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Events Project: Coffee & Flowers

On The Other Side // A Katipunan Adventure

This month (September) has dragged on for what feels like forever. I feel a little bit unnerved because I still have so many things to write, read, and review/film for my channel–this whole month has felt like something’s gotta give and yet nothing has so here I am. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Katipunan with the rest of Plural to attend/panel at a talk hosted by Kritika Kultura. The main speakers were Erika and Carlo (the founding members of the journal), but we went for the Q&A portion as well as the provision of moral support. Being Taft-grown and hardened by the ever-present threat of being run over, heading over to rival territory is always both disorienting and refreshing. All those trees, all that space, all the everything. We made a little trip to the press bookshop (yeah, so that no book buying ban has pretty much been done away with all together) and then headed on over to the Rizal Library for the talk proper.

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I was (very pleasantly) surprised at the turn out: everyone was super participative (not to say that my experience has been otherwise, but you never know with more academic settings), and I was super proud of how Erika and Carlo discussed all of the points re: Plural’s response to the lack of a go-to place for prose in Philippine letters. All-in-all, a great day.

After the talk, I hung out with some friends of mine who attended the talk (hey, Raine and Free) over at UP Town Center. I had Mad Mark’s and Rita’s for the first time. Hot damn, that stuff is delicious–although to be honest, I did find Rita’s to get a little bit overwhelming after a while. The day ended with us all giggly, and worn out, driving down EDSA watching the lights flicker by: not bad at all.

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Bookings Personal

Jan Reads 2014 (Post 1)

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I got these books either for Christmas/my birthday and have been reading them. Two of them are short story collections (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman & Moral Disorder) while one is a novel.

Here are my thoughts, etc. so far:

1.) Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood

Excellent as usual. The thing I love (or one of the things I love) about Atwood is that the older she’s gotten, the better she’s gotten at writing about youth (and the imminent loss of it). This collection follows just one main character which I really like and which I feel sets it apart from a lot of her short story collections (or short story collections, in general).

I also love how she begins the book by introducing the main character as an old woman. Anyway. I don’t want to give too much away. This is one of my favorite Atwood books, so far. (Admittedly, I’ve only read a few–The Blind Assassin, Wilderness Tips, Betty {this is a short story, though} and Bluebeard’s Egg.)

2.) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

I feel like I’ve read enough Murakami to last me a life time, to be honest–I was very into his work back during my early college days. I was hesitant to start this year with yet another Murakami book but I figured ah fuck it: if you genuinely enjoy something then why stop reading it just because you’ve read a lot of things like it before?

Also most of the books of Murakami’s that I’ve read are novels anyway so I don’t think my reading this is being too redundant. I really like it, so far–although (like my friend Trizha and I were talking about a few weeks ago) the thing about translated work is that a lot of the enjoyment factor comes from who/how the story is translated. I am partial to translations by Jay Rubin (Norwegian Wood, After Dark) and Alfred Birnbaum (A Wild Sheep Chase, Dance Dance Dance, Hard-boiled Wonderland & the End of the World) because they’re able to translate in a way that conveys meaning without sounding like a translation but also not sounding very western. I like that subtlety.

And it is this point which gives me a hard time re: which stories I like from this collection. The collection is comprised of very good stories but they aren’t translated by just one translator. Some were done by Jay Rubin, others by Philip Gabriel.

Take the first two stories, for instance: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and Birthday Girl. As a story–or as a story in theory, I feel like I would prefer the former because it deals with themes which I really like: the passing of time, the overlapping of time in memory; it’s also written (the structure, I mean) inwardly as opposed to something with a plot that moves forward.

However, I ended up enjoying the latter more even if it’s a little too straightforward (in that the delineations between past and present are very clear) for my taste in short stories and even if it it relies more heavily on mystery than I would usually prefer from Murakami (I say this because when Murakami employs mystery in his books he has a habit of either not resolving the mystery or resolving it in a manner that is so thumpingly calm, it drives me insane) because of how it was written/translated.

Now I’m going to contradict myself and pick a story translated by Philip Gabriel as my favorite, so far–I really enjoyed the story New York Mining Disaster, particularly how it talked about the death of friends, especially when you’re at an age where people are still supposedly beginning their adult lives.

3.) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

I’m not done with this, yet and so I can’t say much except that it’s very funny and that it’s enjoyable, so far. 🙂

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Uncategorized

Watttttt

So, I decided that as a first step into being shameless about my work and getting myself out there, I would make a WattPad account. 🙂 I think that it’s a pretty good platform for literature, so yeah. 😀 I will definitely link new work there here so that those of you who are interested can read. I have two thingamabobs uploaded on there, so far: Apartment Stories (a 7-piece aggregation of work, old and new) + The Chlorine Atom Girl.

Click here to follow, if you’d like!

Categories
Published Stories Writing

New work in Stache Magazine’s Nostalgia Issue!

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New work in Stache Magazine’s Nostalgia Issue!

“Questions” is out in Stache Magazine’s latest issue. 🙂 I hope you guys enjoy this.

Also, thank you again to Stache for responding so promptly to the issues I had with the initial layouting of my work. I really appreciate it!

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Projects Published Stories Writing

Good News, Overstimulation and Draft Wrestling

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I haven’t been on this blog in a while because Christmas break has taken over my life! I don’t know why we even pretend like the holidays are going to be relaxing when we all know that it’s going to be a flurry of crazy, anyway. 🙂 (I mean that in the best way, though–I’ve been having a pretty awesome break, so far.)

1. Three of my stories are being published in two different zines! I can’t say which yet because the issues haven’t come out, but I’m so excited and so happy–I’m a very shy person (even if it doesn’t show because I usually combat that shyness with being real talkative/bubbly) and it took a lot of mental preparation (along with the actual writing, of course) to send the work in. Two works of small fiction and one long story are being put out so yayyyyy for acceptance! 😀 I will link to those once they come out.

2. I’ve been spending most of my time writing and re-writing a couple of drafts I’m working on. So, far I hate most of it. But that’s alright. I feel like being your own antagonist is kind of a pre-req of coming out with stuff that isn’t shit, anyway. Here’s a bit from a draft that’s got me in a chokehold:

If you cut me open you must know that the kitchen knife won’t slice through flesh to reveal scribbled text or a note that says anything coherent, instead all you will find is anatomy: spine, sternum, cage, clavicle, cranium. You should know that there is no way for you to take the things that remain inside—that there is nothing there to take but blood and gut and bone—and that I cannot say the things I mean because in my throat there are no sentences, only strings: larynx, pharynx, vestibule.

3. So many things have been happening to me. And the problem with me is that I can’t ever be productive when I’m overwhelmed because I’m unable to form coherent thoughts. Or rather, all my coherent thoughts are tainted by my excitement or anxiety (really the same thing, as far as I’m concerned). So shit drafts will have to do until I am able to calm down. I think I’ll read–that always helps. My life always seems to go in alternate phases of reading and writing, curiosity and worry.

I also despise the fact that sometimes you meet people who you feel can see through you–not that they can, but that you feel like they can. That always unnerves me. Nervousness is contagious and I feel like it sucks ever more if the other person is feeling nervous too but them feeling that way makes you clam up and so all that happens is analysis paralysis when you could just be making a new friend if one of you wasn’t so chicken about being rejected or looking stupid. But well. I don’t know. Part of me feels like while the elation of being accepted might make the risk of putting yourself out there socially and being rejected worth it, the chances of that happening aren’t very high so, yeah. I need to learn to be more calculating, in that aspect. And maybe this is just me being bull-headed but I’m still on the fence about whether or not I regret trying.