Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I'm off to the Philippines :) It's not like I've been updating my blog that regularly, but who knows how much time I'll have to write blog entries in between all the reunions taking place and my parents celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.

It's going to be pretty busy, but I'll try to get online regularly.

I've got a huge surprise for my parents who've been moaning about me having only one child :) This news has been keeping me so preoccupied lately...ha, there's the explanation for feeling somewhat under-the-weather which is so unusual for me.

To top off this surprise I receive an email from the editor of Route's Skin Byteback. A piece I submitted is being considered for inclusion in this upcoming byteback. It turns out the editor for this byteback book is Crista Ermiya. I was quite impressed by her story, Surf Scoter, which appeared in Wonderwall, and remember taking note of her name and looking it up in the author listing...and being quite, quite pleased and proud to discover she is half-filipino.

It was such a wonderful surprise to find out she's editing this byteback.

I am taking lots of books to read on the trip home and to share with my dear bookwormish brothers and sister :) Oh, I am so happy to be reunited with them all again...I look forward to wonderful discussions over the dinner table...all that stimulating talk...and I am hoping to visit my aunt on her farm and look forward to meeting Dean Alfar in person.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The dream is over...Netherlands loses to Portugal with a score of 1-0. Portugal scored one goal early in the first half. After that, it was hard work. Lots of yellow and red cards, according to the guy who does the voice over, this is a first in the history of the World Cup. Four red cards dealt out during a play. The game ended with nine players playing against nine.

I won't say how maddening it was the number of times the game came to a dead stop just as the Dutch team were in attack. I realized one of the things a football player needs to be is a good actor. According to Jan, a good number of the injuries that stopped the game were played out and milked for rest time and just to kill the momentum of the attacking team.

Netherlands had the most possession of the goal. In terms of statistics, was a pretty strong team. Luck just wasn't on our side tonight.

Some poignant moments...Cheering Portuguese backdropped by the disappointment and grief on the faces of the Dutch team. There was one shot of Van der Sar with tears running down his face.

All in all, quite a game. I found it quite "spannend". Rooting for Orange every step of the way...but what do you do when luck just isn't on your side?

Nevertheless, I do believe the Dutch team deserves a great round of applause for playing a good game. After all, as Van Basten says in this article , the Dutch team is quite a young team. For a young team, they made a pretty good showing. So here's to the next World Cup and here's to hoping Lady Luck will smile on Orange next time around.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friendship and I-Walk

I-Walk is one of those stories that's been sitting on my hard drive waiting for the moment when I get around to rewriting it. The thing with writing Science Fiction (something I came to realize after my Children of the Falling Stars boo-boo) is how science fiction readers do look for real and solid science fiction facts. As a friend of mine said, the science fiction publications are looking for more hard-core science fiction which is based on hard science.

It wasn't my intention to write science fiction. I was thinking more along the lines of cross-genre fantasy. However, the I-Walk took its own science wending and I ended up struggling with aspects of communication where my knowledge is practically nihil.

My Jan is a radio amateur and knows a lot about communication, but I didn't know exactly what I was looking for, until last night's get together with his friends. Peter van der Post, Jan and Nel van Ooijen and Egon Honing, you guys are super. As radio enthusiasts, it was inevitable that the conversation turned to technical details, and so I learned about PCSA and antennas and how width is just as important as height, and it was awesome hearing Jan van Ooijen talk about his experience of going up to the top of the place that inspired I-Walk.

I love how these guys have the patience to explain in layman's terms the technical aspects that I don't quite get. And which my brain is currently regurgitating. All of this will eventually find its way into I-Walk and I can visualize how the story will be changed with this information, with this talk about ether and space, and communication, analog versus digital and all that.

