The Year Thus Far

Lately, self seems to have hit something of a snag, dear blog reader. But here is a list of what has transpired since the beginning of the New Year:

    Gave two out-of-town readings: San Diego State and University of Hawaii at Manoa (fun!)
    Been included in new anthology (Oakland Out Loud: think that was a mistake since self does not live in Oakland, but let us not look a gift horse in the mouth)
    Participated in Lamon at Bisyo roundtable/ panel discussion, moderated by Joel Tan, at Bayanihan Community Center.
    Bought fab new cookbook: Memories of Philippine Kitchens, by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan
    Had story listed as finalist in Summer Literary Seminars annual contest, for July workshops in Kenya or St. Petersburg.
    Awaiting new issue of Sou’wester, where self has a story.
    Bought new wallet from Edward’s Luggage (50% off) since Dearest Mum completely forgot that she had promised to bequeath to self her “lucky” lizardskin wallet before returning to Manila.
    Saw one very rousing movie: 300
    Finished series Rome (sob)
    Got hubby to hang faux Tiffany lamp over dining room table.
    Began teaching new English class at xxxx community college (Jury still out on that one)
    Received a gazillion rejections, both via e-mail (Kenyon Review) and snail mail (too many to list)
    Been accepted to VCCA for August residency, and also got invited to Anderson Center for July residency (which sadly had to decline)
    Had my car’s oil changed (after eight months).
    Survived hectic visit of Dearest Mum without having nervous breakdown (priceless)
    Had lunch (yesterday) with Fave Tita at Hotaru in San Mateo, during which learned of next onslaught of relatives, coming May 5 (but not Dearest Mum, thank goodness)
    Discovered a knack for growing clematis, as currently have three — one pink, one lavender, and one white — all profusely blooming.
    Have new niece: sister-in-law gave birth April 8.

Today, self is at home, having successfully negotiated 8 to 10 (atrocious time!) class and office hours at xxxx community college. Yesterday freakishly cold, insisted on watering (10 buckets), now feel onset of cold. Looking forward to weekend, which remains blessedly free of engagements: perhaps movie Disturbia.

Currently reading: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2006. Opening story is Edward P. Jones’ (great) story, Old Boys, Old Girls, which was also in Best American Short Stories, but year 2005. Second story, by Jackie Kay (You Go When You Can No Longer Stay) is very, very funny.

Best American 2005 was OK, but many of the stories sounded the same, as if they could all have been written by the same (male, white) person (except, of course, for the Edward P. Jones, and a super story by Rishi Reddi, and one absolute knockout by Alice Munro). Believe O. Henry is more balanced, as ratio of women writers to male writers roughly 50 / 50.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.


  1. sulz said,

    April 18, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    have you read o. henry’s works? i studied the last leaf for my literature class, and i loved it.

  2. April 18, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    I read O. Henry a looong time ago. I will look up The Last Leaf, thanks for the tip. What did you like about it?

  3. sulz said,

    April 18, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    it’s a sad but touching story. one of the character is pretty hilarious, even if slightly stereotyped. i have a link to the short story in my book blog

  4. April 19, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Thanks for the link! Your book blog is interesting. (Do you live in New York? Have you read Willa Cather’s story, “Coming, Aphrodite!” ? It’s also set in New York, around the same time as the O. Henry story, and is one of my favorites.)

  5. sulz said,

    April 19, 2007 at 7:50 am

    thanks. 🙂 haha you obviously did not read my about page. i’m as far away from new york as timbuktu. i live in malaysia. if it’s a short story, i should be able to find a link to the story when i search for it, which is soon.

  6. April 19, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Oh, sorry, my bad. Wow, I have a reader in Malaysia? I’m very flattered. Yes, find the Willa Cather story, then tell me what you think 🙂

  7. sulz said,

    April 19, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    i looked up but the short story is not for free reading. i did manage to read a summary of the story and i see what you mean about its similarity in terms of setting, but it sounds like a darker story and intriguing at that. i also wiki-ed her and read some biography. 🙂 maybe if i see the book in the library i’ll get to read it…

  8. April 19, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    It’s a great story, about two people who are both artists, but have very differing views about the meaning/purpose of art. Yeah, I guess it *is* darker than O. Henry. But every time I teach this story, my students really love it.

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