Scale: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self finds this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge — SCALE — very interesting.

She thinks the theme has a lot to do with surprise and contrast. She finds the photograph accompanying the prompt (by Michelle W.) very amusing.

The instructions are to “share a photograph that highlights a size relationship.”

Here are her takes on the theme:

A miniature lamp enlarged self’s childhood imagination (and probably went a long way in determining what she would eventually become: a writer)

Self has had this lamp since she was three or four: a present from her parents. She has it with her in Mendocino, a little talisman. Also, an indication of what work she hoped to do here: an exploration of myth and legends and first life.

Self has had this lamp since she was three or four: a present from her parents. She has it with her in Mendocino, a little talisman. Also, an indication of what work she hopes to do here: an exploration of myth and legends and first life.

Her second trip to Elk was when she finally got to appreciate the view (On her first trip, she was too nervous trying to get out of the way of trucks, buses, etc that all seemed to be crawling up her bumper). Self took this photo from Cottage # 3 behind The Griffin House Inn. A view isn’t a view without something to lend it a sense of scale, and here self used the deck.

Elk, California: View from the Back of The Griffin House Inn

Elk, California: View from the Back of The Griffin House Inn

En route to Chicago, last fall

En route to Chicago, last fall

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

FLYWAY: 2014 Notes From the Field Contest Winners

Flyway Contest judge Cristina Eisenberg has chosen the following essays as winner and runner-up, respectively, of the latest Notes From the Field contest:

Winner:  Susanna Clark for “House Blend,” which delves “into the stories of the young men behind 2013’s horrific Boston Marathon bombing”

Runner-Up:  Suzanne Menghraj for “Usciolu,” a piece that “tells of the author’s experience on the Mediterranean island of Corsica”

Both pieces will appear in Flyway’s Spring 2015 issue.

Stay tuned.

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 18 January 2015

“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”

–  Spanish proverb

Quoted in Quotable Traveler by Larry Habegger, p. L3 of the San Francisco Chronicle (18 January 2015)

Pile of Stuff, Pile of Stuff, When Will You End?

When self’s inspiration for her fan fiction dries up, she has a very convenient pile of unread magazines very close by.

This pile reached previously unheard-of heights during Year 2014, because self was so often traveling (by choice: All of self’s trips are self-imposed)

Now to The Economist of June 14 – 20, 2014.

There is a humongous article titled What Is the Deadliest Sin?

Answers are given by seven intellectuals, ranging from a “former Bishop of Edinburgh” to a “conservative MP.”

Self finds the answer of Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder of Kids Company (a support organization for vulnerable children) most interesting. She picked SLOTH as the Deadliest Sin (After reading her answer, self is inclined to agree)

She states: “The sin of sloth is not caring, not noticing, not doing.”

Her explanation begins:

We all suffer from moments of duvet apathy, when we can’t get it together to lift ourselves out of bed. In small doses, sloth is survivable. But on a national scale it can be lethal. Perhaps the contemporary word for sloth would be “complacency” : the condition in which we don’t aspire to greather things. I’m not talking about material enhancement, but an inner lack of ambition or responsibility for yourself and for others — a lethargy of the spirit.

Self is reminded of her good friend Margarita Donnelly, who passed away just before Christmas.

She founded Calyx, the oldest women’s press in America (Self would dearly love to say she started it with a credit card, but she’s afraid her memory might be faulty on this point)

Margarita was the Anti-Sloth. She was that strong voice that was never afraid to take on someone or something if she thought the cause was justified. And self got the full-on exposure to the Margarita Anti-Sloth when she spent time with her in Venice, in 2013.

Self must admit that a 24/7 exposure to such a dynamo did sometimes make her feel like hiding under a rock. Alas, Margarita would not brook self hiding under a rock. Self just had to face Margarita (and Venice) the hard way. Full-on, eyes wide open, muscles flexed in readiness.

Because, self is a product of an island culture, and if given the choice she would willingly spend whole days in the lobby of the Danieli (packed to the gills with YOUNG Asian tourists who arrived with matching Louis Vuitton luggage) sipping Pernod.

But instead she was with Margarita in a small apartment in Ca’ San Toma, and she got lost every single day. And every single street had a bridge with steps going up (as well as steps going down, let’s be reasonable, but the steps going up were extremely challenging, especially when self had no idea where she was going). And when the heavens opened up and it poured rain, self was never within sight of an awning. Never.

Which is why she just had to take off for Trieste one day. Assured Margarita she’d be back, and then lost herself in a very nice B & B next to a restaurant in a convento rustica/rustico, where little red mopeds could be rented by the day, and self was never lost because she hardly moved from the quay. Trieste will always be, in self’s mind, that cocoon where complacency trumped everything else. She can just see herself fleeing there when she’s ready to have a nervous breakdown.

You know, this is turning out to be quite a funny post (as well as a very long one) and self figures that must be a good thing.

She almost made it to Oregon to catch Margarita on her very last day on this earth, but she missed her and instead got to speak to Margarita’s daughter, Angelique, who told her there would be no funeral, Margarita had a “celebration of life” in November, right after Thanksgiving. And self now recalls that Margarita herself called to tell her about this celebration of life, but because self was in that moment in a state of high-functioning complacency, she got her ticket for AFTER the holidays. And totally missed the boat.

