Friday, February 26, 2010

The Best Ilocano Daniw on Alcohol

I'd Like To Sing a Song For the Lovers

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michael Morpurgo

1 The prerequisite for me is to keep my well of ideas full. This means living as full and varied a life as possible, to have my antennae out all the time.
2 Ted Hughes gave me this advice and it works wonders: record moments, fleeting impressions, overheard dialogue, your own sadnesses and bewilderments and joys.
3 A notion for a story is for me a confluence of real events, historical perhaps, or from my own memory to create an exciting fusion.
4 It is the gestation time which counts.
5 Once the skeleton of the story is ready I begin talking about it, mostly to Clare, my wife, sounding her out.
6 By the time I sit down and face the blank page I am raring to go. I tell it as if I'm talking to my best friend or one of my grandchildren.
7 Once a chapter is scribbled down rough – I write very small so I don't have to turn the page and face the next empty one – Clare puts it on the word processor, prints it out, sometimes with her own comments added.
8 When I'm deep inside a story, ­living it as I write, I honestly don't know what will happen. I try not to dictate it, not to play God.
9 Once the book is finished in its first draft, I read it out loud to myself. How it sounds is hugely important.
10 With all editing, no matter how sensitive – and I've been very lucky here – I react sulkily at first, but then I settle down and get on with it, and a year later I have my book in my hand.

Colm Tóibín's In his (Mental) Pyjamas All The Time

1 Finish everything you start.
2 Get on with it.
3 Stay in your mental pyjamas all day.
4 Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
5 No alcohol, sex or drugs while you are working.
6 Work in the morning, a short break for lunch, work in the afternoon and then watch the six o'clock news and then go back to work until bed-time. Before bed, listen to Schubert, preferably some songs.
7 If you have to read, to cheer yourself up read biographies of writers who went insane.
8 On Saturdays, you can watch an old Bergman film, preferably Persona or Autumn Sonata.
9 No going to London.
10 No going anywhere else either.

Ian Rankin Wants Them Short

1 Read lots.
2 Write lots.
3 Learn to be self-critical.
4 Learn what criticism to accept.
5 Be persistent.
6 Have a story worth telling.
7 Don't give up.
8 Know the market.
9 Get lucky.
10 Stay lucky.

Zadie Smith's Rules

1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
2 When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
3 Don't romanticise your "vocation". You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no "writer's lifestyle". All that matters is what you leave on the page.
4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can't do aren't worth doing. Don't mask self-doubt with contempt.
5 Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won't make your writing any better than it is.
7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.
8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
9 Don't confuse honours with achievement.
10 Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

Will Self and Yourself

1 Don't look back until you've written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceeding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in . . .
2 The edit.
3 Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.
4 Stop reading fiction – it's all lies anyway, and it doesn't have anything to tell you that you don't know already (assuming, that is, you've read a great deal of fiction in the past; if you haven't you have no business whatsoever being a writer of fiction).
5 You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished.
6 Live life and write about life. Of the making of many books there is ­indeed no end, but there are more than enough books about books.
7 By the same token remember how much time people spend watching TV. If you're writing a novel with a contemporary setting there need to be long passages where nothing happens save for TV watching: "Later, George watched Grand Designs while eating HobNobs. Later still he watched the shopping channel for a while . . ."
8 The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can't deal with this you needn't apply.
9 Oh, and not forgetting the occasional beating administered by the sadistic guards of the imagination.
10 Regard yourself as a small corporation of one. Take yourself off on team-building exercises (long walks). Hold a Christmas party every year at which you stand in the corner of your writing room, shouting very loudly to yourself while drinking a bottle of white wine. Then masturbate under the desk. The following day you will feel a deep and cohering sense of embarrassment.

Joyce Carol Oates can't Write Everything and She Wants you To Help

1. Don't try to anticipate an "ideal reader" – there may be one, but he/she is reading someone else.
2 Don't try to anticipate an "ideal reader" – except for yourself perhaps, sometime in the future.
3 Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!
4 Unless you are writing something very avant-garde – all gnarled, snarled and "obscure" – be alert for possibilities of paragraphing.
5 Unless you are writing something very post-modernist – self-conscious, self-reflexive and "provocative" – be alert for possibilities of using plain familiar words in place of polysyllabic "big" words.
6 Keep in mind Oscar Wilde: "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."
7 Keep a light, hopeful heart. But ­expect the worst.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jonathan Franzen is Drinking and Wants YOU to Listen

1 The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
2 Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money.
3 Never use the word "then" as a ­conjunction – we have "and" for this purpose. Substituting "then" is the lazy or tone-deaf writer's non-solution to the problem of too many "ands" on the page.
4 Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly.
5 When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it.
6 The most purely autobiographical ­fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto­biographical story than "The Meta­morphosis".
7 You see more sitting still than chasing after.
8 It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.
9 Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
10 You have to love before you can be relentless.

