Work-in-Progress: Various Fables

  1. Here hunger seized a hideous, stare-blind creature, speeding over a meadow. There was famine in the village. The grass was scant. The milk that streamed from the udders of the villagers’ cows was thin and poor.
  2. And from that day, the King of Spain was never troubled by visits from the lands of dark-skinned peoples.
  3. She said, “On the night of the next full moon, stand by the lake, and the door to the hillside will open.”
  4. The moonlight seemed to strike a path straight to his sorrowing heart.
  5. The King intoned: “As for your threats against my people, know that they do not want for courage.”
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The Lake at Annaghmakerrig

 

 

Quotes of the Day: THE FOREVER WAR

“I am talking directly to the kidnappers.” (Ahmad, Shiite, Baghdad freelancer. “For eating, Sir!” was his answer when Filkins asked him why he kept a flock of twenty-five sheep on the roof of his home)

“The best sources are often people of marginal repute.” (Filkins) Ahmad’s fee: $250/day

“Sir, it is very complicated.” (Ahmad)

“Not good man.” (Waleed, Filkins’s driver, referring to Ahmad)

“Jill is at the racetrack.” (Ahmad, referring to American reporter Jill Carroll, kidnapped in the middle of the day, in the middle of the street; her translator, who was with her, had been killed)

“a brunette with a streak of pink dye in her hair” (Filkins, describing Jill Carroll)

“She wasn’t there.” (CIA section chief, two nights after Filkins gave him a tip that Carroll was being held at the racetrack.)

“I was afraid now, afraid of everything I didn’t know.” (Dexter Filkins)

“My dealings with Ahmad . . . had sunk to the level of farce.” (Filkins, after he and a fellow reporter end up pooling $6,000 of their own money to pay Ahmad for information on the whereabouts of kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll)

“Your buddy is just playing you.” (CIA section chief, to Filkins)

Self promises she will finish this book sometime today, then start on Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Stay tuned.

Quote(s) For the First Sunday of March 2016

First, self started reading “The Wild Swans.”

Then she added a chapter to one of her four Hunger Games fan fics.

Then she began reading World of the Maya, by Victor W. von Hagen (the same copy which, as a 21-year-old, she brought with her to Chichen Itza)

p. 37, The Chapter on “The Lower Men”

Agricultural surplus provided time that was used in the building of temples, palaces, and roads.

Then she looked at how other WordPress bloggers were handling this week’s Photo Challenge, HARMONY.

Here’s one from girl astray:

“Waterfall Hunting in Putumayo”

When in Colombia, you must drink chicha.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Qualities of a Leader

  • Poise under pressure
  • Clarity of intention
  • Courage
  • Conviction
  • Charisma
  • The ability to motivate people

Self pulled the above traits from an article she is reading in Parabola (It’s the POWER issue, Fall 2013 — the last three years have been hectic, okay?), written by Linda Kohanov. It’s an article about horse taming. Or, what horse taming can teach a person.

Kohanov cites several powerful historical examples, including Alexander the Great and Gautama Siddhartha.

Here’s what she writes:

  • Horses embody many of the assets people access through more formal meditation techniques, including the ability to engage fully with reality. What seems so difficult for a grasping, hoarding, controlling, and competitive human being comes easily to these highly social, intensely aware, nomadic prey animals. Horses are actually hardwired for the state of nonattachment favored by the Buddha. In the wild they don’t defend territory, build nests, live in caves, or store nuts for the winter . . . While they react quickly in the face of danger, they also show remarkable resilience in recovering from traumatic events. They don’t ruminate over and over about the injustices of the past, or with ceaseless internal dialogues about how cruel it is that God invented predators.

She lists famous historical people (apart from the aforementioned Alexander the Great and Siddhartha) who have turned skill with horses into leadership skills: Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Catherine the Great, Andrew Jackson, Elizabeth I, Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Ronald Reagan.

Fascinating, just fascinating.

 

Vibrant 2: New York City’s High Line

Whoever was responsible for bringing the High Line into existence, self thanks you. The most beautiful things about New York City last December were:

  • the weather (shirt-sleeve weather)
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Central Park
  • High Line

She has posted many pictures of the High Line in the last two months. Here are the most vibrant ones:

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The tables above are the outdoor seating for Terroir.

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On the High Line: A Message

And the same message, only in context:

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Chelsea (Former Meatpacking District), viewed from the High Line

P.S. Interesting, isn’t it, the predominance of vibrant yellow? Self almost thinks that was deliberate!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Peeta and Johanna Mind-Swap (Fan Fic Of Course)

Do not read if you are squeamish at the thought of a Peeta/Katniss reunion, only with Peeta in Johanna’s body. Hey, if self can buy a tranny Peeta (who borrows Katniss’s clothes; it’s super-fine with Katniss), there can be a Peeta-in-Johanna’s body thing.

