Morning: Annaghmakerrig

IMAGINE YOUR TYPICAL MORNING.

— Cheri Lucas Rowlands, The Daily Post

The below are from last spring, when self was at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. As soon as she woke up, she’d start writing. Sometimes she wouldn’t bother sleeping. So, coffee. Loads and loads of coffee.

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Self’s unit had a window seat in the second-floor studio. Also, a previous resident had left behind a paperback copy of George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings, which helped.

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Kitchen Window

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Self kept herself going with coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. This last trip, she brought Philz coffee from San Francisco.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: Novel-in-Progress, WILDERNESS, Chapter 1

  • The old servant woman placed before each of them a white plate on which were artfully arranged four thin, golden slices of ripe mango.

Novel got her into the 2015 Banff Literary Studio, where one of her mentors was so scrupulous he marked sentence by sentence. Things like: WHO IS THE SPEAKER HERE?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“All the Missing” Continued

Some are blonde. Some are brunette. Some are redheads.

Some have braces. A few have freckles.

The parents stand on street corners. They organize search teams. They implore complete strangers:  Please, please.

Self wrote “All the Missing” before she discovered Galway Kinnell’s 9/11 poem, When the Towers Fell (just this year) but it’s almost uncanny, the similarities between her scene and Kinnell’s. No, this does not mean she’s putting herself on the same level as Kinnell. But it does mean that sometimes writers in different parts of the world stumble on the same cultural pulse, working off pure intuition! Pay close attention, dear blog readers: you will see this happening over and over again.

In Kinnell’s poem (which is one of his longest), people stand on New York City street corners, holding up pictures of their loved ones, asking “Have you seen _____ my child/my husband/my wife/my brother/ my sister/ my friend?” And people can’t look them in the face. Passersby sweep past them, muttering,  “Sorry, sorry.”

And here’s a site that references poets who’ve written about 9/11.

“All the Missing” appeared in Phoebe 41.1 (Spring 2012)

Stay tuned.

Writing/Revising

Self is going through a stash of papers that she’s been toting around in her suitcase, for the longest time.

Lo and behold, it’s a print-out of her story, “Ice.” The one that Bellingham Review is going to publish.

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Page 1 of self’s dystopian fantasy, “Ice”

Self’s writing is very, very spare.

Some have even described it as “simple” though self really takes exception to that word as her process is anything but. It is the most intricate process ever.

She cuts ruthlessly during revision.

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Flash Fiction Revision: every phrase that isn’t 100% necessary gets cut.

What’s left on the page is not simple.

At least, not in self’s humble opinion.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Word Cloud: Story-In-Progress

Self loves Wordle.

This evening, she did a Word Cloud of a story she’s currently working on, called Gerry Dreams the Ocean.

It’s about a teen-age boy who lives in San Bruno, CA and whose mother has just passed away. His grandmother in Manila keeps trying to get the father to send the boy “home.”

The Wordle for this story was so beautiful! Don’t know if this link will still be good later, but here it is anyway (She used to be able to save her Word Clouds to a Gallery. Does this just happen automatically now?)

And, for good measure, the words that got “wordled”:

left * Gerry * girl * tumblr * find * English * dry * Stars * ocean * even * strong * sleep * shivered * on-line * sleep * Fangirl * hair * whipped * Filipinos * throat * bonfire * fathers * beer * someone’s * ago * speak * day * fun * hair * beach * comforting * discouraged * find * house * many * Tagalog

Fascinating, simply fascinating.

Stay tuned.

Emptiness of Air: Published in Vela Magazine In a Response to Typhoon Haiyan

EMPTINESS OF AIR

Pericles lost his wife to a great emptiness of air, water, and sound. One moment, she was alive in the house. In the next moment, she had shifted somewhat. She still had the same form, the same face, but something had changed. He couldn’t explain it, but he knew what had happened had happened. He also knew there was no going back. She was stolen from him, as surely as if she had been abducted.

All the sampaguita blossoms had been knocked off the trees. He wandered the garden, lost. He smelled jasmine.

He picked up a white petal from the ground. The brown edges were uncommonly soft.

All the red flowers — santan, lantana, gumamela — where had they gone?

And the orchids his wife had loved: purple and white, tongued.

Small brown Maya birds used to perch on telephone wires strung up and down the street. Now, there were no poles. Wires dangled like snakes, a few sparkling like firecrackers.

  • NOTE: Since self wrote this super-quick (in about 30 minutes) under Vela’s deadline, she’s now going back and editing for clarity. Stay tuned.

 

WIP: “Dear Sister”

Self started writing this one today, while she was having lunch at Chez Mamie on Hanway Street.

Thankfully, today not as much noise from the ever-present construction crews. Next time she returns to London, there will be a building just a few yards from Chez Mamie. A building filled with luxury condos and a Primark.

Dear Sister:

I carry you with me everywhere.

You’re a ghost or a fetch, I’m not sure which.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Future 3: Writing

Writing isn’t a choice. It’s what self does.

No matter how hard the writing is today, the goal is always to finish something.

A short story, a book.

It’s a hope. A foreseeing.

It’s the future.

TGC Thurs. Apr. 14 2016

What else can self do?

WIP: “Oceans”

They’d been preparing for this day for centuries. The day when all remaining humankind must live permanently beneath the ocean waves.

Finally, when it became too painful to breathe the air any longer, the last remaining human colonies began to send pioneers into the deep.

* ****

Why oh why. Are all of self’s writings. So apocalyptic.

She’s always had a deep fascination with oceans, however. Always.

Stay tuned.

 

Black Hawks: Filkins’s Descriptions Of

Self does love this type of writing. Not even in Black Hawk Down has she read anything that made her see these combat aircraft as clearly as Filkins does here:

p. 141: The Black Hawks rocketed out of the Green Zone, dipping and weaving over the rooftops at 140 mph, leaping over the telephone wires.

p. 146: The Black Hawk came in fast, dropping its tail like an animal, the pitch of its engine falling as it scraped the cement.

She has to thank Filkins. Apart from the fact that he’s a very good writer, he’s gotten her to revise a story she hasn’t looked at in months: “Origins,” her sequel to “First Life”:

We shared memories, Her and I. Now those are gone. Like Her. Poof!

Again, the waste. The pointlessness.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

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