Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HAPPY

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is HAPPY. Self started looking through her archives and decided on a set of pictures she took during the most recent AWP conference, a month ago, in Tampa.


2018 AWP Bookfair, Tampa, FL

She mostly hung out at the Bookfair. One of the highlights of her trip was getting to meet the editors of the Bellingham Review! They published her (dystopian fantasy) story “Ice” in their annual on-line issue, up now. It stays up till November.


SO HAPPY to meet the Editors of the Bellingham Review at the AWP 2018 Bookfair!

Thank you for making self so HAPPY, Bellingham Review!

Stay tuned.



Winner of 2016 Miami University Press Novella Contest Announced

And the winner is:

Tara Deal, for That Night Alive: I’ve Come Close

This year, there were 155 entries. The final judge was Margaret Luongo.

Congratulations to Ms. Deal!

Here are the 2016 poetry titles from Miami University Press:

  • Her Faithfulness (Out Now), by Liz Waldner
  • Leaving CLE (Forthcoming) by Janice A. Lowe

Miami University Press is at the Los Angeles AWP Book Fair, Booth 902.

Here are the scheduled author signings:

Friday, April 1, 2 – 3 p.m. — Lawrence Coates, Camp Olvido

Friday, April 1, 3 – 4 p.m. — Janice A. Lowe, Leaving CLE

Saturday, April 2, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. — Marianne Villanueva, Mayor of the Roses

Hope to see you there!

Stay tuned.




Spotlight: The Asian American Literary Review, Part 2

Self knows she spotlighted The AALR already, but one can never have too much of a good thing.

She is so admiring of the tireless energy of its editors. They are now trying to get more people overseas to know about Asian American writers. Bravo!

Kindly hook up with Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis, Gerald Maa, or Cathy J. Shlund-Vials (English and Asian American Studies, University of Connecticut). Cathy will be at the upcoming AAS conference, April 17- 20, in Seattle.

Here’s the beginning of self’s story “Homeopathy,” which was in AALR Vol. 3, Issue 1 (Spring 2012):

On Friday I return from my trip. Laundry is still in the dryer, a jumble of clothes. The food I’d bought before I left is still in the fridge, though the radishes are pockmarked with green fuzz and the potatoes are growing roots. The man sits on the sofa, smoking a cigarette.

Has he even known I was gone? I can’t be sure. Perhaps I’m an alien, teleported into his life.

On TV, Speed is showing. It’s the scene where Dennis Hopper talks to Keanu Reeves and tells him, “Do not attempt to grow a brain.”

Finally, self has succeeded in getting the finest words in the English language into a story!


But that was so years ago. Now self must figure out a way to get these words into a story:


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Filipino American National Historical Society Annual Conference

Just received an e-mail announcement from Joan Cordova regarding the upcoming Filipino American National Historical Society annual conference in Seattle University this July 21 – 24.  Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Fiction: Difficulties of Talking About

Today was self’s first day teaching at the Foothill Writers Conference. She decided to make her first seminar about “Flash Fiction.” Whew, it turned out to be harder to talk about than self had anticipated! Thank goodness self decided to have the handful of students in her seminar do writing exercises! Which actually turned out to be a pretty good idea! Self was amazed at the pieces the students were able to produce, in the space of just an hour!  For prompts, self used the Lydia Davis one-paragraph story, “The Fish,” (from her collection Break It Down); an excerpt from a David Foster Wallace story in Bestial Noise:  The Tin House Fiction Reader, and a one-paragraph story, “Crash,” from the literary journal Alimentum.

Self enjoyed the readings, all of them. Today, the following faculty read: Alan Cheuse, Jane Ciabattari, Kim Wolterbeek, Justin Chin, Scott Inguito, and Barbara Reyes. Is not that a most stellar line-up, dear blog readers? Self has had a surfeit of pleasures today.

A few phrases from the readings jumped out at self:

  • From Jane Ciabattari — “which is not to say that I didn’t suffer from hunger of the skin when he began giving me the cold shoulder”
  • From Kim Wolterbeek — “power cords the size of garter snakes” and a “lake bottom slimy with duck shit and algae”
  • Scott Inguito — about why he wrote a certain poem: “I just wanted to use Oxnard and cormorant in the same poem.”
  • Barbara Reyes — “A wolf’s spirit has just passed” and “This is how my mother’s womb becomes the sea.”

Self just sat there and drank it all in. She even got to ask two questions after the poets’ reading! Self hadn’t planned it, but found her hand rising almost against her will.

Self heard two announcements that saddened her.  The first was from the Dean, Paul Starer, who informed the gathered workshop participants that this may be the final Foothill Writers Conference, unless it manages to become self-sustaining.  There was real consternation among the audience at this news.

