From Every Angle: Three Views of Abigail (Oxford, UK)

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is: FROM EVERY ANGLE.

For this week’s challenge, photograph a person, or a piece of fruit, or a toy — any stationary object and experiment by photographing it from different angles.

Back for another starring role, self brings you:

  • ABIGAIL !!!

Abigail is the eight-year-old granddaughter of Jenny Lewis, poet. Self first met her April 2014, at a reading Jenny gave in the British Museum. Last month, we got together at Jenny’s house in Oxford.

After brunch in Jenny's kitchen . . .

After brunch in Jenny’s kitchen . . .

Abigail Putting a Sticker on Her Lips -- Too, Too Funny

Abigail Putting a Sticker on Her Lips — Too, Too Funny

An Uncharacteristically Solemn Abigail: Just Before Exchanging Good-byes

An Uncharacteristically Solemn Abigail: Just Before Exchanging Good-byes

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Very Good Days

A collection of happy memories (Thanks to The Daily Post for the prompt: TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY):

Look at this beautiful salad! A friend made it for lunch yesterday.

Look at this beautiful salad! A friend made it for lunch yesterday.

Lychee Bubble Tea and Peanut Butter Cupcakes: at Tea Life, Museum St., London

Lychee Bubble Tea and Peanut Butter Cupcakes: at Tea Life, Museum St., London

Anaghmakerrig, Ireland: Sooo beautiful!

Anaghmakerrig, Ireland: Sooo beautiful! Heart of Summer: July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Because, You Know, There Always Has To Be a Quote of the Day

ERAGON!

Got a little behind on this since self had such a busy weekend and moreover last night did not sleep a wink due to usual stuff: list of annoyances; hating on self’s doctor; slights, both real and imagined; and the universe.

“Last year’s security has deserted us; new dangers have appeared, and nothing is safe.”

Self does love these types of quotes, these almost-Biblical-sounding ones.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Sequel to THE 100, And the Saga That Is Glass and Luke

Honestly, the way self is storming through this series is simply amazing!

She skips over all the Clarke, Wells, and Bellamy chapters. Because there is only one way this is all going to shake down: SURVIVAL!

SPOILER SPOILER MAJOR FEELZ AND SPOILER

No, what’s really gotten self’s attention is a character called Glass, who was completely vanished by the TV series, mebbe because she has this obstreperous boyfriend named Luke, who’s from a lower class of human. Well, he got her pregnant and she was imprisoned for an illegal pregnancy, but Glass nobly refused to spill the identity of the father, instead she gave the authorities the name of Luke’s roommate, Carter, who’d been lasciviously pawing at her whenever Luke wasn’t around, thereby proving very deserving of his fate: execution.

While Glass is imprisoned for her illegal pregnancy, Luke shacks up with his best friend, Camille.

Naturally, this story line sucks. Especially when Glass ESCAPES from her evil captors just as she’s about to be shipped to Earth with 99 other juvenile delinquents, and crawls through air vents and all manner of obstacles, only to make it back to Luke’s flat, where he opens the door to her knock, and she sees — Camille.

Luke redeems himself by dumping Camille almost immediately, but come on. Redhead vs. blonde? No question.

Then, Camille gives Glass all manner of side-eye, talks trash, swears she’s going to kill her or some such. But doesn’t actually get an opportunity until the whole space ship has to be evacuated because there’s an unfortunate oxygen leak, and in the crush to¬† make it to the dropships — think Titanic, only outer space — Glass’s mom sprains her ankle, can’t walk, has to be carried by Luke, and then Camille materializes, whispers to Luke the damning secret that Glass has been carrying around all this time: that in fact Glass gave up Luke’s dastardly roommate Carter so that Carter (and not Luke) could be executed for the crime of illegally impregnating Glass. And what does Luke do at this moment of terrible uncertainty? He has no problem with ditching Glass and her unable-to-walk mom and dashes off hand-in-hand with Camille.

Camille, you @@!!###

But this is no time to fall apart, because self is fervently wishing that Glass survives so she can meet up with Luke again and PUNCH THAT NO-GOOD BOY IN THE FACE!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

War, Literature & The Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities

In a few weeks, it will be time again to remember 9/11.

Self is so glad she bookmarked War, Literature & the Arts, which she’s been dipping into for a very long time now.

Today, she read Donald Anderson’s essay on Phil Klay’s story collection, Redeployment.

It begins:

I’ve long guessed that serious students of “war literature” are not war lovers, that love of war is not why they turn to literature.

Anderson’s first Phil Klay quote is this:

We shot dogs. Not by accident. We did it on purpose, and we called it Operation Scooby. I’m a dog person, so I thought about that a lot.

Honestly, that was truly, shockingly painful to read. But she believes every word. That is, she finds it entirely plausible.

She thinks she may just look for Klay’s collection, next time she’s in a bookstore.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: 3rd Monday of August 2015

Step one, you say, We need to talk.
He walks, you say, Sit down,
It’s just a talk.
He smiles politely back at you,
You stare politely right on through.
Some sort of window to your right.
He goes left and you stay right.

— The Fray, “How To Save a Life”

Self loves these lyrics. They are so, so — insouciant? Nonchalant? Diffident? What?

Dare self say — American?

