Afloat 5: Flags, Kites, Ferries

Self took this picture from the steps of the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue. She was waiting for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

DSCN8935

Flag, New York City, St. Patrick’s Day

And she took this one her first week in Mendocino, in January.

Kite, Mendocino

Kite, Mendocino

And she took this final photo while she was in Seattle, last year, for the AWP writing conference.

Ferry Crossing Puget Sound, Seattle

Ferry Crossing Puget Sound, Seattle

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Descent 4: Various Cities, 2014

Various Descents: Chicago, Dublin, Seattle

Plane landing, somewhere just outside Chicago:  October 2014

Plane landing, somewhere just outside Chicago: October 2014

Sign in the Irish National Gallery, Dublin:  June 2014

Sign in the Irish National Gallery, Dublin: June 2014

Downtown Seattle, During the AWP Conference:  February 2014

Downtown Seattle, During the AWP Conference: February 2014

Crab Orchard Review, Vol. 19 No. 2 (The West Coast & Beyond Issue)

The latest in a series of issues focusing on “Place.” Crab Orchard Review initiated the series in 2009, at a time when, according to the Editors’ Prologue, Vol. 19 No. 2, it seemed that the magazine might go under.

The “Land of Lincoln: Writing From and About Illinois” issue became the first series on place because Carolyn Alessio, Crab Orchard Review’s Prose Editor, was born “in the Chicago suburbs and lives in the city itself today.” The issue focused on two of Chicago’s literary greats, Carl Sandberg and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Next followed “Old & New: Re-Visions of the American South.”

At that point, everyone was very aware that Crab Orchard Review was approaching its 20th year.  So the editors decided to make the review’s 2012, 2013 and 2014 “special issues into a kind of anthology exploring the United States of America and its regions as a subject.”

The series developed into four issues: “Old & New: Re-Visions of the American South,” “the North,” “Prairies, Plains, Mountains, Deserts” and, finally, “The West Coast & Beyond” (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawai’i, the Commonwealth countries, territories and areas of U.S. occupation)

Now, in this “final edition in the series,” the editors point out that they have managed to “include at least one story, poem, or essay about, or work by an author born in or living in every one of the fifteen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.”

Here’s an excerpt from a poem by one of the writers in the issue, April Christiansen.  Her poem is “The Great Seattle Fire, June 6, 1889”:

Shouts, pitched water, the surface glazed,
boiled over. Glue embers tumbled into shavings
littering a turpentine-soaked floor, and men
grabbed their coats, flew to the stairwell as flames

fastened themselves to the building’s walls,
inching towards the liquor warehouse next door.
Glass shattered, the crisp smell of burnt alcohol and paint
filled the sidewalks, and a crowd gathered.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Silhouettes

Grand Central Baking Company, Pioneer Park, Seattle:  February 2014

Grand Central Baking Company, Pioneer Square, Seattle: February 2014

Hand-blown glass, The Glass House near Pioneer Square, Seattle:  February 2014

Hand-blown glass, The Glass House near Pioneer Square, Seattle: February 2014

Neighbor's Front Yard, Redwood City, December 2013

Neighbor’s Front Yard, Redwood City, December 2013

 

Silhouette 5: Seattle, February 2014

The prompt this week was SILHOUETTE (“in which an outline of someone or something appears dark against a lighter background”).

The prompt has been firing synapses in self’s brain, for almost a week now.

View from the Seattle Hilton, AWP Writers Conference, February 2014

View from the Seattle Hilton, AWP Writers Conference, February 2014

Bottled Water Silhouette in Self's Room in the Seattle Hilton, February 2014

Bottled Water Silhouette in Self’s Room in the Seattle Hilton, February 2014

Self's Roommate at the Hilton:  Poet Luisa A. Igloria

Self’s Roommate at the Hilton: Poet Luisa A. Igloria

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Work of Art 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Crossing the new San Francisco Bay Bridge:  Twilight, Spring 2014

Crossing the new San Francisco Bay Bridge: Twilight, Spring 2014.  Though the bridge has ALREADY been plagued with structural problems, self thinks it is a thing of singular beauty.

The signature of Dale Chihuly, Renowned Glass Sculptor, was on every print in self's Seattle hotel room:  February 2014

The signature of Dale Chihuly, Renowned Glass Sculptor, was on every print in self’s hotel in Seattle: AWP Conference, February 2014

The Charles Parsons Gallery in the San Mateo County Museum in Redwood City is full of the model ships Parsons made himself.  Self knows virtually nothing about the man.

The Charles Parsons Gallery in the San Mateo County Museum in Redwood City has 24 model ships by local resident Charles Parsons.  They are a marvel.  Self knows virtually nothing about the man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Bloody Great “Titus Andronicus” at the Globe, and Letters 7

Titus Andronicus at the Globe:  Wild, Bloody, Great

Titus Andronicus at the Globe: Wild, Bloody, Great

This evening, self caught a performance of Titus Andronicus at the Globe.  She snagged the greatest seat:  middle gallery, first row, center section.  She had a completely unrestricted view of the stage and the audience in the pit.