The second announcement was from Alan Cheuse:  James Houston, who self taught with at several Foothill Writers Conferences, and also last year at the Mendocino Coast Conference, “died a few months ago.”  Self remembers James and his wife Janice as the sweetest writers she has ever known, and was saddened by the news.

The conference was directed this year by Kella Svetich, one of Foothill’s most fab teachers, with the able assistance of Isabel Seligo. Directing a writing conference is an exhausting, thankless task. Thank goodness Kella was brave enough to take it on.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

The Latest on Gracie/ “Twilight” Redux/ Foothill Writers Conference

Gracie was finally allowed home last night. Vet warned that she is still not out of the woods, sometimes symptoms of permanent brain or nerve damage are not immediately apparent. All the way home, self kept calling, Read the rest of this entry »

Center for Babaylan Studies, Sonoma State

Recently, the Center for Babaylan Studies at Sonoma State put out a Call for Papers for a conference to be held April 17 & 18,  2010 at Sonoma State.  Below, an excerpt from the Mission Statement:

We are passionate about the significance of the babaylan in our communities and world today and would like you to join us in bringing about this very unique and special gathering through your efforts and presence.

We believe in the power of the Indigenous Soul and the Indigenous World View, as embodied by primary/ land-based babaylans in the Philippines and contemporary babaylan/ culture-bearers in the Philippines and the diaspora, to provide a narrative that restores a sense of wholeness, beauty and integrity to our pagka-Pilipino.

Here is the Call to Presenters:

If you are a scholar/educator, artist (visual, literary, performance), culture-bearer/ advocate/ activist and if you deem that your work is Babaylan-inspired and Babaylan-informed, please submit a 250-500 word abstract describing the content of your paper and a paragraph about how you think it fits into the conference themes mentioned above.

For panel presentations, please submit the names of the members of the panel, the title and 250-500 word abstract for each presentation, and the name of the panel moderator.

Deadline for conference abstracts is Nov. 15, 2009.

More detailed information can be found on the Center for Babaylan Studies website.

Oh Chicago!

Oh the ice-encrusted backpacks! The snow blowing horizontally! The cars crawling in slow motion through the streets, their roofs and hoods piled with snow! The glimpses of the churning waves on Lake Michigan! Self wonders: will planes be able to fly out of such a blizzard? To self’s (rather pessimistic) way of thinking, she may not get back to the Bay Area today. (But, as usual, self speaks too soon, for she is currently cooling her heels at Minneapolis airport, at one of those internet kiosks that charge $5 for 15 minutes. Since cursor happens to be very balky, she’s already used up 8 minutes, just to type this sentence)

But oh, “The Tempest” at Steppenwolf! The tutu-garbed (male) Ariel! The Ferdinand with the shaved head and tattoos snaking down his spine (causing self to wonder whether he was moon-lighting in some heavy metal band!)! The song of Ariel set to moog synthesizers! What a hoot!

(Self had never seen so many naked male chests in one production of Shakespeare! Even tutu-clad Ariel and his attendant spirits showed very amazing pectoral muscles! Thankfully all were pleasing to the eye!)

Self slept supremely well, the last two nights. During self’s last conversation with hubby, he informed her that kitchen faucet sprang a leak and he had to take everything out of the cabinet under the sink. So, now, everything is out on the counters: Comet, Pine-Sol, Resolve, Bon Ami, scrubbing brushes, sponges, rubber gloves, Lysol disinfectant spray, ant poison, cleaning rags, Murphy’s Oil, Windex, Ammonia, and who knows what else, self hasn’t investigated the back of this cabinet for years. No, decades. Self sighs: what a welcome return!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

What a Gorgeous Day!

After spending the whole morning and half the afternoon running around and doing errands, self tossed her bag and books to one side and ran hither and thither in the garden, weeding and watering.

Now, self wishes to impart some news: She will not be bringing her laptop to Chicago this weekend! She hopes withdrawal pangs — hers — will not be too bad. (Or maybe she’ll learn her lesson and will never allow herself to be parted from blog, ever again)

Self thinks her over-active fingers are about due for a rest. Besides which, she needs time to process (a word she only learned to use after coming to America, after attending graduate school, to be precise!) Besides which, she needs time to catch up on some zzzz’s!

Never mind: self will have lots of delightful stories to share with dear blog readers upon her return. And her panel will give her insights into what writers are doing in: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma, as her panel is on Modern Literature of Southeast Asia (Self’s name got left off the programme by mistake, so right now it looks like no one is representing the Philippines, but self wishes to assure dear blog readers that she is there to do her duty, and has in fact written out a six-page presentation, which she already e-mailed to the other panel members– aaach! Another long digression!). Will update all upon her return!

(And, true to form, self simply cannot resist looking up what plays are showing in Chicago at the moment, and there are two at the Steppenwolf she is exceedingly longing to see: Yasmina Reza’s “Art,” and “The Tempest”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.


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