Shine 4: Places, Memory

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Lloyd Hall, Banff Center for the Arts

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View From a Taxi: New York, March 2015

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Mendocino Art Center, Winter 2015

#amwriting: Novel-in-Progress, WILDERNESS, Chapter 1

  • The old servant woman placed before each of them a white plate on which were artfully arranged four thin, golden slices of ripe mango.

Novel got her into the 2015 Banff Literary Studio, where one of her mentors was so scrupulous he marked sentence by sentence. Things like: WHO IS THE SPEAKER HERE?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

And Further Thoughts of the Day

Last year, Banff:

“Awww, you’re being so nice. Unfortunately, it won’t do you any good.”

So right! Self, NICE doesn’t count when you’re trying to get a book contract.

Get IN there, tiger! Show your claws, for crying out loud!

For further thought:

Self’s happiness project takes a page from Gretchen Rubin: Compare what you did today to what you did this same day last year.

Right. So far, today’s big achievement is laundry! Laundry! Laundry! Ta-ra!

She flips to her Happiness Project journal and looks up what she did on April 15, 2015: This cannot be! Is this some kind of sick joke?

On April 15, 2015, self wrote: Success! Did humongous load of laundry!

Such a difference a year makes!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

One Love: Daily Post Photo Challenge

. . . the universe is constantly whispering words of love: expressions of pure joy, respect, loyalty and sacrifice for someone other than ourselves, letting go and focusing on what is most important in this world.

Below, a collection of lovely moments.

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At a Chinese Take-Out in Inchicore, Dublin

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Words From a Kind Soul: This note was given to self in Banff, Canada.

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The Niece That Started It All: Karina introduced self to Victorian Steampunk (The Infernal Devices Trilogy): Self has never looked back.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Change: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CHANGE:

Perhaps it’s the change of seasons. A caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

Self went scrolling back through her thousands of 2015 photographs and got to May 2015, when she was in the Banff Writing Studio. Here’s an evening sky over Banff, with clouds rolling in:

View From Lloyd Hall, Banff Arts Centre, May 2015

View From Lloyd Hall, Banff Arts Centre, May 2015

And more cloudiness!

Clouds + Canadian Rockies = Weather Situations

Clouds + Canadian Rockies = Weather Situations

And here’s evening settling in, self took this shot from the top floor of Lloyd Hall:

Dusk: May 2015

Dusk: May 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monochromatic 5: Alberta, Canada, Spring 2015

Today will be her last post on this week’s post: MONOCHROMATIC.

She had no idea, when the prompt was posted a week ago, that she’d find so many pictures to post.

Earlier this year, self was in Banff for the Annual Writing Studio. What an amazing experience it was. She definitely feels confident in her novel now.

Banff, Spring 2015

Banff, Spring 2015

Before she arrived in Banff, she spent a few days with her cousin, Mike Villanueva, in Calgary. So much fun! Mike and his wife Pixie took self to the Royal Terrell Dinosaur Museum, where she saw the most fantastic exhibits. Here’s a picture she took of an underwater dinosaur.

At the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, Alberta, Canada

At the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, Alberta, Canada

Driving to the Dinosaur Museum with her cousins, self discovered the true meaning of prairie:

Prairie: Alberta, Canada

Prairie: Alberta, Canada

Looking back at the pictures she took for the theme MONOCHROMATIC, there was:

  • Alberta, Canada
  • Annaghmakerrig, Ireland
  • Cambridge, England
  • Half Moon Bay, California
  • Yorkshire, England

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monochromatic 4: Moody Landscapes

Half Moon Bay, June 2015

Half Moon Bay, June 2015

On the way to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: May 2015

On the way to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: May 2015

The Trans-Canada Highway, April 2015 (Can you imagine weather like this in April, self can't even)

The Trans-Canada Highway, April 2015 (Can you imagine weather like this in April, self can’t even)

Connected: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge is:  CONNECTED.

Which is fabulous, as self recently had occasion to quote E. M. Forster in one of her UCLA Extension Writing classes:

Only connect.

Only connect.

Only connect.

Two simple words which mean so much.

