Banff Centre for the Arts: Introducing the Program in Literary Journalism

This summer, from July 4 to July 16, Banff is offering a new program, Literary Journalism. Meetings are in-person on the Banff campus. Self knows one of the instructors, Charlotte Gill.

Self was at Banff Writers Studio, seven years ago, when she was just starting her novel, and the feedback she got from her mentors was invaluable. She wishes she could enroll for this program, as she’d do anything to get back to Banff again, but she’s not a journalist. (The only caveat was that she got fat. They give you a food allowance at the start, and there are five eateries to choose from. By the end of the five weeks, everyone in her program was complaining how much weight they’d gained. Then we had to pose for group pictures, which was really embarrassing.)

At the MacLab, she once sat one table over from k. d. lang — exciting, except she didn’t find out until after k.d. lang left. Part of the Writer’s Studio is giving a public reading, and self signed up for the very last day. She was so nervous, she had to drink a glass of wine beforehand. The story she read from was “Sand,” and had — profanity! There was some restless movement from the audience when she uttered the first word. After that, only laughter. So great.

btw, it took a while, but “Sand” finally found a home last year, in Pembroke Magazine:

Banff Centre’s Literary Journalism 2022 program encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation in writing. Designed to challenge and stimulate, the program aims to inspire creative pieces of nonfiction and to assist the writers in their completion. A preeminent space for long-form journalism, this residency emphasizes the strengths of thorough and articulate reporting, distinctive storytelling, and literary devices.

Application Deadline: March 9, 2022

Complete information can be found here.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Four Colors or More

Thank you, Cee Neuner, for another great CFFC!

For her “four colors or more” post, she will focus on food presentation! Maybe that’s because in her current read, A Woman in Berlin, food is front and center on every page. It’s April 1945, and the citizens of Berlin are starving.

As she reads, self is constantly reminded how lucky she is, despite everything.

During her most recent visit to San Luis Obispo, a few months ago, she decided to look for an old favorite: Thai–rrific on Higuera. She was so happy to find that it had survived!

Summer concerts in Stafford Park were a quintessential part of self’s summer for over 30 years. Then, the pandemic happened. This year, the concerts came back! YES! And with them, a taco truck. Self tried the lengua taco. Dee-lish!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): Colors of Your Flag

Cee Neuner explains:

  • This week the topic is Colors of Your Flag. Your flag can include: Country, State, or Providence colors. If you feel comfortable, please say which flag you are showing,

Self’s flag is red, white, and blue. She is a dual citizen of America and the Philippines.

Joan Mitchell at SFMOMA, October 2021

Below: red and blue parasols, white walls, and yellow napkins — red, white, blue and yellow are the colors of the Philippine flag.

Luna Red, Chorro St., San Luis Obispo

Headlands Coffeehouse, Fort Bragg

Well, hellooooo, old friend. There’s another coffeeshop just around the corner from Mendocino Hotel, but as she was headed there, a car pulled up and a woman stuck her head out and said, “Do you know any place that you can get breakfast in, around here?” Self told her, “Lansing Street” and she said, “We’ve just been, and all they have is outdoor seating, and it’s too cold!” So self said, “Fort Bragg,” and then self decided that she would head to Fort Bragg, herself.

Whoa, the drive there. This is what she remembers: IMPATIENT TRUCKS. And it was spitting rain. She passed the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, and Nit’s Café, and the Depot, but everything seemed closed. Then she made a right on Laurel and saw: YAY! People going in and out of Headlands Coffeehouse! She found a parking spot and went in and ordered a cappucino.

Not 10 minutes later, she heard someone saying, “Oh, hi!” and she looked up. It was the same woman who had spoken to her in Mendocino! And she said, “We just followed you here!” The woman and her husband had driven up from Santa Rosa and were staying at Little River Inn. For some reason, the woman thought self was a local, but self told her she was just visiting. “I used to teach at Mendocino Art Center,” though, self said. The woman asked if self was an artist, and rather than get into it, self said yes.

