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:


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.


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.


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.



Just like that.


Well, I need a little more time to 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.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Fan Fic Wednesday: Dystopian Everlark


What do you mean I’m in America? America was destroyed a hundred years ago.


Umm . . . Sorry I guess it’s technically called New America. That’s probably how it appears on your maps back in Panem.

(Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned)

Tell, Tell, Tell a Story


Spooky, right? Did a little fiddling with Photo Booth yesterday and — VOILA!

From self’s story “First Causes” (Work-in-progress):

On a dying Earth, one of the last human colonies struggles on in the Philippines . . . And if the language doesn’t sound even the slightest bit Filipino, it’s because this is the far far future, and no one knows what we’ll be talking like, for crying out loud.

The main character’s named Dragon, and his Friends With Benefits, Her (That really is her name: Her) had an unfortunate run-in with Big, a classmate. She was dragged out of the classroom, and now Dragon finds himself the butt of jokes in front of the teacher, Fire Lizard (who really is a lizard. Or will soon become one. Strontium 90 and etc. Anyhoo)

“Dragon’s milky-brained cause of Her,” Big tells Fire Lizard. “He craves Her. Like poison.”

“Fallacy!” I cry.

“Change is difficult,” Fire Lizard says, for the first time looking at me with sympathy. “Disruptive. Care for a memory wipe? A yellow pill?”

Self loves her little Dragon to death.

What will become of him?

Who knows?

Stay tuned.



In honor of Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War, Chapter 18 (“Fuck Us”), self has written a section of her new apocalyptic dystopian story, “Causes” (a sequel to “First Life” on

  • Big starts walking towards me. His voice drops. “Now, now, now, now. Is this payback? For what I did to Her? Her was a stray. Made me look like a clump. You another. Know what I do to strays? You stupid, fucking Fog Brain! I’ll rip you in half!”

That is all.

Stay tuned.


Watching “10 Cloverfield Lane” in Fort Bragg

Self and five tweenies. Who were very restless and kept kicking the row of seats she was in. They’d stop whenever self turned her head. But they’d start again. Anyhoo.

GRRREAT movie.

The lead has an uncanny resemblance to the Sigourney Weaver of Alien. So uncanny is the resemblance that self thinks it must have been part of the reason why she was picked. So many little homages to that earlier (CLASSIC, GREAT) movie: especially, the heroine’s looks. The fact that her best scenes occur when she is barefoot and wearing a skimpy tank and very tight blue jeans. There’s a real American heroine for you. Gal can do anything, and she looks great in skinny jeans.

Who was that girl? She looked so like Dakota Johnson. And there were notes of Jena Malone in there as well.

Her male co-stars were playing against type: John Goodman (How that man can make dancing look creepy, self knows not. But he pulled it off) and the other one who looked like a shrimpy Ben Affleck (with a LOT of facial hair). She loved that the other man looked about half the size of Goodman. And was only up to the heroine’s shoulder. Clearly, not the type to inspire confidence.

Great, great movie to watch in Fort Bragg on a Sunday afternoon.

Stay tuned.

WIP: A Sequel to “First Life” ( published self’s “First Life” in July 2015.

There were the characters:

  • Dragon, the main character
  • Fire Lizard, the teacher
  • Big, a classmate
  • Drinker, a classmate
  • Her, a classmate, Dragon’s “Friends with Benefits”

The setting: a classroom in the Philippines, where it’s snowing

Self decided to try writing a story about what happens the day after the events in “First Life.” So, we’re back to the same classroom, with the same students (minus, of course, Her), the same teacher, Fire Lizard, and a new student, Fur.

Class begins. Fire Lizard tells the students to turn on their cornea slips.

“We all nod. The slips engage. Mine are still a bit fuzzy. Tears can do that to you.”

The previous day . . . well, just read the story on

“Change is difficult,” Fire Lizard says, for the first time looking at me with something like sympathy. “Disruptive. Care for a memory wipe? A yellow pill?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Everlark Fan Fiction of the Day: Game of Thrones/Hunger Games Mash-Up

So excited because self started writing a sequel to First Life, which was published in Juked last July. The way that story ended, Dragon’s grip on reality seemed disturbingly fragile. Especially after what happened to BFF Her. Self’s new story starts the day after First Life ended, in the same classroom with the same teacher, Fire Lizard.

In between writing the sequel, she’s also teaching her on-line class in Essential Beginnings. For breaks, she reads fan fiction.

She just found a really interesting one last week: a Game of Thrones/ Hunger Games mash-up.

Here are the ships:

  • Arya/Gendry (Self mourned the separation of these two in an earlier season of Game of Thrones)
  • Katniss Everdeen/Peeta Mellark
  • Jon Snow/ Ygritte

Elves and Wolves are partners in the war against Humans.

Humans enslave elves and torture them (We are soooo bloodthirsty, we humans)

At this point (since this fan fic is just getting started), self has no idea who is who, but these are the characters (Not all are elves; self thinks it’s safe to say Shaggywolf is — ehem — a wolf!)

Crow * Wildwind * Flame * Snowbird * Highbranch * Longheat * Crow * Shaggywolf

Flame’s father and oldest brother have died, so she is next in line to lead her tribe, “but she’d rather leave that mantle to her brooding cousin who loves to sit and watch and think about everything. Sitting on a thornbush seems like more fun than leading a tribe.”

Hmmm, Flame sounds a bit like Katniss? She could also be Arya.

As the story opens, the humans have captured an elf. They start drumming, which means the process of torture has begun.


Self will read on. If she can watch The Revenant, she can read about elf torture.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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