AWP 2018 Tampa: Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker:


Among the Featured Presenters are some very familiar names:

  • Rick Barot
  • Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Marie Myung-Ok Lee
  • Claire Messud
  • Aimee Nezhukumatahil
  • Sigrid Nuñez
  • Mary Ruefle
  • Karen Tei Yamashita

She has loved George Saunders ever since Civilwarland in Bad Decline. She remembers ugly crying after reading one story, the one about the wavemaker. She has not yet read Lincoln in the Bardo but it is definitely on her list. (Which, at the rate she’s been reading these days, means she probably won’t get to it until next year. At the soonest.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Out of This World 2: The Garden

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Stepping into her garden is like stepping into another world.

There are six steps from the back door to the ground. Self took the first picture standing on the top step.

The garden is rectangular in shape. To the left is a small courtyard that she bricked over, about 20 years ago. She used to have an apple tree there. It died. She used to have geraniums and camellias. All gone. There is one wee clematis that she remembers planting three years ago. A few weeks ago, it started to put out green shoots. Every day since then, it has put out more and more leaves.


Backyard, 2 March 2018



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: THE ROMANOVS, 1613 – 1918, p. 86

Self is now on p. 86. There have been many great individual sentences.

Nevertheless, she must get a move on.

It is extremely cold here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she needs to exit the house tonight, to pick up someone from SFO. Lacking a parka, she must layer. Not only must she layer, she must wear her UGG boots, which Marie Claire told her years ago was only suitable for under 30s. She hopes she doesn’t encounter people with rheumy coughs, as she did yesterday at Walmart. She wanted to run screaming out of the store, but she was stuck in line and had no choice but to stiff-upper-lip it.

Here’s the Sentence of the Day:

The Jolly Company were toasting the trip at Lefort’s palace when, as General Gordon wrote, a “merry night” was ruined by “the accident of discovering treason against His Majesty.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Saturday: Frederick Seidel

The Bird on the Crocodile’s Back (An Excerpt)

The man can’t stay awake. He falls asleep.
It’s noon, it’s afternoon, repeatedly he falls in deep.
Seated at his desk or in an armchair, as if to try to write a poem meant
A flash flood of sleep and drowning on Parnassus in his tent,
Or something else equally not good.
The guy’s completely gone and sawing wood,
Snoring and snorting — until one snort wakes him —
And where is he? he cant think where he is — which shakes him.

(published in The New York Review of Books, 19 February 2015)

#amreading: Carlos Bulosan, AMERICA IS IN THE HEART

America is in the Heart is about a Filipino migrant worker who lives in the itinerant camps and moves up and down the west coast, following the harvests.

Chapter XXIII:

I tried hard to remain aloof from the destruction and decay around me. I wanted to remain pure within myself. But in Pismo Beach, where I found Mariano, I could not fight anymore. He and I slept on the floor of a small cottege, where two others were living.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs to Start Or End With Y

Self’s word for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is WINTRY.

Here’s her shot: a ferris wheel in Paris, last week of December 2017


Paris, Late December, 2017: Because self wanted to say that, for once in her life, she spent the holidays in Paris.

Paris was colder than Ireland.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Question of the Day: WSJ, A4, Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 3 – 4, 2018


It was compiled by the Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee and based on highly classified law-enforcement documents.

— article reported by Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus

This is the memo commonly referred to on Twitter as ‘Yo Memo.’

Go straight to #YoMemoJokes.

Do not pass Go.

Stay tuned.

WSJ: Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 3 – 4, 2018

Top Headline: Memo Fuels Fight on Russia Probe

Graph: Markets Shudder on Inflation Signs

Other Page 1:

  • Fed Orders Wells Fargo to Change Board
  • Ice Dancing Has a Problem: There Aren’t Enough Men
  • Nigeria Brought Back Its Girls; Now Comes the Hard Part

Such a moment we are all living in.

Stay tuned.

Frances McDormand: Force of Nature

To celebrate self’s return to the United States of America (not a single question from the Immigration Officer, though he did take his time looking over each and every page of her passport), self watched a movie: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The movie is sometimes too precious by half (despite the prolific profanity — she can’t believe she just used onomatopeia), but the performances are top-notch.

Frances McDormand: Her facial expressions alone, that unflinching moral compass, that steely isolation. Because self is so used to Twitter, she will not finish the sentence.

Sam Rockwell made her hate and pity his character in the space of two hours #pointsSam

Peter Dinklage makes a nice, underplayed cameo. (He seems only to get more attractive with each passing year, don’t ask)

Also, more nice, understated acting from Clarke Jones.


Two pieces of amazing casting: Lucas Hedges playing Frances McDormand’s depressed son, Robbie (who actually makes you see his depression, even with just a look) and Caleb Landry Jones as Red Welby, the man who manages the billboard business. The most affecting scene in the movie, in self’s humble opinion, involved Caleb Landry Jones. Self is referring to the scene that takes place in a hospital.

That scene is actually the crux of the change in Sam Rockwell’s character, and therefore the crux of the whole movie. Anyone else but Caleb Landry Jones in that part, self thinks could not have sold it. Kudos, Caleb Landry Jones.

And of course, the face. The face of Frances McDormand. That is all.

Tomorrow, I, Tonya because self likes Margot Robbie and her ambition and determination to be everything: not just a hot Australian actress but an amazing Australian actress.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Philippine Splendor in Makati

Whenever the breeze shivers the trees outside the window, self gets such a thrill:


With Dearest Mum in Ecology Village, Makati

Dearest Mum’s writing desk is a collection of disparate objects:


Love these old reliquarios that Dearest Mum has scattered about:


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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