Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Post In Which I Share Exciting News

I don't know about you, but I spend inordinate amounts of time doing things and checking them off some list, mental or otherwise. I do and do and do, but nothing gets done because these things aren't really Things; they're just tasks. And tasks never end. Making lunches, running errands, grocery shopping, sending this e-mail or that e-mail, dialing the phone to make an appointment, etc. It's so hamster-on-a-wheel. Which is a necessary and even sometimes enjoyable part of life, don't get me wrong. But what often goes missing when making my countless rounds on the wheel is any true sense of accomplishment. You know, the kind of accomplishment someone must feel when they wake up one morning thinking I will climb Mt. Kilamanjaro, and then they take all the necessary steps for two years or whatever to do so, and then they finally, finally ascend, and then descend, and then they sleep for a long time. When they awaken, they will have freaking ACCOMPLISHED their goal of climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro.

All of which is to say, I finally DID something. I didn't do it alone, and I couldn't have done it alone, because the whole point was to do it together. Do what, you ask? Why, write a dugtungan novel entitled Angelica's Daughters, I answer. And before you ask what the hell that is, I'll just tell you. No wait! What I'll do is share with you Brian Ascalon Roley's blurb, which defines it nicely:
"Part of the pleasure of reading Angelica's Daughters, the engrossing new collaborative novel by five established Filipina writers, is seeing how deftly the authors deal with the challenge of writing in this resurrected literary form. A dugtungan is a genre of Tagalog novel popular early in the 20th century, in which each writer creates a chapter and hands it off to the next, who writes another chapter without direction. The result, in this case, is an ensemble performance that contains something of the exhilaration of theatrical improv. One watches these accomplished authors inventively weave a historical romance, creating gripping heroines and turns of plot, crossing decades and national boundaries, tapping into cultural roots of the Philippines, Spain and America. Reading Angelica's Daughters is a gripping experience.~ Brian Ascalon Roley, Author of American Son (W.W. Norton)

My co-authors for this project are Cecilia Brainard (Los Angeles), Erma Cuizon (Manila), Susan Evangelista (Palawan), and Nadine Sarreal (Singapore). At one point—and this is something Cecilia discusses in the introduction to the novel—the amazing Marianne Villanueva was part of our crew, but in the end if was just the five of us e-mailing files like mad, trying to make sense out of the tangle of characters we'd invented, and trying to smooth out our writing styles into a cohesive narrative. It was a long and sometimes frustrating process that took about like 350 years. Or maybe it was just six. I've blocked it out, but I believe that detail, too, is included in Cecilia's introduction. The bottom line is that the novel is being released by Anvil (Philippines) this month, and it's being mini-launched at the Manila Book Fair on the 18th, where Nadine and Susan will represent our motley crue and field questions from interviewer Ivy Mendoza.

More on all this later, as I need to hop back on that hamster wheel (hello reality). But I'm happy to leave you with a small image of the cover, at least. I love it because the woman is going absolutely batshit crazy:

6 comments:

Gladys said...

omg, congratulations! i believe i will have to beg my aunt to buy me a copy and air mail it from the philippines.

kikihollywood said...

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I am looking forward to reading, "Angelica's Daughters ". I love books about different cultures. So inspiring!

kikihollywood said...

oh, yeah...cause I'm weird, I love the phrase, "batshit crazy" lol

COACHmickey said...

Congratulations, y'all! Wow, this is exciting. Will share this , if it's okay!

ver said...

Thanks everyone! Yes, please share the news, Mickey.

Gladys, it'll be available here in the next few months, so leave your poor Auntie alone!

Markesha, I say "batshit crazy" whenever I can...

Gladys said...

lol, ok, i won't bug her...this time. so excited to read it, though! and very happy for you.