Muse 6: The Lake at Annaghmakerrig (Late Last Night)

A walk always refreshes self. Especially after a day of hard writing.

When self first came to Ireland, last year, her friends in Dublin teased her that she’d likely encounter a banshee.

But self is convinced there are no banshees in Annaghmakerrig. Maybe they’re in some other part of Ireland. But not here in County Monaghan.

Anyhoo, let’s see, where was she? The lake.

How it appeared last night:

Alone on the Lake, 10:30 p.m.

Alone on the Lake, 10:30 p.m.

The moon was gorgeous, full and round, its outlines perfectly crisp:

Full Moon Over the Lake

Full Moon Over the Lake

Whenever self walks to the lake in the evening, she thinks she hears a kind of humming emanating from way up above. In fact, she tweeted about it, and Miss Warby’s Ghost replied: THAT WAS ME! (Love it!)

So, here’s her last shot of the moon last night. This was pretty blurry, but she’ll throw it in, anyway.

DSCN0442

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Why Self Loves Warlocks and Werewolves and What Not: CLOCKWORK PRINCE, Chapter 11 (“Wild Unrest”)

First of all, self didn’t get a wink of sleep last night.

Second, writing is hard work. VERY VERY hard work.

Third, just see how you’d like reading 600 pages of The Third Reich of War (The chapter self is on describes how rich Hermann Goring was: he owned 10 villas, all of which were crammed with expensive artwork, and all of which were subsidized at German taxpayers’ expense. Just a few pages before, self read how a Jewish nurse at Auschwitz accompanied her son voluntarily to the gas chamber, during one of the last waves of gassings at the camp: October 1944)

So self hardly needs to explain why she goes for a little fantasy now and then. (How very forward-thinking of her to bring along her copies of Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess to the UK! She usually isn’t that pro-active!)

Anyhoo, Clockwork Prince, which most readers seem to think is “Jem’s book.” NOT!

While our boy Will Herondale is dreadfully discomposed, or disoriented, or whatevers, by the events therein, he is most decidedly NOT out of the picture entirely!

From the Oxford Dictionary of English in Cottage # 2 at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

From the Oxford Dictionary of English in Cottage # 2 at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

In a side-story, a Downworlder named Ragnor Fell is sniffing around Yorkshire to dig up information for the Clave on what exactly the Herondale family is doing in Ravenscar Manor, which is owned by the Magister (aka Mortmain aka Evil Person Who Has Been Trying to Abduct Tessa Gray Since FOREVER). Ragnor reports his findings to Charlotte in a very circumlocutious (but charming) letter which reads, in part, thus:

Ravenscar itself is near a small village. I set myself up at the local inn, the Black Swan, and posed as a gentleman interested in buying property in the area. The locals have been most forthcoming with information, and when they were not, a persuasion spell or two helped them to see the matter from my point of view.

It seems the Herondales mix very little with local society.

It’s now raining! OMG, it was hot as all get-out all day. Thank you for the rain!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Muse 4: Swans! At the Lake in Annaghmakerrig!

Today, after a hard day of writing, self walked down to the lake:

Swan Sighting at the Lake!

Swan Sighting at the Lake!

And saw her first swans! (Actually, that’s not quite right. She was down at the lake yesterday evening, and saw swans then, too)

Self will share with dear blog readers that it was because of the swans she saw in Ireland that she wrote a story called “The Ark.” And, earlier this year, it was published by Local Nomad. Which, self just wants to say, is a really beautiful on-line journal. And it is all done by one woman: Jean Vengua.

Her story begins thus:

There were great stores of food laid up, for Noah knew that the flood would last a long time. The hull began to groan with the weight, intensifying his anxiety.

Two Swans!

Two Swans!

And here are swans, diving for food:

DSCN0430

And now, back to the writing desk!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Muse 3: More From Annaghmakerrig

Another from last night’s walk around the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (This place is absolute balm for self’s spirit):

DSCN0356

What is it, exactly, about this place? The light? The surroundings? Knowing other artists are just a shout away? Ireland? She is exceedingly grateful for every day that she wakes up here.

