The Thanksgiving (2011) Post

And now, let us give thanks for:

  • children (Self has a wonderful son, dear blog readers!)

Thoughts on the year about to end:

2011 was the year when Manang Nena, the bravest, kindest soul self has known, the one who started self on the Bacolod odyssey, passed away.  Also the year when self lost Gracie.  But also the year when self got her novella accepted for publication (next year).  Also when she got pieces published in:

  • Our Own Voice
  • Storysouth
  • The Writing Disorder

And when she got pieces accepted by:  the Asian American Literary Review, Wigleaf, Prism International, Phoebe and Used Furniture Review

And when self started writing science fiction in earnest (“Computational Outcomes,” “Thing,” and many other short pieces)

And when she started getting to know Bacolod.  She saw Kanlaon up close.  She went to Mambucal (Thanks, dearest cousins, for taking her!).  She saw the La Carlota Sugar Central, once in July and again in September.  She went to Don Salvador Benedicto.  She went to Victorias.  She went on her first RORO ride (to Iloilo).  And she learned what “ratoon” is.

And she discovered Antonio Muñoz Molina.  And Bernhard Schlink.  And Edith Wharton.  And Alan Moorehead.  And Patrick Leigh Fermor.  Karin Fossum became self’s new Scandinavian mystery writer of choice (Self loved Fossum’s The Indian Bride)

In May, self flew to New York to watch a play by fellow Stanford Creative Writing Program fellow Penny Jackson.  And it was a very, very good play.  In addition, self got nephew William (who’s now in medical school in Washington University in St. Louis) to accompany her to the Smyth Hotel for Penny’s birthday party.

She saw dear good friends, in Manila and elsewhere.

She met a niece at the Ferry Building.

She loves The Ancient One, who is the best 16-year-old beagle in the entire world.

She signed books at the Manila International Book Festival, in September, and bumped into Charles Tan.

She finally visited the Science Fiction bookstore, Borderlands, which Niece G had been telling her about for ages.

She saw more of Zack, Liza Erpelo, and Lillian.

She started having regular lunches with her old friend, the Program Administrator at Stanford’s East Asian Studies department.

She wrote more on that World War II novel (set in Bacolod).

The apple tree bore a delicious harvest.

She felt quite shaken by the passing of Steve Jobs.

She celebrated her birthday with cousins in Bacolod.

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 came and went.  Self was in Bacolod.  It barely registered, there.  (The world seems far away, in Bacolod.  That is why she loves it so)

And here are the movies self watched this year that she particularly loved:

  • 50/50 and Joseph Gordon-Levitt had self crying buckets.
  • Cary Fukunaga brought sexy back to Jane Eyre.
  • Biutiful soared because of Javier Bardem.
  • Horrible Bosses had self laughing from beginning to end.
  • Margin Call was all about Zach Quinto, and besides self got to see brother-in-law for three seconds, towards the end of the movie.
  • Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris made self notice Owen Wilson’s shambling walk. 
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes had a strong, beating heart, thanks to James Franco, John Lithgow, Tom Felton (making the leap from Harry Potter to playing American:  congrats, Tom!) and Freida Pinto.  And let’s not forget Caesar the ape!  This was self’s favorite summer movie after Midnight in Paris.
  • The Debt showed that Sam Worthington can do drama.
  • Take Shelter made self realize that Jessica Chastain is quite an actress.  And Michael Shannon was very good, too.

On TV, there was Mads Mikkelsen in “Valhalla Rising.”  There was more deliciousness from “The Good Wife.” Earlier in the year, there was “Justified Season 2.”  Steven Colbert, Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live had self laughing all year.  Self caught several episodes of “Game of Thrones” while in L’Fisher Chalet!  It looked fantastic.

She heard from Hawthornden!  After over a year!  And they extended to self an invitation to come sometime in 2012.  Which is a really spectacular development, dear blog readers.

So many things to be thankful for, really!

Stay tuned.

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