Here to celebrate connectedness:

(1) Self met the musical composers/performers Xenia Pestova and Ed Bennett at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre this past summer. Here they are rehearsing a new piece:

Xenia Pestova and Ed Bennett rehearsing a new piece at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, this past summer

Xenia Pestova and Ed Bennett rehearsing a new piece at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, this past summer.

(2) Language connects people. Here, a snap of a page of the Oxford English Dictionary, which self found in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. She kept the dictionary open to the page defining “circumlocution” (a most fabulous word):

The Oxford English Dictionary in Self's Cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

The Oxford English Dictionary in Self’s Cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

(3) The Banff Writing Studio (April/May 2015) brought together 24 poets and prose writers for several weeks: This was the official portrait, self’s picture of a picture. Since she was the shortest writer in the program, she was in the front row (in pink and red). The writers were brought to Banff to work on book-length projects. When she arrived in Banff, she had 60 not-so-good pages of her novel-in-progress. When she left, she had 100 pages. Today, she got her manuscript up to 166 pages! Amazesauce!!!

2015 Banff Writing Studio Official Portrait: a picture of a picture, BLURRED!

2015 Banff Writing Studio Official Portrait: a picture of a picture, BLURRED!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Reading Dionne Brand

from her poetry collection, Thirsty (McClelland & Stewart):

would I have had a different life
failing this embrace with broken things,
iridescent veins, ecstatic bullets, small cracks
in the brain, would I know these particular facts,
how a phrase scars a cheek, how water
dries love out, this, a thought as casual
as any second eviscerates a breath

and this, we meet in careless intervals,
in coffee bars, gas stations, in prosthetic
conversations, lotteries, untranslatable
mouths, in versions of what we may be,
a tremor of the hand in the realization
of endings, a glancing blow of tears
on skin, the keen dismissal in speed

Self met Dionne Brand in Banff, just this past April.

Life-changing encounter. Forevermore.

Writing can change people.

Another excerpt from Thirsty. By the way, it’s Sunday in Ireland:

There was a Sunday morning scent,
an early morning air, then the unarranged light
that hovers on a street before a city wakes
unrelieved to the war fumes of fuel exhaust

Stay tuned.

ROY G. BIV 2: London & Annaghmakerrig & Banff (And The Year Is Only Half Over!)

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is really interesting.

Self had no idea what ROY G. BIV stood for, but now she does. Each letter stands for a color: Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.

The Daily Post prompt says:

You can attack this challenge in one of two ways: share an image that contains all the colors of the rainbow (or an actual rainbow . . . or share a multi-photo gallery, one image for each color.

Today, self is going for the multi-photo gallery. First, the color BLUE (She should have begun with RED, her apologies!)

This is Blackfriars Bridge in London. The sky was amazingly blue that day.

Blackfriars Bridge, London. Self particularly wanted to see Blackfriars because it plays such a prominent role in Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices. The sky was amazingly blue that day.

Next, the color ORANGE:

It was Wednesday. Self's friend Joan McGavin invited self to come along and participate in a demonstration near Lambeth Bridge, asking the government for greater measures to address climate change.

It was Wednesday. Self’s friend Joan McGavin invited self to come along and participate in a demonstration near Lambeth Bridge, asking the government for greater measures to address climate change.

Next, the color YELLOW:

This teapot is yellow (duh). It's in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

This teapot is yellow (duh). It’s in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

The next color is GREEN:

This beautiful etched glass panel is in the Church of St. Bride's, near Fleet Street (Also known as the Church of Journalists).

This beautiful etched glass panel is in the Church of St. Bride’s, near Fleet Street (Also known as the Church of Journalists).

Next, the color RED:

An Armchair in Self's Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

An Armchair in Self’s Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

Next, the color INDIGO:

Twilight, London: Somewhere Off Great Russell Street, Near the British Museum

Twilight, London: Somewhere Off Great Russell Street, Near the British Museum

Finally, VIOLET:

The Books Self Checked Out of the Library in Banff

The Books Self Checked Out of the Library in Banff

It took self FOREVER to decide on the last photo. She had no idea how little violet there was in the world. Honestly. This entire post probably took her an hour, and finding the last picture probably took her 15 minutes. And now, the book spines don’t really look violet!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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