RELAX: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 2 December 2016

This week’s Photo Challenge — RELAX — is perfect, just perfect!

We all need to relaaaaaax. Especially after the kind of elections we just had.

Three relaxing things self got to enjoy in 2016 (Can you believe it’s almost 2017? Time flies!)

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Relaxed in Capitola, CA

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Relaxed in Ferrycarrig, County Wexford, Ireland

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Old Blind Dogs Performing in Fort Bragg, CA in March 2016

Fantasy, Set in the Philippines: Self’s “Isa”

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Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental, the Philippines: December 2010

A few weeks ago, when self was attending a reading in USF, Barbara Jane Reyes, poet and teacher, told self she was teaching “Isa” in her class this fall.

YEEEESSSSS!!!!

Five families lived on Isa. At first, there was a way to walk on the ground between the houses. But gradually the water rose and that was when we began to use the rope bridges.

In self’s story the water keeps rising and rising and rising, until gradually all the other islands get submerged. And there is only one left.

The families on Isa send out an expedition to see how far the water reaches. The journey takes them far away, and they realize that they’ve long passed the edges of their known world.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Lydia Davis, “Five Signs of Disturbance”

She is watching everything very closely: herself, this apartment, what is outside the windows, and the weather.

There is a day of thunderstorms, with dark yellow and green light in the street, and black light in the alley. She looks into the alley and sees foam running over the concrete, washed out from the gutters by the rain. Then there is a day of high wind.

— from “Five Signs of Disturbance” in Davis’s first collection, Break It Down

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Fall 2016

Self often uses Lydia Davis in her teaching. Something about the crispness of her sentences. Her elegance.

Stay tuned.

#amwriting: Dystopia, the End

A classroom of the future. The teacher is Fire Lizard.

Fire Lizard really is turning into a lizard.

The students are Dragon, Drinker, and Knot. Dragon and Drinker are boys. Knot is a girl.

This is a sequel to self’s “First Causes.”

Fire Lizard looking greener than usual today. He pays no mind about Big’s chair, sitting empty.

“Nature,” Fire Lizard begins, “will vindicate her laws.”

We nod. Our cornea slips engage.

This is a series of stories in which the protagonists mostly just sit in a classroom. Because this is a classroom of the future, there’s fancy stuff like cornea slips.

“First Life” was published in Juked.com, July 2015.

“First Causes” is forthcoming in Quarterly West.

For more of this dystopian universe, refer also to decomP, which in August this year published “Spores,” along with audio from Morgan Cooke, reading in full Dublin accent, lol!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Magic: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 18 November 2016

  • For this week’s challenge, find some magic and charm us with it.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Quite Easily Done!

Art is magic.

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2nd Floor, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Keith Haring, Outside the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

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Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tiny: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 11 November 2016

  • I’ve always loved tiny versions of things: toys and collectibles, furry animals, even houses.

— Cheri Lucas Rowlands, The Daily Post

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is TINY.

Last week, self saw a fabulous exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, on The Ramayana. Afterwards, she hung around on the front steps, taking pictures of the passing scene.

She loves how this whimsical sculpture of an animal of some kind seems to dwarf the passersby, making them look tiny.

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Asian Art Museum, Larkin Street, San Francisco: November 2016

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Wider View, from the Front Steps of the Asian Art Museum, Larkin Street, San Francisco

Final picture: self’s print of La Llorona, which she bought last year from the Mendocino Art Center:

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Self bought the print because it reminded her of The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Kate Walbert

Caroline discovers her mother’s blog during one of those middle-of-the-night nights when she can no longer sleep and thinks that she should just read, or go online and research Dora Maar, for Christ’s sake, her daughter Dorothy announcing earlier on the telephone that she had been studying the poems of Picasso’s sad, troubled mistress and that she would like to be known, henceforth, as Dora.

A Short History of Women, p. 205

Conversation of the Day: “The Vampire Diaries,” Season 3

“I feel like I’m going crazy. Everything’s making me paranoid.”

“You have a right to be. Klaus is still out there, trying to kill you.”

Elena (Interior monologue): Oh thank God. I thought for a minute there, I was going crazy.

Stay tuned.

CHAOS: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 4 November 2016

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is CHAOS:

  • This week, let’s embrace disorder and its creative power.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Wow, love how many complicated responses that photo challenge evokes.

Trash = chaos

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In Passing: Scene Viewed From CalTrain, Northbound

Speed + Night = Indistinct/Chaos

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Night and the City

San Francisco Skyline From Inside an Uber:

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San Francisco Skyline, Night

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Most Amazing

The London Review Bookshop has a film club. Once a month, they show a film, and bring in the director for Q & A. When self was there, earlier this year, she caught a showing of Sally Potter’s Yes.

The entire film is told in iambic pentameter. Self gets goosebumps just remembering. She asked Sally Potter at the reception: “Is the screenplay available?” When Sally said yes, self wanted to do cartwheels. As soon as she could, she ordered a copy of the screenplay.

The heart of the movie is a woman played by a luminous Joan Allen. She visits a dying aunt in Belfast. The SHE in the excerpt below is Joan Allen’s character. The setting is a hospital:

Aunt:

You’re late again. Don’t worry. Never mind.
I know you’re busy. It’s the kind
Of life you lead. But then you chose it, so
I guess you want it. Always to and fro,
You never stop.

SHE tiptoes into the ward and stands looking down at her aunt who lies immobile, her eyes closed, in the bed.

Aunt (cont’d):

Unlike myself. I’m here
To stay. For just how long, who knows. I fear
It could be ages. It creeps up on you,
This funny business. First a creak or two,
Your knees, perhaps, and — bingo! — then you’re old
And in a bed.

SHE kisses her aunt’s forehead gently, pulls up a chair and sits down by the bed.

She (whispering):

Oh, auntie . . .

When you’re watching the film, you’re aware of the rhyme, but instead of distracting you, it helps you concentrate. Amaaaaazing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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