Word Cloud: Story-In-Progress

Self loves Wordle.

This evening, she did a Word Cloud of a story she’s currently working on, called Gerry Dreams the Ocean.

It’s about a teen-age boy who lives in San Bruno, CA and whose mother has just passed away. His grandmother in Manila keeps trying to get the father to send the boy “home.”

The Wordle for this story was so beautiful! Don’t know if this link will still be good later, but here it is anyway (She used to be able to save her Word Clouds to a Gallery. Does this just happen automatically now?)

And, for good measure, the words that got “wordled”:

left * Gerry * girl * tumblr * find * English * dry * Stars * ocean * even * strong * sleep * shivered * on-line * sleep * Fangirl * hair * whipped * Filipinos * throat * bonfire * fathers * beer * someone’s * ago * speak * day * fun * hair * beach * comforting * discouraged * find * house * many * Tagalog

Fascinating, simply fascinating.

Stay tuned.

Emptiness of Air: Published in Vela Magazine In a Response to Typhoon Haiyan

EMPTINESS OF AIR

Pericles lost his wife to a great emptiness of air, water, and sound. One moment, she was alive in the house. In the next moment, she had shifted somewhat. She still had the same form, the same face, but something had changed. He couldn’t explain it, but he knew what had happened had happened. He also knew there was no going back. She was stolen from him, as surely as if she had been abducted.

All the sampaguita blossoms had been knocked off the trees. He wandered the garden, lost. He smelled jasmine.

He picked up a white petal from the ground. The brown edges were uncommonly soft.

All the red flowers — santan, lantana, gumamela — where had they gone?

And the orchids his wife had loved: purple and white, tongued.

Small brown Maya birds used to perch on telephone wires strung up and down the street. Now, there were no poles. Wires dangled like snakes, a few sparkling like firecrackers.

  • NOTE: Since self wrote this super-quick (in about 30 minutes) under Vela’s deadline, she’s now going back and editing for clarity. Stay tuned.

 

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:

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

Here’s a sign showing opposite directions:

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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).

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Two Anthologies: Wildly Different

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

Stay tuned.

Still Reading THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Gaah, this book. Doling out the suspense in teaspoon-size increments.

Anna is the current wife of Tom, who used to be married to Rachel. These three live near each other (Can you imagine? Bring on the pain!). The women in the story get their own points of view (Is this a feminist novel?) The male characters are either: a) louts; b) stinking ex-es; c) handsome unscrupulous jerks or d) clue-less. Hey, maybe this IS a feminist novel!

One day, when Anna is stuck at home minding the baby, she feels nostalgia: “I miss being a mistress.”

Yes. One day Anna’s flirting with Tom at an office party. Next thing you know, she’s a lonely stay-at-home mom.

On the idea of mistresses: there are a lot of them.

In Manila, self was included in an anthology of short stories all dedicated to “the mistress.” The title was Querida, something like that. (Suddenly, self realizes she never got her contributor copies. Why?)

This was Dearest Mum’s reaction to a short story self had written: “That’s not realistic,” Dearest Mum said. “There’s no such thing as an ugly mistress in Manila.”

Oh, Dearest Mum, you are hysterical!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. 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: Raw

This is a story self started, 2014, in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Kept it going when she moved from Annaghmakerrig to Inchicore. Father H still alive then.

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

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

“Hmmm,” I said.

“She a root rotter,” K said.

The “I” is a man, but everyone who’s read the story automatically thinks it’s a woman because they know self wrote it and she’s, umm, a woman?

LOL

Stay tuned.

WIP: Thinking of Expanding This

The last she remembered was the brick coming down on her husband’s head, and she screaming, to no one, or everyone, “Fly!” When she awoke, her head hurt horribly. There was an iron-bound door directly in front of her cot. Faint light showed through a small, half-moon shaped window cut near the top. There was no sign of Justin. She forced herself to get up and go to the door. She leaned against it, standing on tiptoes in an effort to see outside, but her eyes couldn’t reach the window and she was too weak to jump. She crawled back.

WIP: “Dear Sister”

Self started writing this one today, while she was having lunch at Chez Mamie on Hanway Street.

Thankfully, today not as much noise from the ever-present construction crews. Next time she returns to London, there will be a building just a few yards from Chez Mamie. A building filled with luxury condos and a Primark.

Dear Sister:

I carry you with me everywhere.

You’re a ghost or a fetch, I’m not sure which.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. 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.

Lunch: Chéz Mamie

They’re doing massive construction work on Hanway Street: a tall building’s going up. Self asked what that building was going to be and was told: an expanded Primark and luxury condos.

Oh gosh. That means Hanway Place will be awash in posh types. How’s that going to change Chez Mamie? Self probably won’t be able to get a seat there any longer! It’s such a wee restaurant! Maybe because of the noise of construction, the place was rather empty. Self loves their salads, though. Absolutely loves them.

And, just like that, self got the idea for a story and started scribbling like mad into her notebook:

Maxine had impressed her parents into gift-ing her a trip to London by getting an A on a paper about the Thirty Years War (“1618 to 1648,” Maxine told her mother Cici, who blushed with maternal pride).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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