Hm, hm. I should tell Peter that I read the PGAZ bulletins he sends around and I found it so interesting to note how another story in the works seems to have more solid science foundation than I thought it did. *big smile*

After the guys went home, I thought of how it isn't often that we come across true friends. And I told Jan how much I appreciated his friends for taking the time to come over and spend the evening with us. Never mind that the chicken legs didn't quite work out as I wanted them to, at least the lumpia and the pancit did a good showing :)

It's funny how life seems to rush by so fast in this country. Odd how little we see of each other inspite of living not so far from the other. It could be a matter of culture, I suppose, but I would love friends to feel at home to drop by whenever they feel like it. In the Philippines, our friends become part of our extended family, and that's how I'd like our friends here to feel.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Almost forgot to blog about this:

What I did this Summer (reprinted from Poetry Life and Times) is now up on Haruah. I won't be inflicting much more poetry on Haruah, I hope. We just had an infuse of great submissions :)
Yesterday´s Game:

Australia versus Croatia ends at 2-2. Australia is the 8th finalist for the World Cup. Guus Hiddink , Australia's calm and resolute coach, works his magic for Australia as he did for South Korea four years ago.

I like too how the present Dutch team has proven sceptics wrong. Wednesday's game was brilliant. Go, Orange!Certainly, Orange didn't make it easy for the Argentinians. That was some fantastic football played on the field. Certainly, the Dutch play more magic football than the English do...but that could be my bias speaking .

I mustn't watch too much football. I've got loads of packing to do.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I stand duly corrected. It isn't Van der Saar ( common mistake apparently ) but Van der Sar. Thanks to Ton van't Hof .
Trying to recapture rituals observed in childhood:

Growing up in the North, it was inevitable that we heard chants in the mountains, that we should observe baki being performed, that we were be exposed to these rituals that accompany harvest and planting of rice, marriage, courtship and death.

I find it odd thinking about this and realizing these rituals would sound more fantastic and mythic than true-to-life to a western reader.

Observing this, I have to think of how it is so easy to pass off true tribal history for fantasy of the sword and sorcery type.
Today's poetry shot comes from this poem on Gamma Ways.

Thanks for sharing this, Mark. And I publicly admitted that I am a poetry junkie :) I confess:

Ik ben in
de ban

geraakt. ik
kan niet meer



i have been

i can
no longer live


golden hands
save the day


Van der Saar is one of my favorite Orange players. He's an excellent keeper who proves himself time and again.

Did I forget to post about Netherlands and Argentina ending in a 0-0 tie?

That was great football yesterday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Something Damn Interesting . A link my bro sent to me.
I've come to accept that Haruah won't be a magazine like Verbsap or Otoliths .

So, what is Haruah going to be like? It's still in its early stages and I am quite curious to see whether it will make it and prove itself as The Sword Review and DKA have proven themselves. Another challenge here is drawing the line when it comes to pieces with genre/speculative elements. I think it's time to get myself a copy of Glimmertrain , since this is the mag almost every writer aspires to appear in. I wonder just how much genre is considered literary genre. This is something I'm hoping Glimmertrain can clarify for me, as I've been told Glimmertrain does entertain literary genre. But what is literary genre?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The Sea has Wings by Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor . A stunning poem. Bec has got this strong, lyrical voice that stays with the reader.

the sea has wings that beat the scent
of mangrove trees and sampaguita
across the waves,

Love that image.

This poem has got to be one of the best pieces to appear on Haruah yet. The images in these lines are so compelling, I regret not being able to paint or draw, because this poem haunted me with visions of a woman standing at the edge of water at the break of day and the wind flowing into her as she catches up magic in her hair, in her arms, in her cloak.

The Sea has Wings.


Over at Haruah a question was raised as to what kind of work Haruah is looking for. I think it's harder to define work and choice as the editorial team is comprised of more than one person and we all have very different tastes. So, while I do have some say in the decision process, it is more of a majority rules process.

Personally though, I find it a bit maddening to receive tons of preachy work and work that has obviously not gone through a good criticque group. A writer should never underestimate the value of objective feedback, even if it's just to pick out all those little grammatical boo-boos we tend to make.

Here was my response on that thread over at Haruah:

You can say, I've got a pretty eclectic taste when it comes to poetry.

I admire lyric poetry just as much as I admire experimental and edgy work. I do love work that pushes the boundaries. In fiction and poetry, I tend to shy away from preachy. There are excellent ways of handling religious themes without preaching to the reader. I like work that engages the reader, work that challenges the reader, and yes definitely well-written.

