The Reading List Advances — Finally!

Self bid adieu to Roberto Bolaño and 2666 this morning. That was after she spent over a week reading about all the different women who were buried in mass graves around a town named Santa Teresa. That was in Part II.

The writing was so beautiful, she hated to stop reading before getting all the way to the end, and she admires Bolaño for having the fortitude to Read the rest of this entry »

ANNAGHMAKERRIG: Rosita Boland

Flight Paths

The eighteenth century Swedish naturalist,
Carolus Linnaeus,
like Aristotle long before him,
was convinced
that swallows wintered underwater
in the riverbeds they nested on.

The truth is no less strange
small birds flying south to Africa
navigating only by the Pole Star;
a displacement of the elements either way —
like love, when it arrives overnight
and seemingly from nowhere.

Each time we waved the other off
at airports, we had to believe
what was traveling far
would survive to return by instinct
and seem again to have always been there,
swooping and soaring above our joyous heads.

Ephemera 4: Views From a Train

Self took these pictures on the train from New York’s Penn Station to Providence, Rhode Island, just a little over a week ago. They seem like pictures taken in another era:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fresh 3: Landscapes with Snow

Being in the East Coast during a heavy snowfall is just . . . magical!

Some pictures of freshly fallen snow, to go with this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, FRESH:

Spring 2015 on the Northeast Coast

Spring 2015 on the Northeast Coast

Chilly scenes of Spring 2015

Chilly scenes of Spring 2015

Fresh Snow: Spring 2015

Fresh Snow: Spring 2015

Still reading Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Since it’s over 800 pages long, and self’s only got as far as p. 148, she wonders if she’ll ever get to finish it. But anyhoo, here’s an excerpt from the page self is on:

I stopped in front of a kind of landscape, a Surrey landscape from John’s earlier period, that looked to me at once sad and sweet, profound and not at all grandiloquent, an English landscape as only the English can paint them. All at once I decided that seeing this one painting was enough . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Further From the Latest Chapter of Self’s Hunger Games Fan Fiction

Self loves fan fiction. Especially, right now, Katniss Everdeen, Demon Hunter. Yaaaas!

Katniss is 500 years old (but, obviously, doesn’t look it). She’s on a quest to kill every last demon on the face of the Earth.

Peeta is a Demon. Ooops!

Katniss has a magic bow that vibrates when Demons are near. But with Peeta, it never vibrates. Never. So, several times, he’s slipped through Katniss’s fingers. She chases after him, over the rooftops of Manhattan. Then she ends up in Hoboken, New Jersey, where . . . there is the best Cuban restaurant in the whole United States, lol. Self is going there, if she can just manage to get on the correct PATH train.

In the meantime, here is a further scene from the latest chapter of self’s Hunger Games fan fiction. She loves this chapter so much, she can’t bear to write anything else. It’s been two weeks, what can she say? She used Haruki Murakami as her inspiration.

“Enough!” Snow says. “I know all about the rebellion Mr. Odair’s been planning. For years, it seems. And since you and he are the best of friends, I thought most likely you were in on it, eh? He wouldn’t leave you dangling in the dark all this time, would he? Especially after he found out how badly you wanted to return to your family business — that preposterous bakery in 12! Like I’d fall for that stupid drama. You underestimate me, my dear Victor.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being a baker. You make it sound like it’s some sort of — disease,” Peeta says.

“Ha! Ever the silver tongue,” Snow barks. “From you, I would expect nothing less. Let me see: between your not knowing and your knowing, I’m rather inclined towards the latter.”

Peeta swallows. “Finnick’s a friend. Nothing more.”

“Pardon me if I find that rather hard to believe,” Snow says.

“He’s all talk, if you know what I mean,” Peeta says. “There was no rebellion.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.

Wall 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Walls are the canvas of our lives.

WordPress Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

Queenie's Road House, Elk, California

Queenie’s Road House, Elk, California

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino

Visual Artist Kim Thoman's Studio at the Mendocino Art Center

Visual Artist Kim Thoman’s Studio at the Mendocino Art Center

More Rewards in Mendocino

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is REWARD.

The prompt, in its entirety, reads:

Reward is filthy with possibility: it could be your third grader’s beaming smile after reading her first chapter book, a steaming mug of chicken soup after a long run in the cold, a photo of your brand-new baby — your reward for patience during nine months of construction, or your extended family gathered the dinner table.

Food is its own reward. Right? Right?

First, Queenie’s Road House in Elk. Worth driving 20 miles from Mendocino for.

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Strawberry waffles rule!

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Saturday brunch: The Mendocino Café on Lansing:

Thai Hotpot at The Mendocino Café, Saturday Feb. 28

Thai Hotpot at The Mendocino Café, Saturday Feb. 28

Everything yummy.

Stay tuned.

The Metamorphosis Generator

From A Work-in-Progress:

The Jaguar I know is a bit much. Especially for the country. But Wolfgang must have his toys. The Jaguar, the helicopter, the espresso/ice cream machine, the Jacuzzi with 20 different spurt settings, the 80-inch flat-screen HDTV, the four-foot Bose speakers, the laser wrinkle removers, the Do-It-Yourself Botox injectors and hair implantation devices, the state-of-the-art dollar-printing mechanism, the 3D Alternate Universe Hologram, the foot-high platform shoes with the massage feature, the metamorphosis generator . . .

Once, he trapped a fly in the metamorphosis pod, and what emerged was a woman with wondrous, bulbous dark eyes and gossamer hair.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Still More Rule of Thirds

“This week, compose your subject off-center.”

(WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Week beginning Friday, 20 February 2015)

Masonic Temple (c. 1866), Lansing Street, Mendocino

Masonic Temple (c. 1866), Lansing Street, Mendocino: January, 2015

Stairs at Night, Mendocino Art Center

Stairs at Night, Mendocino Art Center: January, 2015

Venice Beach, November 2014

Venice Beach, November 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Masters of Style: A List

Self is teaching a two-day class on travel writing this weekend.

The great thing about teaching is, it makes you ponder your own predilections.

Because unless you yourself are very clear about the kind of writing you favor, you will never, in self’s humble opinion, be able to communicate anything worthwhile to your students.

These are the writers whose books have stayed longest in self’s head and heart. Some have only written one book. Doesn’t matter. The point is, their names have become part of self’s font of inspiration.

Debra Ginsberg * Kyoko Mori * Chang-rae Lee * Annie Ernaux * Tim Parks * Ron Carlson * Alison Moore * Mo Yan * Thomas Lynch * V. S. Naipaul * Gish Jen * Deborah Digges * Paul Theroux * Kathryn Harrison * Jason Elliott * W. G. Sebald * Nina Berberova * Peter Hessler * Michael Herr * Ruth Reichl * Tony Horwitz * Elmore Leonard * Brian Hall * Nicholson Baker

(Aaargh, list is getting long! Perhaps she’ll do a Part 2 later)

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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