Fan Fiction of the Day

The set-up: Katniss is returning to her car after a night class at her community college. And she gets held up by, of all people, PEETA! PEETA! PEETA! Who is a criminal trying to feed a drug habit! Oh my Lord! What? What? What?

. . .  the air smells sweet and fresh, like growth. The street lamps that line my path from the library to my car are dim at best, and there’s no moonlight because there’s a storm on its way. I don’t even have a shadow; I’m followed instead by the restless wind that stirs in the freshly-leafed trees.

Self loves the descriptions!

It really is spring in this part of the world.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Bowie: Lyrics, “Life on Mars”

Sailors fighting in the dance-hall
Oh man!
Look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show.

— David Bowie, “Life on Mars”

This is a pretty freakish year.

Just because. First, Bowie and now

Prince

“When Doves Cry” — Aaargh, aaaargh, be still, self’s beating heart!

It’s too much.

Last week, in Heathrow, eating a sandwich and waiting for her flight to Dublin, her ears pricked up as Bowie came over the piped-in sound system: LIFE ON MARS.

What. An. Incredible. Song.

And, like today, SAAAAAAD.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Gloaming, the Dying

Self absolutely hates the fact that, when she sat at her desk this morning to begin her tasks for the day, the first thing she saw after logging on was this:

DAVID BOWIE, 69, DIES OF CANCER

Oh Ziggy Stardust!

Mourn, mourn, mourn.

In honor of his passing, today Food & Wine posted a recipe of what was apparently Bowie’s favorite dish: Shepherd’s Pie.

Transition: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is TRANSITION.

Some examples from The Daily Post:

  • a photo of your little one’s first steps
  • a sunset scene, as your world passes from day to night
  • waves kissing a shoreline, the space between land and sea

Self took this picture during a stopover at the Zurich airport, early this month:

DSCN2040

Sunset: Zurich International Airport, early November

And here’s a picture self took from a cab as it crossed a bridge over the Arno River in Florence:

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Crossing the Arno River, early November

The leaves in Florence were turning, when self and her niece were there in early November:

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Park, Florence: Early November

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Victory Can Only Come After Struggle

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, VICTORY, posted on Friday morning. Right after that came news (from Twitter; self’s news always come from Twitter) about the Paris attacks.

It seemed very ironic, that the photo challenge urged us to think of the positive. The terrorists made that all seem like such a travesty.

Nevertheless. Nevertheless.

Here are some pictures that self needed to look at today. Reminders of the positive.

The inaugural issue of Irish lit mag Banshee was celebrated at the most recent Cork International Short Story Festival, in September. Self was so glad she attended the launch:

It is a perilous venture, the field of literary magazine publishing. But the young women who edit BANSHEE prove that the dream never dies.

It is a perilous venture, the field of literary magazine publishing. But the young women who edit BANSHEE prove that the dream never dies.

One of the most life-affirming and redemptive characters of recent fiction is, in self’s humble opinion, the baker of The Hunger Games. She only caught the symbolism today: Hunting doesn’t feed the belly, doesn’t sate it, to the degree that bread does. In the purported love triangle of the trilogy, there was never really any other choice for Katniss: Peeta Mellark rocks.

Self will mourn the passing of this franchise when the final film opens on Nov. 20. J-Hutch, you did a great job bringing Peeta Mellark to life!

Self will mourn the passing of this franchise when the final film opens on Nov. 20. J-Hutch, you did a great job bringing Peeta Mellark to life!

Finally, one of self’s favorite reads in 2015 was Crab Orchard Review’s West Coast and Beyond issue, which included a haunting short story by Lucy Jane Bledsoe. Self brought the issue with her to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, this past summer. Whenever her writing energy flagged, reading a bit from the Crab Orchard Review never failed to revive her inspiration:

Several of the contributors from the West Coast & Beyond issue will be participating in a panel during AWP 2016/ Los Angeles, end of March.

Several of the contributors from the West Coast & Beyond issue will be participating in a panel during AWP 2016/ Los Angeles, end of March.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

(Extra)ordinary 2: Second to the Last Monday of October 2015

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is (Extra)ordinary:

Cheri Lucas Rowlands explains the thinking behind the prompt:

  • I’m drawn to creaky doors and tiled floors. Textured walls and abandoned objects on the street. Things or settings we might overlook at first glance.