Darker themes are welcome. Life is not all roses and sunshine.

I believe that in some way, Haruah longs to break through certain stereotypes clinging to "christian" writing.

More on this subject at another date. My eyes are swelled up again and my sinuses are killing me.
Followed the link on Ivy's blog and took the Mutant test

Well, gee...there's two of me living upside down of each other. Most of it is also true. That part about putting the milk in the freezer...ha, ha, ha...that was so spot-on. I really did that once in a fit of absentmindedness. Talk about topsy-turvy logic...


Your parasite, also known as a duplicata incompleta, is what would have been a conjoined twin attached to you at the head, but its development was stunted in the womb.

You often have the feeling that you are not alone, though nobody accosts you, or blocks your path. More, it seems you possess a sort of guardian or alter ego, someone who watches over you, but who sees things you do not see, or sees the same things, but from an inverse perspective. You are occasionally stirred by sensations that have no identifiable source within conscious experience. You occasionally perform actions you did not intend, e.g. putting away the milk in the freezer, that seem to reflect some sort of logic, but a logic that is back to front, or topsy-turvy. Sometimes it is a burden to know that for everything you think you understand, there is another interpretation you cannot access—probably one that, if revealed, would turn everything you believe on its head. Usually, though, this is a source of secret satisfaction, as it may be the case that what seems to you your worse mistake may be in fact your salvation. You are particularly drawn to the optical trickery of the Changing Head. Your literary form is the ghost story.

You are related to...
The Two-Headed Boy of Bengal, born in 1783 in Mundul Gait, Bengal

Monday, June 19, 2006

the stairs
to my tower

only I
had a net

catch thoughts
fleeting as butterflies.
I keep on thinking about the body and about death and dying and how the landscape of memory changes...

Concerning the death of the body...

After the climax of loving, the body descends down into death. Observe the detritus of passion: how the walk deteriorates into a shamble, the body staggers in on itself, loses its balance, lets go of control.

You look into the mirror and see this ghost swallowed up in the quiver of flesh. And you wonder if the rolling hills of your belly, and the capsule of your thighs were ever anything more.

So the body descends into dying.

Into this chaos of disorderly mornings, into this uncoordinated movement of limbs, this surrender to “come what may”, and “it is as it is.” Sometimes, you’ll want to push aside the suffocation of being. The moment passes, and you remain trapped within this prison of eternal flesh.

Oh when will we learn to let birds fly?
When will we learn to free each other
from ties that bind?

You grow inside that ghost of you. Shiver inside the cell of self. You reach out your arms, stretch out your hands, flex your fingers, break through the form, tear through the flesh, shout down the wall, spring free from the cage, become –

this bird wanting to fly free
this self longing to be unbound
this spirit finding its wings...

And I'm thinking of how this is all still related to this and how all my tales of late, turn back to source this.

( )

(if I could voice you, I would )
Been hibernating due to hay fever. *cough, cough*, sniff, sniff...and see my red eyes. We pulled up all the weeds from our front garden yesterday and I'm still all puffy-eyed. *sniff* I remember the days when I loved gardening.

Books I am carrying around the house with me:

Eileen Tabios's The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I


Ernesto Priego's Not Even Dogs.

Two Submission Calls picked up from
The Chatelaine's blog. Get cracking with those hay(na)ku :)

Ernesto's Not Even Dogs.

There's so much I owe to the hay(na)ku form, so many reasons I love this form. Like how Ernesto writes:

word leads
to an other:

and further on down:

yes, because,
it's all sequences,

indeed, we're
not only one

chains, because
we are chained,

and yet again:

time understands,
like the passage

words, one
to an other.

poem is
more than this,

world in
a sand grain,

heaven in
a wild flower:

I have to think again of how I like the openness of the form, how meanings are revealed and yet veiled. Hay(na)ku continues to be a challenge, it continues to be a fascination. As Ernesto writes:

words are
more than tercets,

only stanzas
but puzzle pieces,

There's so much to cherish and love about this book.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Yay! We're through :) Netherlands wins over The Ivory Coast, 2-1. Two fantastic goals from Robin van Persie en Ruud van Nestelrooij.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Football Fever

Today: England wins from Trinidad and Tobago. The score: 2-0 ;
Sweden wins from Portugal. The score: 1-0

There's poetry in football too. Something so moving about hearing the sound of a nation's anthem being sung as the crowd cheers their team onward to victory.

