#amreading MOSHI MOSHI by Banana Yoshimoto, p. 15

Her flat, affectless tone still gets to me:

  • “. . .  I’m talking about the lie that you have to live a proper life, or else you’ll be ruined . . . “

#amreadingpoetry: Bronwyn Lovell, “Advice for the Cold-Blooded”

Met Australian poet Bronwyn Lovell at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig in 2015. A mutual friend, Jacinta Oreilly, gave self her chapbook, Chrysalis, last week, and self has been reading it in Paris.

Thank you, Jacinta! What a lovely present.

Advice for the Cold-Blooded

When wings are the largest
part of your body

you rely too heavily
on the weather.

Listen, then.
You need to know that

the sun will not
always provide.

You must steal heat
from those warm places,

let it take you
to the next blossom

then wait for sunshine
to lift you again.

On days when every
surface is shaded

(however paralysed)
you must force

yourself to move.
Produce your own heat

in tiny increments. Shiver
until you are no longer cold.

NOTE: Chrysalis was shortlisted for the Doire Press International Poetry Chapbook Competition.

Alimentum 2012: “Cake”

Alimentum began life as a print journal, then responded to the growing financial pressures on the small literary magazine by going on-line exclusively.

They punished self’s short story, “Cake,” in 2012.

A story of how a mother’s love lives on.

  • She was stepping in the front door of her own house. She recognized the red door, the brass knocker, the small square of glass through which she peered when someone rang the doorbell.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

So Long, NaNoWriMo2017, #stillwriting

Today self spent the whole day writing. Well, she spent all of yesterday writing as well. And the day before that. And the day before that. And . . .

Actually, the only times she hasn’t been writing in November are when she’s been on an airport or an airplane (pretty often, actually, in November, and lest she forget to mention — Aer Lingus sent her from Dublin to Cork, in a three-hour taxi ride because of a cancelled flight from Heathrow, on Nov. 2)

She did not, of course, do 50k words. But she never expected to anyway.

What she has as of today are 282 pages of a novel-in-progress, and she knows pretty much how she wants it to end.

She even thought of a cool-sounding title for her manuscript, a few days ago:

Blue Water, Distant Shores

Sooo fan-ta-ma-tas-tic. She got the idea yesterday. She likes to think she wouldn’t have gotten there if she hadn’t spent so much time working up to 282 pages. Two years ago, this idea was 60 pages which she forced up to 80 pages so she could go to Banff Writers Studio. And she’s had such problems with confidence (because it’s 18th century, and she’s never written a novel before, and she set it in Spain, which she’s only been to once in her whole life). But, slow and steady, and BIG BIG thanks to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig for giving her that space and that peace and that determination to finish her book.

And she is so happy right now. Incredible.

Stay tuned.

 

Looking Back: George Saunders

Self blogged this on 25 December 2013 (Christmas Day, self only just realized after writing the date). Title of post: 2013 Top Ten Books of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Saunders won this year’s Man Booker. He’s the Keynote Speaker at the next AWP, in Tampa, FL:

  • Tenth of December:  Stories, by George Saunders (Random House):  Ever read CivilWarLand in Bad Decline?  Self thought that book was a game-changer.  In one stroke, changed the landscape of the contemporary American short story, which until then had been Raymond Carver/Lydia Davis.  She will read anything by George Saunders.  Anything.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fourth From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Vona Groarke

DSCN1292

Excerpt from Maize, by Vona Groarke:

The Faber Castells ripen in your hand.
You’ve been drawing since breakfast:
sky after sky, face after face, but something
in yours says they’re not quite right.

Third From the Annaghmakerrig Book: Anne Enright

As soon as I walked in, I knew he wanted to touch it.

— Excerpt from Shaft, by Anne Enright

Quote of the Day: Kathy Burke

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like Kathy Burke.”

— Kathy Burke in an interview with The Observer Magazine, 29 October 2017

DSCN0100

2nd from the Annaghmakerrig Book: John Banville

  • Words fail me, Clio. How did you track me down, did I leave bloodstains in the snow?

— from The Newton Letter, by John Banville

The Annaghmakerrig Book: Melanie Almeder

There’s a copy in every cottage.

And every year self comes.

And every time she opens the Annaghmakerrig book, she ends up re-reading Melanie Almeder’s Mock Orange.

And, damn. That opening gets her every time. Every single time:

Mock Orange

Everything on the tongue goes stunned bird
Long past the hissy-fit thralls of April,
rashes of phlox, purple thistle snowing a little.
And then, like too much love,
there was altogether too much gardenia

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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