And so is self!

Here are some pictures of mundane things.

This morning, self had a wisdom tooth pulled. Hurts now, like heck. Dinner was a smoothie: ice cream, milk, cocoa powder.

Dinner: Ice Cream, Milk, Cocoa Powder

Dinner: Ice Cream, Milk, Cocoa Powder

She does her laundry at a nearby laundromat. Here’s the “kiddie corner” — empty today, since it’s a Monday.

Laundromat on a Monday Afternoon

Laundromat on a Monday Afternoon

On one of the tables was this flyer:

What Does This Say?

What Does This Mean?

There is something so mysterious about this grouping of found objects today, the second to last Monday of October 2015.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ramblings: PANK Going Off-line/ J Journal List of Pushcart-Nominated Stories and Etc.

PANK, the on-line literary magazine, is going off-line in December.

WOE!

PANK published a story of self’s in issue 9.5 — “Seeing.”

She isn’t sure what’s going to happen now to the archived stories. Do they just disappear?

Here’s a link; it’s at least viable until PANK goes off the grid:

http://pankmagazine.com/piece/seeing/

*     *     *     *     *

And, while self is at it, here’s another link, this to the Pushcart-nominated stories that appeared in J Journal, one of which was self’s “Magellan’s Mirror” (Volume 5, No. 2, Fall 2012)

http://johnjay.jjay.cuny.edu/jjournal/V5N2/Villanueva_MagellansMirror.pdf

J Journal published an excerpt from “Magellan’s Mirror,” here:

http://johnjay.jjay.cuny.edu/jjournal/V5N2/Villanueva_MagellansMirror.pdf

*     *     *     *     *

And, while on the topic of Pushcart nominations, last year, her story “The Elephant,” was nominated by Your Impossible Voice.

She has had several of these already, stretching back decades. Let’s see, how many already? Five or six.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Colm Toibin, The New York Review of Books, 9 July 2015

Self used to have a subscription to The New York Review of Books. Oh how she mourns, mourns, mourns that absence, it was her go-to publication for really good writing, such as the one in the 9 July 2015 issue, Colm Toibin’s essay “The Hard-Won Truth of the North.”

In describing poet Elizabeth Bishop’s move from Nova Scotia to Worcester, Massachusetts, Toibin writes: “. . . the sudden disruption, the end of the familiar, came as a rare and ambiguous gift to the writers. Despite the pain involved, or precisely because of it, they found not only their subject, but their style.”

In discussing the Swedish writer Stig Dagerman (d. 1954, at the age of 31), Toibin writes: “Dagerman was in possession of several tones.”

Isn’t that such a beautiful sentence? It says it all.

Dagerman had “a gift for writing sharp and cool declarative sentences that is close to Hemingway.”

His short stories use “a tone close to that in the early stories of James Joyce’s Dubliners, which Joyce described to his publishers as a tone of ‘scrupulous meanness.’ ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“The Decedent Is Initially Viewed Unclothed”

Self’s story, “The Decedent Is Initially Viewed Unclothed,” is included in Calyx Press’s 40th anniversary collection of prose and poetry, to be published 2016 in partnership with Ooligan Press.

She was particularly happy to learn that “the book will feature an excerpt from the memoir of Margarita Donnelly, who was a founding editor of Calyx.” Margarita passed away December 2014.

And that is all self has to say right now, sorry for this extremely short post.

Stay tuned.

New: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is, fittingly enough, NEW.

Hence this post is about 1) New Books 2) New Experiences and 3) A New Play

New additions to self’s personal bookshelf. The Neruda she bought in Venice Beach. By the Book was a Christmas present.

New Books for the New Year

New Books for the New Year

First Time to Visit Chicago in the Fall:

Downtown Chicago: October 2014

Downtown Chicago: October 2014

Caught the U.S. premiere of Abbie Spillane’s new play, the scorching Strandline, at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre:

This Chicago theatre was founded 25 years ago by actor Michael Shannon.

This Chicago theatre was founded 25 years ago by actor Michael Shannon. It’s an intimate (not to say wee) space. The night self saw it was the first night of previews and most of the people in the audience were actors and actresses.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

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