Geoff Dyer on Nabokov Groupies and Brakeless Bikes

1 Never worry about the commercial possibilities of a project. That stuff is for agents and editors to fret over – or not. Conversation with my American publisher. Me: "I'm writing a book so boring, of such limited commercial appeal, that if you publish it, it will probably cost you your job." Publisher: "That's exactly what makes me want to stay in my job."
2 Don't write in public places. In the early 1990s I went to live in Paris. The usual writerly reasons: back then, if you were caught writing in a pub in England, you could get your head kicked in, whereas in Paris, dans les cafés . . . Since then I've developed an aversion to writing in public. I now think it should be done only in private, like any other lavatorial activity.
3 Don't be one of those writers who sentence themselves to a lifetime of sucking up to Nabokov.
4 If you use a computer, constantly refine and expand your autocorrect settings. The only reason I stay loyal to my piece-of-shit computer is that I have invested so much ingenuity into building one of the great auto­correct files in literary history. Perfectly formed and spelt words emerge from a few brief keystrokes: "Niet" becomes "Nietzsche", "phoy" becomes  ­"photography" and so on. ­Genius!
5 Keep a diary. The biggest regret of my writing life is that I have never kept a journal or a diary.
6 Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire.
7 Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I ­always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something.
8 Beware of clichés. Not just the ­clichés that Martin Amis is at war with. There are clichés of response as well as expression. There are clichés of observation and of thought – even of conception. Many novels, even quite a few adequately written ones, are ­clichés of form which conform to clichés of expectation.
9 Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct. This is the most important rule of all and, naturally, I don't follow it.
10 Never ride a bike with the brakes on. If something is proving too difficult, give up and do something else. Try to live without resort to per­severance. But writing is all about ­perseverance. You've got to stick at it. In my 30s I used to go to the gym even though I hated it. The purpose of ­going to the gym was to postpone the day when I would stop going. That's what writing is to me: a way of ­postponing the day when I won't do it any more, the day when I will sink into a depression so profound it will be indistinguishable from perfect bliss.

Richard Ford's Eight Don'ts, One Try and One Marriage Counseling Tip

1 Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer's a good idea.
2 Don't have children.
3 Don't read your reviews.
4 Don't write reviews. (Your judgment's always tainted.)
5 Don't have arguments with your wife in the morning, or late at night.
6 Don't drink and write at the same time.
7 Don't write letters to the editor. (No one cares.)
8 Don't wish ill on your colleagues.
9 Try to think of others' good luck as encouragement to yourself.
10 Don't take any shit if you can ­possibly help it.

Roddy Doyle's Ha Ha

1 Do not place a photograph of your ­favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide.
2 Do be kind to yourself. Fill pages as quickly as possible; double space, or write on every second line. Regard every new page as a small triumph ­–
3 Until you get to Page 50. Then calm down, and start worrying about the quality. Do feel anxiety – it's the job.
4 Do give the work a name as quickly as possible. Own it, and see it. Dickens knew Bleak House was going to be called Bleak House before he started writing it. The rest must have been easy.
5 Do restrict your browsing to a few websites a day. Don't go near the online bookies – unless it's research.
6 Do keep a thesaurus, but in the shed at the back of the garden or behind the fridge, somewhere that demands travel or effort. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, eg "horse", "ran", "said".
7 Do, occasionally, give in to temptation. Wash the kitchen floor, hang out the washing. It's research.
8 Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones. I was working on a novel about a band called the Partitions. Then I decided to call them the Commitments.
9 Do not search for the book you haven't written yet.
10 Do spend a few minutes a day working on the cover biog – "He divides his time between Kabul and Tierra del Fuego." But then get back to work

Neil Gaiman Can Only Come Out With Eight. Ask Ian Casocot for the Other Two

1 Write.
2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3 Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4 Put it aside. Read it pretending you've never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5 Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6 Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7 Laugh at your own jokes.
8 The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

Margaret Atwood's Prayer Might Help and Other Writing Rules

1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
2 If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
3 Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
4 If you're using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.
5 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
6 Hold the reader's attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don't know who the reader is, so it's like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
7 You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you're on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine.
8 You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
9 Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
10 Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­isation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.

Hilary Mantel's Rules for Writers

1 Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
2 Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don't ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, "how to" books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.
3 Write a book you'd like to read. If you wouldn't read it, why would anybody else? Don't write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book's ready.
4 If you have a good story idea, don't assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible.
5 Be aware that anything that appears before "Chapter One" may be skipped. Don't put your vital clue there.
6 First paragraphs can often be struck out. Are you performing a haka, or just shuffling your feet?
7 Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that's the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don't notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they're trying too hard to instruct the reader.
8 Description must work for its place. It can't be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.
9 If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem. But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.
10 Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break these and all other rules. Except number one: you can't give your soul to literature if you're thinking about income tax.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grammar Can Be Fun

How to Write a Blog

Hitler has Only One Ball

Tony's Secret Cabinet
Ball to the Wall
The origins of the Hitler testicle story.

