Personal Project: Coffee & Flowers

Goals 2014

Painting by Kristine Joelle Pantig

This has been a relatively good year for me. (You can read a little bit more about that by clicking here.) But while I was at my friend Joelle‘s exhibit yesterday (above is her favorite painting of mine from the exhibit–sadly my camera was low-batt so I have no idea what it’s called but I know its tentative title was Elements), I realized that there is still so much to do–so many things to achieve and work hard at. So at the risk of being uber cliche, here are a couple of my goals or ‘dreams’ for the coming year.

1.) Get a job. It sounds simple enough but I know from hearing friends’ stories that it can be harder than just clicking “Apply” on JobStreet. But, yeah. This is a work in progress–I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good news this New Year. (This of course ties in with the fact that the grades haven’t come out yet and I’d like to know for sure if I’m going to be graduating already.)

2.) Get at least 750 likes on MoarBooks/throw more events for MoarBooksEven if I know likes (or the number of them) aren’t everything and I’m grateful for all 236 likes we have thus far, I feel like we need to get to get more likes for no other reason than they would reflect a growing readership and create more interest in what we do. I guess this also means that I need to up my socializing skills. Whew. Okay.

I have a couple of events in the works which I’ve been planning for the latter part of 2013 but which have been put on hold because of issues with timing (all the dates I’ve chosen have coincided with bigger events which seemed worth attending). I want these events to be fun but also more focused on literature–I want to have one for fiction and one for poetry–than on drinking or partying it up (although we can do that after, of course).

3.) Get more things published/get better at writing. I mean this both for myself and for MoarBooks and for EM. I want to put more things out on MoarBooks and be able to have a wider variety of things to sell at events. I also want to get my stuff out there and am preparing work to send out to different publications as well as gearing up to apply to workshops and other things like that which will help me improve as well as open me up to new ideas. As for EM, I’m really looking forward to the (possible) new ways of doing things that we’ve been discussing. I’m also excited for the printing experiments that my friend Ron’s been doing re: the size/binding of the issues.

4.) Help out around the house. As the youngest in my family, I’m usually exempt from helping out with the bills and things (especially because I was still in school) but I’m looking forward to being able to help out financially.

5.) Stay fit. It wasn’t very hard for me to get in shape in that I knew I could do it but it does take work and I want to keep on getting stronger, physically. My initial goal was to get down to 110 pounds and now that I’m at 108, I feel like it wouldn’t be so bad to bring it down to 105 or 100 because I’m pretty short. 🙂 Also, I want to be able to build up my endurance and strength (although I by no means want to become the Hulk). I’ve been taking measures toward this by downloading a lot of exercise programs. I finished Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution a week and a half ago and am two days into Insanity. Yoga really helps on days when I’m not up to rigorous cardio/strength training, too. 🙂

6.) Save more money. Hay. I am a shopaholic. Everyday is a struggle.

7.) Be more honest friendship-wise, both on and off Facebook. One of the excuses I despise is “I have no time” which is the excuse that’s been used on me most often this year. I don’t claim to be the perfect friend and there are times when this excuse is legit but I’m also tired of trusting it’s true when I know that sometimes people just say it because they don’t want to see you or just because they’re lazy. But in a convo I was having with my friend Akire the other day, she said something that I think is accurate–there are some people you don’t stay in touch with for a reason. And I think that’s alright too. I would just like to be more honest about that both to myself and to those (former?) friends this year in that I will not say anything like “I miss you!” or “Let’s hang out!” if I don’t mean it.

I’d also like to be able to tell my friends how I feel when they hurt me or let me down. I have a problem with saying these things because I am scared of a) drama and b) coming off entitled–I hate people like this, who feel like they have a monopoly on other people’s time but also a lot of the people who let me down are people like that so I figure that I shouldn’t be too scared of this.

On the flipside, I’d also like to be able to tell my good friends that they are my good friends. 🙂 Although I think I did a good job on this last year, I’d like to keep it up!

8.) Be shameless. I’ve been following this YouTube channel which has really inspired (gah I hate that word but alas, it’s true) me to be more open to social media and talking to people about events or my work and not being so embarrassed or reluctant about telling people about the things I’m doing.

