Thursday, December 18, 2014

New year, new job

Sunday, December 07, 2014

This too shall pass

I'm in a funky mood. Trouble at home, at work, everywhere. Waiting for the stars to align. In the meantime—

Beautiful Sorrow by Ben Trovato 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Can't Write With You Babe

Hello there again. It seems as if I've relegated my website to be my sounding board for writing complaints and such. I've been trying to write all morning but have been distracted by my husband and all the things he's working on—playing, making me read his work, talking on the phone—and I've come to realize that I do need to hear my thoughts when I'm writing. I either need complete silence, or the background sound (I like cafes or busy newsrooms) must be indistinct as to not distract me from my work. When I listen to music, it needs to not have any words at all, or else I'll go off and start daydreaming again.

Sylvia Plath
In any case, I should go back to my paid, consumerist ramblings. I have deadlines!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Still Writing

So… I finished my first draft and I'm still not happy. No one is happy after the first draft—just relived that the ordeal is over. I had to rewrite the lede an insane number of times before I settled on one, but even then I couldn't seem to sustain the energy. It was simply forced, kinda fake, and shallow. Right after writing it, I threw it back to my secret editor, my husband, A, and he tried to make sense of it. He couldn't! I need to get back on the page soon. I mustn't let it end like this!

Anyhow, I'm trying to find inspiration from narrative writers. I'm having a difficult time with narrative, maybe it's because I'm always lazy when it comes to storytelling. I don't like explaining so much, I'd rather people just read and check things out themselves. Here's Cheryl Strayed in Wild. 

The trees were tall, but I was taller, standing above them on a steep mountain slope in northern California. Moments before, I’d removed my hiking boots and the left one had fallen into those trees, first catapulting into the air when my enormous backpack toppled onto it, then skittering across the gravelly trail and flying over the edge. It bounced off of a rocky outcropping several feet beneath me before disappearing into the forest canopy below, impossible to retrieve. I let out a stunned gasp, though I’d been in the wilderness thirty-eight days and by then I’d come to know that anything could happen and that everything would. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t shocked when it did.
My boot was gone. Actually gone.
Anyhow, I must go back to writing. Ta-ta!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On Writing

Whenever I'm stuck on a writing assignment, I tend to seek out other writers who might have something to say about my predicament. The writing process is quite lonely—even if I married a writer (just two months ago!), and while we discuss our stories, ledes, and angles all the time—at the end of the day it's still me and my fountain pen or my keyboard (that now sounds like a typewriter thanks to this Noisy Typer app), and the horror of a blank page.

In any case, I was reviewing some of the books I took back from New York City only to find The Rolling Stone Interviews on my shelf. I'm following this story/interview of Truman Capote with Andy Warhol in 1973. Rolling Stone Magazine commissioned Truman Capote to cover the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street tour but after several months, he still can't seem to deliver. Instead, the magazine asked Andy Warhol to interview Capote instead and figure out what happened with him and why he can't seem to write the story.

Having just read In Cold Blood last month on the Kobo (this was before my stupid reading/sleeping accident last week that involved my iPad 2), I'm quite curious as to why Capote can't seem to file his story.

Here's his answer on why he couldn't write the article:

"The reason was—two fold. One: As the thing progressed, I saw more and more trash written about the entire tour, and ordinarily that sort of thing doesn't bother me: I mean, for instance, I could cover a trial that's being covered by seventeen or eighteen newspapers at the time, and it doesn't faze me in the least because I know it has nothing to do with what my own insight is.
But my trouble with this was that especially in journalistic writing… au reportage… there has to be some element of mystery to me about it. And the problem with me with this piece was that there was no mystery. There was not a thing about it that set some mystery going into my mind as to why this should be or that should be, because it was all so perfectly timed… staged—I mean psychologically—I'm not talking about the performance itself. Just the whole combination of the thing was so perfectly obvious. The people were so obvious, and so they really had no dimension beyond their own. I mean, Mick Jagger has a certain mystery to him, but simply because he's a bit of a doppelgänger. I mean, he's a highly trained performer, and on the other hand, he's a businessman par excellence. And the whole thing is perfectly obvious, and so it had no mystery to it. Since there was nothing to "find out," I just couldn't be bothered writing it. Does that make sense to you?"

He poised that question to Andy Warhol, and I think I'd rather answer that.

Yes that makes perfect sense! How many times have I abandoned a celebrity story only to pick it up again come deadline time because I have to turn it in? (Unlike Capote, I cannot just miss a deadline!) I get bored with one-dimensional subjects easily, which makes it difficult when I realize in the middle of an interview that all they're giving me are their PR answers.

On material:
"Yes, there's material, but it's just that. Material. It's just that. It doesn't have any echo. It isn't that you want to forget about it because of the unpleasantness; it's just because it doesn't have any echo. Nowhere in the whole story of the Rolling Stones could I find anything sympathetic except the naïveté of the kids… which wasn't—maybe in itself—true, either. Maybe it was just sentimentality."

On guilt about not finishing the story:
"Not in the least. When I make up my mind about something, I never feel guilty. That's ti. No artist should feel guilty. If you start painting and you don't like it, you don't finish it."

On telling the editor:
"Well, because I hadn't really made up my mind. I had all of the material there, and it was sitting there, and it was bothering me, and I kept thinking, "Well, it would be so easy, really, to do it." Finally the time came that I just made up my mind that I wasn't going to do it. And I just told him. They voted me Rookie Reporter of the Year."

Truman Capote by Richard Avedon

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Only the marvelous

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls."
Anaïs Nin

Anais as a Spanish dancer in Paris, under the name Anita Guilera ( taken from the photographic supplement to the diary of Anais Nin)

Friday, December 27, 2013

The season's sense of urgency

Yuletide is my favorite season—it brings about a certain sense of urgency in terms of meet ups. It is, in a way, the last hurrah. This is the final call for reaching out to people you've ignored the entire year. It's the only time you can compel people to go home earlier than usual to get together for drinks or dinner. When there is no other excuse except: "I already have something planned for the night." When it would be absurd to claim you need to work (even if you really do).

It's my favorite season because all my foreign city-based friends like to come home during this time to experience what we've touted as the unique Pinoy Christmas (one that begins in September and ends in January, one where everyone celebrates from the start of Simbang Gabi until New Year.

It's been a good season for me—my sister, Giselle took a few days off (mostly to watch KBS and Red channel) from her work as Doctor to the Barrios in Abra; Bianca is back from NYC after 2 1/2 years, at least until January; Belle is visiting from Singapore; likewise, Ken is visiting from Dubai.

While Bianca and I have had a chance to catch up, I don't think I'll still be able to meet up with Belle. Blame it on Third World Telecom, I lost signal for a bit, so when I finally managed to drive to the place she was in, I seem to have missed her.

In any case, I still have a chance to bond with Doc Giselle, as with Kenneth, in the coming days. As it is, indeed my busiest season (a party every night, gift shopping, deadline surfing), I appreciate it in its entirety. Until next year then, when I can schedule more reunions and despedidas!

Holiday list: Loving this pair of Dolce & Gabbana Golden Cage wedges with flowers and straps.