Thursday, July 29, 2004

wish: my personal anthology

Vin and I were talking about writing, and the thought of an anthology of one's own appealed to me. I told him I didn't think I had enough to fit a slim volume, but as it turns out, I could actually afford to be quite selective.

So now I'm thinking about approaching a publisher and getting a small collection of my work out. I don't have that vast a corpus, but I think I do have some good fiction and plays. While I'm fantasizing about this, I might as well go hog-wild.

If the collection were purely prose, I'd probably go with these ten:

L'Aquilone du Estrellas - marked a high point for me
Spark: The Sad and Strange Tale of Sister Maria Dolores, the Nun who Exploded - developing my voice
Hollow Girl: A Romance - genre work on my own terms
The Last Mermaid Story - because I love carnival freakshows
The Secret Measure - exhibits my leftist leanings
Magan & Balo - my first love story
Terminos - experiment in form
Ser Clessidrana Acerco Tiempo - "epiphanic dew"
The Maiden & The Crocodile - playing with structure
The Middle Prince - post-whatever fairy tale

And I'll write two new stories, most likely completing "The Muse of Graveltown" and "Beauty" or whatever strikes me dead in the night. What I noticed about my selections above is that, with three exceptions, they are all about women. I also feel bad about leaving out more of the Hinirang pieces, but the above is representative of both my growth as fictionist and of my sensibilities.

For an anthology of plays, I'd have to select around five from the ones I've written, and damn the rest (we must consider page count, and my short plays are not exactly short):

Island - full-length, a musical, and a bitch to write
Loving Toto - what I learned in Repertory Philippines
Circle Jerks (formerly The Onan Circle) - Mr. Monologue, that's me
The Kite of Stars - my favorite story, as a play, in choreo-poem form
Fragments of Memory - my first break with formal rules, structure and the Unities.

I'd throw in either a new "unreleased" one-act play - most likely Interstitial or one of the Filipino language ones I have, probably Isa Pa Para Kay Alan. Again, my choices show range and time.

What's absent is Short Time, arguably my most popular play. While it's cool that people stage it, multiple personal rereadings make it more and more awful to my eyes. I honestly don't like it very much. Too histrionic, no restraint. But still. I don't know. It's hard to disown or ignore the fruit of one's loins.

For a mixed personal anthology (more of a miscellany, I guess), I'd go with six prose pieces and two plays and leave it at that (my poems are just too horrible to contemplate):

L'Aquilone du Estrellas
Spark: The Sad and Strange Tale of Sister Maria Dolores, the Nun who Exploded
Ser Clessidrana Acerco Tiempo
The Middle Prince
The Maiden & The Crocodile
Hollow Girl: A Romance

Circle Jerks
Fragments of Memory

Nice to dream, especially on a rainy day in between client phone calls and projections.

But... it could happen.

We'll see.


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