What is it about British stage actors?  They can make the grandest of gestures feel so intimate.  Of the play itself, could anything equal the horror of seeing the beautiful Lavinia turned into a twitching horror, stumps for hands? Self knew the play would be violent; she didn’t know it would also be so moving.  And darn if the production didn’t have two brilliant actresses tearing up the scenery:  because of them, self actually forgot that the play was called Titus Andronicus.  And — talk about melodrama!  Talk about angst! Both actresses were beautiful, lithe, and perfectly emblematic. The men were adequate, but after the scene where Lavinia, still bruised and bleeding, picks up her father’s hand with her teeth — her teeth, dear blog readers! — self was completely overwhelmed with horror and pity. What an outrageous sight.  It might interest dear blog readers to know that the play was directed by a woman.  (The only criticism self could make about the production is:  they used way too much bloody incense.  What was the point?  To emphasize the ritual aspects of sacrifice?  Phew!)

It’s strange how her London sojourn has ended up being about the brilliance of women:  poets Jenny Lewis and Joan McGavin; filmmaker Sally Potter; and now the director of Titus Andronicus.

Moving on to the ostensible reason for this post: here’s another set of photographs on this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, LETTERS.

The New Orleans Review has a new look!  Took this picture at the AWP Book Fair, February 2014.

The New Orleans Review has a new look! Took this picture at the AWP Book Fair, February 2014.

The Chinese Character for Longevity.  Self bought this from the Redwood City Nursery, ages ago.

The Chinese Character for Longevity. Self bought this from the Redwood City Nursery, ages ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Letters 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

So far, self has managed to hang on to everything. She made it to London, really really tired, but she’s already been to Stonehenge.

Now, if she can only keep her luggage safe while she takes the train to Southampton (day after tomorrow), she can give herself another big pat on the back . . .

This had better work . . .

This had better work . . .

From the AWP Book Fair in Seattle, at the One Story table

From the ONE STORY Magazine Book Table at the AWP Book Fair February 2014 in Seattle

Hard to believe she arrived in London just two days ago!  Yesterday she took the train to Salisbury (about an hour and a half from Waterloo Station) and joined a five-hour tour of Stonehenge:

The approach to Stonehenge, near Salisbury.  The land around the monument is controlled by the British National Trust.  Visitors approach the site on one narrow road, and no one is allowed to stray off the road to the meadows (except for sheep, who do double duty as lawn mowers)

The approach to Stonehenge, near Salisbury. The land around the monument is controlled by the British National Trust. Visitors approach the site on one narrow road, and no one is allowed to stray off the road to the meadows (except for sheep, who do double duty as lawn mowers)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Inside 8: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: “. . . photos of any of us inside anything else.”

Bought this painting from the hotel I stayed in, in Trieste.  It's by a Slovenian painter.

Self bought this painting in Trieste. It was hanging in her hotel room.  It’s by a Slovenian painter.  You can see her reflection in the glass.

A Chihuly, what else?  This one's in the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford Campus.  You can see my reflection in the glass.

A Chihuly, what else? This one’s in the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford Campus. You can see self’s reflection in the glass.

Self in Silhouette: the view from her room in the Seattle Sheraton, last month during the AWP conference.

Self in Silhouette: the view from her room in the Seattle Sheraton, last month during the AWP conference.

Thus Far, 2014

  • There are times when self feels fanfiction may just save her life.
  • The Hunger Games cannot be called a rip-off of Japanese movie Battle Royale because the Japanese movie didn’t have a boy who bakes.
  • In late February, self attended her first AWP Conference since 2009.  It was really excellent, discovering the Pioneer Square area:  Davidson Galleries, Glass House, Grand Central Bakery, Occidental Park and chess board, the Globe bookstore.  She has got to return to Seattle.
  • The AWP Book Fair is the coolest thing to have happened to her so far this year
  • She loves the soundtrack of Frozen and has been listening to it over and over in her car.
  • Listening to Angela Narciso Torres read always makes self feel like crying.
  • The Man can still make a mean callos.
  • Her most visited local farmers market is the one in Belmont.  She loves Heidi’s Pies (in business for 47 years: the bakery’s on El Camino in San Mateo)
  • The members of her writing group are the most unheralded fabulous writers in the whole US of A.
  • The service in Ling Nam (South San Francisco) is still terrible.  But The Man adores their goto with tokwa’t baboy. And who can blame him.
The Goto (which The Man always orders with Tokwa't Baboy) from Ling Nam, South San Francisco

The Goto (which The Man always orders with Tokwa’t Baboy) from Ling Nam, South San Francisco

  • She sweats.  A lot.  Self is beginning to worry that the yoga is responsible for unleashing something unspeakable and mystifying.
  • She can’t stay up past 10 p.m. anymore.  That’s why she hasn’t posted about Justified and Saturday Night Live for so long.  But, if she gets to sleep by 10 p.m., she doesn’t suffer from insomnia.
  • The new Bay Bridge is soooo beautiful.
  • She can’t read anymore.  It is terrible.  She’s only on her third book —  The Hemingses of Monticello, by Annette Gordon-Reed — since the start of the year.  The other two she started this year were In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West.  Strange, she used to be able to tear through at least 60 books a year.  At this rate, by the end of 2014, she’ll be lucky to finish 12.
  • Her 1998 Altima may be ready to give up the ghost.  After spending 1K at the mechanic, the engine sounds worse, and it has so far failed three smog tests.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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