Last December, I went on a cruise to the western Caribbean with a couple of family members — my cousin and her son. We sailed out of Miami via Norwegian Cruise Line and visited several countries: Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. Sadly, we didn’t encounter any swashbucklers or mermaids, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. As a writer, I’m always looking for opportunities to learn more about the world by experiencing other places and cultures. I usually accomplish this by living vicariously through books. On the occasions that I can do that in person, however, I try to keep my eyes open for moments that may result in a creative spark or a change in perspective. The following is a travel journal, documenting some of what I experienced. (more…)
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…)
It’s been seven days since the end of the historic and crazy U.S. presidential election of 2016. I’m still trying to process the reality that Donald J. Trump is the president-elect of the United States and how that will impact my life for the next four years. As a writer, I’ve always allowed ideas to ripen in my head before I pluck them, prep them, and serve them on the page. Regarding the election, I’m not sure if I’m ready to express my thoughts, but there are times when physically seeing my words actually helps me to navigate the mixed emotions roiling within. So, here goes. (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. 🙂