That’s an entire flash fiction. Right there.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Creepy 3: Sutro Tower, San Francisco; Holocaust Memorial, Miami, Florida

Still working off the WordPress Photo Challenge this week: CREEPY.

  • “Grab a shot of something you find disturbing.”

First, welcome to creepy San Francisco. It’s little wonder the city served as the setting for the Donald Sutherland movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The pods arrive from outer space and take root in Golden Gate Park.

Sutro Tower, San Francisco: Waiting for The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Sutro Tower, San Francisco: Waiting for The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Snapped from the lawn in front of the Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park.

Next, in Miami’s South Beach, the most gut-wrenching Read the rest of this entry »

#BackInTheEighties (Inspired Tweets)

#BackInTheEighties on Twitter last night, some good ones:

  • Wore floppy bows under suits * NO REALITY TV
  • Winona Ryder + “Heathers” * Jem (Not Carstairs)
  • Leg Warmers ala “Flashdance” * Cabbage Patch Kids!
  • M. C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice * Axl Rose + Guns’n Roses + “Sweet Child o’ Mine”
  • NO Kardashians. Whatsoever * NO Beverly Hills Housewives, either.
  • Shelley Long + “Cheers” * “Taxi” + Andy Kaufman + Danny DeVito
  • “Body Heat” + Kathleen Turner + William Hurt * William Hurt + “The Big Chill”
  • “Desperately Seeking Susan” + Madonna + Rosanna Arquette * Molly Ringwald + “Sixteen Candles”
  • “The Breakfast Club” made detention soooo exciting! * And everyone knew who to call.
  • Nastassja Kinski + python * Valerie Bertinelli + cuteness
  • Big Hair + Perms
  • Miami was kept safe by two dudes wearing pink suits and no socks.
  • Smart drones could go around corners — so sayeth Wayne on SNL.
  • 1st Gulf War “Shock and Awe” + Schwarzkopf
  • Everything was soooo tubular!
  • “Dressed to Kill” + Brian De Palma + Angie Dickinson’s million-dollar gams * We all tuned in to watch “Dynasty” and “Dallas” and everyone wanted to know WHO KILLED J. R. EWING
  • “Dirty Dancing” + Patrick Swayze + mullet
  • Siskel & Ebert did the thumbs-up/ thumbs-down on movies.
  • “Back to the Future” + Michael J. Fox * “Cagney & Lacey”
  • “Three’s Company” + Suzanne Somers + John Ritter
  • Self heard about AIDS for the first time.

Stay tuned.

Colm Toibin, The New York Review of Books, 9 July 2015

Self used to have a subscription to The New York Review of Books. Oh how she mourns, mourns, mourns that absence, it was her go-to publication for really good writing, such as the one in the 9 July 2015 issue, Colm Toibin’s essay “The Hard-Won Truth of the North.”

In describing poet Elizabeth Bishop’s move from Nova Scotia to Worcester, Massachusetts, Toibin writes: “. . . the sudden disruption, the end of the familiar, came as a rare and ambiguous gift to the writers. Despite the pain involved, or precisely because of it, they found not only their subject, but their style.”

In discussing the Swedish writer Stig Dagerman (d. 1954, at the age of 31), Toibin writes: “Dagerman was in possession of several tones.”

Isn’t that such a beautiful sentence? It says it all.

Dagerman had “a gift for writing sharp and cool declarative sentences that is close to Hemingway.”

His short stories use “a tone close to that in the early stories of James Joyce’s Dubliners, which Joyce described to his publishers as a tone of ‘scrupulous meanness.’ ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

These Characters Self Writes

Self adores FictionFeed.net for doing that piece on her. She’s started following them on Twitter.

The writer of the piece (on her story “First Life” in Juked) is listed simply as Curator. Here’s an excerpt:

No, the story isn’t particularly out of the ordinary, but its narrator (a boy by the name of Dragon) makes up for that in spades, with a wildly unusual voice and bendy-spoon perspective that basically defamiliarize the story’s world in its entirety.

Some time ago, self began writing stories about male characters on the edge, she’s not sure why.

Recently, she’s been thinking of another of her Male-Characters-on-the-Edge, from a story called “Crackers” that appeared in Crab Ochard Review’s The West Coast & Beyond Issue (Vol. 19, No. 2, which is also going to be the focus of a panel in next year’s AWP: Midwest Magazine Searches for West Coast Writers, YAY!).

Crab Orchard Literary Review's The West Coast & Beyond Issue (Vol. 19, No. 2, Summer/Fall 2014)

Crab Orchard Literary Review’s The West Coast & Beyond Issue (Vol. 19, No. 2, Summer/Fall 2014)

Hello, “Crackers” is speculative fiction, so of course crazy. Do not expect real-world Philippines, and you will be okay:

In December 2012, I finally emerged from the wild mountain fastness of the Philippines. My left shoulder had a tattoo of a python, my right a tattoo of a kris, the blade of choice of the mountain tribes. I wore a necklace of red parrot beaks. I spoke only in monosyllables. They said I was crackers.

They made me register at the Palo Alto VA for a psychiatric evaluation.

Thank you, Juked, thank you, Crab Orchard Literary Review, for taking a chance on self’s crazy writing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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