With the rounding of September in which Many Things Were Done But Little Was Blogged About, I've overhauled this blog's sidebar, updating old links and adding a few...er... several new links. Let me know if you notice any bad links/missing links.

I'm still absorbing White Love and Other Events in Filipino History by Vincente L. Rafael, the aftereffect being that I've been seeing everything semiologically and from a sense of construction/technology...

The act of creating new sidebar classifications while drawing together into one space several diverse interests has been... ironizing.

More on Rafael's work soon...


The Way I See It #135

Wrangling fear is the biggest challenge the world faces now and the challenge we all face, now and again, at our crossroads, in the dark moments, at those times when we know deep down that we must revolutionize our own lives.

-- Holly Morris, author of Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for a New Kind of Heroine

--from my Starbucks decaf grande extra hot mocha today


Role Playing

I've hit the portion of the Marshall Plan that's basically character creation.

*chuckle* It's like I'm back playing Traveller again.

Only this time there's an Internet and I can go here to find almost every kind of character and plot building sheet out there without having to invest in a book or set.

It's entirely too much fun.

And I can also find names pretty easily - although choosing a name for my lead is an interesting process. I know she was born around 1986 in the US - I had originally thought to name her a popular name from the Philippines but then realized if she's US born, likely she'd have an American name. Interestingly, the Social Security Adminitration keeps stats of names by year all the way back to 1879. Then I realized I had to make a decision - is she a 'full' blood pinay?

I need to give her a sense of detachment/ambivalence from her heritage at the beginning. My experience is likely skewed since most of the pin@y writers I have met of that age group are writers and activists, but it seems that 1.5 gen pin@ys are /really/ conscious of their heritage and still connect heavily with family and politics back in the Philippines. And I'm not certain I could carry 1.5 gen character fully as lead through the length of a novel.

She could, though, be hapa, half and half, but I am a little loathe to do the classic "half-breed" issues that often come up in lit - the cliche'd-ness of it - is she white, is she pinay? does she care? Race is an important factor, but I don't want it to overshadow the novel either. It's more about an internal cultural struggle...

Which makes it all the more "autobigraphical"...something I both recognize but want to tweak. She's not me, because she won't have the same experiences (duh, I've never actually gone up against a released ancient spirit before with only an old comb and my wits).

Me? Overthink much? derned grad school anyway...*wink*

So, I'll stick with full blood, second gen pinay.

Okay, so in classic RPG style, I have the list of top 100 names from 1986 and two D-10s. I rolled a 39. Lindsay. Ummm... I'll have to think about /that/.



In my Urban Fantasy novel, a twenties something college student witnesses a murder and is pursued by the previously trapped spirit of a Spanish slaver sent by a murdering and ancient local mondo spirit bent on possessing her power and her totem. As a result, my lead decides to find out more about the being pursuing her and the magic involved, in the hopes of stopping the being from killing again. Along the way she learns about her heritage, the existence of local and immigrant magics, a whole new cosmology, and her own innate power.

So begin the notes for the Novel Project to be written during NaNoWriMo 2006.

Posting began today - I had hoped to start yesterday, but I came down with a touch of food poisoning that made sitting at the computer...uncomfortable *chagrin*.

For now the blog is pretty closed, but I'm considering the possiblity of opening it as my first affiliates blog with advertising. We'll see how much time I can put to doing that.

In the meantime, if you're interested in the book I'm using to help with this drafting process check out The Marshall Plan Workbook. Is it equivalent to painting by the numbers for novel writing? Sure, but for me, at this juncture of my writing practice, it's working and that's really what matters right now.


Manong Memoir

Growing Up Brown: Memoirs of a Filipino American by Peter Jamero

"I may have been like other boys, but there was a major difference - my family included 80 to 100 single young men residing in a Filipino farm-labor camp. It was as a 'campo' boy that I first learned of my ancestral roots and the sometimes tortuous path that Filipinos took in sailing halfway around the world to the promise that was America. It was as a campo boy that I first learned the values of family, community, hard work, and education. As a campo boy, I also began to see the two faces of America, a place where Filipinos were at once welcomed and excluded, were considered equal and were discriminated against. It was a place where the values of fairness and freedom often fell short when Filipinos put them to the test." - Peter Jamero

A peek at the table of contents shows contributions by Dorothy and Fred Cordova of the Filipino American Natioal Historical Society and fictionist-poet Peter Bacho.

If your in S.Cal, he'll be giving a reading this month:

Filipino American National Historical Society - Los Angeles Chapter
(FANHS-LA), Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), UCLA Asian
American Studies Center, Filipino American Library (FAL), and Asian
Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON) invite you to a free
presentation and book signing of…

Growing Up Brown: Memoirs of a Filipino American
by author Peter Jamero

Sunday, September 17
2:00 – 4:00 pm
SIPA's Temple Gateway Youth & Community Center
3200 W. Temple St.
Historic Filipinotown
Los Angeles, CA 90026-4522
(Parking is available on Dillon and Robinson Streets. No parking is
allowed in SIPA's parking lot.)

*** Please RSVP with your name, email and, phone number to
lafanhs@fanhsla. org or 310/ 825-1006 (Meg at UCLA). ***


White Grizzly Bear's Legacy: Learning to Be Indian by Lawney L. Reyes

"I walked across the highway and stood on the bank overlooking Lake Roosevelt. My attention was directed to the area where Kettle Falls once flowed. As I stood there the wind came. As I listened I imagined that it talked to me. It seemed that it was telling me of how things once were. I began to think of friends and relatives who were no longer living. They began to appear before me, perched on the large rocks, fishing for the great salmon."

In his distinctive voice, Lawney Reyes, grandson of Pic Ah Kelowna or White Grizzly Bear of the Sin Aikst, relates the history of his family and his people.

I met Lawney at Pagdiriwang last June and found that he was an almost apologetic IndoPino, shyly relating his Filipino heritage to us as something rarely talked about in his family, yet always present. His work is not so much "manong memoir" as telling one more facet of the FilAm experience during a time nearly forgotten in cultural memory due to the different immigration waves.

Books. Books. Books!