This story is one that was very difficult for me to write. It was both a return to and a stepping out of something: in the recent past, I feel that I’ve dipped my toes (or perhaps fallen headlong) into the strange, the fairy tale-but-not-quite; I’ve tried more and more to challenge myself by writing based on certain guidelines or prompts (e.g. without mentioning a certain word, by using words as numbers, etc.)–in the further past, I wrote stories that were quite straightforward but also (I feel, now) autobiographical enough to be quite impersonal (there was no invention of anything–or not enough, anyhow). Whether near or far in the timeline of writing, I think I have written mostly about erotic desire: because I found it easy, because there was a lot of feeling and material to work from.
However, recently, I have had friendship on the mind and how it is just as complex as (if not more so than) erotic desire. It is just an explicable, can be just as painful once lost or strained. Why do we not talk of these aches more often? Maybe because it is harder to try and iterate something that is usually formed unconsciously and which doesn’t ask of us any acknowledgement before coming about. In a romantic relationship, there has to be an asking, some sort of formal (or at least clear) consent. With friendship, there just has to be the friendship.
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’m very jazzed to be attending the Kritika Kultura reading series with the rest of the Plural editors this coming Tuesday, September 15. We’re going to be talking about prose, how we’re contributing to it, and what it means to find a place for experimentation in such a traditionally rigid landscape. We’re also going to be reading (haha, if it wasn’t obvious from the title) some of the work we’ve put out in our three issues to date! If you’re free, come drop by.
Earlier this month, I said that I would be teaching a Creative Writing class for a younger audience (ages 13-17). However, after giving it some thought and talking it over with MAGIS, we’ve decided to remove the cap on age: that is, I realized that what I would be teaching for an audience of 13 to 17 would be more or less something that I would also teach anyone willing, and in fact, wanting to write. I realized that while tastes may vary while one is growing up, good stories, poems, and essays, are good stories, poems, and essays no matter what age you are. Having said that, enrollment has been extended as the class is now open to everyone aged 13 and up!
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I am so thrilled to have been invited by Magis Creative Spaces to be part of their Session Series! I’m going to be teaching a Creative Writing class, which will consist of 5 sessions. In it, we’ll be learning about the basics of creative writing (mostly fiction, and poetry) through reading stories, poems, and novels, as well as refining and developing our writing skills via writing exercises, and in-class critique. One thing that I have really wanted to do since I have begun getting opportunities like this was to reach out to a younger audience; I feel like I’m always thinking back to when I was younger, and how happy I would have been if there was a class available geared specifically toward fiction, and poetry. So this class is going to be for all of ye racy adolescents, (roughly) aged 13 to 17. I’m super psyched to be having fun craftversations, and to be immersing myself in the things other people have to say. Sign up is currently ongoing, and ya’ll can check the poster below to find out how to get in touch.