happy new year!

It’s been an interesting year. A better year, I think, personally, than my confusing 2012. This year I: Moved in with J, learned to cook (sort of), traveled out of the country for the first time, went to Panglao with my siblings for the first time, wrote and read stories (always, always), tried my hand at publishing, selling, and marketing my own stuff, talked to readers, ate good food, laughed in the company of good people.

May 2014 be kind, and may we be kinder to ourselves and to each other.

Here’s to more stories! (Always–always.)

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goodbye 2012: some leftover love for the past year

Year-Ender

I love blogging because it compensates for my horrible memory. My mother remembers precise details – she knows when she bought the pink curtains, what month each of her children started work – and I’ve always been amazed by that. I’m not good with dates. Thank God for Facebook reminding me about friends’ birthdays.

So! The year that was. I am glad I still found the time to read books. Here’s my Top Ten reads for 2012, as told to Flipside.

I am also grateful to find the time to write, and to find people willing to publish (and read!) my work. Year 2012 saw the publication of three of my books, most recently my short story collection. Plus six poems and six short stories, with several reprints, and various pieces forthcoming.

Highlights:

Leftover Reviews from 2012

The Hobbit

the-hobbit_2409864k

You can feel Peter Jackson’s hands taking both ends of some scenes and just stretching them to justify turning a single relatively slim fantasy book into a trilogy, but Martin Freeman seems born for this role, and the lightheartedness of the adventure is a great foil to Frodo’s Fellowship. That scene where Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) first meets Gollum (Andy Serkis) is chilling and pitch-perfect.

Magic Mike – My brother watched this alone, and he kept wondering, Why did I even watch this alone? It’s entertaining, but I wished the other dancers (aside from Magic Mike and The Kid) are more three-dimensional, and I thought that last kiss was forced.

The Adventures of Tintin – I should have watched this on the big screen. Amazing animation.

John Carter – It could have been a memorable fantasy film, but the filmmakers made the mistake of hiring Tim Riggins. Taylor Kitsch seems perpetually bored, and the moments that are supposed to be comedic fall flat. I was frustrated the whole time I was watching it. Argh.

The Raid: Redemption – (The Indonesian title is The Deadly Raid, or The Raid) An Indonesian action film with brutal, well-choreographed fight scenes. It’s what you get if you jettison most of the dialogue from your favorite action flick. I would have asked for more character depth, but the film knows what it is and what it can give. Take it or leave it.

Night of Hunters

tori-amos-night-of-hunters

I am a fan of Tori Amos. I discovered her in high school when I saw a video of “1000 Oceans”, and I’ve looked for her music ever since. I remember walking home in college, listening for the first time to her debut album Little Earthquakes, and falling in love with “Silent All These Years”. She is inventive, she is a great piano player, and her lyrics are poetry. Night of Hunters contains songs that are variations on pieces by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, but the album also tells a story of a lost love in the time of ancient gods and magic. Her daughter sings as the child guide Annabelle and her niece plays the Fire Muse. The musical interlude in “Star Whisperer” (Variation on Schubert’s Andantino from Piano Sonata in A major, D 959) is heaven, and the anger and fear in “Shattering Sea” (Variation on Alkan’s Song of the Madwoman on the Sea-Shore, Prelude Op. 31, No. 8) is flawless.

I would very much love to see her play live.

Promise

Good health and a healthy weight for 2013. Diet starts now.

hello 2013

It’s the second day of the new year and I’m scrambling to get some work done. So? How have you all been? Wait, let me just share with you these links before I dash:

  • Thursday Never Looking Back, an anthology about the world’s end, is now available on Amazon. Buy a copy! It has three of my poems, and great work from local authors.
  • Authors talk to the Manila Bulletin about what books to give as gifts. It’s never too late to go book-shopping. Read about our answers here.
  • Jerald Uy on Rappler lists A Bottle of Storm Clouds as one of several Pinoy book you can give to your loved ones.
  • My poems – “Ten Truths”, “Somebody tell the river”, and “Elegy for the lost minutes” – will appear in an upcoming issue of UK-based literary magazine, NEON. Many thanks to editor Krishan Coupland. http://www.neonmagazine.co.uk/
  • For those who can’t find A Bottle of Storm Clouds in the bookstores, you can order a copy online via Lazada. It’s available for nationwide delivery.
  • Meann Ortiz on GMA News Online recommends Lower Myths and other books.

For more information about my published works, please visit this page.

Back home, found these babies, old issues of Asimov’s SF.

Asimov's SF

And here’s J, channeling Bruce Lee in Bulacan.