When the Soviets finally released the autopsy report on Hitler’s corpse in 1968, it contained the startling datum that the Führer was one testicle short. The body found outside the Berlin bunker had been burned with gasoline and had to be identified by its dental records (Hitler had terrible teeth, with metal implants for false incisors). But according to the strikingly-named Russian examining Doctor Faust Shkaravaski, Hitler’s scrotum sack remained perfectly intact — “singed but preserved” — and very definitely minus a bollock. This news from the USSR was greeted with fascination in the West and has inspired a cottage industry of explanations from industrious Nazi historians:

Theory #1: The Führer was born that way

The possibility that Hitler was born with monorchism — one testicle missing — provoked a flurry of studies on Hitler’s psychology, arguing that Hitler’s evil was an extreme case of the behavioral changes that have been linked to this physical condition. Freudians suggest that boys with monorchism are obsessed with ordering the world, often via architecture — and Hitler was certainly fascinated with building grandiose structures (not to mention designing an entire world order). Other psychiatrists have suggested that the genital defect might also induce “narcissistic-exhibitionistic-aggressive (tendencies), sadomasochistic fantasies, eroticized megalomaniac daydreams… compensatory self-aggrandizement; heightened aggressiveness…” and “revenge fantasies.”

Theory #2: An old war wound

Others have suggested that the testicle went AWOL in the First World War, when Hitler was wounded by a bullet in the thigh — which possibly damaged the groin. After the Soviet autopsy came out, Hitler’s doddery former army commander on Western front declared that Adolph had been found to be one ball down during a standard VD physical. But in the 1990s, the author Ron Rosenbaum managed to track down Hitler’s ancient physician from post-WWI Germany, who insisted that Hitler’s genitals were normal. (While he was in power, the dictator actually refused to undress for his Nazi doctors.) Such confusion has led some scholars to speculate that he was actually subject to a condition called cryptorchism, where one testicle intermittently recedes.

Theory #3: The Soviets made it up.

The debate has been made even murkier by the suspicious coincidence that a favorite British song from the Second World War impugns Hitler’s manhood. Sung to the catchy tune of the Colonel Bogey March (used in the Bridge Over the River Kwai):
Hitler — has only got one ball,
Göring — has two, but very small;
Himmler is very sim'lar,

And Göbbels has no balls at all
The author Ron Rosenbaum, who has probably delved deeper into the subject than anyone, concluded that the whole one-ball idea was a Soviet practical joke. The Russians were far from averse to doctoring information about Hitler to mess with Western minds. They had already delayed the release of Hitler’s autopsy for 23 years, fostering the rumor that Hitler had escaped to Argentina. In the autopsy itself, they withheld information about Hitler’s skull to suggest that the Führer had died “a coward’s death” by poisoning rather than shooting. Rosenbaum speculates that while they were preparing the autopsy for release in the 1960s, Soviets consulted the defected British spies Kim Philby and Guy Burgess in Moscow, and the pair of upper-crust reprobates suggested including the datum on Hitler’s testicle sack as one last practical joke. • 15 January 2010
SOURCE/FURTHER READING: Rosenbaum, Ron, Explaining Hitler, (New York, 1999); Waite, Robert, The Psychopathic God: Adolph Hitler (New York, 1977).

Thriller (Finger)

Paper Krieg

Baguio Calligraphy

Launching of Baguio Calligraphy, a collection of poetry and fiction from the Cordillera's premier city.
Friday, March 5, 2010
5:30pm - 7:00pm
National Bookstore, SM City Baguio

The anthology, a project of the Baguio Writers Group, is edited by Francis C. Macansantos and Luchie B. Maranan with an introduction by Cirilo F. Bautista. It is published by Anvil Publishing Inc.

The contributing writers are: Tita Lacambra Ayala, Janice Bagawi, Desiree Caluza, Jennifer Patricia A. Carino, Frank Cimatu, Jhoanna Lyn Cruz, Merci Javier Dulawan, Ralph Semino Galan, Rommel de Guzman, Luisa A. Igloria, Edgar B. Maranan, Babeth Lolarga, Junley Lazaga, Monica Macansantos, Priscilla Supnet Macansantos, Baboo Mondonedo, Chinee Palatino, Corazon Patricio, Padmapani L. Perez, Solana Perez, Rachel Pitlongay, Scott Magkachi Saboy and Roger "Rishab" Tibon.

