Three-Picture Story: AWP Book Fair, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was THREES: Telling a Three-Picture Story.

It’s a good thing self is at the AWP 2014 conference in Seattle. She has lots and lots of material. Today, she wandered the Book Fair with her roommate, poet and Director of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University, Luisa A. Igloria.

Stopped at the table for the Hugo House.  Found out that they’re hosting readings every night.  Tonight’s features Roxane Gay (editor of PANK magazine, which just accepted one of self’s stories for publication, Happy Happy Joy Joy!), John Haskell, Leslie Jamison, Brett Fletcher Lauer, and Amy Leach.

At the Hugo House Table, a "Reaping" of Sorts!

At the Hugo House Table, a “Reaping” of Sorts!

The Richard Hugo House in Seattle had a table at the AWP Book Fair.

Luisa reaches into the bowl to find her fortune.

Luisa and self each picked one.

Luisa and self each picked one.  This was self’s (!!!).  She likes!

DSCN4233

Self realizes this is a four-picture story.  But she’s never been good at following directions.  Never.

Stay tuned.

First Reading Attended at Kepler’s Since Who-Knows-When

Self hasn’t attended a reading at Kepler’s in who-knows-how-long.

It’s been a Menlo Park mainstay for decades.  Self knew it first as a small purveyor of paperbacks, in a teensy shopping center off El Camino.

They moved to a much nicer space after son was born, right next to Cafe Borrone.  Self gave a reading there for her first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila.

For a while, there were fears it might close.  But loyal patrons saved it.  Now, the store soldiers on.

There were so many things happening this weekend:  the ballet, Zack’s reading last night at the Bayanihan Community Center.  Self couldn’t make it to Zack’s reading because the ballet was happening –  So sorry, Zack!  But this afternoon, when she saw that Tremors (The University of Arkansas Press), the anthology of Iranian American writers that Anita Amirrezvani co-edited with Persis Karim, she dashed over, and was so glad she did.

  • Seven readers:  six women, one man.
  • One rude heckler (He tried everything to disrupt the event:  clapping loudly, muttering things under his breath, even belching), unfortunately seated directly behind self.
  • A fellow Stanford Creative Writing Fellow, Sharon May (whose story, “The Wizard of Kaho-I-Dang” was set in Cambodia, and told from the point of view of a man).
  • And the very charming Anita Amirrezvani herself, whose first novel, Blood of Flowers, self remembered being so enthralled by, and whose second novel, Equal of the Sun, has just been published by Scribner.

And here they all are, post-reading!

Anita Amirrezvani (the tall woman in the center), with the contributors to the Iranian American anthology, TREMORS, at Kepler's Books Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013

Anita Amirrezvani (the tall woman in the center), with the contributors to the Iranian American anthology, TREMORS, at Kepler’s Books Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013

Aren’t they all just radiant?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Announcing: Launch of the Anthology NEW CALIFORNIA WRITING 2013

Just heard about this from the fabulous Donna Miscolta.  Self is going, for sure!

Come to the launch for the 3rd of the Heyday series on New California Writing, edited by Gayle Wattawa and Kirk Glaser:  New California Writing 2013:  Shifts and Rifts.

When:  Thursday, Apr. 11, 6 to 8:30 pm

Where:  California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco

Tickets:  $5 general admission, $20 book + admission

6 p.m. reception will have free tacos, beer and wine!

Readings begin at 6:30.  Featured readers:  Jodi Angel, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Elizabeth Creely, Chieun “Gloria” Kim, David Mas Masumoto, Zara Raab, Greg Sarris, Stephen Gutierrez, Robert Hass, Kevin Hearle, Sylvia Linsteadt, Donna Miscolta, Juan Velasco Moreno, Keenan Norris

The official announcement is here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Save the Date: Saturday Feb. 2, 2 p.m. at Berkeley Central Library, Staged Reading of Filipino World War II Novel

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2 p.m. at Berkeley Central Library, Community Meeting Room, 3rd Floor, 2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley

A Staged Reading of In Her Mother’s Image, a World War II novel by C. Gaerlan

From the press release:

This is the story of an estranged mother and daughter set mostly during World War II Philippines.  The war is seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old child, Chiquita, who bears witness to an act of betrayal committed by her formidable mother, Consuelo.  The emotional toll of the war is palpable even after the passage of 30 years, when Chiquita returns to the land of her birth.

Admission is FREE.

In Her Mother’s Image is part of the Bataan Legacy Project, whose aim is to spread the true story of Bataan and the sacrifices of the Bataan/ Corregidor defenders as well as the entire Filipino nation.

Stay tuned.

Self’s 2012 in Pictures: # 9

Washington, DC:  on the anniversary of Pres. Abraham Lincoln's assassination.  Will you just look at that line waiting to get into the Ford Theater ???

