‘fast food fiction delivery’ delivered

On Saturday, we attended the launch of Fast Food Fiction Delivery at Powerbooks Greenbelt, organized by Anvil. We got there right on time and was happy to see a huge crowd. We’re used to twiddling our thumbs while waiting for seats to fill up during book launches, so it was a nice surprise. (But then, as editor Noelle pointed out, there were 68 authors in the anthology.)

Fast Food Fiction Delivery is a collection of short short stories (around 500 words). The launch featured readings, cold cuts, cheese, wine (see how I went straight to food). It was great to meet up and chat with writers and friends. Thanks to all who dropped by, and thanks to Noelle and Mookie for including my story.

My story in the book is called “Stories from the City”. Consider picking up the collection if you’re looking for quick reads.

Fast Food Fiction Delivery launch

Fast Food Fiction Delivery launch

Fast Food Fiction Delivery launch

Fast Food Fiction Delivery launch

Fast Food Fiction Delivery launch

start the year right with book launches! fast food fiction + chasing tales + the cabinet revival issue

Hi all! How’s your 2015 so far? I’ll have to start with a teeny tiny bad news. Bad news for me personally, but good for devout Catholics in the country: the Pope will be arriving in Manila later today, but due to his arrival and activities here, several roads will be closed. Including our road. Yep. Due to this, I will be missing out on BLTX6 (January 17-18) at Uno Morato in QC. Click here for event details. Do check it out if you are in the area.

The books that will go on sale include Chasing Tales from MoarBooks, which contains a story of mine called “Fairy Tales”, appearing in print for the first time; and the Cabinet’s Revival Issue, which contains a new poem of mine that has not appeared anywhere else, offline or online.

Update: The Revival Issue’s launch has been moved to Jan. 24, 5:30 PM, Uno Morato.

cabinet

bltx6

But before January ends, I will be at the launch of Fast Food Fiction Delivery, a flash fiction anthology edited by Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta and Noelle Q. de Jesus. See you on January 31, 3 PM at Powerbooks Greenbelt!

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what i did on my birthday weekend

– Re-read Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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– Read a bunch of stories from Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series. (I was in a very horror kind of mood.)

– Watched all 13 episodes of Hataraku Maou-Sama (The Devil Is A Part-Timer). The Dark Lord of Ente Isla and his demon general Alsiel flee an attack by using a portal between worlds. They end up in modern Japan, where there is no magic and everything is expensive. The Dark Lord is forced to work part-time at a fast-food restaurant, while Alsiel stays in their rented apartment, figuring out how to get them back to Ente Isla, do housework, and make sure they’re living within budget.

It’s as crazy, charming, and funny as that summary. I loved it to bits.

– Did an interview with Philippine Star SUPREME about creepypasta, NoSleep, and online storytelling. [Read: “The new weird” by Don Jaucian]

– Ate a bowl of Ramen and sea salt caramel chocolate mousse.

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– Received cake, a black balloon, and a bag of treats from my lovely colleagues.

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– Received cake from my siblings.

– Ate a lot of cake.

Flashback:

– Attended the second Usapang May-Akda, featuring Emiliana Kampilan of Dead Balagtas.

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– Bought a new copy of elsewhere held and lingered and had it signed by the author. Happiness.

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– Jaykie and his drawings.

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mibf ’14 + visprint book signing at precious pages

I’m happy to be back at the Manila International Book Fair this year!

It coincided with SM Mall of Asia’s three-day sale, so we decided to head there early — really early — and have breakfast before joining the crowd.

MIBF 2014

MIBF 2014

J had to head elsewhere first, so I walked to SMX from the restaurant. Good thing I chanced upon table-mate Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin (Anim na Sabado ng Beyblade, Visprint, 2013). We walked to the venue together.

Happy for the nameplate, but I still got asked where the registration table was. Haha!

MIBF 2014

I was happy to meet the readers. One of them, Mira, brought us some sweets!

Mira took this lovely photo of me and J at the Visprint table.

MIBF 2014

Tricia and her friend came armed with an Instax camera, which was very cool, and made me very jealous.

Ivy took a nice photo of me.

We stayed at the table until half-past 11.

Look at the crowd.

MIBF 2014

MIBF 2014

MIBF 2014

MIBF 2014

Got these beauties from the Visprint rack at Precious Pages. Till next year!

