Saturday, July 29, 2006

Literary Calendar

This week I submitted a grant that I'd worked on for months. Finishing this grant opened up my calendar.

It opened it up just in time for my editor to e-mail me and say he'd finished editing my book. I should be expecting notes soon. I'm looking forward to doing rewrites, but I also have to be emotionally and mentally prepared. (You want me to change what? I can't get rid of those pages; I love those pages.) For the most part, I'd had positive editing experiences. Most of the editors have been kind in phrasing suggestions. However, there have been sh*theads who belittle your skill or talent.

I'm going to use some vacation time to do the rewrites. I'll need those few weeks in August to get this done.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Literary Refusal

I can't do this anymore. I can't be cheap about my work. I was asked to perform for almost nothing. I'd even have to pay my own airfare. When I was younger, I jumped at the chance to perform--anywhere. I was thrilled that someone--anyone--wanted to hear my words and watch me perform. Now, I know the time, effort, and money it takes to put on a show. In some venues, the fee offered would only have covered the cost of materials. I've had to say No to venues because it simply wasn't cost efficient for me to perform. In some cases, I'd lost money from my own pocket.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Literary Universe

I've written about the phenomenon of pageants in The Philippines. One academic I met once said that every Filipino or Filipina has a pageant story to tell. Last Sunday, I felt compelled to go to the grandest pageant of them all: Miss Universe. I went sort of as a cultural anthropologist.

I was amazed at the pageant culture encountered. One person pulled me aside and gave me a rundown of who were the top candidates: Miss Ethiopia--"skin to die for"; Miss Puerto Rico--"stunning"; Miss Japan--"spunk, spunk, spunk."

There were vendors selling pageant dolls and pageant jewelry. There was a lot of press. The press seemed to come from mostly Spanish speaking countries. People came from all over the world to attend this event.

I was perturbed with a piece that ran in the LA Times on Saturday almost mocking the pageant. The piece smelled of first-world privelege, almost looking down on Miss Universe, calling it "an old relic." One thing that the article got right was that pageants--Miss Universe in particular--is cherished by many countries in Asia and Latin America. The article neglected to talk about how such pageants are used as tourism vehicles for countries who need the dough or that winning the pageant for some countries is the same as winning the World Cup. There is that much pride attached to it. Below are some shots that I took. These are only a few of the flags that I managed to capture.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Literary Time Management

Earlier this year, I hoped to finish a draft of a novel by December. I have a deadline for a grant in August. I look forward to doing rewrites for "Talking to the Moon" by September. I promised to submit a short story to an anthology by October. I have a few more columns to write for A&U magazine. I'm writing more than I'd ever been. However, it's still no where near full-time. I work for a nonprofit, a job I thoroughly enjoy. Sometimes, I wonder though what I could accomplish if my only job was writing.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Literary Photo: "Serious" Winner

Thanks to all for participating in my poll. With the posts, the personal e-mails, and people I asked around the water cooler, the "serious" photo won by a landslide (45 to 26).

Expect to see this photo in my next book. Also, this photo will probably be used in most publicity--ur, I hope there will be publicity.

Some choice quotes that people e-mailed me:

"The smiling one looks stiff and phoney to me."

"Having to vote for one, I think I'd go for the smiley one? Or is it the serious one? Well, the smiley one looks like it's been touched up. The serious one looks more natural. I would go with the serious one."

"The serious shot you look more 'doable'.”

"Neither. You don't look good in either picture."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Literary Photo: Serious or Smiley

The time has come when I must really choose which author photo to go with. Afterall, my novel "Talking to the Moon" comes out in February, 2007--mere months away. I was hoping you can help me decide. I've narrowed it down to these two. Let me know which you prefer. The serious one or the smiley one. (Photos by Ericson Herbas)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Literary Expats

I am always flattered when someone chooses to use me or my work to educate others. Pinoyexpats is "an online magazine providing practical information, news features and visuals for Filipino expatriates and immigrants all over the world, with special focus in Europe. Our aim is to feature opinions, advice and ideas to encourage networking among Filipinos."

Pinoyexpats is dedicating an issue to gays and lesbians. Take a look. (Oh, a sample chapter from my next novel Talking to the Moon is part of the interview.)

Ericson Herbas did the photo.