This year’s write-a-thon seems to be really good for me. In the past two weeks, I’ve written close to 10,000 words including words from two new short stories.
One of the stories takes place during a period of Ifugao history that is surprisingly well-documented. I’m talking of the period when American colonizers took a large number of Ifugao to the US where they were put on display as living exhibits. I remember visiting the Folk Museum in Seattle and seeing newspaper clippings about this period there. I wish I’d taken the time to ask for copies of these clippings but I was feeling quite upset at the time. I thought of growing up with men and women who were very proud of the culture and to see it being written about in a condescending manner– I had no words for what I felt. I still don’t.
This is one of the most intense stories I’ve written and I find that the more I delve into history, the more it becomes impossible to be unmoved by it. I find myself wondering what it must have been like.The years when we lived away from the mountains were like years in exile. Now I live in the Netherlands, but for all that I am surrounded by green things, I have moments when I feel very much like an exile. My personal narrative contains that longing for home and the desire to return. I suppose it’s inevitable that this finds its way into story.
The second story I wrote, which is still in full first draft glory, intersects with Alternate Girl’s life story. For quite sometime now, this character named Adventure Boy has been lingering in the back of my mind. I kept trying to write his story, but kept coming up with the wrong words for it. Then, last week, I sat down and in two days, the first draft for Return to Metal City was written. I need to do a bit of tweaking and probably need to do a major overhaul on one section, but aside from that, it’s the story I’ve had in my head for quite a long time.
Right now, I’m back to working on the Body Cartographer novel. I’m hoping to write at least 5,000 more words to it by weekend. I’m terrible at updating but I will post excerpts sometime soon.