesting prompts.

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When Self Can’t Sleep: 3 a.m. in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

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Late October: Walking back to the cottage after dinner in the Main House, Tyrone Guthrie Centre

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The cottages at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig make maximum use of natural light.

Self was able to keep working on Blue Water, Distant Shores, her novel-in-progress about 18th century Philippines (As of now, 322 pages)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Paladin and His Minder: AUTONOMOUS, p. 40

Paladin and Eliasz go “undercover” to catch Jack the Smuggler, purveyor of the (illegal) Homework Drug (Which has an actual name, but please: self is teaching on-line. Does she have time to look up things? She just keeps thinking: Adderall. Adderall all the time)

  • Paladin noticed that Eliasz had changed his posture subtly, slouching and pulling his bangs over his eyes in a way that made him seem younger. He could pass for a postgraduate, and it was clear these drunk bio hackers were already responding to him as a peer. Paladin briefly admired this bit of HUMINT artistry, then considered that some of the records associated with Eliasz’s prints placed him at twenty-nine years old. Perhaps those records were accurate, at least in respect to the man’s age.

There is some really dry wit happening in the head of Paladin (who is AI). There is something really fetching about androids, robots, synths and such. Wouldn’t you agree? So much analyzing, so many surprises!

Stay tuned.

From Kenny’s Bookshop, Galway

Ordered this last week. Can’t wait to start reading.

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But first, self has to get through:

  • Jade City, by Fonda Lee (on the last 100 pages; so far: five stars)
  • Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz
  • All Systems Red, by Martha Wells
  • Dead Letters, by Caite Dolan-Leach

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Novel-In-Progress: Hard Pruning

Self has cut so much from her novel-in-progress, Blue Water, Distant Shores, it’s now just 314 pages.

The parts that stay, that made it through three drafts, will be part of the end manuscript now. For sure.

Such as this passage:

The new Gubernador-General announced his intention to establish a system of garrisons ringing the southern Philippine kingdoms of Maranao and Sulu, to contain the Moslem threat. Everyone knew this was idle talk. Spain could not send more soldiers. As the situation stood, she could barely hang on to her prize, the Most Holy City of Manila.

Matias’s watchtower preceded the Church. The site he found was a narrow spit of land that followed the Bago River from its mouth to the Guimaras Strait, which united the Visayan and Sulu Sea.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

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