So, if you can, just imagine the whole “star-crossed lovers” plot with a body switch, then you will empathize with the below complications:

  • Johanna insists on taking her D-13 shower with the men.
  • Peeta can’t get used to having such small feet (They’re Johanna’s) and keeps stumbling.
  • Peeta to Katniss: “Having boobs is pretty weird.”
  • Katniss doesn’t feel comfortable kissing Peeta because he’s in Johanna’s body.
  • When Peeta is rescued, Katniss goes straight for him and hugs him fervently, not knowing that Peeta is now in Johnna and it’s now Johanna in Peeta. Katniss gets very confused when Peeta (who is actually Johanna now) just stands there without returning her embrace.
  • Gale doesn’t get jealous of all the time Katniss spends hanging out with Johanna, because he doesn’t know that it’s really Peeta inside Johanna’s body.
  • Plutarch asks Peeta to appear in a propo, Peeta just stands there looking bored (Of course Plutarch has no clue that Johanna is inside Peeta, and so forth. Self doesn’t know if she quite buys the Johanna-looking-bored-while-filming-a-propo thing. In self’s mind, a propo would be a perfect opportunity for Johanna to show off her antic nature)

Well, self could just go on and on and on and on and on, but she won’t.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Despite the Pouring Rain

When self left New York City, it was just beginning to get cold. The week before she left, she was still able to walk around Central Park in T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers!

She arrived in San Francisco to rain. Rain and rain and rain. And cold. Rain and cold. And now — storm coming! GAAAAAH!

Nevertheless —

Self dropped a new Everlark fan fic about Cheating Peeta/Stalker Delly in December. Over the past few weeks, it’s generated tremendous amount of discussion on the boards!

Gotten more comments than any fic that dropped in December!

The bare story is this: Peeta cheats on Katniss with Delly. Katniss files for divorce and decides to take time off from teaching to travel around Southeast Asia. And she cheats on Peeta. (The divorce takes a long time because, you know, California lawyers! It might be years!) The two meet in Siem Reap, Cambodia and — Kaboom! — Primal connection fireworks!

Who knew self would be getting comments like this!

  • When I get the new chapter alert in my office, I have to sneak to the comfort room so I can read. I’m very inefficient at work these days.
  • I’m addicted to Fallout 4, but yesterday when I got your story alert, I immediately dropped my controller and reached for my tablet.
  • Every chapter, I cry angry tears, it’s like you’re pounding a nail into my coffin.

Readers list possible ways to deal with the problem of Cheating Peeta:

  • Punch him in the face, Katniss!
  • Shoot him in the nuts with your bow and arrow!
  • Make Peeta grovel!
  • Find yourself some hot, sexy man!

Everlark is self’s be-all and end-all.

Stay tuned.

 

The Guardian: 75 Films to Watch in 2016

Self enjoys reading The Guardian. In particular, their film blog.

Yesterday, she stumbled across a piece called: 75 movies to look forward to in 2016.

75??? Only The Guardian would have the temerity to post such a mind-boggling list of 2016 movies.

Well, self will attempt to take a gander.

Here are her conclusions, after one read-through:

  • Keanu Reeves is back! He’s in at least three 2016 movies.
  • Michael Fassbender is in everything. Michael Shannon is in everything. Ryan Gosling is in at least two upcoming.
  • Matt Damon is back as Bourne (triple somersault YAY!) and Paul Greengrass is directing (Wowowowowowow!!!)
  • Charlie Hunnam Is. In. A. Movie (Oh God. It’s been too long)
  • Casey Affleck is in a movie. Self likes Casey Affleck. More than she likes his brother.
  • They’re making a film of Shusako Endo’s Silence! They’re making a film of Shusako Endo’s Silence! And it’s starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver. Oh God.
  • Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool (And this one actually seems like it might work)
  • Jennifer Lawrence is mentioned as getting $20 million for the space movie she’s in with Chris Pratt. BTW, people? She’s worth every penny.
  • They’re making a movie (Neon Demon) about “beauty-obsessed women in L.A.” and self loves the cast: Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning, and Christina Hendricks.
  • Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: Another Brit (Felicity Jones) stars.
  • Anthropoid, about the assassination of one of World War II’s most brutal concentration camp commanders: Reinhard Heydrich. This one stars Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy. These are two gorgeous men, dear blog readers. If self weren’t already cheering about the plot, she’d be cheering at the prospect of seeing these men’s gorgeous cheekbones in close-up on the big screen.