But, you know, Venice. She did get to tell Margarita this astounding thing: “I think I will go back to Venice. Want to come with?”

Made Margarita laugh. The week before she passed away.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Twinkle 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, The Daily Post provides a couple of suggestions:

  • the sparkle of an ornament
  • the look “in the eyes of a loved one”
  • “the millions of twinkles in the waves of a body of water”

Here’s a new set of photos self pulled out of her archives today. They’re all from the trip of a lifetime: Ireland, May-June 2014:

Almost home! Arriving in San Francisco after a trip to ireland

Almost home! Arriving in San Francisco after a trip to Ireland

Ceiling Light, The Red Room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland

Ceiling Light, The Red Room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland

Table Lamp, The Red Room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland

Table Lamp, The Red Room in Café Paradiso, Cork, Ireland

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Converge 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Week of Nov. 28 (2014)

2014 was absolutely packed with occurrences, dear blog readers.

Since CONVERGE is the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, self is having a lot of fun looking back at the pictures she took this year.

Keeping in mind that the focus has to be on “geometrically-rich photos,” self chose: a painting, a picture taken during Redwood City’s Annual Fourth of July Parade, and Dublin’s Connolly Station (Self was en route to Sligo on what turned out to be William Butler Yeats Day; Yeats was born in Sligo)

Rauschenberg? At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Rauschenberg? At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Spectators at Redwood City's annual Fourth of July Parade: July 2014

Spectators at Redwood City’s annual Fourth of July Parade: July 2014

Irish Rail: Out of Dublin's Connolly Station, Train to Sligo: June 2014

Irish Rail: Train to Sligo Pulling Out of Dublin’s Connolly Station, June 2014 (Self was experimenting with the “soft” setting on her camera so yes, that blurring is deliberate)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Converge in Venice Beach, California

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CONVERGE.

The instructions are “to find geometry in photography — shapes, diagonals, vanishing points.”

Self decided to focus her search on the photos she took of one of her favorite places of 2014: Venice Beach, California, which she visited for the first time in September.

Hope these have the requisite geometry and/or contrast in shapes.

The first time self saw Venice Beach: September 2014

The first time self saw Venice Beach: September 2014

Sand, Sea and Bird in Venice Beach, California

Sand, Sea and Bird in Venice Beach, California

Coca-Cola, Hot Wings, and Palm Trees: More Convergence in Venice Beach, California

Coca-Cola, Hot Wings, and Palm Trees: More Convergence in Venice Beach, California

Angular: This Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge

From the “Angular” prompt, this week on the Daily Post Photo Challenge:

Angular might mean the corner on which you live or the intersection of sea and sky at a 180-degree angle. Angular also offers a chance to shoot from an entirely new perspective: from above, below, or even the margins of a fray.

Venice Beach, November 2014

Venice Beach, November 2014

Venice Beach Pier, November 2014

Venice Beach Pier, November 2014

Downtown Chicago, October 2014

Downtown Chicago, October 2014. The sky that day was fantastically blue. Only a week later:  FREEZING. Self took this shot from the plaza next to the Chicago Tribune building.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Further Achievements, 2014

Self is still coming up with posts for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  ACHIEVEMENTS.

It is a very fun exercise, which has her reflecting on the many excitements occurring in the year 2014,

One of which was: She saw the Book of Kells! It is housed in Trinity College, Dublin. Self had to endure a humongous line, and they don’t allow pictures. But it was definitely worth it.

Trinity College, Dublin: June 2014

Trinity College, Dublin: June 2014

She explored the beautiful countryside around Cork and spent two nights in Ballyvolane House:

Approaching Ballyvolane House in County Cork, Ireland

Approaching Ballyvolane House in County Cork, Ireland

She saw the Harry Potter Dining Hall! Which was actually the dining hall of Christ Church, Oxford. Luckily, she was one of the last batch of tourists allowed inside before dinner was served to the residents:

The Dining Hall of Christ Church, Oxford: May 2014

The Dining Hall of Christ Church, Oxford: May 2014

Servers were just wheeling in carts piled with plates and cutlery. Fabulous!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

She’s Finished the Murakami, Hurrah!

This evening, self ripped through the last third of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.  She thinks the narrator might have come out of the well.  But does he ever find his wife Kumiko?

The reader learns that a character named Nutmeg, along with her mother, “escaped from Manchuria to Japan, their only valuables the jewelry they were able to wear on their bodies.” (p. 470)  There’s a description of horrible atrocities.

What. A. Downer.

Self may have to re-read the last hundred or so pages. She wants to be absolutely clear about who did what to whom.

While trying to make up her mind about whether to go back over the last hundred pages of the Murakami, she tries beginning Donna Leon’s Death and Judgment. Just so that she can anticipate what she’s in for.

P. 10:

After the meeting, which he had arranged to coincide with his next appointment, Trevisan met for a weekly dinner with a business associate.  They had met in Venice the previous week, so tonight they met in Padua.  Like all of their meetings, this one was marked by the cordiality that results from success and prosperity.  Good food, good wine, and good news.

Trevisan’s partner drove him to the train station where, as he did every week, he caught the Intercity for Trieste, which would get him to Venice by ten-fifteen.

Self thinks she might have taken this same train in May last year, when she left Venice and did a two-night stay in Trieste.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

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