Monday, December 28, 2009

Growing Up Filipino II: Thoughts Inspired by Rebecca

Rebecca has some sweet thoughts about being published for the first time in an actual hold-it-in-your-hands book with a front cover and a back cover and some 250 pages in between: Growing Up Filipino II. Bec and I have something in common when it comes to Cecilia Brainard. Though I had been published in a handful of small journals before, Cecilia was the first editor to accept one of my stories for publication in a book. This meant so very much to me. I still remember when I received my contributor's copies for Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, with its gorgeous cover art. It's so gorgeous I'm going to show it to you:

And it was Cecilia who invited me to do my first-ever reading with her and some other contributors at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, which is in a mansion and which had an extraordinarily large stage that terrified me. "How long should we read?" she whispered before we walked onstage. This increased my panic because if Cecilia wasn't sure, I CLEARLY wasn't sure. "Just read 5 minutes from the beginning of your story, and 5 minutes from the end," she advised. And that's what I did.

Since then, Cecilia has been so supportive of my writing. Not blindly supportive, mind you. She has no qualms telling me when she thinks I've missed the mark. I'm only one among dozens who have benefitted from her attentions (though I hope I'm the only one she has ever likened to a ripening mango! Please, oh, please, oh please...), and now Bec joins our happy number.

In her post, Bec mentions that's it's time to promote Growing Up Filipino II. To that end, PAWA and Arkipelago Books are hosting a book launch at the Bayanihan Community Center on Saturday, January 16th. Rashaan Alexis Meneses, Tony Robles, Marianne Villanueva, and I—me, your Nesting Ground Mistress!—will all be reading from our stories. Click on the photo to read the fine print:

Come join us! You know you want to.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stocking Stuffers & Funhouse Mirrors

What sort of mother forgets about stocking stuffers? THIS kind of mother. *points at self*

In fact, I forgot about a bunch of stuff, the net result of which is I will be running around tomorrow like a woman on fire. And that won't be easy to do, considering the fact that the traffic has tripled these past few days. I've spent an inordinate amount of time stuck in driver's limbo, dramatically running my hands through my hair and gnashing my teeth.

At this time I would like to communicate a cautionary retail tale, also known as (I just made this up) a "retale." I will probably never have cause to cross the threshold of a Sunglass Hut, but if I did it would never, ever be the one in my nearby mall. Do you want to know why? Because for years now, one of the store's full-length mirrors is positioned in such a way as to force passersby to catch a glimpse of themselves. In and of itself, that's not a bad thing. But if the mirror is cheap and warped in such a way as to make passersby look two feet shorter and two feet wider than they in fact ARE, the feeling engendered is not one of goodwill. You'd think by now I'd know to avert my eyes, but for some unknown, masochistic reason, I'm drawn to that mirror like every cliché moth to every cliché flame. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you ever become a shopkeeper, make sure your mirrors reflect the queen and/or king in all of us.

The End.

And also, happy holidays. Stay gold. Drink milk. Be nice.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Betting My Bottom Dollar

Friday, post-3:00 pm, could not be more welcome. Let us deduce why:

Monday: Tylenol PM hangover in effect for most of the day. Attempted to counteract with four aspirin and several boosts of caffeine, but to no avail. Prone to nodding off, answering questions that had not been asked, and asking questions that had no answers.

Tuesday: Worst fears realized when forced to break solemn vow to NEVER, EVER chaperone a field trip. After 45-minute bus ride, arrived at destination and was told, "You look green. Are you okay?" Muscled through the museum and the 45-minute bus ride back to campus. Ran to car, sped home, burst through door, ran down hallway, and—big surprise—threw up.

Wednesday: Do not remember anything about Wednesday except Pilates teacher saying, "What happened to your neck?" and then trying to help re-lengthen it.

Thursday: Volunteer, meeting, Staples, Target, stop by parental units' place, school pick-up, and a copious amount of time spent shepherding one daughter across the finish line of her 4th grade California mission report.

Friday: Locked out of house in rain. Ineffective at guiding 4th graders through art lesson inspired by Picasso's Weeping Woman. Found the irony hilarious. Wondered why the concept of facial profile is difficult to grasp. Hands stained with charcoal. Ponytail far too tight.

Tomorrow is another day! The sun'll come uuuuuuuuup...