Admiration 2: Writers and Writers Organizations and the New Wonder Woman

“Depict something or someone you admire.”

— Krista, The Daily Post

In the last week of March and the opening days of April this year, self was in Los Angeles. First, to attend a reading of her good friend Zack Linmark at USC. His first novel, Rolling the R’s, a great, groundbreaking, kick-ass novel, turned 20, and USC celebrated that milestone by having him read with Jessica Hagedorn and Lois-Ann Yamanaka, two other groundbreakers.

Immediately following that reading was the annual AWP Conference, which is of course also accompanied by the most fabulous book fair in America. And at that book fair, self stopped briefly to chat with staffers at VIDA, a completely volunteer-run organization, which publishes statistics on how many women are published by which literary organs. And it’s eye-opening.

Finally, Wonder Woman. Just because. Watch for her movie. Emily! So proud of your daughter/director. The picture is a grainy still from the Batman vs. Superman movie, which self watched just so she could tell Emily in London: I saw Wonder Woman in costume on the big screen for the first time!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Admiration: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 29 April 2016

  • Show us someone or something you admire (and tell us about them, too!)

— Krista, The Daily Post

Here’s one:  David Bowie, who died of cancer early this year. Self cannot get the lyrics of his songs out of her mind. Here, the chorus of “Changes”:

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes
Turn and face the strange


Listening to David Bowie on YouTube: “Changes”

Here’s another: Keith Tuma, Miami University Press. This man has steered the Press to indie greatness. Seriously.


Keith Tuma of Miami University Press, at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles

Finally, shout-out to Nutschell Ann Windsor and Phoebe Lim of UCLA Extension’s Writers Program: Grace Under Pressure, Personified. Here they are at the UCLA Extension Writers Program booth at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles (Fabulous book fair, BTW).

UCLA always has the best swag. They gave out, among other goodies, a UBS stick, a leather-bound blank journal, and really good pens.


Three Cheers for UCLA Extension’s Writers Program! Love the people. Here they are, doing Spin the Wheel at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Other Takes on The Daily Post Photo Challenge “Abstract”

The Daily Post Photo Challenge ABSTRACT brings out all sorts of imagistic ideas and HOLY COW self has been having so much fun looking at other WordPress blogs on the same theme. Here are three that she looked at today that she particularly liked:


Abstract: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 22 April 2016

# 1: Wall, Soho, New York City, November 2015


Building Wall: Soho, New York City, November 2015

# 2: Fire Escape, Valencia Street, San Francisco, October 2015


#3: Taxi Ride from Newark Int’l Airport to Manhattan, September 2015


This week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post is:

  • Turn the concrete and familiar into something new and mysterious.

Self’s always had a commitment to the abstract, lol. She has thousands of pictures in this vein.

Here are just three.

Stay tuned.

What Is This Bird?

When her camera’s shutter stopped opening all the way, last week, self made an immediate decision to keep using it until it absolutely went bonkers.

Must say, it’s been leading to some interesting shots.

Such as this one from this morning: she took it from the window seat of her cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig:


Sparrow? Shrike? Robin? Warbler?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Daoud’s


Saturday, Annaghmakerrig

  • Later, of course, I thought about it, and little by little, I concluded that there must be — among the thousand versions Mama offered, among her memory fragments and her still-vivid intuitions — there must be one version truer than the others.

The Meursault Investigation, by Kamel Daoud

(translated from the French by John Cullen)

Candide, Chapter 27: Voyage to Constantinople

Candide muses aloud on his recent adventures in Venice to his phlegmatic traveling companion Martin:

“But,” said Candide, “that was a most implausible adventure we had in Venice. No one ever saw or heard of six dethroned Kings having supper together in an inn.”

“That is no more extraordinary,” said Martin, “than most of the things that have happened to us. It is very common for Kings to be dethroned; and as for the honor we had in having supper with them, it is a thing that does not deserve our attention. What does it matter whom you sup with, provided you make good cheer?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Candide, Still Chapter 25: Visit to a Venetian Nobleman

Candide, who had been brought up never to judge anything for himself, was greatly astonished at what he heard, and Martin considered Pococurante’s way of thinking rather reasonable.

“Oh, here is a Cicero,” said Candide. “Now as for that great man, I suppose you never tire of reading him?”

“I never read him,” replied the Venetian. “What do I care whether he pleaded for Rabirius or for Cluentius? I have quite enough with the cases that I judge; I would have made out better with his philosophical works, but when I saw that he doubted everything, I concluded that I knew as much about it as he did, and that I did not need help from anyone in order to be ignorant.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


CANDIDE, Chapter 14: How Candide and Cacambo Were Received by the Jesuits in Paraguay

“She will get along as best she can,” said Cacambo; “women are never at a loss; God looks after them; let’s run for it.”

Husband Falls Ill, Wife Unsympathetic (THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH)

This is the kind of story where everything is told.

But after reading a paragraph or so, self thinks Tolstoy knows everything in the world, so it is okay for him to tell us readers everything.

The plot, such as it is, goes thus:

A bureacrat feels pain in his stomach, which he realizes a few weeks later seems connected to what he eats. The symptoms manifest at meal time, which means he becomes particularly nasty before a meal. His wife figures this out on her own as well. Tolstoy writes true to RL (Real Life): knowing the cause does not mean that Ilyich tries to correct this behavior, or that the wife is any more sympathetic to him.

His wife finally tells Ilyich see a doctor. The doctor does not tell Ilyich anything, but decides to run more tests:

Praskovya Fyodorovan’s external attitude to her husband’s illness, which she voiced to others and to him, was that Ivan Ilyich was to blame for the illness and that his whole illness was a new unpleasantnes he was causing his wife. Ivan Ilyich felt this came from her involuntarily, but that did not make it easier for him.

And there you have it, self’s first quote from Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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