Anjelica Huston: Venice Beach

Well, self will be sad to finish this book. She started reading it in Cork, continued reading it in Wexford, continued reading it in Dublin, and now has been reading it in London. She didn’t start with high hopes, especially since there’s a cringe-inducing love/hate thing going on with Jack Nicholson. But Huston shines when she describes a place. And she’s been to some pretty fabulous ones.

Here she describes the view from her house in Venice Beach:

On the top story was a little parapet from which one could see the whole of Venice Beach — from the flags of the many nations on the roof of the youth hostel next door, above a faded sepia mural, to the Townhouse bar across the street, the tattoo parlor, Animal House, the hippies and the homeless, the vendors, the performance artists, the swami with his turban and electric guitar on Rollerblades, the runaways, the snake-charmer, the rappers, the chalk and sand artists, the weight lifters, the addicts, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the tourists and the surfers, the skateboard kids, the guy who played “Eye of the Tiger” relentlessly and did crazy stuff with a chainsaw for eight years.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Faces 3: Annual Redwood City, CA Fourth of July Parade

One of the biggest on the Peninsula. This was from the Parade a few years ago:

One of self’s favorite holidays. Seriously.

Mariachis, Beauty Queens, and the Always Inimitable Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Earth 4: Elk, California

Self-explanatory, really.

Elk is about 17 miles south of Mendocino, CA, along twist-y Highway 1.

Advice to neophytes on 1: Prepare to pull over at every turn-out. The locals speed, and you’ll be so nervous you won’t be able to take in the view.

Stay tuned.

Stonehenge Appears Off California Highway 1 Near Pacifica

From self’s short short “Stonehenge/Pacifica” (published in Wigleaf):

The whole rose, majestically, from the waves. I had seen this stone monument before, in a photograph in some book. Water sluiced over the massive grey stones, which had a greenish tinge, as though layered with many centuries of moss. The mighty pillars were pitted with hollows.

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Sylvain Landry Week 42 Challenge: CARS

Sylvain Landry’s new photo challenge is

CARS!

How great is that?

Self is from California! Course she only finds 10 million photos of cars in her archive!

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Venice Beach, California, November 2014

Stay tuned.

Landscapes 3: Two Actual, One Metaphorical

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is LANDSCAPE.

Self loves landscapes in general. So here are pictures of three:

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Evening, Mendocino, March 2016

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Evan Hobart’s Landscape of Clay: Mendocino Art Center, March 2016

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Presbyterian Church, Mendocino, February 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Half-Light # 1: Cat Stevens, “Morning Has Broken”

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Early Morning, Lansing Street, Mendocino

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is HALF-LIGHT:

  • “See if you can capture the beauty of morning or evening half-light in your corner of the globe.”

To complicate things even more, we’re supposed to include “a favorite poem, verse, story, or song lyric.”

When self thinks of morning, she always thinks of the Cat Stevens song:

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

She found the lyrics on metrolyrics.com

Here’s morning just outside the Mendocino Art Center on Little Lake Street, in February:

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Morning, Little Lake Street, Just Outside the Mendocino Art Center

And here’s another verse of the same song:

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

And finally, a shot of the morning sun through the window of her unit in the Mendocino Art Center:

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Morning Has Broken! Through the Blinds of Self’s Unit in the Mendocino Art Center, January 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dance 3: Summer Concert, Stafford Park, Redwood City

One of the joys of owning a home only two blocks from Stafford Park: Wednesday nights throughout the summer, there are free musical concerts. And every available space on the grass is taken by picnicking families. FUN!

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Joy is to be a child again.

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To dance in circles on the grass!

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Conga Line?

Mendocino Art Center, Winter 2016 Writing Classes

Self taught one workshop last winter at the Mendocino Art Center. This winter, she’s teaching two. Thanks to Karen Bowers, who invited her back:

Jan. 22 – 24 (Friday to Sunday): JOURNEYS — Exploring Inward While Traveling Outward

Grounding in the World — it’s what the best travel writers have. The journey to another place is never just personal. It grounds the travel writer in a culture, a world that speaks to a sense of discovery, the urge to explore, and test boundaries. It brings the traveler out of private headspace and into the people around them.

Travel writing has experienced a kind of renaissance in the book publishing world. While the world shrinks and previously exotic landscapes become more and more accessible, the field of travel writing is splintering into sub-genres: Women’s Travel Writing; Extreme Adventure Travel Writing; the Naturalist as Travel Writer.

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Winter: Elk, California

Feb. 6 – 7 (Saturday & Sunday): ONE STORY, SIX WAYS (All prose writing; no distinction between fiction and memoir)

Just what it says, folks. Bring in one piece (There will be in-class writing as well, so don’t stress if you have nothing). The piece that has you all tied up in knots because you’ve been trying and trying to tell this story forever. And now it’s dead in the water and you don’t know what to do.

We’ll do that piece six different ways. Some of the ways:

flash fiction * conversation/dramatic monologue * split point of view * setting and landscape/mood * episodic * splintered consciousness

Interested? Sign up at the Mendocino Art Center:

MendocinoArtCenter.org/classes
(707) 937 – 5818, xt. 10 or (800) 653 – 3328, xt. 10

Mendocino Again! Still Writing About Cheating Peeta

Self took her leisurely time, leaving the Bay Area a little past 9, going slow in heavy rain through the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin, Cloverdale, Route 128, Highway 1, Yorkville, Albion, Little River. She saw all the usual stuff: sheep, redwoods, wineries. She didn’t stop until she got to Booneville, where she dropped another chapter of her Cheating Peeta fan fic (It is so much FUN to write about Cheating Peeta! The most fun she remembers having in aaaaages! The readers are vested to the max in her characters. They even offer tips about what they think should happen next. For instance, one reader suggests that Katniss and Cheating Peeta, to repair their dysfunctional marriage, go on a vacation “to a white sand beach, preferably right away, preferably without telling anyone.” Now, why didn’t self think of that before? Who wouldn’t love a getaway to a white sand beach? Or, how about this comment: “Oh, I do hope there is a fistfight!” LOL LOL LOL)

Since the internet can be quite poky here in the far northern California coast, she took the opportunity to stop at the Mosswood CafĂ© in Booneville where, while munching on delicious chorizo & goat cheese empanadas, she hurriedly dropped a new chapter — QED because her chapters are short, only about four pages long — and then watched with excitement and satisfaction as the # of hits climbed and climbed and climbed, with every passing second!

The only drawbacks so far since she installed herself in her unit at the Mendocino Art Center are: (1) It is cold; (2) At night, there are no lights; (3) She forgot to bring a flashlight; and (4) She discovered she left behind her copy of Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan’s The Strain, which she was meaning to read when she got through with Philipp Meyer’s American Rust.

The Strain is a horror story involving one or both of these elements: (1) vampires; (2) zombies. She knows she can always pick up a copy from Gallery Bookstore (one of her faaaave hangouts in Mendocino!) tomorrow, but perhaps she should re-think reading horror while in Mendocino. At least, until the days start getting longer. Because when she poked her head out of her unit about two hours ago, there was a stiff wind, it was mighty cold, and she couldn’t see her car because the night darkness was so total. And The Strain sounds genuinely scary. And maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t really need to add that kind of tension to her life right now?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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