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It seems that there is no end to busyness, but I thought I should update this journal as things do happen. Maybe in a year or so I'll be able to keep a more regular journal.

First off: 59 Beads has been reprinted in ISF #1 and is now free to download. There are some interesting reviews of the issue available through the site. I'm happy to see this story reprinted here. Here's the download link, in case you're interested. I share the TOC with Joyce Chng and Marian Truta.

I'm now in the process of rounding up a roundtable discussion (it's in English and will be published online) with some of the writers and publishers of Dutch-languaged SFF. The discussion has been quite interesting and thought-provoking. Martijn Lindeboom who organizes the Paul Harland Prize put out a questionnaire that was put together with the help of Boukje Balder who is one of the major judges for the PHP. The questionnaire seems to have raised quite a good deal of interest and it will be interesting to see what the results are.

Aside from this work, I've been commissioned to put out a newsletter for the organization I volunteer for and for which I am now Secretary of the Board. Our organization has been chosen as recipient for the Banaag award for the 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Filipino Organizations Abroad. While we can't all go home to receive this award from the President himself, two of the founding members of the organization will be going and my parents are going to be present at the awarding ceremony which will be held at the Malacanang Palace. (What a thrill for my mom.)

We put a lot of work into this and I spent a lot of weeks intensively engaged in translating documents, newspaper clippings, interviews, features from magazines, and other paperwork from Dutch into English. the end of that, I was truly drained. On the plus side, I now know a lot more about the work the organization has done since its establishment 20 years ago. The amount of advocacy work, the lobbying for rights, the mediations, the interventions--I'm sure if we did a case by case study, it would have even been more intense.

But I'm glad we were chosen for this award as it's long overdue. We didn't even know of it until we were told that we'd been nominated for it and this was the paperwork they needed. Of course, everything we have is in Dutch--hence the huge amount of translation that needed to be done in a short time.

In the course of the week, I received word that two of my pieces are being picked up by Our Own Voice. I was so excited, I did a happy dance. :D Days later, I'm still smiling about it. The pieces they picked up were an essay I wrote on the adoption of third world babies and something I called a fractured fiction. I wrote this story sometime ago when I was wrestling with the distance between myself and my husband and how there didn't seem to be any way at that time to bridge it. I tried revising the story, but it seemed to work best in its fractured state. There are no neat resolutions--nothing gets solved and in a certain way, it's more like a poem than a story. I've been told it goes live sometime in December...

While trawling through my twitter feed I came across this article from the Guardian which I really liked and I thought I'd share it in case you hadn't read it yet. I hope you enjoy reading:  Endless Fascination: in praise of novels without neat conclusions.

Song of the Body Cartographer

I've signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon and I hope to be more successful at blogging about my progress than I was last year. Of course, last year I had a spotty internet connection--so this year I have no excuse.

My Write-a-thon page is here and thanks to the repeated rt's, we've achieved the goal of 200 participating writers and in so doing some very generous sponsors are giving a total of 2000 dollars to the workshop. Yay!!!

I'm doubly pleased then that just as the Write-a-thon is getting off the ground, my short story, Song of the Body Cartographer, has been published and is now available for everyone's reading pleasure at Philippine Genre Stories.

I thought I'd blog a bit about Song of the Body Cartographer, not only because this is the first story I sent out after my fallow year, but also because this story represents a number of things to me. It's also an extracted story from my wip--so yes, it's part of something bigger. Writing this wip is a real challenge for me. It's probably going to be my longest story yet.

On the PGS site, the illustration used is Remedios Varo's Creation of the Birds. This picture inspired me to write a previous flash piece which was published by Byzarium (it's still available here), and perhaps this image sunk so deep in my mind that when Kenneth Yu asked if I had an idea for an illustration of the piece, I couldn't help but think of this painting and how I imagined the Timor'an would look somewhat like this. The painting does play a crucial part in the big world story--and its significance comes out partially in the section where Siren thinks about Corazon's depiction of the Qa'ta. I was trying to imagine how an artist from Lower Ayudan would paint a transformation, and it's still me conversing with this piece of art which Varo created.

But at the heart of the inspiration for Song of the Body Cartographer and the larger wip, are the conversations on women's bodies that we conduct back and forth as we reclaim ourselves. It comes from reading history, reading commentaries, reading poetry, and discussing with other feminists. It also comes from a weariness with having to surrender the body to male approval or to the male gaze and it is born out of this place inside me that wants to turn a deaf ear to what society and convention dictates as being the one true way of seeing story or living life as a woman.

I look at the female body and think of the power of the spirit inside that vessel and I think of how this vessel is subjected to so much outside pressure in an attempt to suppress and subjugate that power. I believe in women and in the things that we can accomplish when we band together because I have seen it with my own eyes. When we shed ourselves of the imposed guilt at being woman, when we choose to embrace our own definition of the right way to go about being women and being with women, we reclaim our power. We return to that image that is true woman: pure and unsullied, full of strength and light.

If you liked Song of the Body Cartographer, please consider sponsoring me during the Clarion West Write-a-thon. :) Thank you for reading.

close to the end of 2010

A bit delayed, but still good. Fantastique Unfettered released its first issue on the 23rd of December and my short story, Breaking the Spell, is included as a reprint. Copies are available from Barnes and Noble and I believe copies will also be available on other bookseller sites as well. Editor, Brandon Bell, has a press release posted on the Fantastique Unfettered website. The press release is here. 

The TOC listing is here

Looking back, 2010 hasn't been my most productive year ever. I've written a lot of sucky words in 2010 and haven't been submitting as faithfully as I should have been. Looking towards 2011, I've been making a list of resolutions which I hope will propel me forwards and help me leave 2010 in the dust.

I'll be posting more soon and I definitely want to catch up with everyone and see how you are all doing. I hope that life is being kind to everyone. 

Hi Bugan Ya Hi Kinggawan

Thanks to charlesatan   for the heads-up. I knew it was getting published today, but didn't think it would be up already. If you have time, do drop by and read Hi Bugan Ya Hi Kinggawan at Fantasy Magazine. 

I'm really pleased with this story as it's inspired by the place I grew up in. Thanks to the good folk at Fantasy for giving this story a home. 

and my article is up at Fantasy Magazine :)

Oh and if you'd like to read more, marshallpayne1   just sent me an email to let me know that my article: In Anticipation of Clarion West, is now up at Fantasy Magazine. Go read :) 

Thanks for the heads-up, Marshall.

shameless self-promotion

pink elephants are endangered
My short story, Teaching a Pink Elephant how to Ski is now up at Fantasy Magazine. Thanks to justin_pilon   and aliettedb   for the heads-up.

I feel all happy and bubbly and pinkish right now.

Enjoy the story :) 

An invitation to read

"Falling in Love" is now up at the Chickflicks Ezine.  Here's the url:  
There's a minor error in my bio where it says I was born and educated in Belfast.  For clarifications sake, I was born and educated in the Philippines.  I'm really pleased about "Falling in Love" being in this issue of Chickflicks, especially since I've received a request from an author who wishes to include both this piece as well as "My Skin, Us" in a book that's to be published in the Philippines.  Yayness. 

In case you haven't read "My Skin, Us", it's in Route's Skin byteback book, which is now free to download from the following address:

It's non-specfic, but I am all happiness :)  



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