Saturday, May 7, 2011

Daffodils were open in St. Stephen's Green

(Outside Amsterdam airport)

In March, she flew to Dublin to be a guest at the Eighth Annual Phoenix Convention. She stopped in Amsterdam and had wine and lunch with an old college friend from Brussels. They found that even after a few years and so much ocean between them, they were still tied at the souls in important places, and so when their glasses were empty and the time what it was, they parted.


When she arrived in Dublin, she took the 16A bus to the convention's site at The Central Hotel and would have missed her stop had she not sat next to a lovely woman who didn't say a word until Georges Street. The lovely woman wore a black coat. and was a guest in Dublin, on business, and would be speaking as an important person part of an important event. Or so it seemed, based on what she said into her telephone.

Had she found that breakfast was served at the hotel downstairs, she would have avoided an embarrassing scene the first morning, which took place at a convenience store and ended with an irritated clerk, a currency problem caused by Wells Fargo, and the clerk basically giving her the bun and snapple. She ate her bun and drank her drink outside, on a cold bench on Dame Street. She leaked jam on her skirt and thought, I'm such a stupid American.

(Sculpture dedicated to Yeats,
picture by Erin Pringle, 2011)


Luckily, her day could not be totally shot since, before the bun incident, she had strolled through St. Stephen's Green and found the daffodils blooming up. She also took some pictures for her husband, like this one, of Yeats. It was a peaceful place except for all the sculptures to those who had died as part of defending Ireland during the Easter Rising or events that followed. The sculptures, then, were doing as they were intended and keeping Dublin's history present in its present.

She took part in several panels and attended several panels ranging from how to think about the event of the e-book as a writer, to the rise of the graphic novel in publishing. She drank several Baileys and promised several times to attend other, future conventions. She was told several times that the economy wasn't what it was since the last time she was there, eleven years ago. She had new thoughts about publishing, writing, and marketing and came away feeling less threatened by the e-book and more empowered by it now that she has an idea of how to think about it.

On Sunday, she gave a reading in a private room in the Library Bar. The audience was warm and welcoming and took their lunch as they listened. The sun came through the windows, and the people went into the faraway places she had made for them.

Photograph of Georges Street, Dublin 2011 by Erin Pringle-Toungate(Up Georges Street, Dublin,
Photo by Erin Pringle-Toungate)



Then she flew back home, and hardly believed she had been in Dublin. Most of all, she came home feeling far less worried about being a writer, or reader, or general citizen of the world--because she met good people who think writing and reading is important and worth meeting to discuss. Everyone was so warm and welcoming at the Phoenix Convention, and she wishes it many more good years. She thinks of those few days in Dublin like the cool, sweet air she had felt in St. Stephen's Green.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Real Surrealism: 1955 Documentary, Night & Fog,

Cover of documentary Night and Fog
Directed by Alain Resnais, Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard, 1955) is a 31-minute film that ponders the Holocaust at the sites of abandoned concentration camps.

While an unseen narrator answers what he can and gives words to the questions that have more questions, the film moves between footage of camps during their activity and present-day (1955) footage of the camps.

The film is elegy whose poetic brevity and honesty make it an extremely respectful film, though the footage is, of course, utterly the opposite, utterly surreal. A camera slowly panning out on all that hair, so much hair, just hair taken away. Stored. Spun into cloth. By someone. Someone's hair spun by someone. So many someones.

A trillion eyelashes to wish on.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mini-Review: A Brief Encyclopedia of Modern Magic by Michael Stewart

Cover of A Brief Encyclopedia of Modern Magic by Michael Stewart, published by Cupboard
She ordered this book a year ago; it came in the mail a year ago; she began to write a post about how splendid it was to come home and find it in her mailbox in its small envelope. Then, she never hit "publish". Instead, she read the little book that fit so well in her hand that she can't find it now. She carried it around with her, read passages aloud to people. Like this one:

Trick eggs. There are so many trick eggs. A partial list could include: eggs from which full grown pigeons emerge; hollow eggs with silks hidden inside; eggs so heavy two men would be needed to lift them; eggs so light they float an inch over the table; unbreakable eggs; eggs which can wobble and walk on their own; eggs which when broken scream out.

Then she would look up, and they would be smiling. Maybe they would laugh.

She would frown and reread to herself what she had read to them. But isn't it sad? she would say. Well, sort of--but it's humorous, it's also supposed to be funny, they would insist.