It’s a gorgeous time of year. Flowers are blooming:

Flowers growing from atop a low stone wall . . .

Flowers growing from atop a low stone wall . . .

More of the Same (Just From Another Angle)

More of the Same (Just From Another Angle)

Today is #AgentsDay on Twitter. So many authors are grateful to their agents, which is nice.

This is not a pursuit self feels she can successfully engage in. (Optimism does not come naturally to self!)

It is also, interestingly enough, #askELJames Day on Twitter. And the questions! The questions!

When self was in London, a few weeks ago, she saw a huge Fifty Shades of Grey poster (a still from the movie) that covered an entire building. How’s that for making a statement? Jaw-drop time.

Jamie Dornan has quite a good back. Self’s just saying.

(Now, how did self get from Annaghmakerrig to Fifty Shades? No idea)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Muse 2: Tryone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is MUSE.

This is self’s second time at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. She came back because she did so much good work when she was here last year, in May.

This year, she has a novel to finish. It’s very slow going, but she’s lucky she can get to work on it here.

Last night, self decided to take a walk. The sun doesn’t set until 10 p.m. or thereabouts, which is quite a thrill: more daylight hours, yes!!!

Last year, she remembers there was a little flock of swans that used to hang out by the lake. But she hasn’t seen one, not one, since she got here. Perhaps it’s the season.

No More Swans

No More Swans

Anyhoo, self loves being underneath the giant trees. You don’t understand green — all the varying shades of it — until you’ve been to Ireland.

Trees, Summer Evening

Trees, Summer Evening

And there are woods out here, so many woods. So far, she’s had very little time to explore. Hopefully, later, she will.

The woods last night. Such spindly tree trunks! Nothing at all like the woods up by Mendocino.

The woods last night. Such spindly tree trunks! Nothing at all like the woods up by Mendocino.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Reading Dionne Brand

from her poetry collection, Thirsty (McClelland & Stewart):

would I have had a different life
failing this embrace with broken things,
iridescent veins, ecstatic bullets, small cracks
in the brain, would I know these particular facts,
how a phrase scars a cheek, how water
dries love out, this, a thought as casual
as any second eviscerates a breath

and this, we meet in careless intervals,
in coffee bars, gas stations, in prosthetic
conversations, lotteries, untranslatable
mouths, in versions of what we may be,
a tremor of the hand in the realization
of endings, a glancing blow of tears
on skin, the keen dismissal in speed

Self met Dionne Brand in Banff, just this past April.

Life-changing encounter. Forevermore.

Writing can change people.

Another excerpt from Thirsty. By the way, it’s Sunday in Ireland:

There was a Sunday morning scent,
an early morning air, then the unarranged light
that hovers on a street before a city wakes
unrelieved to the war fumes of fuel exhaust

Stay tuned.

Muse: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is MUSE.

What is a MUSE? A source of inspiration.

In Greek and Roman mythology, the muses were nine goddesses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts and sciences.

Books are self’s inspiration (muse):

My Writing Studio in the Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghamakerrig

Self’s Writing Studio in her Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghamakerrig

The Virginia Woolf book is from the bookshelves in her cottage. The other book is self’s personal copy, which she’s been bringing along with her everywhere because her novel-in-progress is set in 18th century Spain:

Reading for Self's Novel-In-Progress

Reading for Self’s Novel-In-Progress

And traveling, of course, is a constant source of inspiration.

Self took the picture below when she was with poet Joan McGavin, who took her to a demonstration near Lambeth Bridge (on June 17), calling for more action on climate change:

Houses of Parliament, Viewed from the South Bank, London, June 17

Houses of Parliament, Viewed from the South Bank, London, June 17

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

How DARE You, Mr. Ragnor Fell!

Self may be getting ahead of herself, but life is short.

There are two choices open to her when she leaves Ireland:  Yorkshire or Wales.

