Broken: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is BROKEN:

  • Capture something broken:  broken windows and tools, an old window, a toy never fixed, and so on.

Each of the pictures below depicts something “broken” — whether it’s Anthony Burgess’s disturbing novel of social dysfunction in an England of the future ruled by thugs, A Clockwork Orange (the book was in a visual art exhibit at the Walter Phillips Gallery here in Banff), a preserved dinosaur head, or an installation representing America’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan:

Anthony Burgess's CLOCKWORK ANGEL

Anthony Burgess’s CLOCKWORK ANGEL — Ooops! Self means A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Self’s got too much Infernal Devices on the brain, dear blog readers!

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, Alberta

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum at Drumheller, Alberta

Harriet Bart, American:

Harriet Bart: “Enduring Afghanistan” – map of Afghanistan rendered in dog tags, at the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Magnetic Magnus Bane (Scenes from CLOCKWORK PRINCE)

Self became curious about The Infernal Devices fan fiction so she spent a little time exploring it today.

It turns out that 90% is about the Warlock Magnus Bane.

In addition, and this was quite surprising to self, the fan fiction for TID is overwhelmingly man/man. And the number of works featuring three-somes (Will/Tessa/Jem) outnumber those featuring Will/Tessa, or what followers of TID refer to as WESSA (Fans of a Jem/Tessa pairing identify as JESSA). Granted, this is probably more information than dear blog readers care to know, but self finds the difference with The Hunger Games fan fiction completely fascinating. In Hunger Games fan fiction, Everlark dominates. Which means: Katniss/Peeta. Which means the relationship is M/F.

Will Herondale IS very pretty, though. Nearly set off a riot at the Vampire Ball in Clockwork Angel, as self has said at least 10x, in 10 different posts! (When is this going to become a movie? She knows The Mortal Instruments series is going to be a television show, but she thinks TID deserves the large-screen treatment. Most definitely)

Anyhoo, Magnus Bane has a more prominent role in Clockwork Prince than he did in Clockwork Angel because Will Herondale keeps showing up at his house. And most of the time, Will is dripping wet (having walked in the rain — naturally) and in some kind of emotional funk over the curse that was laid on him back in Wales when he was 12, which means he can never let any one love him because they will die, which sucks because he’s fallen in love with Tessa who also happens to be falling in love with Jem.

SPOILER ALERT OF COURSE SPOILER ALERT

On p. 145 of Clockwork Prince, Will shows up at Magnus’s, and Will explains the demon curse hanging over his head, and why he’s told no one else, only Magnus, because “a story like that might engender pity, pity could become attachment, and then . . . ”

Magnus raised his eyebrows. “Are you not concerned about me?”

And a shocked Will says, “That you might love me?”

And then you can hear a pin drop but never fear, Magnus does not make a pass at Will Herondale. At least, not right at that moment.

160 pages later (Dear blog readers have no idea how fast self can read when she puts her mind to it), Will is asleep on a couch in Magnus’s sitting room. Never fear, he’s still *untouched* by Magnus, lol. Magnus has fallen asleep in an armchair in front of the fire, and Will is sleeping on the couch. Enter Camille! She who is known as THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND ALLURING VAMPIRE EVER!

“Magnus,” quoth Camille. “Did you miss me?”

And Magnus stammers out something like, “I didn’t know you were coming, Camille!”

And Camille casts a very telling glance at Will asleep on the sofa and says, “Clearly.”

Here’s the rest of that scene:

Gliding behind the sofa, she leaned over the back, looking down into Will’s face. “Will Herondale,” she said. “He is lovely, isn’t he? Is he your newest amusement?”

Instead of answering, Magnus crossed his long legs in front of him. “Where have you been?”

Camille leaned forward farther; if she had had breath, it would have stirred the curling dark hair on Will’s forehead. “Can I kiss him?”

CLOCKWORK PRINCE, p. 318

CLOCKWORK PRINCE, p. 318

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Enveloped: WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ENVELOPED.

Self thought of fog first, so here are the Canadian Rockies as they appeared yesterday afternoon (In contrast, the weather today is all sun), and the last picture is of fellow writer Jami Macarty doing the interactive installation TouchMe by the artist duo Blendid. You press something on the touch-sensitive screen and it takes a picture, which then runs on an endless loop. Cool! So, there’s the silhouette of Jami, enveloped in light as the screen starts to photograph her.