9.) Get my driver’s license. I’ve been driving for almost two months now (I have a student’s permit, don’t worry) and was supposed to get my license a few days ago but there was a fire near the LTO and they’re closed until the second week of January. So. I can’t wait for that!

10.) Read more. Admittedly, I do read anyway but I feel like I can read more. I’ve been jumping back and forth between different books lately and have effectively been getting nowhere. I’ll post an updated reading list soon. 🙂

And that’s it for now!

Published Stories Writing

New work in Stache Magazine’s Nostalgia Issue!


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!

Personal Writing

Readercon 2013

I’m going to be at Readercon this December 7th at the Rizal Library in Ateneo De Manila. 🙂 I’ll be there along with Trizha Ko and some other really awesome people (I will post up links soon). I’ll also be putting out a tiny collection of short stories entitled “The Chlorine Atom Girl”, a preview to which I will post up here when it’s ready. 😀

Projects Writing

Dear Stranger

ImageI don’t know you that well but I get the feeling that I could if I tried hard enough to sit here and talk about something although I’m hesistant to bring up the weather because then I would have to pick a place to put us in like a restaurant or a cafe and it’s from places that circumstances always seem to arise and grab you by the neck like an invisible noose you’ve walked into or fine print you haven’t read on a contract that says you must be a person of value to me or to whoever it is that I turned out to be after years of watching me puke into the gutter or holding my hand through the telephone which I will on occasion leave on the bookshelf while you are explaining something I’m not interested in as I leave the room to finish off a bottle of wine just quickly enough to return as you punctuate your sentence and ask me for a response which I provide either begrudgingly or too generously so that you are always either angry with me or suspect that I am not listening because I am drunk and you know how I get when I drink too much so you do not ever bring it up but instead you get back at me when I am sad over something you know I think is important so I will ask you what the hell you want from me anyway and you will not validate that statement with a reply but will be consumed with guilt because you were actually listening and know that I am hurt from the expression on my face which you have seen one too many times and I will know that it’s eating you up inside to see me this way so I will try and squeeze a tear out from the corner of my eye and you will hate me for it but you don’t yell you hold me close and instead say that you’ll buy me a drink and I will get drunk and let slip that I left the receiver on the bookshelf that time you were talking about Star Wars and you’ll say that it was Star Trek and how could I and I will say how could you keep going on and on about something you knew I wasn’t really into anyway and you’ll say didn’t I say that I liked that stuff when we first met and I will forget what I said when we met and you will be offended and I will be mad at you for crying so well and with so much feeling so I will call myself a cold-hearted bitch and hug you and tell you that you know that I have a bad memory even if I remember that the first time I met you I thought you were kind of odd-looking and that you were wearing jeans with white thread hems which I still find tacky but you don’t do anymore because you know what I think what about white hems and that haircut and the way that you wink when you think you’re saying something smart which I’m still fooled by now that we still don’t know each other and everything you say still seems intelligent and everything you’ve done still seems like something I suddenly want to try just so that we can have something in common and so we can keep talking in non-places like the internet or the telephone which I keep by the sofa I’ve been sleeping on in case you call which you always do always five minutes after you say you will and I think that your nonchalance is challenging and your candor with things like keeping promises is exciting only to eventually find out that in truth you have been sitting by your telephone for five of the longest minutes of your life agonizing over when to call me only in the future when I have spent enough time with you I will know this and I will think those five minutes are a waste of time and every time the phone rings I will think you’re pathetic because who has the time to sit around all night and agonize over calling someone and I will be struggling with ways to not pick up and not offend you and hang up quickly to catch my favourite show which starts at nine and also make sure you do not come over to surprise me and bring me flowers just because which really means just to make sure that I was home and so I will say I was doing the laundry is all and the machine was on and it was loud and so I didn’t hear the phone and wow are those flowers for me you didn’t have to which I will mean because right now one of the many non-things I like about you is that you don’t buy me flowers because you are so comfortable in your own skin and so admirable and I don’t want you to know that I watch the movies we talk about as we’re talking about them just so I can know what you’re talking about and that I’ve searched for your name online because while I say that I am spontaneous the truth is that I am terrified of strangers and would like it better if I knew what I was getting into like dipping a toe into a lake before doing what I will do anyway which is plunge into