I don’t usually do these types of posts because I fear that they are too self-indulgent but I haven’t posted a writing update in ages so I don’t feel too irked putting this up. The older I get, the better I feel about both rejections and acceptances for publication. I remember being fretful and dreading clicking the “Submit” button because back then everything felt like a critique not just of the work but of myself but those are things you learn from and it’s become something I’ve found I can love. I remember a beautiful rejection letter by The Atlas Review from last year that I still keep in my Inbox as if to say get your work out there, it’s worth it. (And it usually is, whatever the outcome.) That said, it does feel extra good for work to be accepted–as though I’ve found a place for my babies, like they’ve gotten into college or found a job.
I’m also very interested in the time between which stories are written and when they are made available for consumption: it is usually so long for seemingly so little, but it’s a short time to hold your breath in the long run. Anything is shorter that forever, which is also never. Here are some stories of mine I hope you guys will enjoy. 🙂
This is a series of three short stories all having to do with the scientific method of investigation. They were written during my chemistry classes which I both loved for their lack of structure (so many rules, so many exceptions, so many things to consider) and hated for their tediousness (so many rules, exceptions, things to consider). The story that’s available online is called Nomenclature (the study of naming things); in chemistry, we give names to things based on structure, how they are arranged, predisposed. In real life, it often seems to be the opposite: we behave according to our names, roles, circumstances.
Around this time last year, I had friendship on the mind a lot. I’d gone to the beach twice that summer: once with old friends and again with people I didn’t know very well. I was thinking about the process of asking friends to come along, who was chosen, who wasn’t, who was allowed to drop in last minute, who wasn’t. I thought of preparing, of the guilt that follows telling someone where you have been, of tip-toeing around why they weren’t there. After this got published in the Southern Pacific Review, it was released as part of The Elements, a chapbook project I did with my friend Liana Maris which focused on friendship as a force of nature and how it is a living thing: changing as we age, evolving even as it is being defined.
This series of five stories began as part of a project called The Experiment that I was part of in late 2014; I collaborated with Arabella Paner (collage artist) and Stephanie Gonzaga (poet) and we put out a chapbook every week where we created output based on a singular word or theme. We were interested in execution, in form, in fragments, in elongation and cutting. I thought scissors, halves, twos. Submitting to Alphabet Soup was spur-of-the-moment decision; I hadn’t thought of giving my twins out (you’ll understand when you read the stories haha) to anyone yet, but when Katie put up the call and talked about writing stories that were out there, that dealt with the anyhow, the anywhere, the anywhen, I figured why not.
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.
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.
I am very happy to announce that a series of my small stories are available in TAYO Literary Mag’s 5th Anniversary Issue! This has been a long time coming, and it so great to finally see these babies find a home. The physical copies of the issue are now available at Barnes & Noble; I think they might be available locally a little later in the year.
The series is called Science Lessons, and comprises of three stories which talk about the pains of learning through different sciences that we take up as we grow as people. I won’t talk about it so much, as to not take away from your reading. The stories were illustrated by Diego Ibarra, Trizha Ko, and Erika Carreon. Click here for an excerpt!
I am very, very happy to announce that my somewhat morbid obsession with fairy tales has finally paid off. My story The Weatherman–published here in the poetry section, funnily enough, along with an interview about my writing is up and live! I worked very hard on this piece, and am particularly proud of how the narrative rounds itself out, or funnels like an hourglass.
You can click the beautiful photo below to read the issue on PDF (cover by Iryna Lialko & Sabrina Coyle), or you can head over to their website to buy the print copy. 🙂 I hope you guys enjoy this!
Last night, my friend Raine messaged me asking for a favor—she said that she was going to embark on a quest to get out of her comfort zone: that is, for a hundred days she was going to do at least one thing a day that frightened her in an attempt to grow as a person. She asked if I would be there to remind her to do these things, once a day—and I said yes, of course. I also said yes to joining her on this quest to be fearless. Just because I love the T. Swift song, I am going to name this Head First, Fearless to go with the whole shiz-named-after-songs-thang e.g. Coffee & Flowers.
While I can’t and shan’t speak for Raine, who is an infinitely more private person than myself, I suppose I can tell you what she told me that made me agree to this whole lotta cray in the first place. She said that there was that whole 100 Happy Days thing floating around but that the problem with that is happiness is so fleeting—we shouldn’t base our growth around happiness. We should base it around fear—and conquering it because that way, we get stronger and really, truly progress as human beings (whatever that means). And I agree. So, as I vowed not to keep a journal this year in an attempt to avoid my tendency to live wayyy out of the moment, I will instead post it up here so that a) people who are maybe a lot like me and scared of everything can find some semblance of good juju here and b) I am able to process my thoughts and introspect without completely cutting myself off from the rest of the world.