The Weather Yesterday Afternoon

The Weather Yesterday Afternoon

More of the Fog-Shrouded Yesterday Afternoon

More of the Fog-Shrouded Yesterday Afternoon

Poet Jami Macarty Doing the Interactive Installation in the Lobby of Sally Benson Bldg. in the Banff Centre

Poet Jami Macarty Doing the Interactive Installation in the Lobby of Sally Benson Bldg. in the Banff Centre

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Force of Nature 3: Elk Sightings Near Lloyd Hall plus Robert Falcon Scott’s Diary

Self is still in the Canadian Rockies.

The cold isn’t so bad, but it’s the unpredictability, the sheer unpredictability of the weather, that gets to self.

The weather pattern this time of year in the Rockies appears to be thus:

Cold/Wet/Snow/Hot/Chilly/Breezy/Hot/Cold/Wet

All in the same day.

This afternoon, self essay-ed one short walk out, with a group led by geologist Jim Olver, and wouldn’t you know, the day that had been dry as a whistle began to get wet. And wetter. And wetter. The wet building in increments. So it was not a sudden torrent, but a tickle. A reminder. Of the cold that is growing in self’s head.

She said to herself: I’ll be damned if I’m the first person to chicken out because of this rain! I’m staying outside here (despite bare-headed), come hell or high water! Because I am tough! Tough! Tough! I am the woman who endured electricity failure in the month of January in Dharamsala. I had no coat. My teeth were chattering. Do dear blog readers know what chattering teeth sound like? Self was sure she was cracking all her molars.

Today, self was wearing a turtleneck. And a jacket. And jeans. And sturdy sneakers. And knit fingerless gloves. But damn, her hair was getting wet.

This Elk was ambling around in between Lloyd Hall and the Bentley Chamber Music Studio.

This Elk was ambling around in between Lloyd Hall and the Bentley Chamber Music Studio.

And then came ambling along two elk (Is self beginning to sound very Yoda-ish, dear blog readers?), and then someone was asking if self was going for dinner with the Writing Studio group, who were heading downtown, and self wanted to say, seriously? Do you see how wet self’s hair is at this very moment? Need I remind you that my country of origin is the Philippines? Where it is NEVER cold? Even when rainy? And that self’s current abode is listed as CALIFORNIA?

But, anyhoo, ELK SIGHTING! Near LLOYD HALL!

Finally, she gets to post something somewhat related to FORCE OF NATURE, this weeks’s WordPress Photo Challenge!

Just Outside Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Today

Just Outside Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Today

In order to feel less peck-ish, self is reading published excerpts from Robert Falcon Scott’s diary, which he kept all the way till the very end, when he and his party of four other men died in a raging blizzard, just 11 miles from the shelter of base camp. Scott reached the South Pole only to find the Norwegian flag already planted, by Roald Amundsen. Then he and his men had to make the arduous slog back, knowing that they were beaten. Scott’s last conscious act was to make a diary entry. (It suddenly occurs to self that 11 miles is no mere walk in the park. Back in California, self would be hard put to walk 2 miles on a daily basis. And just imagine having to negotiate 11 miles in a blizzard! And weighed down with piles and piles of clothing! Must have felt like swimming through a sea of muck!)

The Canadian Rockies, seen from the 6th floor of Lloyd Hall, the residence of all the Writing Studio participants, including self

The Canadian Rockies, seen from the 6th floor of Lloyd Hall, the residence of all the Writing Studio participants, including self

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

CLOCKWORK ANGEL, Book 1 of The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

One good thing about getting into Banff Writing Studio is that self got to visit her cousin Mike V, who lives in Calgary.

Self discovered that Mike’s daughter Karina (Communications Major at the University of Calgary) is a fan of Cassandra Clare, so self decided to give Clare’s Clockwork Angel a whirl.

MAMA MIA!

Self loves Will Herondale! He is this very delicate-appearing, almost fey, British guy who has an arsenal of out-of-this-world knives.

The setting is Victorian London. Lots of dead bodies appear randomly in London’s grey streets. Is Jack the Ripper a Nephilim? Who cares! Let’s see more of those moves, Will!

Cassandra Clare writes really really really really well.

Her dialogue is top-notch. In this scene, Will Herondale and Tessa Gray, the heroine, scope out a Den of Iniquity called . . . well, self forgets what it is called. All you need to know is that it is a Den of Iniquity. Where there will assuredly be Vampires present.

With his right hand he was tightening one of the metal knife-bearing cuffs on his left wrist. He was staring off toward the window, as if seeing something that wasn’t visible to her. “You might be thinking of vampires as feral monsters, but these vampires are not like that. They are as cultured as they are cruel. Sharpened knives to humanity’s dull blade.”

Do you see what self means when she says that Clare’s writing is really good?

Tessa and Will are admitted into a private residence where “among the candelabras moved vampires, their faces as white as clouds, their movements graceful and liquid and strange.”

