Colors and Letters Photo A Day Challenge: July 2

So many challenges, so little time!

July 2 is a COLOR: Azure.

OF COURSE self has Azure in her archived photos.

  • The latest issue of Pembroke Magazine is a beauty. Cover art is Creative Work Cow by Indian artist Chhavi Sharma. Self has a story in this issue: “Sand.” The editor asked if self could pose with a copy of the issue, preferably in a tropical setting (since her story’s set in the Philippines). She promised a beach picture. Watch this space!
  • Cheap Thrills is a vintage vinyl store on Higuera in downtown San Luis Obispo. Recommended by a friend who is very into vintage vinyl. This was such a great find. Look at that great storefront!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Now Reading: Second to Last Sunday of May 2021

Lens-Artists Challenge # 149: Cool Colors (Blue and Green)

The host of this challenge is Tina, of Travels and Trifles. Here is how she introduces the challenge:

  • This week we are returning to the color wheel and its cooler members, which include blue (primary) green (secondary) and blue-green or blue-violet aka purple (tertiary). A visit to the web on the subject will take you deep into the emotions said to result from exposure to these and other colors. For this week’s purposes, let’s simply explore the many ways the cooler colors appear in our world.`

Here is a copy of Thomas Farber’s latest book. Dive in, people. It is just so beguiling. It is Farber’s 28th. He teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley:

The next two pictures are from her recent visit to the California Academy of Sciences. She got there the minute it opened, at 9:30, and stayed till about 3. She took the pictures below in the Aquarium, on the lower level:

Hope it’s nice weather where you are. It’s awfully hot over here, in northern California.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC), March: Letters ‘Ch’ or ‘Ck’ in the Word

Thanks again to Cee Neuner for a most interesting prompt! The topic: Letters Ch or CK anywhere in the word.

A friend, Andrew Nicholls, just published a book!

This branch of Birkenstock is in Drury Lane, London:

On a stopover in Taiwan, wheelchairs!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Western Humanities Review, Spring 2020

Self has a story in the latest issue of Western Humanities Review. She based it on a true story about a ferry disaster in the Philippine Sea. And it all began with the first sentence:

I didn’t like the blind woman.

Poetry Thursday: Luisa A. Igloria

from Luisa A. Igloria’s collection Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Crab Orchard Review & Southern Illinois University Press, 2020)

Mother: Three Pictures (An Excerpt)

She is beautiful in that photograph where they are dancing in a
roomful of other couples. She has a beauty mole penciled on her
cheek, slightly to the right of her lip. Her eyebrows are two perfect
arches, her hair a dark beehive. I think there are dots on her dress.
Where is this photograph? I would very much like to have it.

The above, Dearest Mum, when she was a young Filipina pianist in New York City, 1950s.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

She is beautiful in that photograph where they are dancing in a

The 2021 PEN America Literary Awards/ Longlisted Books

The following do not contain all the long-listed books, only the ones that self thinks she will actually get around to reading in 2021 (and one she has already read, which she highly recommends: The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, by Caroline Kim). They’re a mix of memoirs, novels, and short story collections.

  • Borderland Apocrypha, by Anthony Cody (Omnidawn)
  • Crooked Hallelujah, by Jo Ford (Grove Press)
  • How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel, by C. Pam Zhang (Riverhead Books)
  • Imaginary Museums, by Nicolette Polek (Soft Skull Press)
  • Inheritors, by Asako Serizawa (Doubleday)
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel, by Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD)
  • The Butterfly Lampshade, by Aimee Bender (Doubleday)
  • The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir, by E. J. Koh (Tin House)
  • The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, by Caroline Kim (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • This Is All I Got: A New Mother’s Search for Home, by Lauren Sandler (Random House)
  • You Will Never Be Forgotten: Stories, by Mary South (FSG Originals)

BOOK LAUNCH: Seize, by Brian Komei Dempster

San Francisco Book Launch for Seize, Brian Komei Dempster’s new collection (Four Way Books)

Join Brian for a dynamic reading/book launch and listen to him share poems from his new collection!

When: Saturday, 5 December 2020

11 AM PST

Hosted by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)

Online Event: http://bit.ly/seizebooklaunch

Tickets: bit.ly/seizebooklaunch

BREAD AND SALT: STORIES

Excerpt from Story # 1: Il Piccolo Tesoro

I chose this Ligurian village in the sensible way, by spreading a map of Italy across my kitchen table in Toronto, closing my eyes, and sticking a pushpin into destiny.

Stanza in affitto: one of the phrases I know by heart.

At the door of the rambling house, I knock assertively.

“Good morning.”

These stories are mostly about women who travel. Alone.

Self doesn’t pretend to have anything in common with Valerie Miner. Not. In. The. Least!

It’s been ages since she’s been in Italy. Or maybe it just feels that way. 2015. The world was so different then.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Friday Morning: Reading Luisa A. Igloria’s New Collection

Luisa A. Igloria, dear friend, is this year’s Virginia Poet Laureate. Her newest collection, Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Crab Orchard Review & Southern Illinois University Press), is such a beauty.

Excerpt from Moving, Changing, Not Moving


In the brick-lined interior of a coffee shop, a man at the communal table closes his eyes, a pair of earphones plugged into his cell. Fanning themselves, people come in from the street; it’s the hottest summer & everyone wants iced coffees & teas, water & ice; & parents with little children fall in line outside

people come in from the street; it’s the hottest summer& everyone wants iced coffees & teas, water &

btw: Has anyone EVER tried to contact WordPress about their new Block Editors, and has one EVER received a response? This poem format is ALL OFF, and the code editor does not allow self to switch between single space (within a stanza) and double space (between stanzas). Literally, self has been trying to format since 10 a.m., an hour and a half ago. Even their Customer Service doesn’t work. That is all.


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