Washington, DC: on the anniversary of Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Will you just look at that line waiting to get into the Ford Theater ???

In April, self was invited to participate in a group reading at the National Portrait Gallery.  It was a great trip.  For the first time in who knows how long, The Man elected to come along.  The reading was co-sponsored by the Asian American Literary Review and the Smithsonian Asian-Pacific Program.  A great time was had by all.  The weather, all the days of her stay in DC, was just gorgeous.

Just in Time for the Holidays: A Thought from Robert Greene

We are in the thick of the holiday season.  There are so many bad-tempered drivers on the road.  We are expecting a storm.

Yesterday’s reading by Lysley Tenorio was fun.  He wore a paisley blue shirt and very intellectual glasses.  Rashaan was rocking an embroidered top, patterned black tights, and boots.  Barbara elected to go for the all-black look.  Edwin Lozada was in a tweed jacket.  One of the consular officials wore a necklace of multi-colored pearls.  Niece G wore a very fetching blue plaid blouse, a colorful Indian-looking scarf, and jeans.  Niece surprised self by saying that she would like to go to Manila to lose some weight (Niece, you are gorgeous!  You do not need to lose any weight!  It is self who must lose weight!  But she thinks Manila is not the place for her to do it!  Not with Mesa in Greenbelt 5 issuing its siren call:  Crispy Leche Flan!  Crispy Leche Flan!  Crispy Leche Flan!)

Now, either out of recklessness or sheer exhaustion, self knows not which, she is back to reading Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power.  She flips open the book at random and lands on Law # 13:

When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.

There is always a fairy tale that illustrates the wisdom of the law.  This one is from Aesop’s Fables.  It is called “The Peasant and the Apple Tree.”

A peasant had in his garden an apple tree which bore no fruit but only served as a perch for the sparrows and grasshoppers.  He resolved to cut it down and, taking his ax in hand, made a bold stroke at its roots.  The grasshoppers and sparrows entreated him not to cut down the tree that sheltered them, but to spare it, and they would sing to him and lighten his labors.  He paid no attention to their request, but gave the tree a second and a third blow with his ax.  When he reached the hollow of the tree, he found a hive full of honey.  Having tasted the honeycomb, he threw down his ax, and, looking on the tree as sacred, took great care of it.  Self-interest alone moves some men.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Last Wednesday of November (2012): The Philippine Consulate, 447 Sutter Street, San Francisco

There was a purported storm!  Supposed to hit the San Francisco Bay Area with a powerhouse punch!  It was all over the news yesterday and this morning, but when self drove to the City, the weather was practically balmy.

Self had occasion to thank her lucky stars that she lives in California!  A sentiment with which Niece G was in wholehearted agreement, having just come from spending Thanksgiving in New York, which according to her was a frigid 38 degrees.

Tonight, niece and self spent the evening in the cheery confines of the San Francisco Consulate at 447 Sutter.  This is a nondescript building, with some very fab posters of Philippine beaches adorning the various antiseptic hallways.

Who knew such fun was to be had in that consular place?  It was a reading for Lysley Tenorio, whose book of short stories, Monstress, has just been published (and, dare self say, blurbed by some very A-list writers).  It was a surprising evening in many ways, not least because Lysley was rocking a blue paisley shirt!  He read so well, he earned the undying adulation of Niece G, self, and all the consular officials!

Rashaan Alexis Meneses (soon to be in Hawthornden) was there, too, rocking a sort of hip Filipino look, with an embroidered top she said she bought from H & M, and a ‘do that was vaguely 20s Flapper!  And intricate patterned black tights!  And boots!  Self wondered why she can’t dream up outfits similar to Rashaan’s.  Must be because she is hopeless at shopping.  She definitely has inherited none of Dearest Mum’s genes in this regard.  Maybe Rashaan can accompany her some day, as a sort of fashion consultant?

And the story Lysley read was about a faith healer named Papa Felix.  Papa Felix’s performance hinged on procuring chicken livers from Chinatown!  And the story was just so ha-ha-ha funny!  But poignant, too!  How’d Lysley pull that off ???

Afterwards, Niece and self lined up to have our copies of Monstress signed, like a couple of bloomin’ acolytes, and we started to run off at the mouth a little, and you know what?  Lysley is very nice!  He even pronounced self’s name correctly!  That is, he said:  MAH-REE-YA-NEH!  Pronouncing, or should self say enunciating, with all the syllables so phonetically clear and crisp!

Not to mention, self got a copy of Barbara’s latest book!  She can’t wait to read it!  Barb was looking very hip in all black!  You can only get away with all black if you are a true celebrity!  Like Barbara!

