Monday, October 10, 2005

playing catch up

How I long for the end of the month, when my work schedule somewhat rationalizes itself and shifts towards a more managable (in terms of time to write or blog during daylight) mode.

Anyhow, some notes on the past few days:

salamanca a go

The Ateneo De Manila University Press will be publishing my novel, Salamanca, sometime next year.

You have no idea how happy this makes me - set deep inside me is the conviction, rightly or wrongly, that one is not really a writer until one has a book. And while I may have been published in various magazines and books, this will be the first one which has material which is 100% mine (I exclude my comics because apart from the fact that it is not pure prose, comics are a collaborative effort since I do not lllustrate my own work). It's very different from helming and editing an anthology. It's both scary and more gratifying.


It seems apt that I got confirmation from the publisher at around the same date when, last year, I signed up for the NaNoWriMo and began the process that would ultimately lead to a series of incredible firsts: writing my first novel, ; writing it in the mindboggling period of under one month; winning the Grand Prize for Novel at the Palanca Awards this year; getting Salamanca considered for optioning as a film by Viva; and getting it published next year, therefore, my first book.

I exchanged emails with Chris Baty of NaNoWriMo, telling him how grateful I was for the experience. A link should appear shortly in the site's FAQ section.

And for signing up for another month of madness to produce a new novel... why not? I think my schedule will be more forgiving by then. Or at least I hope it will be.

Testimonial time: go and sign up for the National Novel Writing Month. Give it a shot. At the very least, you will learn about discipline and the fact that writer's blocks can be overcome with sheer effort. And the reward for completing your novel may go beyond your wildest expectation.

philippine speculative fiction antho

I'll be getting back to the task of finishing the process of editing all the pieces that will appear in the antho by the end of this week. I'm done with half, using guerilla editing (LOL). The good thing is that the material from the established writers is practically ready to publish, since these folk are more or less used to polishing their own work.

After that, I need to comission a cover, layout the book and prepare the final art for the printers. I'm projecting a three-week publishing timeframe ending in late November, with a launch and release of the anthology by early December. When that's done, I hope to make time to edit another set of stories for the special Spec Fic issue of Literatura magazine Ian Casocot and I are thinking of putting up - but most likely that will be sometime early next year.


Let me digress from all this literary reportage and tell you what has helped keep me sane during this hectic time - prawns.

I love prawns, especially in garlic butter. So Nikki and I have gone several times these past couple of weeks to Dampa Sa Libis, where we purchase fresh prawns from the seafood market and bring them over for a resto to cook. I make sure to get some liempo (pork) seasoned with salt and pepper, which we have grilled. In previous excursions, we've had squid, crabs, fish, scallops and much more.

A kilo of prawns swimming in butter is a sanity-restoring sight for me. And I pig out. Happily. Guilt-free. Because I'd rather put on a few extra pounds and keep my mind intact and my spirits high.

And they're just so irresistably yummy. And I love to eat.


Ah, forget about the structure of this entry making any sense. I'll write free flow.

I love the new Showcase series of collected trade paperback books that DC Comics is putting out, three so far: Superman, Green Lantern and Metamorpho (I know, it's not the first three I'd put out if I were the publisher, but hey, what do I know?).

Each volume clocks in at over 500 pages of Silver Age goodness, in the black and white format pioneered by Marvel Comics with their Essential line. The Superman volume contains seminal stories such as the shrinking of Kandor City and the beautifully absurd tale that traces what would have happened if Krypton had not exploded. Price point-wise, the first two volumes retail at just under $10. Incredible value.

I'm also completely addicted to the Infinite Crisis event happening over at DC (and OMG, Infinite Crisis #1 arrives on Wednesday!), with the massive character-defining changes shown in various titles. I like a universe that changes.

I also picked up a another batch of books since I last posted, including Gaiman's Anansi Boys and the lovely Legend of the Five Rings 3rd Edition book. I'll list them as soon as I remember the titles.


Nikki and I were blown away by two films recently, for different reasons.

Napoleon Dynamite (directed by Jared Hess)looks like something I'd immediately dismiss as pretentious or stupid. However, actor Jon Heder creates a character who is so pathetic and unlikable that he is somehow compelling. Really. We could not stop watching this anti-John Hughes film. It's not even really a comedy as we understand it nor is it deep or meaningful. It's just...watchable.

Final Fantasy: Advent Children (directed by Tetsuya Nomura & Takeshi Nozue) was just visualy awesome, especially for fans of the game (Final Fantasy VII) who lived the adventures of Cloud and crew. Every action scene is spectacular and breath-taking, ranging from high speed motorcyle sword duels to a one-on-one with a Guardian Force summoned by materia. And Tifa is just scorching (but why does she look like Rinoa of FFVIII?).

My big issue is the subtitles, obviously done by someone who wants to drive the wordsmith Alfar couple insane. I can't wait for the official translation, but Pirate Billy did his best. I got more films and more porn (I know, I haven't event dented the cache of porn I inherited from a friend, but I'm an inveterate porneaste), so when the long weekend holiday comes, I'll have things to entertain me.

shoot me

I have a number of photo shoots lined up over the next two weeks and one of horror scenarios is going to happen. One of the tasks is to shoot a whole bunch of 3 year olds - and I can feel my sanity slipping away again (quick, bring me prawns)! Directing kids is a nightmare job, but I will find a way to do it, somehow.

The other shoots are a cakewalk: various product shots, location shots and situationals - oh, and a print ad.

political animals

I've shown my colors and written a speech for one of the country's senators. I'll let you know what this turns out. It's interesting because I'm highly opinionated but usually keep quiet on matters of the nation and governance (I turn down offers to write about anything political). But I like this Senator. Of course, the question is will the Senator like the speech enough to ask me to write again. LOL

Ok, break time over.


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