Meme: The Next Big Thing, Courtesy of Luisa Igloria (Answers to the First Four Questions)

This post has to be in two parts, as self is working on a review that needs to be sent in by tomorrow!

Monday (yesterday) self had some dental surgery, and is still experiencing intermittent flashes of pain.

Everything seems to go mad during the holiday season.

But, nevertheless, it’s a great honor to be one of the five writers selected by poet Luisa Igloria to be “the next big thing.”  Here’s how the meme works (Self doing the cut and paste thang, from Luisa’s blog):

My poet friend Seni Seneviratne invited me to participate in this self-interview blog meme called The Next Big Thing, where I get to share a little more about my writing. Writers participating get to answer 8-10 questions (about their book/blog/their writing), and then tag 5 other writer friends to post their own “next big thing” the following Wednesday. Seni’s instructions were for me to post my answers by or before Wednesday, 5 December ~ so here they are!

Self had a whole week to pass on the favor to another five, and these are the five she has chosen, after pondering all week:

And here’s self’s answer to questions # 1 and # 2 (It felt really weird answering these questions with “self” instead of “I,” but what the hey)

1.  What is the working title of your book?

Self has two books she’s working on.  The first is a short story collection, which she calls Magellan’s Mirror.  The collection keeps growing:  basically, it’s all the stories she’s written since about 2006.  That’s  A LOT of stories.  Dozens.  They range from horror to science fiction to her usual dark, despairing narratives of dysfunctional Filipino relationships.  There actually might be a satire or two mixed in there.  And of course, there are a few of self’s favorite form of writing:  flash fiction.  That’s everything from “Stonehenge/Pacifica” (which appeared in Wigleaf), to “Jesters” (which appeared in Used Furniture Review) to “Wavering” (in LITnIMAGE)

The second book is a novel.  The setting is Bacolod during the Japanese Occupation.  She’s gotten it up to almost 300 pages.  She loves working on it, in little dribbles.  She started it three or four years ago.  The working title is The Vanquished.

2.  Where did the idea for the book come from?

From everywhere!  The World War II novel is based on historical research.  Self became very interested in war literature, some time after she got married.  The Man is a military history buff.  All his books are about battles.  Self got to pick up this stuff by osmosis.  Plus, some of her favorite books are war narratives.  The most recent of these would be The 9/11 Commission Final Report (Yes, self does consider that a war narrative), and all the World War II books by Ben MacIntyre, who is one of her favorite nonfiction writers.

The short stories have more various sources of inspiration.  Self writes them fast, and they do begin most of the time with an image, a flash.  If she’s lucky enough to be near her computer, she’ll dash off five or 10 pages at one go.  She’s actually been able to write an entire story in one go, if it’s between 10 and 15 pages.  Each story is an experiment in form or voice or structure or what-not.  They are, each and every story, driven by one over-riding emotion.

Lately, her stories have been getting longer.  So the narrative impulse seems to want “room.”  She’s written a 32-page story, in the last year.  Before this year, her longest stories were 15 pages.

3.  What is the genre of the books?


4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There’s got to be a part for Keanu Reeves!

Or that androgynous looking guy from “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

Also, I like Anne Curtis.  And any comedic actor from the Philippines —  I love them all.

Maybe there’d also be a part for Tia Carrere.

(To be continued)


  1. December 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you for nominating me – plus I really enjoyed reading your answers to the Qs.

    We might have to fight over Keenu Reeves – how funny. I told My Personal Artist (that is his official web site name) that I wanted the man on the cover to look like KR.


  2. Lillian Howan said,

    December 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Honored to be selected. Many thanks! Keanu Reeves, definitely. Your title story of Magellan’s Mirror is magnificent and a movie in itself.

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