The final cap to the excellent evening was that self got a pound of whole beans from Philz Coffee on 24th and Folsom.  They don’t list the coffee blends on a board, one is expected to have 20/20 eyesight and be able to read the labels on the bins behind the sales counter.  Self asked the salesperson to recommend a dark roast, and he recommended “Ether.”  It is so nice to know that, nestled in self’s freezer at the moment (She always freezes her whole beans), is a lb. of this fabulous Ether.  She has to wait until she finishes her current Ethiopian coffee supply, she is a firm believer in the pleasure of delayed gratification.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Stanford: Two Remaining Lane Lectures, 2012 – 2013

When Natasha Trethewey, the current U.S. Poet Laureate, read at Stanford last week, self was still in Bacolod.

The remaining two writers are old chum Jeffrey Eugenides (!!), who she hasn’t seen since he gave a reading from Middlesex at Kepler’s, years ago, and T. C. Boyle, who she saw quite recently, when he gave a reading at Foothill.

Wooooo Hoooo!  Self admires both writers exceedingly.  Here are the particulars:

Jeffrey Eugenides
reads Monday, February 25, 2013
8 p.m.
Cemex Auditorium, Zambrano Hall, Knight Management Center
Colloquium next day, Tuesday, February 26, 11 a.m.
Terrace Room, Building 460, Main Quad

T. C. Boyle
reads Monday, May 6, 2013
8 p.m.
Cemex Auditorium, Zambrano Hall, Knight Management Center
Colloquium next day, Tuesday, May 7, 11 a.m.
Terrace Room, Building 460, Main Quad

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fergie’s Pub (Philadelphia) Hosts BlazeVox Publisher and Authors

Come to Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia), Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 to hear six BlazeVox authors:

  • Geoffrey Gatza is the editor and publisher of the small press BlazeVox.  His many books of poetry include House of Forgetting, Secrets of My Prison House, Kenmore:  Poem Unlimited, Not So Fast Robespierre, and HouseCat Kung Fu:  Strange Poems for Wild Children.
  • Robin F. Brox is a poet, book artist, and teacher who lives in Buffalo, NY.  The founder of SauceBox, a performance series turned small press, she produces handmade books and hosts poetry readings featuring women writers.
  • Travis Cebula lives in Golden, Colorado.  He holds an MFA in writing and poetics from Naropa University.
  • Beth Copeland lived in Japan, India, and North Carolina as a child.  Her book, Traveling Through Glass, won the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award.
  • Nava Fader received her Masters degree in Poetics from the University at Buffalo, writing her thesis on the poetry of Adrienne Rich.  She is the author of two chapbooks:  Stonesoup and The Plath Poems.  A school librarian in Buffalo, she is a frequent practitioner of the technique known as “false translation,” including in her 2009 BlazeVox collection, All the Jawing Jackdaw.
  • Jared Schickling is the author of O, submissions, Zero’s blooming excursion, The Pink, and tu lash your nipples to a post history is gorgeous.  He is an editor at Delete Press, and lives in upstate New York.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Special About 2012

After many years of trying, she finally got a piece picked up by Alimentum.

She finally joined the Barnes & Noble Rewards Program (though she’s been in and out of her local branch for something like 20 years)

The New Orleans Review took “Thing,” her story about mutant pigs and strangelings.

She has joined contests (8 so far)

She decided not to let her subscription to The New York Times Book Review lapse.

She extended her New Yorker subscription for one more year.

She read with Kazim Ali, Garrett Hongo, David Henry Hwang, Bao Phi, Marie Myung-Ok Lee and Anna Kazumi Stahl in the National Portrait Gallery.  Also:  she met the three funniest gals it was ever her pleasure to meet and had drop-dead delicious gelato.  Also, big big thanks to Lawrence, Gerard and Terry.  Also, she saw the Ford Theater (where President Lincoln was shot) and went into at least three Smithsonian museums (with the husband).  She even went to Georgetown one day and had lunch with an old friend.

She spoke to Margarita D who told her about her plan to go to Venice, early next year (Self volunteered to come along!)

She went to India.  And saw the Golden Temple at Amritsar.  And heard monks chanting deep in a forest.  And made the acquaintance of the Colonel, Pratibha, an incorrigibly rambunctious Labrador, and the two brothers who manage the Snowcrest Inn in Dharamsala (Would you believe, the inn is owned by a fifty-something Malaysian woman?)  All the time self was in India, she never experienced a sick moment.

“The Avengers” movie came out, and she liked it.

She spent the entire month of March in Bacolod.  Zack joined her for the last week.

She took Niece G to the Asian Art Museum and had lunch at Brenda’s.

Niece G gifted her with a lb. of coffee from Philz.

Son and Jennie came for a visit; we had dinner at Max’s Restaurant with Kramer and Niece G.  We went to a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young.  We went to the Japanese Tea Garden and had mochi.  Kevin F came over with his guitar on son’s last night and sang many beautiful songs for us.

She finally got her hands on a paperback copy of the Final Report of the 9/11 Commission, which was published in 2004.  It is a really hefty book:  she’ll read it on the plane to London.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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