#amwritingfantasy: “Down”

Two men are getting ready to begin a new life on the ocean floor.

But first, they argue. About everything: from the name of the bathosphere (Pinkie Pie) to whether or not they should leave the girlfriend of one of them (Go Go):

We’ve never tested the ride. And we haven’t got any maps.

We don’t need maps. There’s only one way to go, and that’s down.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Listen to “Spores,” Read by Morgan Cook

Morgan, an actor from Galway, says this story sounds like “outer space in a North Dublin chip shop.”

He pulled together a reading of it, just to show self why.

Here’s the link to the audio, on decomP Magazine.

It’s the first of self’s dystopian science fiction/fantasy series (written in very cracked syntax). Thanks so much to decomP for giving it a home!

The story (which self wrote in Ireland) begins:

K thinks the boss is in love with her.

She looks like a mosaic puffball, her skin covered with checkered patterns

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

Varnish and varnish. I’ll say this for K: she is tenacious. Especially about her delusions.

“Me mom’s a thick,” she said once. “A focking thick.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

X-Men: Apocalypse and the Egyptian Mummies in the British Museum

Self took this post down for a while but then she decided to put it back up because she just went and saw X-Men: Apocalypse for the second time and — Evan Peters, hell yeah!

BTW, the movie improves on repeat viewing. But why Mystique keeps carrying a torch for Magneto is really, really frustrating. Every time she talks about him, with tears in her eyes — aaargh! That’s why it was such a breath of fresh air to have Quicksilver around: imagine, a man who feels no subliminal attraction for any of the female characters, whatsoever!

Below, her original post:

_____________________________

About a week ago, in London, self walked all the way to Shaftesbury Avenue after spending three hours in the Egyptian galleries of the British Museum just to watch X-Men: Apocalypse in the Odeon in Covent Garden.

She also thought it would be a good excuse to check out the Covent Garden area. See? Like killing two birds with one stone.

That turned out to be an excellent idea. Because the movie began with — ancient Egypt! Some dude was harnessing the power of the sacred pyramids — or something — to give himself eternal life! Of course, self had no idea that Egyptian leatherface was actually the beautiful Oscar Isaac.

Anyhoo, watching the movie was like entering a zone, where everything happening had a connection to ancient Egypt (mind-blowing, right?). Of course, it also reminded her — when all the Egyptian stuff was done — that there was an actor named Evan Peters who plays Quicksilver.

Honest-to-God, how could she have forgotten this guy? She loved his scene from the earlier X-men movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, so much. But there were just so many X-Men crowding her thoughts, not to mention James McAvoy. In almost every scene. James McAvoy. And there was Nightcrawler. And the Archangel. And Jean Grey (looking exactly like Sansa Stark; self almost expected Littlefinger or Ramsay Bolton to put in an appearance). Not to mention Fassbender emoting and singing to his daughter. And J-Law being very capricious about when she wanted to be blue or not. So, finally. EVAN PETERS! She nearly jumped out of her seat. She was so happy to see him again.

Anyhoo, the point of all this. The point of all this is that she also has a short story that involves Egyptian hieroglyphics. It appeared in a fabulous magazine called Isotope, and was edited by Chris Cokinos. Isotope was a magazine that featured both science writing and  creative writing. Self’s essay, “The Lost Language,” appeared in Isotope in 2007. A year or two later, it went defunct. And now, nobody can read that story anymore! WAAAAH! (She does have extra copies of the particular issue with her essay. It’s back in her house in Redwood City, CA. Which is a long way away — across an ocean, in fact. Across a continent, even — from where self is currently: Oxford, UK. But if anyone wants to get a copy, she can promise that, as soon as she arrives back in California, she will get her hands on those issues and mail it to whoever wants one. Because it seems such a terrible waste to keep those issues mouldering in her closet, taking up space and being useless)

Here’s how it begins:

Filipinos once had an ancient written language. If I were to show you what the marks look like on a piece of paper, they would look like a series of waves. Or like Egyptian hieroglyphics. Like the eye of the Pharaoh I saw in my old high school history books.

The rest of the essay is very digressive and is actually pretty funny. There was a time when all of self’s short stories were so filled with angst and pain that she actually rejoiced when she wrote “The Lost Language.” At last! She was capable of showing a little more range!

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.

Tell, Tell, Tell a Story

FirstCausesImage

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.

 

Memoir, Just Because

At that time, I had a very old car that was ready to give up the ghost. I wanted to win something, something big. I was tired of living off garlic fried rice and scrambled eggs, which was the only food I could afford for a long time, when I was new to America.

— the title piece of self’s collection, published in the Philippines by Anvil: The Lost Language

The Past Exists

A number of years ago, self wrote a story called “Don Alfredo & Jose Rizal,” which wasn’t so much about Don Alfredo or Jose Rizal but was about a young woman who can’t seem to stop cutting herself (sins of the past!)

That story was published in Sou’wester in 2007.

Here’s an excerpt:

I think about her ex-husband, who left her for a kindergarten teacher while they were both waiting tables at the Captain’s Bar in Compton. Was that last year, or the year before? Time — the past — tunnels its way into our hearts, there is no way of knowing where all of this will end.

And then self thinks, also, of the Miguel Hernandez poem (translation by Don Share) that she’s had taped to the bookshelf above her computer, for over a year:

Pierced by your hair,
everything is filled with you,
with something I haven’t found,
but look for among your bones.

Self, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, May 2014

Self, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, May 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Jesters”: Disjointedness

This piece came out January 2012 in Used Furniture Review.

Self enjoys writing things that are disjointed.

She started “Jesters” in VCCA (the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts). The house she describes in the piece is the main house there. The books listed in the piece are books self found on the shelves in the main house. Here’s an excerpt:

There is so much weight here: the house, the barn, the chestnut horses in the field, the Chinese elms, the white porch, the brick path, the flowering oregano bushes, the Steinway grand, the porcelain vases, the shelves and shelves of books: Culture & Anarchy, Multilingual Lexicon of Linguistics and Philology, Cassell’s Italian Dictionary, The World and The Text. You run your hands over the dusty spines. You finger the books. You feel yourself melting, slowly.

You know what else self found on the shelves in the main house? A copy of the literary magazine Story, which was the first American magazine to ever publish her. The story was “Ginseng.” Actually, self didn’t find the magazine; another writer did, and showed it to her. Wow! Amazing!

Stay tuned.

ELSEWHERE Issue 3 Coming Soon!

And self has a story in it.

Triple somersault! Lubots up!

Her story is a short short called “The Lady of the House Trains Esperanza.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Guest Blogging

Self is the July 2014 guest blogger on Cecilia Brainard’s Travels (and More) with Cecilia Brainard.

She’s never been a guest blogger before, so she was a tad nervous.

But it turns out, all she had to do was send Cecilia a few pieces, a picture, and a bio.  Whew!

Here’s the link to Cecilia’s blog.  The two stories Cecilia posted are “All the Missing” (first published in Phoebe) and “For Sarah Balabagan, OFW.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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