Listening to the Dutch voice over, I couldn't help thinking how there is poetry in lines like these:

De hoop is verloren voor Trinidad en Tobago...
Het sprookje is voorbij...
Tranen lopen over
voor Paraguay
einde van
WK dromen

Hope is lost for Trinidad and Tobago
The fairytale is over
Tears fall
for Paraguay
end of
WK dreaming.


And then there's that smile on Beckham's face. That Beckham, no wonder he's got so many fans. Watching him on the field...he's like magic in motion...uber-knight in the 20th century. And that smile when Crouch made the goal : poetry unfolding. There and gone again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just arrived in my mailbox, straight from Espana, Ernesto Priego's Not Even Dogs

Yay! The long wait is over. I'm off to soak in poetry :)
Warm weather over here...almost tropical actually...and we are well into the World Championship Football series. Netherlands won their first game on Sunday with 1-0. A great goal from Arjen Robben. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping Van der Saar will be in good health all throughout the games. He's the best keeper we have, my opinion he is the best keeper. I mean, he does these fantastic saves. Nestelrooi didn't get a chance at the ball this game. Too many players keeping him from that ball.

Yesterday was Ghana versus Italy. Italy, by and far the favorite. They always win anyway. But the team from Ghana gave them a good run for their money. In my heart, I wished a goal for Ghana, but inspite of all their chances at goal, everything went wide off the mark. A bit more work and I'm sure Ghana will be a top contender. They did keep Italy on their toes with their fast play...although towards the end, weariness came in and the match ended at 3-0 in favor of Italy. Clearly an instance of technique winning the day, as technically speaking Italy is head and shoulders above the Ghana team. It was a good match, though. Quite exciting to watch. Those Ghana players are really fast on their feet.
Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about her at the Galadriel Worshippers Army.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Just for the fun of it, I decided to go ahead and take the test again, this time answering the exact opposite of what I would normally say. Turns out, if I were the opposite of me, I'd be Raistlin Majere .

You can take the test here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Netherlands wins from Serbia and Montenegro, 0-1

Orange fever in The Netherlands. Almost tropical in this heat that peaked at 30 degrees yesterday. Inspite of the heat, the Dutch team came through and won their first match with a brilliant goal by Robben. I am not a football fanatic, but when it comes to the World Championships, I somehow can't seem to avoid cheering for orange . They're our team after all.

After the match ended, you could hear horns sounded everywhere, and cheers coming from homes where folks sat gathered around the tv set. Joel in orange gear, with his hair sprayed orange for the occassion, a Dutch flag on his cheek, because he was no. 1 Orange supporter...he still sports the tatoo today, but it's washable and will have to really go tonight.

Buying football cards -- ah...what mother can resist helping their son to assemble just the right amount of cards to paste into the WK sticker book. I hope he completes his set before WK season ends.

Oh yes, and according to Joel Jan: Arjen Robben is The Man!
Ron Silliman's review of My Spaceship, has made me really want to read the chapbook.

A lot of deleted remarks in the squawkbox, which only made me curiouser and curiouser . I suppose I must have been a nosey reporter in another life.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Sword Review

An Interview with Mark Young is now up at The Sword Review.

That was the last on this month's listing. Off to prep and submit the next batch of columns.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I am going to wait one more day before sending Lulu a follow-up email. What's with the long delay? According to their email, they're printing the book in Europe. It's about a month since I ordered Ernesto's book and still no sign of it anywhere.

I'm quite curious though about My Spaceship which is an anthology of ekphrastic work based on science fiction images. Interesting. Might be something to write about for The Sword Review .

Which reminds me of Interzone 203 . This edition features Paul di Filippo's flash pieces in response to Todd Schorr's paintings. I think Interzone made a coup with this one, and is one of the reasons I enjoy reading the mag. Paul di Filippo's piece is entitled: The Furthest Schorr, 32 fugues on the paintings of Todd Schorr. I'm not yet done reading all of it.

