Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Friday, September 15, 2006

What I Am is What I Am; Are You What You Are, or What?

bibliobibuli: "There are those who become drunk on books, as on wine or similar intoxicants."

--from Jeffrey Kacirk's Forgotten English
By the way, for the kind people who've expressed interest in my play, you can find it and the really much better stuff that won the Palancas here, thanks to the redoubtable Ian.

Thanks to Banzai Cat and all the other terrific folk who congratulated me on the Honorable Mention in the latest Year's Best Fantasy and Horror; and thanks most of all to Dean for publishing the book that got me there in the first place! (Despite the fact that sleeping with the editor did not actually save me from having to slave away on the story anyhow.) I really am a lucky, lucky girl this year.
Nikki bit in at 1:43 PM :: ::
Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fortune Smiles

August has been an extremely lucky month for me. I'm getting my second Palanca tomorrow night (Yippee!); have received confirmation that seven of my stories and one comics script have been accepted for publication in various, um, publications; am going off today to see if the publication I was in last year (Dean's Philippine Spec Fic vol. 1) will win a National Book Award (We're hoping for the best, but expecting the worst); Reme likes the project I've been working on for Our Own Voice; and another potential creative project has come up, to be discussed forthwith.

Of course, the cloudy lining to all this silver is that I've utterly used up my inventory of stories, and have not even begun to work on the story that's due in two weeks for my literary criticism gang, the Lit Critters. And I still have a website and something even longer to write on the corporate side (because Creative Expression, like crime, Does Not Pay).

It should also be noted that all this luck has not helped me at all in our ongoing Acquire board game tourney. Ah well, I guess you can only ask Lady Luck for so much in one month. She's been good to me.
Nikki bit in at 12:34 PM :: ::
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

That Spam-I-Am, that Spam-I-Am!

Received a stunning 36 incidences of spam today, all on the same topic.

Listen, spammers, there is nothing wrong with my erection, okay? Geez.

Speaking of Dr. Seuss (if you didn't get the title reference, you are clearly the victim of a deprived childhood), I splurged and got Sage the hardbound Seuss collection over at Fully Booked. It may seem pricey at around P1,700, but considering that your individual Seuss book runs to around P300, it's actually a steal for 13 stories.

It is a trifle heavy for bedtime storytelling, though. (And of course The Princess keeps trying to insist that it counts as only one story out of her maximum five stories a night, haha!)
Nikki bit in at 12:32 PM :: ::
Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Annoyingly Brief Update

Okay, one of the reasons I haven't been posting is that I'm no longer pleased with the look of the blog--it was designed to accommodate a side blog, but now it looks like the folks at have shut down, so now there's no point in the three-column layout, which irritates me, but I don't have enough time for a proper redesign. Urgh.

On a happier note, my short story, Heritage, has been published over in the current issue of Our Own Voice--do, please, check it out here. The good people at OOV have also seen fit to include me on the staff as one of their contributing fiction writers. (They seem, somehow, to have received the impression that I'm prolific or something--now I'll have to live up to it, despite the fact that I'm currently unable to even maintain a blog!)

Thanks, thanks, thanks to everyone who has shared my happiness about the Palanca. Look, now I'm a playwright! And I can legitimately go around calling myself a "multiple Palanca award winner", haha! I will publish an excerpt of the play here soon, I promise--it's called Life After Beth. (Can you believe I got away with submitting a pun?)

Hey, this wasn't so "brief" after all--which probably isn't too startling, given my tendency to babble on once I've gotten started. I do, actually, have a few blog entries currently published only in my head, so, seriously, expect me back on our regular programming schedule soon, okay? (After all, I've actually gotten onidcireuy to speak up in the chatterbox, which clearly indicates that it's high time.)

P.S. Reme, if you're reading this, help! I've been trying to email you The Project for weeks now, but my email refuses to speak to your Yahoo address. Alternatives, please?
Nikki bit in at 1:03 PM :: ::
Friday, August 04, 2006

Dear Everyone,

Yes, I know it's been a long while.

