Future Dublin in The Irish Times

The Irish Times’ Dublin in the Coming Times is a fascinating project which invites Dubliners young and old to submit pieces re-imagining the city.

The first pair of pieces appeared in the paper back in February. Okay, so they were by Actual Famous Writers (Sebastian Barry and the writer known as Dublin Hun).

Another story, by Christine Dwyer Hickey, was published Saturday, 16 April. This is the one is self is reading:

Notes: Dublin is super dystopian. There is a kind of plague rooting in the population. Checkpoints and searches all over the place. A grandmother is desperately trying to save her grand-daughter’s life. Almost the first thing she does is make the girl masquerade as a boy, which go figure:

For weeks her words had shunted into my head, but by the time we reached the river at Chapelizod I remembered only this: I was nine years old, and I was a boy and my name was now Demba.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Luck of the Irish

WhiteTulips

Self’s most fervent wish: The luck of the Irish be with her, please, while she is in Annaghmakerrig . . .

This place hasn’t failed her yet. She’s writing like crazes. Something in the air?

One thing good about having a half-broke camera (The lens stopped opening all the way, about two weeks ago) is that self has been exploring the visual capabilities of Photo Booth. And it has been fun.

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The slashes of the half-way open lens of her half-broke camera don’t seem as distracting when she zooms in, somehow.

Robby’s wife gave her these white tulips yesterday.

Well, then. Stay tuned.

CANDIDE, Chapter 18: What They Saw In the Land of Eldorado

Candide and his faithful valet and interpreter, Cacambo, arrive at the land of the Incas, and meet an old man who tells them about its history:

The Spaniards gained some confused knowledge of this country; they called it El Dorado; and an Englishman named Lord Raleigh even came near it about a hundred years ago; but since we are surrounded by inaccessible rocks and precipices, we have up to now always been sheltered from the rapacity of the nations of Europe, who have an inconceivable rage for the pebbles and mud of our land, and who would kill us all to the last man to get some.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Luna Moore, Met at AWP 2016 Los Angeles, at 40th Anniversary Calyx Reading

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Luz Delgado and Her Daughter Luna Moore, at the Calyx Press 40th Anniversary Reading at AWP 2016, Los Angeles, April 2

Every time self meets a new young person, she always asks for a book recommendation.

Her curiosity always pays off in spades. Hello, Infernal Devices, Cassandra Clare’s steampunk trilogy, recommended by Calgary niece Karina!

So, at the recently concluded AWP  Conference, held in Los Angeles, self met a wonderful girl named Luna Moore.

And Luna recommended:

  • Jane Eyre
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
  • the Harry Potter series

Turns out Title # 2, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, is by Aimee Bender. Which means it probably isn’t YA. Luna is quite a sophisticated reader!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Your Impossible Voice Making Its First Appearance at AWP

Come say hello to Your Impossible Voice Prose Editor Stephen Beachy and Associate Editor Kate Folk: Table # 1661, between Jaded Ibis Press and the University of Montana’s MFA Program.

They’ll be giving away copies of the journal, fielding questions about future issues, and curating an exquisite corpse.

First ever appearance at the AWP Bookfair.

Congratulations! High Fives!

Stay tuned.

The Bureaucrat Ivan Ilyich Learns He Must Die

Ivan Ilyich was a man who derived the greatest pleasure in life from routine: the routine of work, mostly.

He didn’t know he was dying until his colleagues began to have strange expressions on their faces as they interacted with him. Some of them looked shocked, some of them looked pitying.

One day, he closeted himself in his bathroom, looked at himself in the mirror, and could deny it no longer: he did indeed have the look of a man who was suffering from a grave illness. In fact, he was dying.

p. 71 of the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (Vintage)

  • Lately Ivan Ilyich had spent most of his time in these attempts to restore the former ways of feeling that had screened him from death. He would say to himself: “I’ll busy myself with work — why, I used to live by it.” And he would go to court, driving away all doubts; he would get into conversation with colleagues and sit down, by old habit absentmindedly, pensively glancing around at the crowd and placing his two emaciated arms on the armrests of the oaken chair, leaning over as usual to a colleague, drawing a brief towards him, exchanging whispers, and then, suddenly raising his eyes and sitting up straight, would pronounce certain words and begin the proceedings. But suddenly in the midst of it the pain in his side, paying no attention to the stage the proceedings, would begin its own gnawing work.

And reading this reminds self all over again about Ying, who died in 2008, less than a year after she was diagnosed with leukemia.

She was worried because one of her maids — the nursemaid of Ying’s newborn daughter, Anita — had a persistent cough. Ying decided to have her tested for tuberculosis. Since her maid was being tested, Ying thought she might as well have herself tested, too. And that’s how they found she had leukemia.

Ying died in Tel Aviv on her 37th birthday. And never ever did self hear a word of complaint from her.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Black Hawks: Filkins’s Descriptions Of

Self does love this type of writing. Not even in Black Hawk Down has she read anything that made her see these combat aircraft as clearly as Filkins does here:

p. 141: The Black Hawks rocketed out of the Green Zone, dipping and weaving over the rooftops at 140 mph, leaping over the telephone wires.

p. 146: The Black Hawk came in fast, dropping its tail like an animal, the pitch of its engine falling as it scraped the cement.

She has to thank Filkins. Apart from the fact that he’s a very good writer, he’s gotten her to revise a story she hasn’t looked at in months: “Origins,” her sequel to “First Life”:

We shared memories, Her and I. Now those are gone. Like Her. Poof!

Again, the waste. The pointlessness.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Sylvain Landry Week 37 Photo Challenge: ELECTRICITY

For Sylvain Landry (whose photo challenges always inspire self): a Tesla, ready for its close-up:

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Clean rules! If you have $100,000 . . .

“Something Will Happen”

Excerpt from “At the Station,” a short story by Amos Kenan, translated from the Hebrew by Chaya Galai, included in the anthology 50 Stories From Israel, edited by Zisi Stavi:

The station stretches as far as the eye can see. I order a cup of coffee, light a cigarette. Passengers are rushing about, suitcases in hand. The engine whistles and emits steam. A crowd of people are waving handkerchiefs. The train jerks forward. An engine hisses. The train brakes with a squeal. The passengers descend, suitcases in hand. Small convoys of luggage carts push their way through the dense crowd. The passengers move towards the exit.

I suck in cigarette smoke, and wait. Something will happen. I think I may fall in love.

 

Watching “10 Cloverfield Lane” in Fort Bragg

Self and five tweenies. Who were very restless and kept kicking the row of seats she was in. They’d stop whenever self turned her head. But they’d start again. Anyhoo.

GRRREAT movie.

The lead has an uncanny resemblance to the Sigourney Weaver of Alien. So uncanny is the resemblance that self thinks it must have been part of the reason why she was picked. So many little homages to that earlier (CLASSIC, GREAT) movie: especially, the heroine’s looks. The fact that her best scenes occur when she is barefoot and wearing a skimpy tank and very tight blue jeans. There’s a real American heroine for you. Gal can do anything, and she looks great in skinny jeans.

Who was that girl? She looked so like Dakota Johnson. And there were notes of Jena Malone in there as well.

Her male co-stars were playing against type: John Goodman (How that man can make dancing look creepy, self knows not. But he pulled it off) and the other one who looked like a shrimpy Ben Affleck (with a LOT of facial hair). She loved that the other man looked about half the size of Goodman. And was only up to the heroine’s shoulder. Clearly, not the type to inspire confidence.

Great, great movie to watch in Fort Bragg on a Sunday afternoon.

Stay tuned.

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