I've also heard that Michael Moorcock will be writing a collection of short stories based on illustrations left behind by Mervyn Peake (Gormenghast Trilogy, Alice in Wonderland etc.).

All this ekphrastic work going on, makes me think of how the lines between written art and visual art are growing thinner. A nice thought. I'm wondering what science fiction work will look like say 100 years from now.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Got this submission call and press release in my mailbox:

Dear poets and editors,
zafusy is looking to publish some not-previously-published hay(na)ku.

If anyone would like to send some over please visit our submission guidelines and get in touch.

If any bloggers out there would consider posting a submission call for us we would be humbly thankful :-)

Look forward to reading them!

Yours, Jody Porter

PS: A thank you goes to Eileen Tabios for the form..
zafusy Online Poetry Journal
For some reason, my blogger is all in Dutch. Takes getting used to. Been busy these past few days. Busy, busy, busy. Working on stories, stories, and more stories. I think Rina's Gift is about ready to be sent out. Little Goddess, is almost good to go. I-Walk is in need of serious rewriting. And surprisingly, my demanding brother seems to like 3094 which I wrote ages ago.

A number of publications are shutting down. The Deep Magic E-zine is shutting down, and won't be accepting submissions. Amazing Journeys Magazine is also shutting down after a number of years. It's always sad to see specfic publications shutting down.

Gryphonwood has decided to move to a blog format. I got an email from Dave Wood, Gryphonwood's editor wherein he states interest in publishing Lunar Wind :) Thanks, Dave. I'm pleased Lunar Wind will be on Gryphonwood. Seems like the right place for it. Do I mind about the pay being almost nothing...ah well...if I were writing for money, I wouldn't be writing poetry ;) I think The Chatelaine knows more about poetry economics than I do.

To be honest, I don't think writers really write to get rich. I mean, there are writers and there are writers...but most of us just struggle along and are pretty happy to get one or two stories published :) Each time, you get published you feel that rush...yayayay! Nope, you can't be a writer if you don't do it for love.

Putting together a submission for the Second Hay(na)ku Anthology. This is one of those things where I go...please, God, please God, let me write something so good they won't be able to resist it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Reading Bino Realuyo's book.

On reading The Gods We Worship Live Next Door .

There is this ache
we try to resist

on some days we close our eyes
to this truth we know exists

it is
we say, it is

and because
we do not know what to do
or what to say
or how to alleviate
this pain

we divorce it from ourselves

we push it away from remembrance
until someone or something reminds us

of the ache that exists
under the covering of skin

and then
we weep.


Red-eyed and sniffling, and saying this, if you haven't got this book yet, I reccommend you get a copy now.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Does this one extra posting mean I'm posting too for Tuesday and Wednesday? For the first time, this week, I'm giving myself freedom to surf and do some online reading.

Visited Galatea Resurrects, second issue to do some reading, which reminds me of how much poetry I still need to read, and how many books are being born into the world each day, each week, each month, each year. I doubt I'll ever catch up...but okay...reading reviews is fun way of catching up too.
Don't ask my why Joel Jan likes blue suns.
Oh well...maybe not Paris this year.
On principle, I don't want to send in my stuff to Haruah , but in the beginning I sent in a poem as a "just in case we need it" filler.

Becoming is now up and published. This was one of my earlier poems first published in PATMOS, so many years ago. Did I mention, we also take reprints?


Been trying to get a seat on the Thalys which is celebrating it's 10th year anniversary. NS site is way overloaded. Getting a booking is like trying to find a needle in a haystack...a digital haystack that returns with error messages and overload signals. Aarrrggh... Okay, I do want to see Paris again. Even if it's only for a day. I would love to go up: Montparnasse,Sacre Couer,the Eiffel Tower - if only for the spectacular city view.

And of course, Notre Dame and maybe a peek inside the Louvre.

But it all depends on whether I get into the system...*sigh*. Otherwise, there is always a next year. Paris isn't going anywhere ( unless aliens do exist and they decide they want the Eiffel. )