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: