Work-in-Progress: “Losing a Body” (Genre: Fantasy)

Self has been working on flash. This story’s been growing by accretion, to four pages now:

There had been moments of deep humiliation, as well as moments of anger and sadness. He realized that most of these had something to do with a physical shortcoming.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Columns, Part 2: for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s current Fun Foto Challenge is COLUMNS.

This time, instead of going over her archives, self went to the backyard. She’s always drawn to her rose bushes.

In a few days, this column will turn into a spray of red-and-white-striped roses.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

MIKHAIL AND MARGARITA, pp. 138 – 139 mentions Gogol

Loving this book because of all the writerly mentions. In addition to Bulgakov (Must watch the movie with Charlotte Rampling), there are Osip Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Anna Akhmatova . . .

All tortured, sent into exile, heartbreaking. But at least their words survived.

On p. 138, there’s a mention of Gogol (Self has to type on the floor, sitting on throw pillows; sitting at a desk gives her hand and wrist cramps. But the other day, she noticed spiders crawling over her legs and feet and she’s like constantly on the alert with Off! spray).

p. 138:

In his later years, Gogol had become convinced that God had abandoned him. Tortured, half-crazed, he burnt his remaining manuscripts only days before he died. As though the promise of man’s redemption must perish with him. He claimed the Devil had tricked him into doing so. He’d been only forty-one.

p. 139:

In 1931 when Gogol’s body was exhumed he was discovered to be facing downward. The writer had had a terrible fear of being buried alive, so much so that he’d willed his casket be fitted with a breathing tube as well as a rope by which to sound some external bell if needed.

As the grimness gathers around Bulgakov, the novel can only get more depressing. But so far, self has been able to persist.

This novel won the 2017 First Novel Prize from New York’s Center for Fiction, “the only literary center in the United States devoted to the art of fiction.”

Kudos to Ms. Himes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Bourdain: Ugly Crying

Not real. Not real. Not real.

In celebration of food, community, and life, all the food pictures self can pull from her archives in 15 minutes:

  1. Cherries, Belmont Farmers Market, May 2018
  2. Leeks, Palo Alto Farmers Market, April 2018
  3. Giant Tomato, Mendocino Art Center, March 2018
  4. Buko Pie, Philippine Airlines, January 2018
  5. Dearest Mum’s Lunch, Manila, January 2018
  6. UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, January 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Self Learns Something New Every Day!

Self has a two-week-old issue of The New York Times on her coffee table. On p. D6 is an article on The Season’s Best Fruit, by Pete Wells.

#3 is Blueberries

  • Blueberries are the only big-deal summer fruit that isn’t native to North America.They earn their high ranking in part by appearing so often in the wild, spread across valley meadows and mountaintop clearings. The ground-hugging, scrubby bushes have the darkest, smallest, most concentrated fruit, while the high-bush varieties will fill your hat or basket faster. A small haul can be enough for pancakes, muffins or a bowl of cereal; more means a fool or a pie. For either one, try making half into a compote and, after it cools, stirring in the other half. Big portions of blueberries alone can be a luxury.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

George Saunders! Such a Card!

There is something about reading George Saunders that makes self want to laugh in irrepressible delight (Sorry. There was a time when only self knew the two words: George Saunders. She decided he would be her secret indulgence, for the rest of her life. Then he became quote unquote famous. Now, when she shares her love for a George Saunders sentence, she sounds overly enthusiastic, like a groupie)

Nevertheless! Here she is reading Lincoln in the Bardo Page One:

On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.

. . . .

I proposed that we should be . . .  friends. Should behave outwardly, in all things, as if we had consummated our arrangement.

(Har Har Har)

Page Two:

She is here, still here.

(Har Har Har again!)

I was not an inexperienced man — had been wild when young; had spent sufficient time (I am ashamed to say) in Marble Alley . . .

(Har to the nth!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

NEXT: Lincoln in the Bardo

First sentence: “On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.”

GLOW: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 18 October 2017

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.

— Aaron Rose, The Daily Post

Other WordPress Glows:

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Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, a panel on OFW during the 4th annual Filipino-American International Book Fair, October 2017

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Approaching San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, September 2017

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MacBook Air, Palo Alto, CA, Summer 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Pedestrian: New York City, Claremont, Sacramento

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is PEDESTRIAN:

  • What does PEDESTRIAN mean to you? Perhaps this is a great chance to go out and practice some street photography.

— Krista Stevens, The Daily Post

So, here are three street scenes. They’re not the greatest, but they certainly were street:

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New York City: September 2017

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Jennie, Son, and Self in the Claremont, CA Farmers Market: July 2017

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Downtown Sacramento, CA: July 2017

 

STRUCTURE: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 30 August 2017

“This week, share with us the structure of something typically overlooked.”

— Jen H., The Daily Post

  • Bench facing a Clyfford Still, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art:
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Nice echoing of lines here.

  • Nice Arches! The artists complex at Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park:

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  • Finally, a garden in Bath, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Most of the residences are on a slope. To get to the city proper, you must descend.
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Stepped Terraces in a Backyard in Bath

Stay tuned dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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