the water and allow myself to be soaked even if I hate the cold and don’t particularly like swimming and it only takes me seven minutes to take a bath everyday so what’s the point of spending a whole day submerged in water and watching my skin get wrinkly which is what you say you want to do for the rest of your life to see me get wrinkly in the mirror next to you which I have to say back although I think you would look very odd wrinkly because you have a pronounced Adam’s apple which will eventually be covered with fat but which I like at the moment because I don’t see you a lot and have only begun to take note of certain details about the way you are shaped although at this point I am assuming that it will be you who will fall in love with me because you are the one who likes to order whenever we meet up in the flesh and spend a few hours filling awkward silences with funny jokes that are only funny because we’re both  intoxicated and are either too awake thanks to one-too-many cups of coffee or are teetering on the edge of sobriety as a result of having drank too much gin too quickly like we will probably do on every occasion that permits it like our friends’ birthdays weddings funerals and you will find it endearing at first and I will feign clumsiness when drunk so that we can do romantic things or put ourselves in romantic situations like having to sleep in the same bed or run out in the rain while I’m wearing a sheer dress so you can feel me up in a taxi cab which you will pretend not to have done and I will pretend to both not have liked and not have noticed so that you will know that I get that way when I’m inebriated and we will spend more time together so that we can hop into cabs only this time I will not pass out or pretend to so that I can know what it is that I am dying to know which is how your mouth tastes which is all I think of when you’re saying something smart to me over the phone when you call five minutes past when you say you will which is the time that I count on you to call anyway which takes the piss out of the whole thing as we get to know each other because you say you will call at nine at night and call at nine-o-five which annoys me because I like watching something on TV at nine and you interrupt it with your stories that I’ve heard before and one day we will be sitting at some non-place and eating some food we don’t remember and you will be talking about a book I no longer like and telling me how you think it describes us and how funny it is that we’ve come so far and I will nod and laugh and talk about time and say it’s crazy that it’s been years when really I mean it’s crazy that it’s been years and still we’re together because truth be told I don’t think we like each other that much anymore because you still think that I like it when you call me angel in bed and I still call you a dirty little motherfucker even if I know you’re close to your mom and you don’t like the image of a mother fucker in general you’re not so bad and I think most of the time hey that’s a lot of years to be with someone you met absolutely randomly but then I think about the coincidences that our common friends have brought up like that we went to the same pre-nursery and that we were both at the 2008 concert of our favourite band and that actually we met at a party once in 2003 but I was shy and I will think that fate has never seemed so unromantic as well as that you probably didn’t notice me because back then I looked like shit and you were lusting over someone else whose husband died last week and whose wake we went to even if we didn’t recognize the body and only knew him from the photo of him from when he was in high school that they hung on the door in which he was smiling really wide with a bit of green stuck in his teeth which happens to you often which is why I never prepare lunch for you that has veggies in it which you’re grateful for because you think my obsession with what I eat is absurd since we all end up in the same place anyway and I secretly hope that your non-veggie eating gets you in the end so I will be right just like I was right not to talk to you anymore so that you stay a stranger and so that you can be someone whose mouth I can think about tasting on days when I have the bathtub to myself without feeling guilt, or anything
[As seen in EM Zine Issue 2, September 2013]

Projects Writing

The Chlorine Atom Girl

Sitting on a stool, smoking by the door, tipping her elbow in favor of—whatever—always wondering about why it must always be she who leaves even if she would like to stay—the night, maybe—and why she must always be there to watch people find—happiness, if you can call it that—the thing they told her as a child she must chase down—the thing you can’t just sit around waiting for—the thing you must make yourself pretty to be able to acquire—what: why people are always trying to get her to leave—whoever she is with at the time—is because she probably will—not that it wouldn’t be lovely to have a home with a small garden outside—but young, fair brides so quickly become—the hags that lust after cabbage—and so she continues to live this life—of what can you call this—substitution—at least she has seen more nights colored in gin—than your average smart person—she tells everyone else it is better to be the Chlorine Atom Girl, light on your feet and ready to head wherever whoever pulls you next—it is better to be wanted and reluctant—at least you have the option—to get the hell out when you need to—which in her case is often—she fell in love with this guy once—but that was before—she was—herself

[The complete work to be published in December 2014 in EM Zine Issue 3.]