And here self thought she was so over Vampires and Shadowhunters and their ilk!

Ixnay!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Forces of Nature 2: Around Banff

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is FORCE OF NATURE. Since arriving in Calgary several weeks ago, self has been truly awed by, to borrow a phrase from The Daily Post prompt, “the sheer scale and power” of the physical surroundings. And even more since getting to Banff, which is in the Canadian Rockies.

Self had signed up for a one-day tour to Lake Louise, today. But she got the meeting place wrong, and by the time she found the Eric Harvie Theatre, the tour was long gone. Anyhoo, self was all right with that, because she ended up doing more work on her novel-in-progress (Working Title: That Wilderness).

Apologies for her photographs being smaller in scale than she was expecting to post today. But the human imprint is also a “force of nature,” isn’t it?

A path leading to the Eric Harvie Theatre

A path leading to the Eric Harvie Theatre in The Banff Centre. Well-traveled. Clearly.

Bridge Over a Gully -- Stumbled Across During A Walk This Morning

Bridge Over a Gully — Stumbled Across During A Walk This Morning. Puts new meaning into the phrase “river of stones.”

And this was the view yesterday, from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. One of the other writers, Sheila Stevenson, asked if she’d like to go there for a fancy drink. We were joined by writer Jill Frayn. And self had her first Canadian beer. The three of us shared a huge appetizer of Nachos with Flatiron Steak. The beef here in Alberta is really good.

from the Rundle Lounge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

from the Rundle Lounge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

The hotel was crowded yesterday: full of families and wedding parties. There was live music. And many Asian tourists.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Elk, Part 2

Yesterday, self and four others took a tour of “Banff Hot Spots” (Ironic title, considering the fact that it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. And kept snowing)

But self saw elk! And more elk!

Herds of elk! Baby elk! Solitary elks!

Here are more elk pictures:

DSCN9603

Amazing! We saw a herd of elk walking majestically by the side of the road, and a solitary female in a field who was soon joined by three baby elk, and a group of three young males on a hillside.

DSCN9601

It snowed all afternoon and all night.

DSCN9600

Aren’t the creatures magnificent?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Intricate 5: The Landscape of Trees, Rivers, Mountains

Banff was chilly today.

Here are some shots of the river. Actually, tour guide and geologist Jim Oliver took the shot for her (of the Hoodoo Trail), as self was freezing and it was raining and she elected to stay inside the van. Jim leads all the tours around The Banff Centre and knows everyone and everything.

She thinks the fretwork of trees can be suitably regarded as INTRICATE:

DSCN9611

This second shot, self did take herself. From the van. She rolled down her window, and the elk was very obliging. Lifted its head and stared straight at her. The fretwork of snow (it alternated rain and snow, all afternoon) makes this shot INTRICATE.

This young male elk is just starting to grow its horns.

This young male elk is just starting to grow its horns.

DSCN9605

Self just heard on the weather report that it’s going to be freezing tonight: Banff and environs are expecting temperatures below zero. There’s a reading tonight of Writing Studio faculty and participants, so self will just have to bundle up.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Intricate! Dinosaur Bones

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is INTRICATE.  Self will focus on fossils. Something about these long-lost creatures fascinates her.

Alberta has a great dinosaur musem in Drumheller. Cousins took her there, a few weeks ago.

Dinosaur Fossil, in the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, about an hour north of Calgary, in Denheller.

Dinosaur Fossil, in the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, about an hour north of Calgary, in Drumheller.

Tiny dinosaur on rock faces stiff competition

Tiny dinosaur on rock faces stiff competition

These little dinosaurs fascinate self.

These little dinosaurs fascinate self.

Quite an interesting display of dinosaur fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. It’s astonishing how scientists can stumble across fragments of dinosaur bones, then painstakingly piece them together to come up with real facsimiles of what the creatures must have looked like.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Things Self Is Learning About In Canada 2: BEARS

There are two kinds of bears: grizzly bears and black bears.

Self has been told there are grizzlies in the area around Banff, so she decides to do some research on the animals.

There is tons of useful information in the National Wildlife Federation website.

  • Grizzly bears can stay in their dens for up to seven months.
  • Grizzly bears begin to look for mates in the spring and early summer.
  • When a female grizzly becomes pregnant, the development of the embryo temporarily stops for several months, a process called “delayed implantation.” If a female bear is unable to gain enough weight during the summer and fall, her body will tell her not to proceed with the pregnancy and the embryo will re-absorb.
  • Grizzlies are known to congregate at rivers with many fish and at improperly fenced garbage dumps.

The garbage bins in The Banff Centre all have lids and are somewhat tricky to open — that’s for the precise purpose of discouraging bears.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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