Camarote de Marinero, p. 53

The new WordPress, and the new MAC operating system, which she installed just this morning, results in a much slower MacBook Air. Go figure.

Nevertheless, she has chosen this afternoon to go over Camarote de Marinero, which no one believes she is still working on, because wtf, doesn’t this woman ever know when to give up?

She is unable to write a synopsis because she just doesn’t know. What’s a synopsis, anyway? In the meantime, at least half a dozen works about Magellan have just been published, mostly by Filipino fiction writers. Oh yay for Philippine history!

Anyhoo, here’s an excerpt from p. 53:

The Archbishop writes to Matias: Inasmuch as there are places in these Islands of Luzon that have not been visited since the Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the natives who are converted pledge allegiance to the King, Our Lord, and I am informed that the natives in the jurisdiction of Ilocos, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Camarines, Marinduque, Mindoro and the provinces of the Pintados do solemnly swear.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

SPORES

This story was published by decomP Magazine. Self began writing it during a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Weeks later, she found the ending in Dublin.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

In this story of the future, there are Earthstars. Earthstars are permitted to mate with either Silverleafs or Shags. Any other pairing is out of the question.

K is a Common.

The inspiration for this story was a book about mushrooms. Morgan Cooke, who she met at TGC, made an audio recording. Must say, self got a big kick out of hearing her story read with an Irish accent. Many, many, many thanks to Morgan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Story Self Began Ten Years Ago, Never Finished

A woman is alone in a white room.

She sits in the light from a window, looking thoughtful and composed.

She is reading a book.

She is holding it cradled in her arms.

She wears scuffed jeans and a faded black T-shirt.

DSCN0172

FIRST: SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR, by Evan Thomas

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Opening Sentence, The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

Self has decided to juggle reading Evan Thomas’s First: Sandra Day O’Connor with Stendhal’s The Charterhouse of Parma.

She’s trying to finish writing two novels and they’re both political novels, so reading Stendhal should help.

Chapter One, The Charterhouse of Parma:

On May 15, 1796, General Bonaparte entered Milan at the head of that young army which had lately crossed the Lodi Bridge and taught the world that after so many centuries Caesar and Alexander had a successor.

W.O.W. From the foreword: This tale was written in the winter of 1830 and three hundred leagues from Paris . . .

The translation self is reading is by Richard Howard.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Wednesday Backreading: The Haunted Room, Essay by Carole de Santi (Women’s Review of Books, vol. 26)

  • “Give her another hundred years . . . a room of her own and five hundred a year,” wrote Virginia Woolf in 1929, of the woman novelist. “Let her speak her mind . . . and she will write a better book one of these days . . .” — Virginia Woolf, A Room of Her Own

  • Woolf “knew very well that creative and intellectual freedom depend on material resources, and that women have always been poor . . . Despite bestseller rankings and lifestyle features, big advances, and superstardom, many women writers seem to be living hardscrabble creative lives. Even those whose ‘rooms’ are more like palaces are nailing down the floorboards, putting buckets under leaky roofs, and wondering how to keep the lights on, particularly those of the incandescent mind.” — Carole DeSanti, The Haunted Room

Sentence of the Day: The Economist, 20 June 2020

When stimulus checks arrived in mid-April, Americans let rip on a broad range of goods. — Leader, p. 7

LOL  LOL  LOL

America is not dead — as long as Americans can shop, there is hope.

During the first week of lockdown, self was very anxious. She worried about stuff like — writing instruments.

Self still writes in longhand, and she needs a special kind of pen. After days of fruitless searching in groceries and supermarkets, frustrated at not being able to find the exact pen she was in the habit of using, she finally found them on Amazon. Sold in packs of 10. They took a bit longer than she expected to arrive, but they did arrive. So that got rid of one of her primal anxieties.

And she makes herself use Door Dash to support local mom-and-pop restaurants (one of self’s favorites, a small Thai restaurant on Woodside Road, closed two weeks after the lockdown, and she was so bereft).

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Process: Stonehenge/Pacifica

Self decided to look through her old MacBook Air (which, judging from the dates on there, had stories dating as far back as 2006) and found an early version of her flash, Stonehenge/Pacifica, which Wigleaf published in 2012.

It is fascinating to compare the two versions. It seems that, early on, Stonehenge/Pacifica was a poem. The line breaks are short:

STONEHENGE/PACIFICA

It was a dream I had, some restless night.
Perhaps one of those weeks/ months/ years
when we were worried about money.
But when were we ever not worried?
First, there was the mortgage,
and then the two.
Then your mother got sick,
and your fathe died.
And my mother I think developed
Alzheimer’s

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Sea, Our Mother

Self has many thoughts about the sea because … well, she comes from one of the 7,100 islands of the Philippines.

When she visited Venice, some years back, she encountered the Maritime Museum (off San Marco Plaza), and first encountered the Venetian expression “married to the sea.”

In the writings about the sea, the sea is referred to as feminine. Also, mercurial.

Perhaps this is why she chose to write her novel. It’s about the sea, of course. And she’s been reading about seafarers ever since.

Two years ago, she was teaching in Mendocino. One of her favorite hangouts was Gallery Bookshop, corner of Albion and Kasten in Mendocino Village (the most fabulous bookstore, with its own resident cat). She found a book written by a retired US Admiral.

She just started reading it (thank you, Corona Virus). Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans

The Introductory Chapter is called The Sea Is One:

It is worth remembering that each of us is, essentially, largely made of water. When a human baby is born, it is composed of roughly 70 percent water. It has always fascinated me that roughly the same proportion of the globe is covered by water — just over 70 percent. Both our planet and our bodies are dominated by the liquid world, and anyone who has sailed extensively at sea will understand instinctively the primordial tug of the oceans upon each of us when we look upon the sea.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday, May 3 at The Digital Sala

EWZZdWKU8AAOmsc.jpg

The MC in I CAPTURE THE CASTLE

Cassandra wants to be a writer. Thinks of herself as a writer. Even though the family is so impoverished, and the father who is a writer cannot support them. The family dines on cold Brussels sprouts and cold rice.

p. 95:

  • My hand is very tired but I want to go on writing. I keep resting and thinking. All day I have been two people — the me imprisoned in yesterday and the me out here on the mound; and now there is a third me trying to get in — the me in what is going to happen next.

Stay tuned.

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