I'll be back eventually; but for now, Sage, at least, is blogging again.

Check out her latest entry here.
Nikki bit in at 10:14 AM :: ::
Tuesday, June 06, 2006

House-Hold Drama

Last night, my husband and I were watching House, the medical drama that focuses on the brilliant but infuriating, eponymously named Dr. House. The featured illness for the episode was Multiple Sclerosis, which you may or may not know is a progressive disease that attacks the nervous system, compromising mental and physical ability, sometimes to the point where the patient cannot speak, walk, or write. As far as I know, there is no cure.

"But I have that sickness," Dean commented, not even taking his eyes off the TV screen, "and I'm fine."

"WHAT!?" I exclaimed, already panicking in my head: How could I not know this, after eleven years of marriage? Was he in some kind of remission? How long did he have before extreme symptoms manifested? Was there something we could do to alleviate the situation? Could Sage inherit this illness? What steps should we be taking?

"I think Zsazsa Padilla has it too," he continued, still glued to the television, "and she seems fine. I mean, it's just that bendy spine thing, right?"

"Excuse me," I clarified, gathering up the tattered remains of my shredded serenity, "are you talking about scoliosis? You know, curvature of the spine, as opposed to sclerosis, degeneration of mental and motor functions?"

"Ohhh," said my brilliant but occasionally infuriating husband. "Right, yeah, scoliosis! So that's a different thing, then?"

I would have killed him, but I remembered in time it would be oxymoronic to murder someone because they made you fear for their health.
Nikki bit in at 11:19 AM :: ::
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why Mosquitoes Hum: flash fiction

adapted from the Visayan folktale

The king of all the animals was very tired one evening and wanted to rest. But he could not sleep because he kept hearing the high-pitched, croaking laughter of his frog guards outside his chamber. Enraged, he summoned his guards and ordered them put to death in front of him.

“But sire,” protested the frogs, “it was only because we saw the snail crawling by, carrying its house on its back. It was a very funny sight, so we could not help laughing.”

The king thought this seemed reasonable, so he allowed the frogs to live. He then summoned the snail and ordered it put to death before him.

“But sire,” protested the snail, “it was only because the firefly was flying around with its lamp lit. I was afraid it might set fire to my house, so I carried my house with me to keep safe.”

The king thought this seemed reasonable, so he allowed the snail to live. He then summoned the firefly and ordered it put to death before him.

“But sire,” protested the firefly, “it was only because the mosquito was out hunting, and I couldn’t see it in the dark. I was afraid it would bite me, so I kept my lamp lit to watch out for it."

The king thought this seemed reasonable, so he allowed the firefly to live. He then summoned the mosquito and ordered it put to death before him.

“But sire,” protested the firefly, “it was only because I must hunt in order to eat, as the firefly must light its lamp in order to see, the snail must have its house in order to hide, and the frogs must croak in order to communicate. Surely you will not kill me for following my nature?”

The king thought that this, too, seemed reasonable. He therefore summoned all the animals involved and told them, “Mosquito, from now on you must hum as you hunt, so that the firefly will not have to keep its lamp lit all the time. Firefly, you must light your lamp only when you truly need to see, so that the snail will not be frightened. Snail, you must carry your house all the time, so that everyone will become accustomed to the sight and will no longer be amused. And frogs, if you must laugh, you must do so only in low and melodious tones, so that I may sleep.”

So no one was put to death, and each of the animals survived and thrived according to its nature and the dictates of the king. And this is why frogs have low and musical voices; why snails carry their houses on their backs; why fireflies blink on and off all night; and why mosquitoes hum when they hunt.
Just messing around a bit with Filipino folklore; seeing what can be done with style and substance. We'll see.
Nikki bit in at 11:58 AM :: ::
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