Upcoming Release: The Hundreds!

Hopefully in time for BLTX 2 on March 2 at Ilyong’s, The Hundreds will be released. The Hundreds is a collection of 100 pieces about love, by 100 creators, all of them limited to a word count of 100. The books is being released by the UP Writer’s Club, and it’s been co-edited by Adam David and me. We hope to come out in both digital and print formats. And we hope that the book generates some love, as well as inspires some more writing and some more love in the world.

When we first thought about this, which was at least a year ago (at the time working on the project also with Jaton Zulueta), I decided that I wanted to try my hand at the hundred word short story myself. And so, here’s my stab at it. I will tell you, thankfully, a lot of the stories that made it into the book are way better than my own attempt.

SPACE AND TIME

We’re at a friend’s wake, more than a decade since the exhilaration at sixteen of wrapping my arm around her shoulder, our hand-holding hidden beneath the spines of upturned textbooks, the reluctant fuzz of my upper lip tickling her nape. Like a wormhole this death has created a tear in space and time bringing us here to this pew where she struggles and fails to stay awake. I feel my heart expand when her head drops into my shoulder and I hold her as I think about mending the tear in space-time, of taking her hand and going back to the moment when I first held it.

 

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Favorite Procrastination Activities I Do Instead of Write

Unlike a lot of more focused and productive people who write (or perhaps like a lot of other people who write), I spend a lot of time procrastinating before actually writing. Sometimes I have good excuses, being sick for example (like I’ve been since the turn of the year, so Ha! I am excused!), or doing research, or allowing things to gestate in my head (okay, so sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s just an excuse). But most of the time, I’m just screwing around and not getting to it. This is a sad admission, I admit. Imagine all the time I’ve spent screwing around when I could have been writing, or writing better!

In attempts to temper this tendency to do other things (yeah right, okay I know I’ll backslide and do these things every once in a while), and see if these are common things to do, I’m making a list of the stuff I do (mostly stupid) instead of writing. This is the stuff that I suddenly realize I should do, or suddenly feel a compulsion to do when I finally find time to sit down and supposedly write.

1. Write something else.

For some reason, this works exceptionally well. When I’m supposed to be writing literary, I suddenly find myself preparing notes for class, or doing online forum discussions. And vice versa. When I need, need, need to prepare a syllabus or reading list, suddenly the ideas for a story or essay come surging forward. Right now, I’m supposed to be working on this novel I’ve been threatening to finish, and this wonderful blog entry popped into my head. The worst instance of this is the scribbled notes that form the outline of a second novel that are on my whiteboard, which as yet cannot be entertained because I was supposed to be working on aforementioned novel.

2. Air Guitar.

3. Air Bass.

4. Air Drums.

5. Converting ebook files from one format to another and loading them up on my Kindle.

6. Compulsively checking my latest Facebook status to see if anyone has liked it.

7. Thinking about Food

8. Arranging my iTunes library and filling in information.

9. Fixing my room. Arranging stuff, piling DVDs and books nicely.

10. Cutting my nails, shaving, other personal grooming concerns.

11. “Research” which is really just surfing the net or watching music videos on youtube.

12. “Consulting with possible readers” which is really just bugging people via IM.

13. Walking around, stretching, supposedly getting the blood flowing.

14. Playing word games in my head, anagrams mostly.

15. Thinking of all the fun things I could be doing instead of writing.

 

To be honest, I wind up usually doing these in the order that they are listed. When I’m lucky, after some Air Guitar or Air Bass I’ll actually get to do some writing. But when I get past the Air Drumming, then I kind of jump around while sneaking in a few sentences. And it’ll go back and forth between writing and these activities.

New Year’s Cold

When I was a kid my family took a vacation to the Philippines. I was young at the time and so the memories are unstructured but comprised of visits to Fiesta Carnival (us and cousins and other relatives tumbling out of big vans), excitement at riding a tricycle and pedicab, amazement at drinking soft drinks out of plastic bags, the heady buzz of catching a Shake Rattle N Roll flick, and most importantly for this entry, a sudden interest in fireworks. I couldn’t get near fireworks in the States, though New Year’s celebrations there featured some of the Pinoy traditions, the fruits and round things, throwing coins and money, jumping up for height (terribly important to my height-challenged household). But once I got my hands on those fireworks I was amazed. Even the lowly, and now banned Watusi, which was something like a dancing firecracker, which you just kind of scraped on the ground with your slipper and it would ignite and jump around, was great fun. And I forgot what they were called, but there were these ones that were just little pebbles with powder, and they were wrapped in paper and you’d throw them on the ground and they’d come off with a loud pop. Read more of this post