This Conversation

Self was in Oxford.

Oxford, as in UK.

The year she got shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards.

Funny, that was also her first visit to Ireland.

In fact, she was IN Ireland when she got the e-mail from her publisher. In Florida.

“Oh,” self e-mailed. “I don’t think I can make it to Oxford, Mississippi. Because, I’m in Ireland.”

And her publisher said, “Well, if you’re in Ireland, I think that’s a lot closer to Oxford than where I am.”

And self thought, Huh, that’s funny.

Then she got an e-mail from the Saboteur Awards people, giving her directions on getting to Oxford. Which included going to London, then taking a train . . .

Wait. London. Train.


Like hell, she said!

Anyhoo, she wound up in Oxford, UK. Drinking champagne, thank you very much. A young woman comes up to self, introduces herself as a Ph.D. student from Oxford. Oxford University, not Oxford as in Oxford, Mississippi. LOL.

The young woman asks self what she does to relax.

Self doesn’t even have to think about it: “I write Fan Fiction.”

And this young woman, this doctoral candidate in Oxford University, doesn’t bat an eyelash. She comes right back at self with: “Which universe?”

And self goes: “Hunger Games. Everlark.”

And that is the honest truth.

Stay tuned.

Doctors-in-Training Write Fan Fiction

It never lasts, though.

The minute they become bona fide doctors, they stop writing.

The average life of a fan fiction writer (those who are in medical school, anyway) is about four years. Just long enough to get them through it. Before you know it, there’s this announcement on their tumblr pages:


And before you know it, fictions that are WIP just cut off. Just like that.

So long! It’s been nice knowing you!

Today, self re-visited one of her favorite stories. It’s incomplete. Self isn’t sure the author is a doctor (or a nurse, or in some sort of medical profession), but the writing about injury is pretty matter-of-fact:

Her wrist was sore from writing through the night, and she pinched the tendons between her fingers to soothe the ache. It was slightly crooked from a tumble she had taken down the stairs when she was young, landing on her hands. Years later, after seeing a proper physician, he noted that her Colles’ fracture hadn’t been set correctly. She always thought broken bones were supposed to be unbearably painful, but she hadn’t felt a thing. In fact, while it had limited her flexibility, the stiffened joint improved her aim for archery, giving her a steady hand that could strike the target from twice the distance.


The Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


London Last Summer: St. Bride’s (TW: Possibly Disturbing Visual)

Trigger Warning: Possibly Disturbing Content

Took self a long time to find this church (She finally had to ask a cab driver who was parked on Fleet Street; His answer: “Course I know where St. Bride’s is; I’m a London cabbie!”)

The Stations of the Cross were a series of photographs which, well — gulp. Put her in mind of, you know, that:


Stations of the Cross, St. Bride’s Church, London (June 2015)

And here’s her reading for the day from The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, which is set in Algiers:

In this movie I saw one day, a man was mounting some long flights of stairs to reach an altar where he was supposed to have his throat cut by way of soothing some god or other. The man was climbing with his head down, moving slowly, heavily, as if exhausted, undone, subdued, but most of all as if already dispossessed of his own body. I was struck by his fatalism, by his incredible passivity.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Today: Keep Writing


Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig: It is a beautiful April day!

Self Cannot Tell a Lie

In between reading 17th century stuff for novel-in-progress about kick-ass 25-year-old fighting Catholic priest from Murcia, Spain who is sent to the Philippines to fight demons, she is still reading Everlark!

The one she’s reading today has a hapless Peeta sitting behind crush-of-his-life Katniss Everdeen for one entire semester, smelling of patchouli. It seems Peeta’s roommate was very much into the weed and lit up everywhere, and the smell penetrated all of poor Peeta’s clothing so that he nearly lost his wrestling scholarship because his coach assumed he was a pothead. To disguise the smell, Peeta had taken to dousing himself with patchouli, which led to Katniss wrinkling her nose every time he sat behind her. Not only that, he was initiated into a frat and as part of the initiation was made to dye his hair orange and he was so embarrassed that he kept a beaver hat on his head the entire semester. Really? A beaver hat? And Katniss claimed she never noticed him? LOL!

(To be continued)


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.

Thought for the Day: Live Reality Intensely

With every morning, joy reawakens within me.

— Msgr. Luigi Giussani, from Directions for the Journey to the Meaning of Reality

Everlark: Peeta, You Dog

Peeta interviewing Katniss for a job as his personal assistant:

  • I feel him staring at me, up and down. “You are not particularly pretty, Ms. Everdeen, and you dress like a sixty-year-old secretary. Hmmm. Get out. You are now what I am looking for. Close the door as you leave.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Landscape: Memories of New York City and Venice

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week:  LANDSCAPE.

  • “Show us your best establishing shot, out in nature or in an urban setting.”

Here are shots of two of self’s favorite cities: New York and Venice.


Late Afternoon, Heading Into Manhattan By Train, September 2015


Manhattan, November 2015


San Marco Square, Venice, November 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sylvain Landry Week 38 Challenge: YELLOW

For her post on the Sylvain Landry Week 38 Photo Challenge, YELLOW, here’s a picture self took yesterday at a yarn store just above the Last Bookstore in downtown L.A.:


March 2016: The Wit of a Crochet!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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