Anyhoo, that is not the real point of this post. The real point is: as she sat in Headlands, sipping her cappucino, she got to a part of The Birthday Boys (p. 138) that made her say: Holy Cow, I am so glad I persevered through all the earlier chapters. Because it’s Lt. Bowers’s chapter (Birdie) and here’s where the real suffering unfolds.

It’s all very well for Robert Falcon Scott to lament his sad fate (being beaten to the South Pole by Amundsen), but he is not the one hauling ass. He is not the one getting frostbite. It is Birdie and Dr. Wilson and the young whippersnapper Cherry-Garard who have to trek the frozen, sunless wasteland, to perform an experiment on DIET that Robert Falcon Scott ordered them to execute. This Robert Falcon Scott was definitely crazes, while the three men have spent six nights in a howling desert of ice.

Finally, the three debate whether or not to continue.

Birdie (p. 139):

“I happen to believe we can stick it.” I was speaking no more than the truth, having always found that willpower overcomes all adversities. One just has to believe that it’s within one’s spiritual domain to conquer difficulties. That is not to say that I don’t recognise there has to be a time to submit, possibly a time to die, merely that I’ve never yet been taken to the brink.

Bill (Wilson) cheered up after this and waxed on about the penguins. I must say they lead terrible lives, in that their undoubted maternal instinct leads more to infanticide than nurturing.

Self ordered squash soup for take-out, so she could enjoy it in the privacy of her room. Holy Smokes, the car was filled with such a delicious smell, she literally floored it from Fort Bragg to Mendocino, she just couldn’t wait to have this soup!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

City Sonnet Color Challenge, Dec. 4: Rosy Brown

Self is typing this in Offspring Pizza in Boonville. She’s 40 miles south of Mendocino (her final destination)

It’s a very chilly, overcast day. Which is why she ordered a gorgonzola/persimmon/radicchio pizza, and it is just dee-lish!

Posting this for City Sonnet’s Colors and Letters Challenge. Dec. 4 is a color: Rosy Brown. This is a picture of a painting behind the bar. She thinks the poppies are Rosy Brown. Her camera conked out, so she had to take the picture with her MacBook.

Offspring Pizza, Boonville (Opened just three weeks ago)

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 15: Window Displays, London

Catching up, slowly but surely, in the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao!

Display Windows: Harrod’s, Teatulia, Jenny Kate

Life in Colour Challenge: November Black or Gray

Here’s what host Travel Words says about the colours selected for the November Life in Colour challenge:

  • This month we will be looking for Black or Grey. Black is not a colour at all. Theoretically it is the absence of all colour. Yet black is distinctive. Lines are bolder, shadows deeper, colours brighter against a black background.

Below, self’s Black or Grey gallery:

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) #11: Murals

YAY! Self went out this morning with her camera, determined to find something for the Photographing Public Art Challenge. She had a particular destination in mind: a clump of murals facing a downtown parking lot which is usually crammed with cars and people, impeding her access to the art.

This morning, there were a few cars, but she was able to keep them to a small part of the photograph.

Each mural represents the business the building houses: Crouching Tiger is a Chinese restaurant; the black mural building houses City Pub; Pickled is a women’s clothing store, and so forth.

Past Squares 23: Liverpool, November 2019

The Past Squares Challenge ends tomorrow. Becky, who hosts the challenge from Life of B, announced that the next Challenge will be in February.

The very best Chinese food in Liverpool is directly across from the Liverpool Cathedral. Self has a friend who moved to Manchester, and this friend knows all the BEST Chinese restaurants in Manchester and Liverpool.

The Museum of Liverpool, on Albert Dock, is one of those must-sees. And here is self! Who rarely appears in pictures! She’s wearing a hat given to her by a friend in Philadelphia, who told her this would be the only way to survive an English winter! Thanks much, Anne-Adele!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Life in Colour Challenge: August Red

Oh, self had fun this morning, searching through her garden for any red blooms. There were a few choices, but the ones that photographed best were geraniums. In her archives, there was this sweet little mini-Cooper parked in front of Horn Barbecue in Oakland.

Self is throwing in a Calder from last spring’s Calder/Picasso at the de Young Museum.

Thanks so much to Life in Colour for hosting this challenge.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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