Yorkshire because a crucial scene in Clockwork Prince takes place there. P. 169:

Ragnor Fell, High Warlock of London: “What’s on the carpet, then, Charlotte? Did you really call me out here to discuss dark doings on the Yorkshire moors? I was under the impression that nothing of great interest happened in Yorkshire. In fact, I was under the impression that there was nothing in Yorkshire except sheep and mining.”

Oh la-di-dah, Mr. Fell. Yorkshire isn’t that boring. She was there when she was 11. She was sent to summer camp, somewhere in Yorkshire Dales. She saw the magnificent cathedral.

And Wales?

Something so alluring and romantic about Wales. Aside from the fact that Wales is where Will Herondale was born and lived until he was 12.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ROY G. BIV 2: London & Annaghmakerrig & Banff (And The Year Is Only Half Over!)

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is really interesting.

Self had no idea what ROY G. BIV stood for, but now she does. Each letter stands for a color: Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet.

The Daily Post prompt says:

You can attack this challenge in one of two ways: share an image that contains all the colors of the rainbow (or an actual rainbow . . . or share a multi-photo gallery, one image for each color.

Today, self is going for the multi-photo gallery. First, the color BLUE (She should have begun with RED, her apologies!)

This is Blackfriars Bridge in London. The sky was amazingly blue that day.

Blackfriars Bridge, London. Self particularly wanted to see Blackfriars because it plays such a prominent role in Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices. The sky was amazingly blue that day.

Next, the color ORANGE:

It was Wednesday. Self's friend Joan McGavin invited self to come along and participate in a demonstration near Lambeth Bridge, asking the government for greater measures to address climate change.

It was Wednesday. Self’s friend Joan McGavin invited self to come along and participate in a demonstration near Lambeth Bridge, asking the government for greater measures to address climate change.

Next, the color YELLOW:

This teapot is yellow (duh). It's in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

This teapot is yellow (duh). It’s in her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

The next color is GREEN:

This beautiful etched glass panel is in the Church of St. Bride's, near Fleet Street (Also known as the Church of Journalists).

This beautiful etched glass panel is in the Church of St. Bride’s, near Fleet Street (Also known as the Church of Journalists).

Next, the color RED:

An Armchair in Self's Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

An Armchair in Self’s Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig

Next, the color INDIGO:

Twilight, London: Somewhere Off Great Russell Street, Near the British Museum

Twilight, London: Somewhere Off Great Russell Street, Near the British Museum

Finally, VIOLET:

The Books Self Checked Out of the Library in Banff

The Books Self Checked Out of the Library in Banff

It took self FOREVER to decide on the last photo. She had no idea how little violet there was in the world. Honestly. This entire post probably took her an hour, and finding the last picture probably took her 15 minutes. And now, the book spines don’t really look violet!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

ROY G. BIV: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self learns today that ROY G. BIV stands for the following colors:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge involves sharing “an image that contains all the colors of the rainbow.”

Quite Easily Done!

Self has currently been partaking of the glories of the United Kingdom. Naturally, she’s been taking photos like crazy. London and Dublin are extremely colorful places.

Somewhere near Blackfriars Bridge, South Bank, London

Somewhere near Blackfriars Bridge, South Bank, London

A few days ago, self was invited by her friend, poet Joan McGavin, to participate in a demonstration for action on climate change. The gathering took place near Lambeth Bridge on Wednesday, 17 June 2015. Self noticed a young woman wearing the most beautiful jacket.  She asked where the woman had bought her jacket. The response: Camden Market. It only cost 20 pounds.

A Demonstration Calling for Action on Climate Change: Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A Demonstration Calling for Action on Climate Change: Wednesday, 17 June 2015

And finally, a shot from the day self spent in Cambridge, visiting ex-classmate Dodo Duterte Stanley:

Cambridge, UK: Punting boats waiting for passengers on the River Cam

Cambridge, UK: Punting boats waiting for passengers on the River Cam

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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