I WILL NEVER OWN ENOUGH BOOKS Spreads AmazeSauce over Self’s Saturday!

Today, I Will Never Own Enough Books nominated self for the CREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD!

Epic Blush!

The rules say that self has to share five facts about herself. So here goes:

  1. Her favorite indulgence is reading Everlark fan fiction.
  2. She was a Fellow in the Stanford University Creative Writing Program.
  3. Her 2nd favorite indulgence is watching plays. The last play she saw (July 2015) was “King John” at the Globe in London.
  4. She loves riding trains.
  5. She has written a 9/11 story called “Wavering” (Published in a literary magazine now defunct, boo).

So here are self’s five nominees:

  1. TheGypsyMind16
  2. The Alchemist’s Kitchen
  3. Kick-Ass Ireland!
  4. cassandra jp
  5. Kahakai Kitchen

Onward!

Story. Story. Story (Fiction. Fiction. Fiction)

Last week, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I was in a big hurry. I had to be someplace at 9 a.m.

I looked up. It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. For real.

He made a motion with his hand: Picture?

Picture? I said back.

Picture with me?

Sorry, I said, I don’t have a camera.

Cell phone?

No.

And I could see this person’s eyes. Through the TMNT mask. Not blue. Not green. Not grey. Maybe brown. They were so — hopeful?

Hug, I said.

So I leaned over just the slightest bit.

After: Was it the blue dress I wore that day? Or the determined look on my face?

Whacha think, dear blog readers?

Stay tuned.

From Every Angle: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

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

Place your subject and then shoot from every angle: high, low, wide, tight, left and right.

It helps if your subject is a collection of massive rocks.

Here is Yorkshire, last July: Rocks from every angle.

Yorkshire Dales, July 2015: It rained all night before.

Yorkshire Dales, July 2015: It rained all night before.

More of those Yorkshire Rocks

More of those Yorkshire Rocks

Heathcliffe, where art thou, O Heathcliffe?

Heathcliffe, where art thou, O Heathcliffe?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today Was a Good Day 2: Summer 2015 in York, Oxford, London

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is:

SHARE YOUR IDEAL DAY, OR RECOUNT A MEMORABLE DAY IN THE PAST.

It is always a good day when self can spend it with friends. Here are photos of friends she visited this summer:

Helene! She hosted self in Yorkshire.

Helene! She hosted self in Yorkshire. Self had not been back to Yorkshire since she was 11. 11 !!!!

Brunch with Jenny Lewis, Joan McGavin, Jennie's granddaughter Abigail, in Jenny's home in Oxford, UK

Brunch with Jenny Lewis, Joan McGavin, Jennie’s granddaughter Abigail, in Jenny’s home in Oxford, UK

Finally, here’s a picture she took at Chez Mamie, 22 Hanway Street (a tiny alley, really, only one block long, off Tottenham Road. She discovered Chez Mamie while walking to the West End to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time).

Almost every night self spent in London, she’d head over to Chez Mamie on Hanway Street for dinner. She’d meet up with another American, Emily, whose daughter was in London shooting a movie:

Chez Mamie in London: Inspiration!

Chez Mamie in London: Inspiration!

So there: three shots of the things that made self happy this summer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Pardon, It’s Back to THE 100

The coolest story line isn’t even in the CW TV series: It’s Glass. Glass. Glass.

SPOIIIIILEEEERRRRS!!!

Glass is Point of View # 4, which means she appears in Chapter # 4 (So tiresome, this multiple point of view thing. Self is skipping all the Clarke and Wells chapters. It’s just so un-interesting, what’s happening on Earth: The planet survived the radioactive apocalypse and is now some kind of fecund tropical garden, Clarke is becoming the Florence Nightingale of the group, Wells suffers acute unrequited love for Clarke, and Bellamy, aside from being very protective of Prim — ah, excuse self, she means Octavia — has very toned abs)

Unlike Bellamy and Wells who had to claw their way (metaphorically) into the ship headed for Earth (or Destruction, depending on the motives of the Chancellor/ Ruler/ Despot), Glass is smart. She figures she wants OFF the space ship to Earth. So, she manages to elude the guards and get off the space ship, and she manages to slip through all the search parties who are looking for her, and of course, it’s all because she is in love with a boy, and she fights like a tiger to get to the boy, Luke, and when she finally finally reaches his flat, and knocks on his door, he opens it, and SURPRISE SURPRISE there’s another woman right behind him, and Glass belatedly notices that the flat had been dark when Luke opened the door, so whatever he and this other woman had been doing before she interrupted was something they did in the dark, and . . .  and . . . self’s heart just breaks for that brave girl.

Moving on.

The other really cool thing about The 100 (aside from the fact that the author admits in her closing remarks that she didn’t think up the plot herself; someone gave it to her, and all she did was write it. Oh no, she dreamt up the characters. That’s right. Profuse apologies!) are the cornea slips.

That’s right: when a character gets a distant look in her/his eyes, and suddenly stops speaking, it doesn’t mean they’ve been hit by a tranquilizer blowdart. It means there is an incoming. Message, that is.

It is so cool not to have to dart to a cell phone or laptop to retrieve messages. Just have them transmitted to your cornea slip. That way, you don’t even have to look down and you will never ever be accused of having bad posture or worry about developing a double chin. You just tilt your chin upwards and read what’s on your cornea slip. Who ever thought of such a cool thang?

