Monday, August 14, 2006

comrade-in-letters

One of the marvels of the internet is how suddenly the world becomes smaller, and how people you never thought you'd meet become only a few clicks away.

I first knew of Australian author Anna Tambour via Strange Horizons. I started reading the great stories there because Chris Barzak's incredible "Plenty" was first published there, which inspired me to try my own hand. Tambour's story, "Klockwerk's Heart" (part 1) (part 2) was one of the stories I enjoyed - and just a couple of weeks later, my own story was published. Then later, I discovered more of her work online, including "The Emperor's Backscratcher", which the Litcritters recently read and learned from.

Part of the Filipino thing is "hiya", which in this case roughly translates as "being too shy to instigate conversation", so I never contacted her. The stunning thing is that she did. She wrote me about quoting from my essay "Writing: A Blog Abecedary" - and the result is a great piece in her blog. And in the span of a couple of email exchanges (including her delightful story recommendations for me to read), I feel like the miracle of the internet has occurred again - for the first time. Thanks, Anna!

While it's true that the act of writing occurs in a vaccuum, in isolation, reading and appreciating the works of others need not be something done in solitude. Exploring new territories of words is best done in company of others - it's fun (and illuminating) to discuss things, after all.

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And great big thank you's to everyone who commented, texted, emailed and called Nikki and myself about this year's Palancas. Salamat po!

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