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.
I’ve started reading stories from the Paul Harland Competition. For the non-Dutch SFF crowd, the Paul Harland Competition is a Dutch-languaged Short story competition in the SFF/H genre. I read for this competition last year and agreed to read again this year, mainly because I find myself quite impressed by organizer Martijn Lindeboom’s vision for Dutch SFF scene. I’ve divided the stories into batches of ten and am reading them on alternate days. That’s all I’m saying at this point.
Thanks to everyone who supported What Fates Impose. We reached full-funding on Friday. It’s been quite an experience and I enjoyed being part of this kickstarter.
Another anthology that I hope reaches full funding is “Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond”. I remember seeing the call for subs sometime ago and thinking: I don’t care if they pay or not, I want to be in that. Looking at the toc, I feel very very lucky. So many people I’ve admired are on that ToC. I can’t believe I’m sharing it with them. Bill Campbell has put up an indiegogo campaign to pay for Mothership. I hope the campaign meets with success. Please feel free to signal-boost.
Finally, my elder sister has resigned from her job and is taking a sabbatical year. I’ve asked her if she’s up for reading and reviewing books. I have a load of books that I’ve been meaning to review, but never get around to doing and my sister is quite the bookworm and an excellent critic to boot, so I thought I’d ask her if she’d be willing to do that. Happily, she said yes.
I’m working on the design for a book blog called Chie and Weng Read Books where we basically talk about books and why we like them or why we don’t like them. Since my sister has got this strong personality, I anticipate some clashing in the future. When we were younger, we always fought over who got to read what book first. It should be interesting.
Finally, I continue to write words for the Clarion West Write-a-thon. I can’t believe it. I’m in a three-way duel with Dutch SFF writers Floris Kleijne and Bo Balder and I am lagging behind. Oh well…you know what they say: slow and steady. Feel free to cheer us on and sponsor one or all of us.
Thanks to my sponsors. I’ve been very inspired and your names are immortalized in the fictions that were born during this battle.
I’ve signed up for this year’s Clarion West Write-a-thon. This year, we want to have 300 writers signing up to participate in the write-a-thon as CW has received pledges of support for when we reach that number. The write-a-thon is a great motivation to add wordage to that work you’ve got in progress, or simply to get the words on the page. Last year, I had lots of fun writing pieces for individual sponsors. I don’t know if I can do individual stories this year, but I really loved writing my fun stories and I am thinking of doing something like that incorporating as many creatures/characters in a couple of shorts for those who choose to sponsor me.
One of the stories I wrote in Clarion West has been selected for inclusion in Mothership:Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. Waking the God of the Mountain is strongly influenced by the struggle of the tribal people in Surigao against mining corporations. It also involves some of the armed conflict between government and anti-government forces. The failure of government to protect the rights of tribal people is something I feel strongly about. I’m pleased this story has found the right home.
In a previous post, I wrote about Body of Truth being accepted for Nayad Monroe’s What Fates Impose anthology. Do drop by and visit the kickstarter page. Check out the toc and the incentives on offer.
Publisher’s Weekly has published a great review of We See a Different Frontier edited by Djibril Al-Ayad and Fabio Fernandes. The anthology is coming out this August, so keep an eye out for it.