BTW, saw Joy and enjoyed it. It seemed rather muted for a David O. Russell film, especially one starring his muse Jennifer Lawrence. Self thinks Amy Adams could have handled that part. But Jennifer is truly a force. Self refuses to complain too much about a film that has her in it.

Stay tuned.

In the Dark Future Days of Panem . . .

There is a society where men are slaves, to be led around by leashes at all times!

Into this maelstrom of human dysfunction appears — a very prim and proper young lady named Katniss Everdeen, who doesn’t like using leashes on her personal slave, one Peeta Mellark, who she received as a gift from her aunt Effie Trinket, who procured Peeta at a slave auction!

Sample dialogue:

Peeta (to Katniss): I pray you’re not a leash person.

Katniss: Don’t worry, I’m not. My aunt Effie, maybe. She’s always wanted a puppy to walk.

Peeta: Oh God, I can see it now. Knowing Ms. Trinket it’s probably a hot pink collar studded with little sparkly diamonds.

This is Fan Fiction (Not self’s of course! Self doesn’t write anything this deliciously twisted)

Lord knows why, but just before Christmas, self undertook to write a new fan fiction, forgetting that the fan fiction universe is relentless, and once the “beast” (reader views, favorites, bookmarks, and so forth) is unleashed, it must be fed. Constantly.

For instance, today, self spent four hours re-writing the chapters she had already posted. Which was mighty confusing to her readers.

What is not confusing is the reaction to self’s (cheating) Peeta:

  • I want to reach into the computer and punch him in the face!
  • Someone please give him a black eye!
  • Why is he such a wuss? He needs to grow a pair!
  • He’s nothing but a lying, cheating Mama’s Boy!
  • I hope he and his girlfriend are struck by lightning!
  • Is this going to be Everlark? Cause I just don’t see Everlark happening in your scenario. Katniss should punch him in the face!

OMG, what just happened?

Self had to swear up and down the fan fiction universe that the story would indeed be Everlark, but now that everyone has expressed their utter disgust at “this Peeta,” self is getting second-hand revulsion feels similar to the way she used to receive second-hand smoke from The Man.

Yes, self thinks, you Peeta are nothing but a lying, cheating @@##!! (expletive deleted). The only solution would be for self to end your life (on the page)! Die, Cheating Peeta, die!

Hence, her stumbling across the Slave Peeta fic, which is actually a very interesting trope, though not quite as interesting, perhaps, as Tranny Peeta (Well helloooo, Caitlyn Jenner backwash!) or Peeta having the starring role in an all-queer production of Hamlet.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Chance Meeting, Cebu Airport

In 2010, self gave a reading at a conference in Cebu (central Philippines). From there, she flew to her Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod.

While she waited for her Bacolod flight, she decided to get a massage. The massage place was right next to the boarding area, how convenient. The customers are shielded from view (by screens?) of people in the boarding area (but not of fellow customers, there’s a row of beds placed side-by-side), and the strange thing is, there were men and women getting full-body massages right there, mere yards away from where a whole crowd of passengers were gathered. To preserve customers’ modesty, the masseuse draped a thin towel over one’s body.

Anyhoo, the story self wants to tell is: She was freshly massaged, and her hair was standing up on end (from a scalp massage), when a man walked up to her, introduced himself as a fellow writer, and said he had attended her reading.

Self asked him where he was from, and he said Cagayan de Oro. She found out he was a fellow writer. He signed a copy of his book and gave it to her (Self really wishes that she looked more orderly when she walked out of that massage place).

His book was in Bikolano (which self doesn’t speak). It was a collection of plays!

The writer’s name was Carlos A. Aréjola.

Here’s the production notes, setting, cast of characters etc. from his play Unang Yugto:

Tagpuan (Setting): Cottage sa isang resort (A cottage in a resort)

Panahon (Time): Kasalukuyan (The Present)

CHARACTERS:

Edwin – matangkad, guapo (tall, handsome)

Toledo – mestisuhin (mestizo), 18 taong gulang (18 years old)

Dagul – 21, moreno (dark-skinned), medyo pandak (somewhat short), may body piercings.

Falcon – mestisuhin (mestizo), ayos na ayos ang buhok (Hair fussed over; sorry, that’s the best she can come up with)

Dalawang Dalaga (2 girls): college girls, magaganda (beautiful), mapuputi (white-skinned)

Mga Pasahero Sa Airport (Passengers in the Airport)

How self loves that the characters have to be differentiated by whether they are light-skinned or dark-skinned, and that the two college girls are beautiful (magaganda) and mapuputi (white-skinned). To be white-skinned is to be beautiful?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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