s m o r g a s w o r d


In Uncategorized on January 22, 2017 at 6:12 am

Over the holiday break, I read 4 Filipino books comprising of 2 novels and 2 short story anthologies. I also bought a Tagalog translation of the bible for my screenplay (still weary of google translate when it come to ancient writings as google tends to conversationalize translations — helpful for tourist but for writers, not so much. So, Ang Bibliya.)

Today, I am currently reading: I Am No One by Patrick Flanery.

On the reading backlog are the books I bought when we went to Iceland (Unesco City of Literature), and then some:

Icelandic titles that must be read as soon as possible:

• 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrimur Helgason

• The Creator by Guorun Eva Minervudottir

• Unravelled by Alda Sigmundsdottir

• Fault Lines by Nicolas Billon

• Yo-Yo by Steinunn Sigurordottir

• The Pets by Bragi Olafsson

The rest of the books that should have been read last year:

• Eleanor by Jason Gurley

• Box Nine by Jack O’Connel

• The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore

• Blood Wedding by Pierre LeMaitre

• Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

Someone gave me a Benjamin of Amazon gift card so I ordered these:

• Kill The Next One by Federico Axat

• Colonel Lagrimas by Carlos Fonseca

• Blood of the Dawn by Claudia Salazar Jimenez

• Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin

• The Fall Guy by James Lasdun

And because I only remembered that gift card yesterday, I also ordered from Amazon UK (for the covers! Yes, really, most UK editions have better covers so I don’t mind the international shipping fee) 2 books:

• Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

• Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

Yes, my reading has always been tilted to translated (read: writers other than Americans) works. This, there is no need to explain.

Oh, I also have another Benjamin’s worth of Barnes & Noble gift card that I keep as a sort of emergency money as there is a Barnes right off my subway stop and is a good place to hang.

So, go me! Let’s read more this year.


Writing updates:

• The short story sold early January has been final drafted and sent to the editors.

• The new short story finished last Friday has been printed as a first draft for line editing next week after the mandatory “leave it alone” period of one week. It needs to be second drafted for submission the last day of February. Seems like a lot of time for editing, but I am the sort of writer who edits up, rather than down —  I usually write fat-free sentences and just add more definitions of muscles as I edit.

• The moment I am satisfied with the second draft, I email it to the editors and immediately resume the writing of the screenplay. Time for Ang Bibliya.


Now I make myself some coffee and eggs for breakfast while I read The Times.




In Uncategorized on January 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

Shit’s getting real this Friday.

As someone who was born on the last half of the Marcos dictatorship, I aware how one man can singlehandedly destroy a nation’s economy. On day one of his presidency, the ratio of the peso to the dollar was 1:1. The Philippines is second only to Japan, economically speaking. Even this is highly debatable as we have a direct flight to the US, the first and the only in Asia. When Marcos left two decades later the ratio of the peso to the dollar was 1:25. And the Philippines was second only Bangladesh–from the bottom of the economic ranking.

One man is all it takes to destroy a great nation.

This Friday, the destruction of the United States begins.

Psychology 101 tells us that the best predictor of a future behavior is a past behavior. 

The Donald has done nothing in the past except enrich himself.

Shit’s getting real.


In Uncategorized on January 11, 2017 at 11:00 am


We got stuck for 2.5 hours inside the plane before we taxied to the nearest terminal to deplane. The luggage also took 1.5 hours. The uber took about 20 minutes to pick us up and by the time we entered the apertment, it was already 3.4o in the morning. All these because of snowfall, as if New York doesn’t snow every fucking winter. Oh well.

Back to earning the Benjamins by day and writing by night. The short story started over the break and written in longhand over lukewarm beer and candles is halfway done. 2.5K++ words before I reach the end. This will happen by Monday, a holiday giving me three long days of uninterrupted writing. The other story written over the sold earlier this month was also written over a long weekend. So I guess, I love long weekends.

Later, friends.

Stay warm.