s m o r g a s w o r d


In Uncategorized on September 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

MOVING ONWARDS to publication.

THE COPYEDITED manuscript came on my birthday and the book cover design is already begun.

MEANWHILE, A previously unpublished short story in Esquire Pilipinas for the December issue being readied.

THIS IS going to be a good year.


In Uncategorized on September 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm


WE SPENT the weekend at the Bahamas where I tasted the best goat curry in my entire existence. Termed as “mutton” because of the British influence, the the highly Jamaican spices were very spicy but not very smelly as the Indian ones. Also, I’ve tasted jerk chicken from who could just be the island’s local grill master.

WE SWAM, drunk, and did it all over again. The Bahamas has a DUI law that no one ever respects. Driver literally drink and drive — that is one hand on the wheel and the other on the bottle. Coupled with roads indiscriminately switching to a left hand drive without any signage whatsoever, it is a miracle that there are no accidents every single minute.

THE BEACHES were amazing. Immaculate like in Bermuda. And no bars, at least at the resort where we stayed. We also travelled to the world-famous Sandbar that is 42 miles from Nassau and swam in the mile-long strip of white sand and its very shallow water. As the boatman cautioned: If you feel like drowning, all you have to do is stand up.

THERE ARE two local beers that I partook: Sands and Kalik. Of course I had a medium glass of Skyjuice which is coconut, milk, and rum. After about 8 more beers, I partook of about 5 more shots of Jack Daniel’s and that’s when the party started. All these under the coconut trees, a few meters away from the jerk chicken hut in front of us, and also a few meters away from the beach behind us. All around where locals — Bahama papas and Bahama mamas — doing their groove to their very own beat. A few bachelorettes would pass by in pearls and all, ready for the night’s unspeakable debauchery.

I LOVE first world beaches.


In Uncategorized on September 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Summer officially ends today, the first of Semptember, the last day of wearing white. The temperature is, ironically, nearing the mid 90s and very humid as if Mother Nature wants to do some last minute postscript to a relatively mild season. But I am bracing myself for winter as early as now.

We spent the long weekend at our dentist’s lakehouse somewhere in Philly. It was a backwoods cabin inside a gated community with about three lakes. The best part is the lack of wi-fi and at&t signal inside the house. I spent the whole night in the living room with only a nightlight for company as I wrote and finished a short story literally in one sitting although sometimes I stretched myself onto the sofa. The story is about a minor character in my award-winning novel, someone that is as real in my head as the main characters and I really needed to write this one. I polish it in the coming days and then submit it for publication as soon the novel is ready for publication.

I still have to write another short story though, this one based purely on scratch. Also due for submission to another magazine to coincide with the release of the novel.

The 9-to-5 in Brooklyn has now been nailed to a daily routine which could only be a good thing. As I have done the whole time I was in advertising, I make sure I arrive the earliest. This is a personal thing — I hate the feeling of not only being late but entering the office when it is already in the middle of the action. Of course I am one hundred percent productive as I keep the small talk to a minimum. I do not surf, tweet, or even check out the NYTimes at work. I spend my lunch break at my table reading books or magazines, the analog kind. And then I go back to work after half an hour or less. As I have always said, be indispensable. Make them miss you once you’re gone.

The year is almost over and I am very happy to note that this is one of the worst summers so far as far as Hollywood is concerned. Well, I spent most of my movie going experience watching art films so I know that at the very least, my money went to better films. So far, my best of the year goes to “Only Lovers Left Alive.” The award season will kick off soon and I hope I see something even more cerebral than this.

Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Palanca. To the first-timers, welcome to the fold. Please finish that novel as the category opens next year, and time indeed really flies fast when you are writing, and a novel at that.

Now I have to read and write.


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