“Fire in the Hole”

The title story:

They had dug coal together as young men and then lost touch over the years. Now it looked like they’d be meeting again, this time as lawman and felon, Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder.

Boyd did six years in a federal penitentiary for refusing to pay his income tax, came out and found religion. He received his ordination by mail order in South Carolina and formed a sect he called Christian Aggression. The next thing he did, Boyd formed the East Kentucky Militia with a cadre of neo-Nazi skinheads, a bunch of boys wearing Doc Martens and swastika tattoos. They were all natural-born racists and haters of authority, but still had to be taught what Boyd called “the laws of White Supremacy as laid down by the Lord,” which he took from Christian identity doctrines. Next thing, he trained these boys in the use of explosives and automatic weapons. He told them they were now members of Crowder’s Commandos, sworn to take up the fight for freedom against the coming Mongrel World Order and the government’s illegal tax laws.

That’s some opening. Probably one of the best short story openings ever.

So Boyd Crowder was a neo-Nazi skinhead? Somehow, this little fact escaped self’s mind when she was watching the show. Or perhaps they downplayed it for the adaptation, to make Boyd more likeable.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

p. 5: The Haunting of the Mexican Border

. . . when people from south of the Border drove to Tucson to work and then returned home to live, a time when the U.S. Mexico line was a wire lying on the ground and we crossed the border like birds.

— Kathryn Ferguson

A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE: YELLOW

The theme for the week is YELLOW.

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Self was cleaning out son’s room when she came upon a box of legos. Was fascinated by the little people and their yellow heads.

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The box contains all of son’s Matchbox car collection. There’s a yellow car at the very top.

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My Life of the Party Rose has two colors of blooms: pink and yellow

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

Really Enjoying JADE CITY

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This is the 2nd of four science fiction books self has with her at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

And she ended up working on her historical fiction here (and one horror story).

#lifeyouknow #crazylikethat

She skimmed through The Stone Sky and was operating at serious disadvantage since she was reading the end of a trilogy and didn’t know what a Syl Anagist was or anything. But she was able to piece it together.

Plus, it was a mother-daughter angst story, which self will admit is not her favorite.

When she began Jade City she was quite disheartened to be reading about so many different characters. But the crusty old grandfather intrigued her. And now she’s met Shae, the prodigal daughter.

INTERESTING.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Still THE DOOR

Reading soooo slowly. But this book needs to be savored.

p. 27:

He wasn’t a bad man, although he made me leave school, and the headmaster was very upset about it, but I was needed to cook for the harvesters because Mother wasn’t up to it, and I also looked after the twins.

In this novel, labor is front and center. Whether that labor is writing, or housecleaning, or making things with one’s hands.

All the translations self has read so far this year have been excellent:

  • Moshi Moshi, by Banana Yoshimoto (transl. from the Japanese)
  • The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson (transl. from the Norwegian)
  • Manderley Forever, by Tatiana de Rosnay (transl. from the French)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading about 16 March 1521: Magellan in the Visayan Sea

On the Feast of St. Lazarus, Ferdinand Magellan spotted the coast of Samar in an archipelago which had not been named by Europeans.

Because it was the feast of the saint who Jesus brought back to life, Lazarus the brother of Martha and Mary, Magellan named the island in honor of the saint. He had “discovered” the Philippines (The name was given to the archipelago 50 years later, during the reign of Philip II, Hapsburg monarch of Spain)

When Magellan made landfall, it was barely 30 years after the fall of Granada, the last outpost of the Nasrid Empire. In 1492, Boabdil, last Muslim King of Granada, surrendered to the Catholic forces of Ferdinand and Isabella. When Granada capitulated, it had become a swollen knot of refugees from all over the Iberian peninsula.

The island in the Visayan Sea where self’s father was born is called Negros (That name was given to the island by the Spanish because islanders were dark-skinned). She doesn’t think Magellan or any of the explorers who followed actually set foot on the island. But there is a Barangay Granada, which is part of a cluster of land self inherited from her Dear Departed Dad.

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She gleans all this fascinating information from a book which Dearest Mum gave to her a few years ago: La Casa de Dios (The House of God) by Father René B. Javellana, SJ.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Call for Submissions: Michigan Quarterly Review Special Issue on Iran

The issue to be guest-edited by Kathryn Babyan, Associate Professor of Iranian History and Culture at the University of Michigan, “seeks to present a collective of voices and reflections born in the shadow of revolution. We especially encourage translations from Persian, Kurdish, Armenian, and Azeri languages spoken in Iran.”

Here’s the link to the journal’s submissions page. Work will be accepted through 30 June 2018.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Odyssey, Book 24: Like Bats

Then Hermes called the spirits of the suitors
out of the house. He held the golden wand
with which he casts a spell to close men’s eyes
or open those of sleepers when he wants.
He led the spirits and they followed, squeaking
like bats in secret crannies of a cave,
who cling together, and when one becomes
detached and falls down from the rock, the rest
flutter and squeak — just so the spirits squeaked,
and hurried after Hermes, lord of healing.

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Agamemnon’s spirit meets the spirits of the suitors in Hades and cries out in astonishment:

What happened to you all?
Why have you all come down here to the land
of darkness? You are all so young and strong;
you must have been the best boys in your town.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Still More Awakenings: Sea Urchins

Last night was Second Saturday in Mendocino, and the weather was beautiful. Self walked down the street to the Artists Co-op on 10400 Kasten Street and saw some very beautiful artwork: paintings and sculpture and collages and jewelry, all by local artists.

Her friend, Mary-Ellen Campbell, had a few handmade books on exhibit, as well as collages. Self adores collages of all kinds.

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Detail, Shell Games by Mary-Ellen Campbell (Encaustic Collage)

Self loved the sharp little objects that are clustered on Mary-Ellen’s encaustic collages. Liza, an artist who self met at one of her previous readings in Mendocino, explained that those sharp little things are sea urchin spines. “If you go to the parking lot of Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, you’ll find lots of these scattered about,” Liza told self.

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Detail, Shell Games by Mary-Ellen Campbell (Encaustic Collage)

Liza told self that sea urchins are killing the forests of sea kelp that the local abalone population needs to survive (see San Francisco Chronicle article here), and that’s why abalone are becoming extremely hard to find.

She learns new things every day.

Fascinating.

Stay tuned.

 

In Progress: Fantasy

“I was on my way to the Citadel,” she said.

I performed an elaborate yawn.

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