Tuesday, March 15, 2005

after images

I've been feeling that my life is one relentless sequence of photo shoots, and am gratified to see that I have only one left to do - on Monday. This means that I get to return to the other business-related things I normally do (and actually hang out at the office again) and turn my divided attention to personal creative pursuits.

I've been toying with an interesting idea for a play's structure (nothing original, but definitely new to me) so I hope to be able to do a little something there. I've also been pestered by a notion for a short story concerning letters from the future (again, nothing incredibly new, but then, what is) and/or the entry of Juliet Capulet's house, festooned with unrequited love letters from the lovelorn throughout history, into the fossil record. I've also been juggling around the images of a turtle collector who learns to dance, a Filipino sailor on the Manila-Acapulco Galleon during Spanish Philippines, an astrophysicist who uses M Theory to pierce the membrane of dreams, and a scale-model map of the trajectories of a broken heart. Oh, and a soccer player who decides to be a woman. Heady stuff, all still ill-formed, just jostling around my head at this time.

Holy Week also allows me a couple of days to return to various manuscripts I've put on hold (actually, perhaps only on Easter Sunday because the group has decided to spend the Holy Days - from Thursday to Black Saturday - over at Tagaytay again, like last year, only this time, Sage is coming along): the plays "Interstitial" and "Working Title: Found", plus an odd number of stillborn short stories and vignettes. I somehow also plan to edit for possible publication my novel "Salamanca" and a short story derived from it, "Gaudencio & Jacinta". And maybe, just maybe, write a couple of comic book scripts, including one for my best friend's anthology due late this year (for someone who has sworn off comics this year, I seem to be helplessly, deliriously trapped into making them).

Ambitious, yes, given the time, but hell, I've been existing on an absurd timeframe anyway for the past several weeks, so I know I can produce a few somethings under duress.

It's all like an odd reaction, stemming from the fact that I've been creatively bereft for practically the entire first quarter of this year. Any published work that comes out was done last year (a comic book story in Marco Dimaano's "KIA", a short story in Sarge Lacuesta's "Latitudes", another bit of grafiction whenever the ill-starred "Siglo: Passion" gets published, and hopefully, most hopefully, a bit of speculative fiction in the next Ratbastards anthology).

I don't regret all the business-type work I've had to do these past three months. Apart from paying the bills, the money generated provides for a stable future for my little nuclear family and permits the occassional lapse into indulgence (I surprised Nikki with a copy of her beloved childhood book "The Borrible Trilogy" by Michael de Larrabeiti and completed, for myself, all five volumes of Bill Willingham's "Fables"). But I do need to write, sometimes for no other reason than to keep a degree of sanity or to persuade myself that I am still able to actually do so. Writers must keep writing, even if it occurs in painful little spurts interrupted by tracks of seemingly geological time (by which, as you know, things like the formation of diamonds are measured).

I also plan to read. A lot. A small pile of books has been gathering dust in our home, and really, writers need to read. A lot. Pick a reason, any reason: for pleasure, for research, for ideas, for inspiration, for release, for conceit, to keep abreast of things, whatever. I have fiction and non-fiction (and this season I'm more excited about the non-fiction) to bite into.

Plus, I've received a number of stories and plays from other writers requesting critiques, comments and observations and I fully intend to reply to all. I am, by no means, the best writer around or the best resource person to ask, but if I can somehow help a fellow writer along, I will attempt to do so - if it is within my means. This will take the most time, though, so I ask everyone who sent me something to be patient, and to prod me with a gentle email reminder a few weeks from now.

So, lots to do, lots to do. I feel invigorated already.


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