Only in Bangkok

Ladyboy dolls

Friday, February 19, 2010


Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaize is also Pinoy (mother is Evelyn and father was a French resistance leader although the Villechaize was from the adopted father who was a surgeon). He has dwarfism (of course, but the only one with short limbs which is why his sickness is also known as Fantasy Island syndrome or Tattoo dysplasia). This Parisian was a painter before becoming Ricardo Montalban's sidekick, Tattoo, in  Fantasy Island. He chased women and demanded to have a same salary as Ricardo. Why not? Do you remember Montalban anyway? But "de plen, de plen" is indelible in our minds. He killed himself in September 4, 1993.

I Have A Baseball Blog

Read this and often

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Goat Love

Art Contest in Baguio

Pine & Bamboo, Bamboo & Pine" is the first on-the-spot water media painting competition to mark the Ibaloi Centennial. It is sponsored by the Baguio Aquarelle Society and the Cordillera News Agency to heighten awareness of the Cordillera's precious natural heritage, trees and the indigenous culture being the most prominent. The contest has two categories: professional (for painters who have had at least one solo visual arts exhibition) and amateur (students, hobbyists and tourists). At stake are cash prizes and a chance to exhibit winning works at the Baguio-Mountain Province Museum from March 6 to 30 this year. There will be first, second and third prizes in each category. First prize is P10,000; second is P7,000 and third, P5,000. Participants are encouraged to register at the main house by 8:45 a.m. so they can choose a spot where they can comfortably settle for the day in the forested area and garden. They must bring their own materials (paints, paper, brushes, easel, rags, water container). The organizers will provide some stools and tables apart from the snacks and picnic lunch. The artist is encouraged to explore his/her best in presenting and conceptualizing his/her entry using any water-based media (watercolors, watercolor pencils, ink, acrylic). Through this competition, the organizers hope to see artists' vision and interpretation of Baguio's true resources. The participant can choose any style: realistic, stylized (distorted figure), representational cubism, abstract, purely non-representational, no-recognizable figures and objects but suggestive of the theme.
The competition is open to all, Filipinos and foreign residents/visitors alike, age 12 years old (by Feb 20, 2010) and above. Participants can work on as many pieces as they can but can only submit one entry. There is no registration fee. Minimum size is 12" x 16", horizontal or vertical. The media acceptable are acrylic on canvas, watercolor or other water media on paper. Entry using collage, decoupage, assemblage or use of non-pigment based materials like board, plastic, metal, etc. IS NOT allowed. The entry must hang on a wall to qualify. Appropriate support and/or equivalent devices should be provided to ensure the proper hanging of the artwork (ready for hanging). For watercolor entries, any watercolor paper is allowed, except illustration board. The entry must have been painted on the spot and finished within the time allotted for the contest. The Aquarelle Society staff will go around the premises and see to the pariticpants' needs. All entries must be in and MUST BE SIGNED at the back of the paper or canvas by 4 p.m. It must also be properly labeled at the back, indicating: Artist (name, address and contact numbers), Title of the work, Medium, Size, Year and Price. All participants must be responsible for their entries. The Aquarelle Society will not undertake any pick-up or transportation of any artwork to or from any point of origin. What to Bring: Photocopy of ONE valid ID (for age verification). The only acceptable IDs are: current school ID, PRC License, driver’s license, company ID, copy of passport, postal ID, SSS ID, GSIS-E-card, senior citizen’s ID, voter’s ID, NBI/police clearance. Criteria for judging are: artistic skills, visual impact and interpretation of theme. The decision of the board of judges will be final. Last day for signifying intention to join the contest is Feb. 18.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Santi Bose Remix

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guitarists of the World Unite (for a record, Guinness that is)

In 2010, 7,107 acoustic guitar players will gather together to give the world a taste of what 7,107 acoustic guitars playing together will be like. This event will be recorded into the Guinness Book of World Records (Record No. 276101) as the most number of acoustic guitars ever assembled.

Preparations are on their way, a network of guitar players will be contacted, gathered and counted using the internet and all other communication media available today e.g. SMS, email, IM, posters, etc.


This website will be used for the registration and counting of the participants. Instructions, news and discussions will be communicated to all registered participants through this site. The pieces to played on the event will be announced and made available on this site for participants to study and practice.

Take part... be counted... be recorded... as part of the Acoustic Guitar Ensemble 2010!!!

Thousands of instruments but only ONE HEART BEAT!

Register here:

**Update 02/14 Three pieces will be played: Lupang Hinirang, Amazing Grace and Heal our Land. This event is scheduled on March 26, 2010 at the Luneta 3PM.

Please pass to all guitarists!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Apocalypse Pooh

Assorted Weekly

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I get the crumbs


I forgot the designer but this is a brilliant way of using text.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ketchup Krisis

Condom Bouquet (What is this?)

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