The Shadow King, p. 73

Why is self reading so slowly these days? There was a time when she used to average 60 books/year. Anyhoo, she is absolutely enthralled by her current book, a novel by Maaza Mengiste. Set in  1930s (?) Ethiopia. It’s written in impressionistic style, so the dates don’t matter all that much. It feels very much like one flowing river of memory.

A young servant girl feels a strange connection between herself and the man of the house. The cook tries to set her straight. Meanwhile, her mistress rides across the countryside on a horse, dressed in jodhpurs like a man.

We all know that war destroys mankind, and in spite of their differences in race, creed, and religion, women all across the world despise war because the fruit is nothing but destruction.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

“The Vanishing” : Rosebud, Issue 67

“The Vanishing,” self’s story of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, had been making the round of slush piles when Rosebud‘s editor reached her on her cell and told her he was pulling hers from the slushpile.

Rosebud is a very ambitious magazine.

The section Once Upon a . . . features re-tellings of Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel.

A section called Songs of the City are stories set in . . . what else? Cities.

A section called Looking Up features stories about the moon and other planetary bodies.

“The Vanishing”

Pope Alexander VI draw a line from pole to pole, dividing the world like the two halves of an orange: everything east of the line belonged to Portugal, everything west to Spain. In one stroke, centuries of struggle between the two arch-rivals came to an end, and the world at last seemed able to contain the two countries’ teeming ambitions, ambitions that had taken root and flowered in a dream born as a whisper in the ear of a friend of a friend of a friend: Francisco Serrao, Portuguese, who wrote to the crown from the Moluccas, in words both ardent and teasing. “Gold and riches,” Serrao wrote. “Spices and women.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

More Writing in a Pandemic

Further in self’s novel about the World War II occupation of the city of Bacolod in the central Philippines (72k words so far):

Don Geronimo entered Honorato’s room just as his eldest son was about to get dressed. It was eight o’clock.

“The Japanese are here,” he said.

Honorato said nothing.

There was a group of them, some in uniform, some in civilian clothing. They had told Don Geronimo they were there to put the Daku Balay under the protection of the Imperial Japanese Army. “We are forbidden to leave the premises without permission. Go through the kitchen. Moses is waiting for you by the side gate.”

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The Daku Balay, Burgos Street, Bacolod City: It was used by the Japanese High Command during World War II. Self’s grandfather sent her uncle to the mountains. Her father, only 12 at the time, stayed home.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Writing In a Pandemic: Self’s Other Novel

So far, 299 pages, set on the island of Negros in the central Philippines, in the opening months of World War II. Self has not looked at it in almost two years. She’s been devoting most of her time to her 16th century novel, Camarote de Marinero:

In mid-April, Honorato was sent to the mountains.  He had just turned 18.  Don Geronimo worried because he was tall, because he was good-looking, because he was the eldest and bore the hopes of his parents on his slender shoulders.  Hide, his father told him.  Get as far away from here as you can.

The boy, Honorato, spends the war wandering in the mountains with his Dad’s enkargado, Moses. Moses has a bolo and a 32 Colt. Honorato can’t even shoot. But he learns a lot. (Meanwhile, self, who hasn’t shot a gun in her entire life, has to do internet research on the mechanics of a 32 Colt. So she’s learning just as much as Honorato)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Her Protector’s Pleasure: p. 6, Still in the Male Brothel, Regency England

This book is so exciting! Self hasn’t read a Regency Romp in ages! That’s because lately she’s been reading The Expanse, and watching the series (in, like, 15-minute increments on Amazon Prime, while watering). Steven Strait is FIIIINEEEE! She might check out his tween prep-school/witch movie The Covenant (4% on the Tomato Meter), a movie she never heard of (it might have appeared while she was deep in her Hunger Games phase), not until she started watching The Expanse series.

Back to Her Protector’s Pleasure. Self hasn’t moved very much further, just three pages in. The book started with the MC preparing to enter a male brothel in Regency England (first she’s heard of such) and now, three pages later, the MC is sitting in the parlor. And there’s a very fine description of the setting, such as “sheer ivory panels” and “jewel-toned reclining cushions.”

Very exciting. Hell, yeah. Go to the max, author Grace Callaway!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Her Protector’s Pleasure, p. 3: Male Brothel, Regency England

Reading Cibola Burn and this book concurrently. One is set on a new planet, the other in Regency England. She likes balance in her reading list, obv.

It gives self great pleasure to discover that the MC in Her Protector’s Pleasure is named Marianne, which is a beautiful name, the best. Just sayin’

Marianne, having looked over the — er — merchandise, is asked by her tour guide, the brothel madam:

  • So you’ll take Ernesto?

Boom! #medead

Stay safe, dear blog reades. Stay tuned.

#amwriting of First Contact

Cortez had just conquered the Aztecs, and their ancient cities were filled with gold.

The Spanish thought there was gold in the Philippines, too.

First sight of the Philippines by the Spanish:

  • Limasawa has the shape of a finger thrust into the ocean; its topography is generally flat. Butuan is much larger, a ring of beach surrounding a mountain wreathed in clouds, whose topmost peaks flash in fading evening light, flash like prince’s metal.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Am Here: ROSEBUD Issue 67 (Spring 2020)

DSCN0301

Felipe II is one hell of a sexy guy, just sayin’. From The Vanishing:

Spanish ambitions took root and flowered in a dream born as a whisper in the ear of a friend of a friend of a friend: Francisco Serrao, Portuguese, who wrote to the Crown from the Moluccas, his words both ardent and teasing.

Part of self’s “Voyager” series of short stories.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Her MC’s Backstory

Stayed up till the wee hours again, CUTTING. Self isn’t sure when her eyes finally closed, but she must have been writing up till the last, for all the lights in her room were on when she opened her eyes this morning. Also, she’s wandering around like a ghost.

Below, a passage she worked on last night, which she decided to keep.

DSCN0037

Early Map of the Philippines

Other memories he would have been happier to relinquish: Fiesta. Mantilla. Rioja. His mother’s admonishments. He would surrender to these memories helplessly, sometimes angrily. It would have been better for him if he had not, upon seeing the rivers on Isla del Fuego, immediately thought of the Segura and its esteros. If he had not been reminded, upon seeing a cluster of white rocks, of the Piedras Blanca in the foothills of Murcia. If he had not, on seeing the native women, always thought of Dorotea and her thick, black hair, the weight of it in his hands.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Camarote de Marinero, p. 167

In Pampanga, mekekeni.

In Tagalog, parita ka.

And in Castilian:

 

Señores, vengan aca.

Vengan pangasi,

Venga kudkuran,

Venga bibingka, guinataan

Suman sa Imus

Tinapay sa bombing matabang!

 

Matias could not help laughing.

“It is about eating bread, and rice cakes, and all good things. Sleep well, Matias,” Father Salazar said.

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