“Witness”: Published 2010 in NECESSARY FICTION

Thanks a bunch, Necessary Fiction, for all you do for the literary community. You’re a great web-zine! Self was first referred to you by Beth Coryell Alvarado, a fellow creative writing fellow in the Stanford University Creative Writing Program, and you published self’s short story, Witness, in February 2010.

An excerpt:

Witness (published in Necessary Fiction, 2/10/2010)

You were tired, that day. You were riding in a car with your daughter, Caroline, and Jay, her new husband, and they were arguing. They acted as though you weren’t there. Caroline swerved once, narrowly avoiding a collision. You bit your lip, you sighed, you rested your head back against the seat. The noises from the front continued, unabated.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Spotlight on: CAFE IRREAL

With nods to Kafka. Kafka. Kafka.

Café Irreal is an online zine, edited by G. S. Evans and Alice Whittenburg, that has been in continuous publication since 1998 (Oh, kudos. Major kudos). Its focus is on writing about The Irreal.

They published self’s Appetites and The Secret Room.

The opening of Appetites:

  • When she was a girl, she ate crab, bitter melon, rice soup. She loved milkfish, which at that time was still abundant. The cook, who was as dear to her as her own mother, served her glutinous rice cakes, salmon cured with tamarind salt, grilled squid stuffed with chorizo, the meat of young coconuts.

Food is life. Yes.

Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Sunday: J Journal, Fall 2012

First Time for Everything

by Marjorie Power

Lights flash
in my rear view
mirror. I pull over
thinking I must be in the way
But no.

I’ve done
a lot of things
a little bit wrong, so
I don’t argue. Besides, the cop
is cute.

Guilty
or no contest?
I check guilty, start my
written statement. I’ve always loved
to write.

Marjorie Power has had poems in Poet Lore, The Atlanta Review, Fault Lines, Living In Storms, and the Random House Treasure of Light Verse. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.

Layered: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 20 September 2017

This week, let’s explore the interplay of texture and depth.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self’s home is in Redwood City, California. She’s been exploring its nooks and crannies this summer.

She got this nifty display stand about 20 years ago, and every time she needs some validation, she looks at the stand, where most (if not all) of the journals that have published her work over the years are displayed.

On the lowest shelf are two programmes from the New Hampshire Symphony. The opera she collaborated on with Drew Hemenger got its world premiere in New Hampshire, March 2015:

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And here’s the interior of a peanut butter & chocolate do-nut from an iconic doughnut shop in Westwood, which she visited in July:

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Finally, a keepsake box filled with samples of son’s childhood artwork:

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Layers of memory, layers of goodness.

Other examples of LAYERED from around WordPress:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Welcome to Self’s Apocalypse

Got a rejection from Oxford American today. Nevertheless.

Self has decided to submit a short story collection to a contest.

Story # 1: The Departure

The Situation:  A mom says good-bye to her son, who’s on his way to a college on the coast. Not five minutes after she waves good-bye and re-enters her house, the world ends. The woman wakes up to find that the roof of her house has cracked wide open, and nothing’s working. She decides to check in with a neighbor across the street, who invites her to share some cake (Did self say yet that she writes dark fiction?)

They each took a chair and faced each other across the kitchen table, the cake between them. The cat was still on Julietta’s lap but seemed to show no interest in food. She simply lay there, as if comatose. Through Mrs. Bautista’s kitchen window, Julietta thought she saw wisps of clouds moving backwards. Far off, somewhere, she imagined a whole bevy of airplanes were getting ready to scramble.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

This: Sou’wester, Spring 2007

The story of the Americans, the Filipinos, the Spanish, a martyr, and a very famous oil lamp:

Manila, 1898:

As Jose Rizal was lined up before the Spanish firing squad, labeled a renegade and underground solidarity worker, American Commodore George Dewey sailed into Manila Bay.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Saturday: Laura Jean Baker

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Moon Over Park Avenue, New York, May 2016

Human Weather (an excerpt)

by Laura Jean Baker

August made a habit: warming our bodies
to the point of sacred.
On Dog Star days for twenty years
we loved to our dew point,
honeyed our moon,
and kneaded our bodies
into the wholesome shape of babies.
Girl-boy-girl
slid into the not-yet warmth
of every other May.

Better late than incomplete,
we made our last
between Autumn sheets; a boy named Frank,
he’d skid across the cusp of June and July.

The poem originally appeared in Calyx, a Journal of Art and Literature by Women, summer 2012.

About Laura Jean Baker: she earned her MFA from the University of Michigan. Her poetry, fiction, and memoir have been published in The Gettysburg Review, Connecticut Review, Cream City Review, Third Coast, Confrontation, and War, Literature, & the Arts.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Still More “Thing”

The factories still cry out sometimes. When we hear the keening sound, we know it is herds of ghost pigs, running into walls and crying because they can never find their way out. They are inside people’s heads, like the memory of old ways. And when people’s heads get too full of memories, the first ones to tumble out are the pigs, running every which way and squealing.

— from New Orleans Review 38.1, 2012

More “Thing”

  • We pig tenders go about our work with cowls pulled forward, shielding our faces. The sun is too bright: it scalds everything. At least, with a cowl, we still have faces.

New Orleans Review 38.1, 2012

Looking Back: “Thing”

“Thing” was the first of self’s dystopian fantasies to be published. It appeared in New Orleans Review, Vol. 38.1, 2012.

In the far future, a zoo for pigs exists in the desert. The minders are mutants, like the pigs they care for. The characters have names like Shrimp and Plankton (An editor asked if I got the names from SpongeBob Squarepants and I was so confused)

We feed the animals, clean their pens, that kind of thing. Our pigs are the result of experiments. They have all kinds of weird traits: one had a mouth in the middle of its forehead. Another had six legs. Another stared skyward, unable to bend its neck. Still another had the body of a snake and three noses. Each of the Not-Rights was unique and completely different from the others.

The mouth-in-the-forehead pig was mine. I named it Ed. I remembered that name from somewhere, I’m not sure where. When it cried, white foam spilled out of its mouth; the red of its pupils was astonishing, like fire. I never got tired of looking at it. It lasted longer than the others, I even let myself hope that it would happen differently. But one day its bristles started to fall out — big, black clumps of them, all over the pen. After that, it was just days.

But why should a pig cry, Shrimp said. What gives it the right?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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