MIBF 2014

reading progress

Having just wrapped up some personal writing projects, I went back to my woefully neglected reading pile.

We Are All Completely FineWe Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

I will have to agree with Brit Mandelo here and say that expectation is a killer. I bought a copy of We Are All Completely Fine because I just loved the premise (especially when juxtaposed with the title): it’s about a therapy support group for Final Boys and Girls. I thought of slasher flicks, and expected human antagonists instead of supernatural monsters. I expected insights about the terrible effects of trauma and violence instead of plot. I did not get what I expected, which in this case is a bummer. It’s a slim volume, less than 200 pages, and is a breezy read. I’m sure other people will enjoy the ride, as I did (I did rate it 3 out of 5 still). It was just not what I needed at the time.

Unpossible and Other StoriesUnpossible and Other Stories by Daryl Gregory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

Another reason could be that I read Daryl Gregory’s insanely good short story collection first, which I loved so much everything else paled. There are really fresh ideas here about consciousness and physics, coupled with religion and human folly. Heartbreaking fantasy, too. My favorites are “Second Person, Present Tense”, the title story “Unpossible”, and “The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm”, which is set in a country resembling Russia and where Superman is the villain. Gregory was raised a Southern Baptist and works as a programmer, and the influence of both worlds is clear in his fiction.

The Year We Left HomeThe Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1)The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Other things I liked: Jean Thompson’s The Year We Left Homea novel that centers around a family and covers a span of thirty years, the length of a generation. Each chapter can stand on its own as a short story. One can say “epic”, but Thompson chooses to focus on the small things, the unremarkable interactions between people connected by blood, and I enjoyed reading that more. I also loved Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Book 1)and its sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies. A very well-written, very human secondary world saga. I’m on his third book (The Republic of Thieves), but it feels dragging right now, so I had to set it aside first.

visprint launches dwellers + three more books

My heartfelt gratitude to Powerbooks, Ms. Nida Ramirez, Kyra Ballesteros, and the rest of Visprint; artist Aldy Aguirre for creating great art for my book, fellow authors Paolo Chikiamco, Karl De Mesa, and Dean Francis Alfar; fellow Alternative Alamat contributors, and the people who took the time to drop by the launch, listen, chat, buy books and have their copies of Dwellers signed. Thank you very much!

Dwellers is available now in all Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal and Cavite branches of National Book Store and Powerbooks Store, as well as Uno Morato in Quezon City.

For those outside Luzon, copies are also making their way to your book stores.

Photos! I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos, but I thoroughly enjoyed Paolo’s short talk about the rationale behind Alternative Alamat (How come we know more about Greek myths than our own myths?) and the contributors’ individual stories behind their stories, Dean’s advice to new writers (summary: the mechanism is all there, all you have to do is actually sit down and write!), and Karl’s showbiz tsismis. (Talagang yung tsismis yung nag-stand out sa akin ano.)

Dwellers

Dwellers

Dwellers

After the event, celebrating with Jaykie and some ciders.

Dwellers

Dwellers

I also got copies of the books launched that day. Grateful for the heartfelt messages.

Dwellers

Dwellers

Dwellers

Beautiful covers!

Dwellers

Here’s a closer look at Dwellers. I’m loving the size — it’s small enough to fit in your back pocket.

Dwellers

Dwellers

Dwellers

Early reviews from readers are positive and encouraging. :)

For more information about the book, please click here. For questions about availability, kindly contact the publisher.

Thanks, and happy reading!!!

mystic river by dennis lehane

Mystic RiverMystic River by Dennis Lehane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An incredible page-turner that I think was ruined slightly for me by its Epilogue. The tonal (and philosophical) shift in the final section would have been more acceptable if the events it described happened not a couple days later but years later. One character moves from guilt and remorse to an acceptance of his evil in a matter of days? From grief to a rant against gentrification? Hm. But there we have it. Everything before the epilogue though was magic, with searing insight about loss and loneliness, about the end of friendships and the end of innocence, with boundless compassion for its characters, all the while managing to remain suspenseful and entertaining. This is my first Dennis Lehane novel, and what a great novel.

View all my reviews

 

Other books I have recently finished that I feel you should check out: Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp and George O’Connor (which I found fucked-up and terrifying and heartbreaking), and two books by David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.