OPPOSITES: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 1 July 2016

There are so many ways to infuse photos with drama, from choosing an unusual angle to focusing on a strong, vibrant palette. One idea I often explore is contrast. No, not so much in the technical sense of shadows and highlights (important as they certainly are), but more fundamentally: I love the power of a single frame to bring together conflicting elements.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

**********

Self has been pondering this challenge for a few days. It turns out she likes taking   high-contrast shots, mostly silhouettes, but on re-reading the prompt, she decided to try something different.

Here’s a picture from an illustrated version of Noah’s Ark. The etchings, by Arthur Geisert, are very fine. Self picked this particular drawing because of the way the straight lines of the support beams and the wooden floors are set off against the ark’s round bottom:

DSCN8795

An Illustration by Arthur Geist for THE ARK (Houghton Mifflin, 1988)

Here’s a sign showing opposite directions:

DSCN8780

Self-explanatory, really: near the Mendocino Headlands

Finally, two sharply contrasting book covers: Another Kind of Paradise is an anthology of short stories from the “new Asia-Pacific” edited by Trevor Carolan. After is an anthology of nineteen stories of “apocalypse and dystopia” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Wandling. Both books are highly recommended (Self has a story in one of them).

DSCN8457

Two Anthologies: Wildly Different

Hope you like these interpretations of the theme “Opposites”!

Stay tuned.

Adding to “Spores” (The Future Is Sooo Dystopian)

The fans burn our fingers. Burn them raw. We have to wait hours for the new skin to grow back. Fingers never feel quite the same, after.

— from “Spores,” self’s short-story-in-progress, about a pair of grunts who are very depressed, hate their job, and generally have no hope about the future of humanity.

Stay tuned.

 

WIP: Ocean Dwellers

A sphere is about to descend into the ocean depths, and the two main characters in self’s story-in-progress have this conversation, self knows not why:

We’re going under.

When?

Today.

Just like that.

Yes.

Well, I need a little more time. To select.

You might say this abruptness of language is one of the hallmarks of self’s science fiction. Elena Ferrante, too, writes with a kind of abruptness, but her abruptness is not at all in dialogue.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

While Self Was at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

She worked on a number of things. One was a collection of her dystopian science fiction. She placed one of those stories while she was still in Annaghmakerrig (luck of the Irish!)

She also worked on “First Causes,” her sequel to “First Life,” and got a very quick response. Though the magazine did not take her story, saying it was a little too “out there” for their magazine, the editors “nevertheless” wanted me to know: “This is indeed a very good story and we have no doubt it will be picked up by some other magazine.”

YES! YES! YES!

Ridiculous to get so excited over a rejection letter. But —

YES!

Self had worked particularly hard on the ending, and on the dialogue between the main character, Dragon, and his nemesis, Big:

There’s a bluish-greenish shadow on Big’s back, right between his shoulder blades. I see it when he disrobes for inspection.

What is the cause? Is it Tumor? Is it Plague? Is it Virus?

DSCN0732

The Pod, Viewed From Somewhere Near Whitechapel, London

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

 

Earth 3: Boulders, Ice, Lake

This week, The Daily Post asks bloggers to “share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth.”

Here’s another corner of the world self can share with dear blog readers: Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.

It was the last week of April 2015. It was cold. The water looked like it might hurt.

Self has always been enchanted by ice and oceans. Here’s an excerpt from her new WIP:

Working Title: “Oceans”

Finally, when it became too painful to breathe the air, the last remaining human colonies began to send pioneers into the deep.  These early explorers were the brave ones. They mapped the ocean floor, marking the location of dangerous fissures that led to deep cauldrons of hot magma, bubbling up from the center of the earth. They identified places least likely to be affected by the powerful ocean currents.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Where To Find (Some of) Self’s Published Pieces

Look here!

Next year’s AWP Conference and Book Fair: Washington, DC.

You do not want to miss it. For sure.

Stay tuned.

Sylvain Landry Week 41 Photo Challenge: Incongruous

Self loves the incongruous.

Which is the theme of this week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge.

Here’s her entry: a book in The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles:

DSCN9562

Incongruous in The Last Bookstore, S. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles

Thanks once again to Sylvain Landry, whose prompts always pull something unexpected from self’s photo archives.

Stay tuned.

“Ice”: Self’s Story, Forthcoming From Bellingham Review

It’s the future. Nothing survives:

Sunlight, shadows, wind. Strangely, no birds.

Out there, ice caps, cold as knives.

Steam from her mouth, his mouth, none from the boy who lay between them. She cradling the boy’s face but he knowing what.

She knowing what but not able to bear it.

DSCN9509

2016 AWP Bookfair, Los Angeles Convention Center

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Future Dublin in The Irish Times

The Irish Times’ Dublin in the Coming Times is a fascinating project which invites Dubliners young and old to submit pieces re-imagining the city.

The first pair of pieces appeared in the paper back in February. Okay, so they were by Actual Famous Writers (Sebastian Barry and the writer known as Dublin Hun).

Another story, by Christine Dwyer Hickey, was published Saturday, 16 April. This is the one is self is reading:

Notes: Dublin is super dystopian. There is a kind of plague rooting in the population. Checkpoints and searches all over the place. A grandmother is desperately trying to save her grand-daughter’s life. Almost the first thing she does is make the girl masquerade as a boy, which go figure:

For weeks her words had shunted into my head, but by the time we reached the river at Chapelizod I remembered only this: I was nine years old, and I was a boy and my name was now Demba.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

WIP: The Return to the Ocean, A Fable Set in The Future

All life emerged from the ocean.

DSCN2443

And that’s where we’re going again. When the air around us gets too filthy to breathe.

In a dystopian, far far far future, this conversation takes place:

We’re going under.

When?

Today.

Just like that.

Yes.

Well, I need a little more time to select.

Select?

Yeah. What do you think?

Everything you need is down there.

You’re talking about under.

That’s what I’m saying, yes.

That down there, humans like us can live.

Yes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,928 other followers