Oh. I think it's just tragic and beautiful.

--a Brief Encyclopedia of Modern Magic, Cupboard Pamphlet, 32 pages, $5.00

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review of Nightmares: Hiroshima by John Hersey

Cover of Hiroshima by John HerseyShe had a nightmare that took place in San Marcos, TX, where she lived at the time. It was one of a series of nightmares in which sudden explosions occurred, huge fiery blasts that lit up and burned up everything--including her. In this particular nightmare, she was downtown, walking down the sidewalk along Hopkins Street. She was across from the courthouse. It was a blue sky day. Then everything exploded, and went orange and black.

Maybe that dream ended there, her thinking, Why can't I feel myself burning? And then the pain so intense it wasn't even pain. Or maybe the dream continued, or this was another nightmare in the series, after an explosion, and she's running down the sidewalk toward the river, and there are all these people jumping in, and she's trying to tell them not to, that jumping in water will only make their burning skin worse, and then the river is filled with death instead of the usual people floating down on their inner tubes--lazily, under the bridge, under the train trestle, gliding away where the water curves against the curving earth.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

seed toss, kick it over: new make-it book by w. craghead



Cover of Seed Toss, Kick It Over by W. Cragheadw. craghead w. craghead, the artist who turned her story "The Only Child" into an award-winning work, has a new make-it book: "seed toss, kick it over". The book is available and free oncraghead's website where readers can print out and fold the 12-page book into place.

"seed toss, kick it over" is a love letter out of craghead's signature style that collides the childlike with the somber-serious.

--To return (or turn) subject matters to the startling that, for one reason or another, had gone numb.

He's an artist to thank, she thinks.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Man Reads a Short Story Every Day for a Year

Photograph of United Methodist Church in Casey, Illinois
http://www.caseyumc.org/
And then he makes a list of his top fourteen favorite stories. One of her stories makes the cut. Congratulations to the story "Sanctuary" from The Floating Order.

Read an excerpt of "Sanctuary" as part of a 2009 interview at Romancing the Book.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To Win: The Floating Order on St. Patrick's Day, 2011

James Joyce in St. Stephen's Green,
Dublin, Ireland 2011
She has physically returned from Dublin and the Phoenix Convention.  Mentally, she has yet to leave it.  Thus, to celebrate her simply wonderful (and too short) trip and her meeting very lovely people, she is giving away a copy of The Floating Order.

How to enter: Answer one of the following:

Your favorite Irish writer and why he or she is your favorite The Irish writer you've heard of but, ashamedly, have not yet read and why that is (or why you want to read him or her)A literary detail you've always wanted to know about Dublin and why.
Deadline to leave comment: March 17, 2011
Comments closed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"The Vanished Hitchhiker" @ Girls With Insurance


Photograph of Eerie House in Corn by Daina=
*Photograph by Daina, CC license
She sleeps in a glass room in the backyard. Back here, behind the house, she can't hear the knocks on the door and so can wake on her own time, though time is not hers anymore. She has thought of her bed as a coffin enough times that it is one, her bed a sun-baked rectangle of earth surrounded by planters. Every night, she leaves the glass room and threads through the yard, car keys in hand. And she drives.

Read the rest of "The Vanished Hitchhiker" by Erin Pringle-Toungate at Girls With Insurance

Seven Days To Dublin

In seven days, she'll be departing from Spokane and flying her way with strangers toward Dublin.  A few connecting flights, a few conveyor belts, a few drinks and sighs and general-interest magazine articles later, and she'll be in . . . Amsterdam, and will get to visit with an old college chum, and then back to the airport and to. . . Dublin and the Eighth Annual Phoenix Convention (March 4-6 @ The Central Hotel).  A reading will be involved as well as sitting in on a few interesting panels, such as perspective in writing.

P-Con Guests include C. E. MurphyCheryl Morgan,  Bob NeilsonDerek Gunn,  John KennyJuliet E. McKenna,  Peadar O'GuilĂ­nR.F.Long, and many more. The guest of honor is Ian McDonald.




Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pringle on Spokane's KYRS

She recently dropped into the KYRS studio and read a few stories and talked with the host of Open Poetry, about writing, the Midwest, and more.

Spokane listeners can tune in to 92.3 or 89.9 FM on March 6, 5:30-6:30 P.M.