Thank you! Self would like to have one of those, if it can happen in the next 10 years (or while she’s still alive)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Self’s Very Own Apocalyptic Dystopia

Why on earth would self be quoting from The 100 when she has written her own story of apocalyptic dystopia that was published just a few months ago?

Right? Right?

Here again is something from “The Freeze” (Bluestem, Spring 2015). When she realizes how long the story is — it’s a miracle. It’s written in very hallucinatory prose. And she was able to go on like that, without switching voice, for almost 20 pages? Self is always surprised when she can pull something like that off.

To tell the truth, every one of her speculative fiction stories is an experiment. Beginning with the extremely short story, “The Departure,” published in Philippine Genre Stories (thanks to Charles Tan, who solicited it for their very first issue).

She likes applying the dreamy voice to her science fiction.

Moving along.

There is a very terrifying scene in “The Freeze.” But she will skip right over that because she is quite distressed herself after reading it.

No sign of Annie. She had been taken by a great, invisible force. Up, towards the light? Or down to the sea. Who knew?

If there was no body, there could not be a death. That comforted me.

I walked in the gloomy dark until I heard, far away but distinct, the sound of waves pounding the cliffs.

Descend.

Almost overnight, the temperature dropped, and dropped, and dropped.

Mr. King, the old man who lived next door, said, It’s just a cold spell. It will pass.

But two weeks later, it was dark almost the whole day.

The roses blackened, my teeth chattered in my head.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Life on Earth, After the Apocalypse (THE 100, p. 97)

See, this is not at all how self would have imagined Earth to look after centuries of deadly radiation from a nuclear war.

SOMEWHAT SPOILER-Y!!!

But anyhoo, the Intrepid 100 have survived a crash landing. Now they have to find a way to survive on Earth. Or there would be no ANGST!

And angst is the be-all and end-all of self’s very existence.

Back Cover Blurb for Kass Morgan's THE 100

Back Cover Blurb for Kass Morgan’s THE 100

Lucky for them, Earth has made a remarkable recovery.

The sky was growing brighter, filling the clearing with an almost golden light that made everything look like it’d been polished overnight. The grass seemed greener, glistening with tiny drops of water. Purple blossoms began unfurling from what seemed like an unremarkable shrub. The long, tapered petals stretched toward the sun, twisting toward the air as if dancing to music only they could hear.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Creepy 2: Random

WordPress Photo Challenge this week: CREEPY

  • This week, give us some heebie jeebies!

Here’s more creepiness:

DRACULA by Bram Stoker, Illustrated by Edward Gorey

DRACULA by Bram Stoker, Illustrated by Edward Gorey. Did you know that author Bram Stoker studied at Trinity College in Dublin? Self only knows this because she went on a tour of Trinity College.

Dancer, Masskara Festival, Bacolod 2013

Dancer, Masskara Festival, Bacolod 2013

Ballyvolane House, Cork: A servant ran off with her mistress's jewels, was apprehended and hanged somewhere in the vicinity.

Ballyvolane House, Cork: A pair of servants ran murdered their masters and made off with their master’s jewels. They were apprehended and put to death.  The male was hanged, the woman burned at the stake, somewhere in the vicinity. Hence the appellation “The Hag’s Cross.”

Self is so glad she never heard about The Hag’s Cross until the last day she was at Ballyvolane House because she hates ghosts and such.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre has its own ghost story, which was told her by a fellow resident. Apparently the ghost is named Miss Worby’s Ghost and she tweets.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2 Quotes of the Day (2nd Saturday of August 2015)

Kate McKinnon in August 2015 Marie Claire:

“I like to play characters who are trying really hard to be normal. I’m hoping something Dickensian will pop up soon — Victorian London hasn’t figured into my repertoire yet. Other than that, the greatest challenge would just be acting normal.”

Howard Jacobson’s The Act of Love, p. 247:

The novel’s protagonist turns 21. To celebrate, his dad brings him to a London brothel off Baker Street (“not far from Sherlock Holmes’s” address), whereupon they have the following conversation:

Father:  “You can have a thrashing or a cake.”

Narrator:  “I’ll have a cake.”

Father:  “That settles it. You’ll have a thrashing.”

They viewed it as therapeutic, like going to a barber’s for a hot towel or having a foot scrub.

It occurs to self that there probably really is an upscale London brothel near Baker Street — since all the other settings in Jacobson’s novel (for example: Great Russell Street, the antiquarian book dealer across from the British Museum, coffee shops on High Street, The Wallace Collection on Manchester Square and so forth) have been real-world.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Generation Gap, by Joan McGavin, Hampshire Poet for 2014

DSCN0471
With the Armistice declared,
school was closed
and the children all
ran hilty-skilty
down the brae.
Mum burst into the house —

her brother’s photo
already three years
on the mantelpiece.

Newly
promoted corporal,
he holds
the swagger stick
self-consciously,
glances to the side.

And now she’s gone,
and those questions
one could ask about him
— dead on the Somme —
will need books,
the internet, research,
for any hope of answers —

and between me and my uncle
only the red hair
and my mother
forever saying
how much I reminded her of him.

— by Joan McGavin, Hampshire Poet for 2014

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