30 Abril 2013

Rear Window


How it was with men, Ding thought, depended on what they didn’t say, didn’t ask, didn’t do. The windows of his room he had flung wide open but the men sat in a small circle in a corner behind the house, beside the cement fence and much as he squirmed closer to the wall, much as he trained both sight and hearing, Ding had been locked out and the conversation that followed, the boy imagined as much as heard. 

About the short--

Rear Window is the finished first draft furtively titled Only Son. I wanted to write a story about a boy who learns:

  1. The difference between looking and staring and seeing
  2. The inherent intimacy of living in close quarters with strangers
 I ultimately wanted to craft a short that explores a young person's discovery of their own capacity to affect the world and the horrifying moment of finding themselves changed and altered in the process. My reader, Ace, said that although the premise and the characters had been essentially formed, neither the gut nor terrifying violence surfaced. As always, my problem isn't in the set-up but in moving the pieces.

20 Abril 2013

Only Son

Ding had given them all nicknames in the same spirit he had earned his own moniker. Kupal he christened for the rowdy laughter that interrupted conversation.  

Utong, darkest skinned of the quartet, chose to, shirtless, lay down cement blocks and shirtless sleep in the shade of the half-constructed house and shirtless and stinking slurp marrow from bone and drain the pot of bulalo. 

Bukol, the gangly giant whose body was grotesque with unnatural growths as though his skin had been stuffed with durian instead of bones. But his arms, Ding noted, were corded with muscle and his hands were large and flat like oars. 

But it was Kintab he watched most often, youngest of the four, his face like a stormy afternoon. He was the only one among them, according to Bukol, who hadn’t yet managed to claim a wife. And how often they teased him.

About the short--

 "Cristina's Bedroom" by Andrew Wyeth (1947)

A couple of months ago, a small army of workers began construction on the lot directly behind our house. My bedroom is the only one (among three) with direct access (and a substantial view) over that lot. When we first moved in (and our house was the only one on our side of the street) I had a clear, unobstructed view of the mountain range and the hills behind our village. Now, I look out and into someone else's window. This piece was inspired partly by having to change my voyeuristic habits and partly by my own desire to peek at the workers. They kept a live cock (read: full grown clucking male chicken) in their backyard, within my view, and for months I had nightmares of waking up to find a chicken staring up at me.

This piece by Andrew Wyeth inspired the tone (and language) I wanted to achieve for the short. I hope to revise it extensively.

19 Abril 2013


(Is anybody out there really reading?)

In any case, I've decided to revive this blog but with a more realistic goal: one story a week, at least two thousand words, not more than eight (that's a handful). Updated regularly every Saturday evening (that should take care of my Friday nights).

I've also started an online diary called Bawat araw, isa-isa updated daily (I hope).