On-line Now: Self’s Newest Pieces

On-line now, August:

“The Future” in Monkeybicycle

“Spores” in decomP

decomP also posted a link to Morgan Cooke (Tyrone Guthrie friend!) reading “Spores.”

Stay tuned.

#amwriting: August in New York

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New York City Brownstone, Upper East Side

It was the end of August. New York was filled with the sound of small explosions: high heels on pavement, sudden flurries of pigeon feathers, screeching tires, contentious voices.

Basho and “The Freeze”

Self is still reading Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

In the poem below, Basho describes entering the province of Kaga:

I walked into the fumes
Of early-ripening rice,
On the right below me
The waters of the Angry Sea.

* * *

The poem suddenly reminds self of her dystopian short story “The Freeze,” which Bluestem Magazine published last year. Sometime while Obama is President, the Russians do something that shuts the whole world down.

Everyone starts dying. A woman decides to walk out of San Francisco and head south. To make sure she doesn’t lose her way, she decides to walk Highway 1, always making sure that the ocean is to her right. She meets a band of teen-agers.

The story begins with the woman chanting the following:

Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.

And darn if self hasn’t just decided that the story ended much too soon. She has to continue, if only so she can figure out for herself what happens to the woman and her teen-age companions. She’s thinking: sequel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Coming August 2016 in decomP

Self’s dystopian fantasy, SPORES, is coming out in decomP Magazine next month.

Excerpt:

When my friend Summer lay under the beechwood seems a lifetime ago, puking insides, puking until her stomach was a strange convex shape, what happened was, I heard a whooshing noise, and then from the other side of the trees came a Sand Spirit. Drum-beat Ta-ra! It came down from the sky, propellers whirring, dredging hay and thistles. Then snapped her right up.

As they used to say in Marble Arch: The Lady Exits.

For a long time after, I stayed under the beech, whispering Summer, whatya reckon to all this and watching two yella bitterns wing from branch to branch to branch.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

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.

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