Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This is it!

This is it!

I have always been afraid to publish. Mostly because I have been afraid of the discriminating critics. There are times when I even stop myself from submitting to Folios and Anthologies. I don't know, maybe this is the writers version of stage-fright. And then, this year came.

I do not remember anymore how it started. I posted poems on my facebook notes and most of them took on the same vein. Erotica. I am originally a writer in Hiligaynon, and the poems I consider well crafted and those I love best are in the language, but from time to time, I also produce pieces in English and Filipino. The erotic poems are in English. Then, one of the poems I posted was featured in an online website by the Asia Writes Project. This gave me a deep feeling of satisfaction and affirmation as a writer.

As the facebook poem/notes continued to grow, I would often get comments. Why not publish a collection of poetry? As usual, my 'stage-fright' comes up. But this year, I might have overcome this. I decided, this is my year. Finally, I will pursue publication. I will live up to that title I use when I travel abroad. The one I place under 'Occupation' - author.

At this point, I have finished writing the 50 poems that will make up the compilation of the Erotic Poetry, and yes, I also have a working title for the book.

YES! Book! I am braving publishing my first ever Book! Under my own name, solo!

Whew! I feel overwhelmed and excited.

There is no turning back. I just pray that this will go well until the book is finally launched.

What comes next will be editing, reviewing, revising and rewriting the poems if needed. After which, I will meet with my photographer friend Babak Niaraki to brainstorm on the photos for the book. I intend the book to be a coffee table poetry book of sorts, with 50 poems and an accompanying photograph for each poem. Well, technically, since it is Erotica, it will be a bedside table book, then. After this, I am sending the manuscript to my Literary Mother, John Iremil E. Teodoro for further editing and critique. She will also have the honor of writing and Introduction to the Collection. After which, we will then be marketing the Folio to publishers. Whew!

For now, I will celebrate the collection's completion with unrestrained hibernation and a good nights sleep!

Oh by the way, the working title of the book is

"The Unfinished Phoenix Tattoo"
and other poems of Longing, Love and Lust
(Well, mostly, Lust)

Whew! I am ecstatic! Wish me luck Batchoy Denizens and pray
that this pushes through, well up until launching!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hope Never Dies

Hope Never Dies

My heart is heavy and burdened tonight and my eyes are blurry with tears.
I turn to the solace I know best. Writing. I admit that I have not posted any updates in this blog for a long time. It is Facebook's fault! It takes most of my time and the poetry folio I am compiling is also taking much of my writing time, but tonight, I come home to the batchoyan. I come home to the comforts of my denizens, who, hopefully are still there, and, as according to my feedjit tool, still continues to check for new posts from me. I am sorry that I come home with a heavy heart. It seems to me that my last few posts are all about one thing. Deaths. Well I'm so sorry that this has to be another one of those.

Her name is Sheila Mae. She is fondly called 'Hope' or 'Hopyang'. She is a cousin. Our moms are sisters. I am older than her by 4 years. She was the closest cousin I ever had in my whole life. We were neighbors. Literally our houses almost share a wall. You could imagine how close that would be. We grew up together. We had a beautiful childhood. Because we lived near the sea, or literally ON the sea, since the back kitchen portion of the house have posts stuck to the sand of the sea itself. We would swim together, play at the vacant portion in front of the chapel in our baranggay. We did lessons and assignments together. Our birthdays are on the same month, she on the 10th of March, I on the 31st. She was Hopiang and I was Manoy Zambo.

Years later, we transferred to where we are living right now. The house is still there, but we are already staying here at our new house. We kinda drifted apart as is what happens when you relocate and then, life gets the better of you. I would still see her at family gatherings such as weddings, funerals, birthdays and the like, and every time, the years melt away just like that. We would find ourselves laughing and chattering away. And oh, now, she has two adorable children. Gab, 5 years old and Alexia 1 year old. Then tonight happened.

She was rushed to the hospital days back when she had severe asthma attacks and simply dropped unconscious. The doctors said she was Dead On Arrival, but due to timely intervention, she was revived. However, she was comatose. We prayed for her. It was a miracle that she was revived, and we believed that the miracle of her waking up from her condition was only a matter of time. She had seizures. We kept hoping and praying, and this morning, I heard the news that she was being transferred to a semi-ward. She had stabilized but she contracted an infection, but she can now be moved out from the Intensive Care Unit.

It was Valentines day and so I went out and had dinner. I had a most lovely and pleasant evening but was aghast to discover upon my logging on to my facebook account that she expired at around 10:00 PM tonight.

The happy childhood memories flooded back to me. I can not help it. The tears kept flowing and flowing and flowing. I will miss her so much.

Yes, the blog title is very true. Hope never dies. She may have gone well and rested in the loving arms of God, but no, she will never die. She will live on forever in my heart, my mind and my memories. Hope, thank you so much for sharing your life with me. Thank you for the wonderful childhood days that would never have been the same without you. I shall cherish them forever. Sad as it may seem, and against my will, I commend your soul to the almighty. Even if I think you are too young at 27, to be already gone. Langga, Manoy Zambo loves you so much. I am sorry if I have not been there when you would have needed me, but surely I will always remember what you said : "Noy, indi mo gid ko ya malipatan kay ngalan ko sigarilyo mo - HOPE! (Noy, you will never forget me because my name is your cigarettes - HOPE). Yes, langga, I will never ever forget you, and yes langga, you will always be my bestest clostest and most favoritest cousin in the whole world. Farewell, Hopyang. You, Hope, will never die! Till we meet again! The seas await us! And then we shall play the games of our childhood days once more. I love you!