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The past couple of days have been really busy.  Yesterday, I bought the long-desired and the carefully thought-over flatscreen tv/monitor.  It's a beaut. Over at Minimal to the Max I've blogged about my purchase and how pleased I am with my latest acquisition. Being a non-tech person, buying this piece of equipment without hubby at my side was a huge accomplishment.  Yay, me.  According to hubby it was a good buy :) So the purchase has got the stamp of approval and is here to stay. 

Because this is a writing journal, I thought I'd point you to Maria Zannini's excellent writing blog. Maria is a treasure (imho).  I love her spirit of generosity and I consider myself blessed to have e-met this amazing woman.

Because I'm rather short on time these days, I have a pile of things to read. Here's a list of books I have yet to read, one of which I just finished reading this week.

A copy of Asimov's Science Fiction ( I confess I've dipped into this one already...mmm...good stuff)
Nick Mamatas, Move Underground (looks very intriguing, and a plus...he signed it )
Rebecca Walker, Baby Love (Last year, during the Black Magic Woman festival, I met Rebecca Walker in person. A very lovely woman.)
Jeff VanderMeer, Shriek, An Afterword ( I loved City of Saints and Madmen, so I am really looking forward to this one)
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (I should probably read this one along with Nick Mamatas's novel)
Interzone 214
Marcie Lynn Tentchoff, Sometimes While Dreaming (This is Marcie's first poetry collection and I'm really looking forward to reading this.)

Finished reading:

Jim Caroll, The Downtown Diaries  Good stuff.  Jim Caroll also wrote The Basketball Diaries. The Downtown Diaries is about Jim's struggle with drugs.  I didn't read this book all in one go. I read it in fits and bursts.  I quite enjoyed the writing and I liked the author's style. It doesn't end conclusively, which is a good thing. I had to laugh at the part where he wrote about using a cockroach during open mic night. The reviews of his performance were quite hilarious. I had to put down the book at that point as I couldn't keep from tearing up from laughter. It was a funny section.  

Jay Lake, Mainspring  While I enjoyed reading Mainspring, I couldn't keep myself from comparing it to Trial of the Flowers.  Jay Lake has created an amazing world in Mainspring, but the story itself left me feeling dissatisfied.  I think Mainspring lacks the edge that Trial of the Flowers had. Perhaps it has to do with how I am the kind of person who doesn't really go for the happily ever after ending.  I thought Trial of the Flowers was just perfect.  Nevertheless, Mainspring still provides a good read.  

I still want to acquire more books (what? more books?) That in the parentheses is the hubby. 

Research, I tell him (wink).  I am still the same bookworm I was when I left the Philippines.  The truth is, I just love books. I love the smell of them, I love the feel of them, I love being able to leave them lying around in chairs, poised on the dressoir, cluttering up the table (just like back home).  Somehow, I don't feel really at home unless there are books all over the place. As you can tell, I'm not finicky about genre.

This coming February, I do plan to add to my growing poetry collection.  There's really no keeping up with the amount of poetry that's coming out, and the task of choosing is always a difficult one. But it's never easy to keep up with what's being published out there.  One can only touch the tip of the iceberg.

I shall try to catch up whenever I can, but time pockets are getting shorter and shorter. In the meantime, I've decided to post erratic reviews of stuff I've read, memorable reads enzo (short for Dutch enzovoort...which means and so forth).  

Dec. 28th, 2007


So, when an editor emails and says they would be "thrilled to publish" a story you've submitted, that's an acceptance right?  Eeeeeehhh. 

The email arrived on the 25th of December, and made us here feel all christmassy and celebratory, and so we had ourselves some lovely warm chocolate and chatted and laughed and checked the mail again just to make sure that I hadn't been hallucinating or anything like that.  No dears, I do not take drugs, but happiness can be a drug :) So there, my story's going to be published in the  same mag that help launch Ray Bradbury, HP Lovecraft and Tennessee Williams.  Yay! 

Which means...I really have to start subbing in earnest, eh.  I mean, all those stories half-rewritten and stocked up in files...I should take them out and finish the job and send them out, right?  ehem.  Can someone order an extra number of hours for me please?

Anyway, US stamps are hard to get by over here, but as luck would have it, I have a friend who's leaving for the US tomorrow and I've ordered a stack of stamps so I can foresee my SASE's with correst postage.  I made a mistake the last time I ordered from USPS and ended up with a pane of 69 cents and several panes of 2 cent stamps. Try making 90 cents out of that mess. 

So, the plan is this: come January, a flurry of envelopes is going out the door.  Okay, not really a flurry, but at least a couple of envelopes are headed out the door.  I've started an experimental series of stories all taking inspiration from current events back home...we'll see where that winds up.

On the reading front: I've been really inspired by Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Mad Men. If you haven't read it yet, I do recommend it.  I like the weirdness factor and I love the opening scene which just keeps coming back to haunt me.  I think that's got to be one of my favorite novel reads of the year.  

Another novel I'd recommend is Jay Lake's Trial of The Flowers.  Which is quite awesome in scope and I love the way this book ends not with that happily ever after but more grounded in how life really is--yup it's pretty messy and involves sacrifice, but it's what makes life worth living.  Definitely going up there with my favorites.

China Meiville's, Perdido Street Station is also one of those noteworthy reads.  This book remains stuck in my memory because I was reading this while going into labor. It helped through the early phase, but after the first few hours, I found myself reading the same paragraph over and over again and not really understanding what it was all about...well...I was puffing you see.  So, I reread the book after Samuel was born, read it straight through the day after when I was resting in that lovely hospital room with no visitors all day except the occassional nurse checking to see whether I'd fed the baby and did I want something to eat.  I shall definitely look into more of China's work as I loved Perdido Street Station and it took me a long while before I could let it go and be filed upstairs among all the other books in our little library.  

I've still got Jay Lake's, Mainspring, waiting for me and a whole lot of other reads.  Most of the things I've read this year have been short story collections and Interzone. I asked my friend to pick up a copy of Weird Tales, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and hopefully she'll be able to find me a copy of Analog while she's in the States. Online, I've still got an e-copy of F&SF and ROF to peruse, and I am waiting for Paradox to arrive.  That's a lot of reading matter to keep me busy...

And...I almost forgot that I've still got to finish reading Shimmer's Pirate Issue.  So, I shall post about my reading impressions sometime in the near future when I find another of these time pockets.



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