vrijdag 31 oktober 2008

women and ambition

I thought I'd share this article from Bitch Magazine. I gakked this from Leigh Dragoon's blog. Leigh is the editor of Byzarium, she's fabulously outspoken and proudly feminist.

The Ambition Condition: Women, Writing, and the Problem of Ambition by Anna Clark

woensdag 29 oktober 2008

Go read Malcolm Gladwell's article on Late Bloomers in The New Yorker. (gakked from the Philippine Genre Stories blog).

I read that and leaned over to give my husband a hug.

"What was that for?" hubby asks.

"Thanks for being my patron," I said.

This is just beautiful:

Late bloomers’ stories are invariably love stories, and this may be why we have such difficulty with them. We’d like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it’s just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table.

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

updating this blog.

Now that the hectic pace has slowed down and I'm coming back down to earth from the heaven I've been to which is Villa Diodati, I've decided to do a bit of update on stuff I've neglected to blog about while I was in the busy rush to finish the costume/dress, write reviews, submit my columns, and pack a balikbayan box for pickup. All these in the weeks right before I had to go to Villa Diodati.

I've been wanting to blog and thank The Chatelaine for sending me my very own copy of The Blind Chatelaine's Keys. This is Eileen Tabios's latest masterpiece, and I want to express how much I admire Eileen's virtuousity as well as her prolificity. You can also get a copy of this book from Amazon.com. Pretty cool, eh?

Last month's Munting Nayon featured a short review of The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes. I love how Eileen continues to be fresh and innovative and inspiring in her work. And even if my own body of work consists predominantly of the speculative, poetry will always have a special place in my heart, and I'll continue to buy and read poetry because honestly where would we all be without poetry in the world?


Another thing I've neglected to post on here is the announcement about the International Issue of Weird Tales Magazine. This issue which includes my story, The Wordeaters, also contains another story written by a pinoy expat. I am so looking forward to getting my contrib copies as well as my subscriber copy. I remember sending this story to Luisa Igloria, and it was her words of encouragement that kept me sending out this piece and believing in it. I mean, if an award-winning poet and teacher thinks it's good, then someone else must surely share that opinion.

Heartfelt thanks to Ann VanderMeer. She is an amazing woman whom I'd love to meet someday.


Coming back from Villa Diodati, hubby and I had a long sitdown talk. Our conclusion was that I should try my darndest best to get into one of the Clarion workshops. And yes, this is a dream I've had somewhere in the back of my head, but what with having a toddler and a school-going kid, I had sort of shelved this ambition because it seemed like an impossible dream. Suddenly, it looks possible. Of course, I still have to write a couple of kick-ass stories that will just convince the panel to take a chance on me. But yes, Villa Diodati has challenged and encouraged me and I realize that I see it now as being possible as before Villa Diodati, I'd sort of just seen myself as someone who tries their darndest best to make sense of story with the available tools I've got, but who really is totally clueless and hasn't got a chance in the world.

I am thinking of this woman who told me that I would never get far writing in English because Filipinos will never be able to write good enough to satisfy native english speakers. While that comment devastated my younger self, I did take that as a challenge, and I suppose it was that comment resonating in the back of my head that's pushed me all these years to improve and to become better than myself because I had to prove that "yes, the Filipino can."

I wish I remembered who the woman was, but I certainly owe her a debt of gratitude. Without those words, I would never have challenged myself or set such stringent rules on my own writing. I know there's still lots of room for improvement. There are still tons of things I don't know and I sometimes get confused when people talk about plot arc and character arc...and all that...but I absorb everything...I absorb and think and read and do my darndest best to reach down and dig deep and be more than what I am today. And I will accept all the criticism and advice I can get because God knows, I do need it.

So yes, I am going to finish that novel...yes, I am going to work on getting into Clarion, and I've got more incentive now to keep going because I can hardly quit right now that I'm in the middle of the game. I mean, what message would that send to my boys?

Well...this is a pretty hefty post, but I'm in this state of mind where I think I have to say it out loud because this means I can't back out and say...oh, that was just me talking out loud. ha, ha...

Wish me luck as I prep my application stories.


updating this blog.

vrijdag 10 oktober 2008

The Dress

Thought I'd post some pictures of the dress I've been working on. It's been quite an experience...took me longer than I'd bargained for, but it was a learning thing. I love the material on the bodice, and I like that the skirt flares just the way it should. Hemming it was a bit of a nightmare though. I shall now go and iron the thing, and I just remembered I'm supposed to make a mini-version for the doll the little girl is going to carry (waaah). I think the doll should be fairly easy. I'm planning to just give it a handkerchief skirt attached to a bodice similar to this dress.

woensdag 8 oktober 2008


I've been asked to sew a dress for my friend's daughter. She's five years old and she'll be dancing a little ballet on Saturday. I was happy to find the right material at the Utrechtse Stoffenmarkt (cloth market) particularly as there was this stall that sold lovely lengths of decorated cloth that I thought would do perfectly for the bodice of the dress.

I based the skirt of the dress on this pattern but I changed the bodice to a fitted one using the lovely heavily embroidered cloth that I found in the market. We had our first and final fitting this afternoon, and I'm quite pleased to say the dress is almost all done except for some hemming and attachment of the straps.

I'm rather proud of myself seeing as this is the most ambitious sewing project I've taken on to date. When the dress is done, I'll take some pics and post on here.

It's been a while since I've been to the cloth market and I realized that with fashion focusing on the skirt and the dress, it might not be such a bad idea to visit this market more regularly. The Utrecht Cloth Market offers quite a good variety at very reasonable prices. Not bad when you compare how a lace dress easily costs close to (and even over) a hundred euros...sewing it yourself might save you half the price and it certainly will be more fun than settling for your regular consumer-type dress.

I did a bit of searching on youtube while preparing for this dress (my friend didn't want your regular tutu, she wanted something special), and I stumbled across some footage of Katherine Healy.

I've been sitting here, thinking of how when someone dances like this, it's like watching poetry in motion. . .

woensdag 1 oktober 2008

The Fix

crossposting from my lj:

I just realized the need to go look for jumping up and down with excitement avatars. I am now an official reviewer for The Fix and my first review is now up. Feel free to go click on the link :)


And while you're there, you might want to check out Marshall Payne's interview with M.K. Hobson.

Philippine Specfic discussions

The TOC for Philippine Speculative Fiction IV is now up on Dean's blog. You can go there or you can click on the link to the TOC from here.

Catching up on my blogreading, there's a lot of discussion going on in the blogosphere concerning Filipino speculative fiction and what it is. I've tried to follow links to the discussions whenever I can, but I do have a busy toddler, so that makes posting and responding to posts rather challenging.

Anyway, I do have my own thoughts on labelling and on the subject of speculative fiction...in fact, I question how some folks are quick to call something non-literary, when we all know that only time will tell whether something is literary or not. Not so long ago, I put this question to my aunt, and she told me it's all a matter of semantics, and actually, given time the stories we write today will be labelled "literary" and "classic" in the far, far future. I suppose this means when we're all long dead and buried and by then it's quite possible that another revolution will have started up to turn the entire "literary scene" on its head.

Anyway, Dean Alfar has got this excellent post about speculative fiction and I think he's got all the links to every other major post.