I’ve spent the past few months reading speculative short fiction by Filipino/a writers. It’s a fun way for me to explore my roots and also helps me to discover the kinds of stories other Filipinos/as are writing. Thanks to the magic of ebooks and Amazon, I’ve been able to access some wonderful collections of stories originally published in the Philippines (and for a while, difficult to find in the United States). One of my recent purchases comes from an annual anthology series entitled Philippine Speculative Fiction, which began in 2005 as the brainchild of husband and wife writers/editors, Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar. They strove to promote the writing and reading of speculative fiction in the Philippines by publishing some of the best stories they could get their hands on. Fast forward to 2017, and the anthology series is still going strong with volume 11 currently in the works. I’ve been reading one of their special anthologies, Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010, just to get my feet wet. Instead, I plunged into the deep end. It’s been a revelation thus far. (more…)
Poetry. It’s an art form I don’t claim to be very good at, yet it’s something I like to write when the mood hits. My poems are personal; I don’t share them because they’re a form of catharsis for me. Sometimes, there are emotions I’d rather keep to myself: sadness, frustration, fear, or anger. Also, as I mentioned, I’m not that great at poetry. Whenever I write it, I feel like a dolphin that suddenly finds itself in the middle of a barren desert and has no idea how to get back to the ocean. Although, I’d assume the solution would involve a whole lot of flopping. And dehydration.
Last weekend, I attended the AWP Conference. It was my first time going to a writer centric convention. I had some odd run-ins at the end of the day (more on that later), but the conference itself was a fantastic experience. The event ran from Thursday to Saturday, but I was only able to attend the final day’s festivities. I have to save my vacation time for two more future trips to Maine. At the very least. 🙂