J as Bruce Lee

More blather about 2012 to follow. But I’m grateful, grateful, grateful. Happy New Year, everybody!  :)

2011, year in review

Tough year. It’s the year of floods and self-doubt, but for this personal post, I’ll focus on the bright moments.

This year I got a new camera.

This year I went to the Yale House Party.

This year we celebrated the New Year without fireworks. Hooray!

This year I joined a fun run. Just 3k, but still.

This year we watched Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, the play.

And of course, lovely Valentine’s Day.

This year I went to the launch of Kritika Kultura, which published one of my poems.

And then there’s the Palawan trip!

This year I ordered books online for the first time.

This year we went to a garage sale for Japan.

Book swap night, a constant.

Sherlock!

Holy Week escapade!

This year I got one of my stories recorded as an audio story.

This year I gave away books.

This year I attended the always-fun PSF book launch.

Got my cervical cancer vaccine shots.

This year I got a poem nominated for the Free Press Awards.

This year I played the Game of Thrones boardgame!

This year I got a new job.

This year I got myself a Galaxy Tab!

This year I received my second Palanca Award for poetry.

This year I read a poem to an audience.

This year I quite enjoyed the office Halloween party.

This year is the year of kindness. :)

Two years!

Good food!

This year I got nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

This year I read some good books.

This year I had four poems and thirteen stories published or accepted for publication.

A good year, despite it all.

2012, please be kind.

dec. 31 to jan. 1

I told my father not to buy firecrackers anymore for very obvious reasons, and I was glad he followed my order advice. The paper was put to bed early so I was able to take the office shuttle to Cubao and get on a bus by 6:30 p.m. When I reached home (8:30 or so) some house was blasting the neighborhood with ear-splitting music. That house turned out to be our house.

My father, who was already drunk, had set up his sound system on the terrace. Minutes later I heard my father singing. An hour later he started deejaying. No shit. “Happy New Year!” he’d shout, then he’d play an 80’s song. “Good song, good song!” At one point the volume was turned up so high my sister handed him my brother’s headphones to protect his ears. Then we closed the door to the terrace while he’s inside because we couldn’t hear ourselves think. Haha! He didn’t mind. He was bopping his head to the music when we went downstairs to drink.

My brother became quite talkative (and dizzy) after his third glass. Every now and then my father would come downstairs (still wearing the headphones) and practically bellow at us, saying that he loved our mother! And that my brothers will never find a woman as precious as her! And my sister and I will never find a guy as handsome as him!

Okay! Calm down!

Craziest media noche ever.

And we didn’t even have firecrackers.

* * *

Also brought home my compli copy of the Inquirer book.

* * *

The night of January 1 was time well spent with Jaykie’s family. I enjoyed the macaroni salad!

* * *

I should really take note of the stories I read online.

Fiction find

re: The Last Man on Earth” from Expanded Horizons

2010, year in review

Everybody’s been doing this lately.

This year our store was destroyed by a fire, but my parents got up from the tragedy quickly and got things going again.

This year Jaykie got sick, a difficult time for the both of us, but he got better after a week and now he’s as healthy as ever.

This year I got sick, but it was nothing serious, just a moment’s annoyance.

This year I gained the pounds I lost in 2009 (I needed to get jeans that are an inch wider). I have to admit the weight gain made me miserable – very miserable at times – but I’m positive now I’ll lose them again next year.

This year I moved to another unit due to asshole caretakers, but that’s a thing of the past. (I like the new unit better.)

This year I attended my first Open Gaming Meet.

This year I attended my first Komikon and met Manix Abrera. I also attended Toycon.

This year I attended the first Polyhedral.

This year I finally got to see Avenue Q onstage!

This year I listened to presidential candidates debate/make fools of themselves -LIVE. And  I voted!

This year I got a children’s book published. (Just recently, Jaykie told me the story made his 5-year-old nephew cry.)

This year I produced seven short stories and nine poems which appeared in various publications, and nine reviews and four essays for Philippine Online Chronicles.

This year I won a literary award. (Free Press!)

This year I made collages, but unfortunately had to stop because the new unit didn’t have enough room for me to post them.

This year I got published in Philippine Speculative Fiction V, and attended the book launch. Always a fun treat.

This year I took pictures of old pictures.

This year I had a perm.

This year I learned I needed glasses.

This year I had a Valentine’s Day that’s not lonely, for once.

This year we went to Bohol with his friends – our first trip together.

 

This year I took him to Bulacan to meet my parents, months after I met his. Both events went really well.

This year I turned 24.

This year we celebrated our first year together.

This year was the first full year I spent in love with someone.

This year was happier because it had you in it.

 

To more years, and may 2011 be kind, even kinder.