SPORES

This story was published by decomP Magazine. Self began writing it during a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Weeks later, she found the ending in Dublin.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

In this story of the future, there are Earthstars. Earthstars are permitted to mate with either Silverleafs or Shags. Any other pairing is out of the question.

K is a Common.

The inspiration for this story was a book about mushrooms. Morgan Cooke, who she met at TGC, made an audio recording. Must say, self got a big kick out of hearing her story read with an Irish accent. Many, many, many thanks to Morgan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: OLD BUILDINGS

Still getting used to this new WordPress system. Took self twice as long to post. A pain.

Barns, sheds, houses, Cee Neuner says.

Another REALLY interesting Foto Challenge. Self has tons of pictures of old buildings in her archives. But, looking over the pictures in Cee’s prompt, it is not enough that the structures be old, they have to be old in a certain way, a weathered kind of way.

Here goes:

Dublin, May 2019
Prague, May 2019
Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102: A QUIET MOMENT

  • All around the world people are noticing that their cities and towns are quieter during the pandemic. They say that they can hear the birds in the morning instead of traffic and are more aware of nature’s presence. In quiet moments during the day, I can hear neighbors chatting as they walk past. Children’s voices mingle with the sounds of water sprinklers. It feels like we stepped back to a less hectic time when people stayed at home more.

A Quiet Moment, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102, P. A. Moed

Last fall, self was in Ireland. What a different place the world was then!

During her visits to Ireland, she always finds calm and inspiration. These pictures reflect that mood.

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from a cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

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Just Outside IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Dublin

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This beautiful avenue leads from IMMA straight to . . . the Dublin Castle? It is a wonderful walk.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

“Spores” Part 2

Context: K and R are paired up in a lab (They sort. What do they sort? Something). They don’t get to leave the lab until they’ve met their quota. K has a crush on the boss, who’s Earthstar. She and R are Common (not supposed to look at Earthstar). R (the narrator) told the boss “We be needing foxes” and got punched in the face for his impudence. That’s why K keeps offering him remedies. But he rebuffs her.

Self wrote this in Dublin. You can tell.


“Here,” she says finally, pulling something yellow, bell-shaped, out of her pocket.

I shake my head.

“You sure?” she says. “I got these fresh.”

Hours go by. Then K says, “He’s a stump, that one. Jesus.”

Me standing up straight, trying to forget the pain in my right cheek. “I don’t think we’re at liberty to discuss,” I say.

K’s eyes well up. Copious.

“Shut it,” I say. I don’t want to hear another word. Sighs and pity, I don’t need. Especially her sighs and pity. “I won’t ever look as good as I do now.”

K begins to laugh. Then she sees my face. Her right hand claps over her mouth. “Oh.” I want to cuff her.

“You might be wanting a piss soon,” she says. “Then, if blood comes out of you…”

“You’ll be wanting to feel my fist,” I say.

“Oh,” she says again. But this time, she looks sad. She says, strange-voiced, “I’ll bring oak milk tomorrow. Might help.”


When my friend Summer lay under the beechwood seems a lifetime ago, puking insides, puking until her stomach was a strange convex shape, what happened was, I heard a whooshing noise, and then from the other side of the trees came a Sand Spirit. Drum-beat Ta-ra! It came down from the sky, propellers whirring, dredging hay and thistles. Then snapped her right up.

As they used to say in Marble Arch, when some play was on: The Lady Exits.

For a long time after, I stayed under the beech, whispering Summer, whatya reckon to all this and watching two yella bitterns wing from branch to branch to branch. Until the shadows chased me home.

In P-1, the teachers tell, Heaven is up a winding stair. Hell is like falling off the Whitecliffs—down and down and down and down. Limbo is—somewhere between. Those lessons always gave me the frights.


Part 3 posted here.

Three-Of-a-Kind II

Walked around Dublin with visual artista Jacinta O’Reilly. We were going to check out the Chester Beatty but, disappointingly, the museum was closed.

While waiting for Jacinta, self checked out the Surface Matters exhibit at Dublin Castle. Amazing show. Featured stunning pieces by, among others, Alan Meredith, Cecilia Moore, Jack Doherty, Coilin O Dubhghaill, Ciaran McGill, Mike Byrne, Joe Hogan, Grainne Watts.

The medium used in Picture # 1: wood

  • Alan Meredith’s preferred material is the wood of the national tree, Irish oak . . . He turns, hand-distorts, steams, ebonises and fumes his pieces . . . 

Took pictures of several “three-of-a-kind.”

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Alan Meredith’s “Wood”

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Mike Byrne, Limerick Artist

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Joe Hogan’s “Venus Figure Pods”

Stay tuned.

 

 

Bridges: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

At last! Am able to do a post on a new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week!

The prompt is BRIDGES.

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A Bridge in Dublin, 28 April 2019

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Another Bridge in Dublin: 28 April 2019

The last picture isn’t really a bridge: it’s a stop on the London Underground. Which means it IS a bridge of sorts!

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London Underground, Russell Square Station: 27 April 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Favorite Places

Self started reading a new book this afternoon: Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier, by Tatiana de Rosnay. It begins with the most fabulous quote.

  • People and things pass away, not places. — Daphne du Maurier

The quote really got her thinking about a few of her favorite places. She decided to share pictures with dear blog readers.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Tana French, THE TRESPASSER, p. 425

SPOILER ALERT

Detective Breslin to Detective Conway: I spent twenty minutes sitting in the Top House before the penny dropped. Fair play to you, Conway: you make a very convincing South Dublin airhead.

Place in Mystery Fiction: It Is Everything

Self is closing out 2017 with Tana French, and she is also reading Kelly Creighton’s Bank Hurricane Holiday, a super short story collection set in Northern Ireland.

Place is everything in the writing of these two women. She isn’t finished yet with Creighton’s book (just out from Doire Press) but she finished her first Tana French, earlier today: Broken Harbor. And she’s just started reading The Trespasser.

She’s very late in coming to Tana French, but why. She’s been coming to Ireland for years, if she’d had enough sense, she would have read Ms. French years ago.

Self loves mysteries. She especially loves the mysteries of: Henning Mankell, Morag Joss (only one book), Ruth Rendell, and Karin Fossum.

She thinks her love of mysteries in foreign landscapes began with Peter Hoeg’s mesmerizing Smilla’s Sense of Snow. (And now she writes dystopian fantasy set in snowy landscapes, what a coincidence)

p. 4, The Trespasser:

  • Murder works out of the grounds of Dublin Castle, smack in the heart of town, but our building is tucked away a few corners from the fancy stuff the tourists come to see, and our walls are thick; even the early morning traffic out on Dame Street only makes it through to us as a soft, undemanding hum.

Who doesn’t know Dublin Castle. Tourist mecca. Now, in her mind, Dublin Castle is the home of the Dublin Murder Squad. Love.

On to p. 5.

Stay tuned.

 

 

BROKEN HARBOUR, p. 41

Money: the only thing that kills more people than love.

— Detective Mick Kennedy of the Dublin Murder Squad

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