Announcing the release of:

Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets (Meritage Press:  San Francisco and St. Helena)
edited by Eileen R. Tabios

Paperback, 220 pages, $20

(People:  Yolanda=Haiyan. Filipinos use “Yolanda,” everyone else uses “Haiyan.” You know, at some point self thinks that Filipinos cannot escape comedy, even within tragedy. So if you are a potential donor, and the only thing stopping you is the confusion over which typhoon you are actually making a donation for, note that Yolanda and Haiyan ARE ONE AND THE SAME TYPHOON.  Of course, mebbe you don’t care about WHICH typhoon, in which case, there was also ONDOY several years ago.  It doesn’t matter.  Give, that’s all that counts)

Here’s an excerpt from the official press release:

In response to Yolanda’s devastation, Filipino poets in the homeland and the diaspora rallied to create a fundraising anthology entitled Verses Typhoon Yolanda:  A Storm of Filipino Poets.  Edited by poet Eileen R. Tabios, the anthology of 133 poems is released by Meritage Press.

All of the book’s profits will be donated to relief organizations and others helping the typhoon survivors.  Meritage is willing to send books at cost to fundraisers who then can sell the books at their individual retail price of $20 each.

For more information, contact Eileen R. Tabios at

*     *     *     *

“Emptiness of Air,” the piece self wrote for Vela, the women’s travel website, is included in this anthology — because self is ALL about TransGenre.  YAY!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Going Live This Week at EUNOIA REVIEW: Two Short Shorts

Self has been reading Eunoia Review for several years now.

She loves the writing.  They publish poetry (beautiful poetry) and a kind of prose self considers “TransGenre.” Fits right up her alley.  Ever since self heard the word “TransGenre,” a few years back (Hotel Amerika featured her piece “Ghosts” in their TransGenre issue, and gave a name to the kind of short short stuff self had just begun writing), she loves the word.  TransGenre: not sure if you need to capitalize the “G.”

Which reminds her:  She has to look and see if Hotel Amerika is at the AWP Book Fair!

She didn’t know anything about the editor, Ian Chung, until he sent her a message yesterday, saying the two pieces he’d accepted for the review were going live this week.

That’s when she decided to google him and found out that he edits the review from Singapore!

She wants to make sure she puts this announcement in before heading to the craziness of the AWP annual conference, this year being held in Seattle.

Self’s head is about to explode.  She got a message from PANK late last night, and then just remembered she hadn’t yet submitted her signed author contract to Philippine Speculative Fiction vol. 9, and it’s due Mar. 1.

Panic attack!  Nice panic attack, though.

This morning, she decided that the best thing for her to calm down would be to take a yoga class, and lo and behold, she got to Peacebank in downtown Redwood City, five minutes early, but after she checked in, there was no space.  Wall to wall yoga mats, and no one wanted to budge even a few inches to give her a chance to squeeze in.  Stone-faced, all!

The two people manning the check-in desk looked so impatient when self said there was no space.  They said, maybe you can ask someone to move?  Are you kidding?  Did you see the grim-faced visage of everyone in the class when they saw self stumble in, clue-less and panting? 

Which meant:  good-by, yoga class!  Au revoir!  Till we meet again!  Whenever or wherever!

In the meantime, self almost forgot:  the link to Eunoia Review!

Here it is, dear blog readers.  Enjoy.

Wigleaf Means to Self

Aside from the fact that they published “Stonehenge/Pacifica” before self even knew WHAT it was she had written, she’s praying so hard they will have a presence at AWP (She promises not to stalk you, dear Wigleaf editors.  She just wants to say “hi”)

To self, they’re the epitome of cool.  They have their contributors do a “Postcard” to go with the piece they’ve chosen to publish, and self was in such a blather of excitement she sent lots of different possibilities and — BWAH. HA. HA. HA. — they actually published excerpts from one of self’s e-mails asking:  You want more?  I got more!

She loves their Top 50.  It’s almost that time of year (It comes out every April).  Here’s a quote from the foreword to last year’s (2013) Top 50:

Very short fiction + online publishing saved literature.


Saved the world, even.


We don’t have to argue about it anymore. 

Check them out.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


Waccamaw No. 12 (Fall 2013 issue) went live about two weeks ago, but self was so overwhelmed with the typhoon disaster in the Philippines that she couldn’t focus.

Self’s story, “Bridging,” which she began last year while doing a residency in Hawthornden, is one of the current issue’s fiction pieces.  The other stories are “Vostok vs. Belmont,” by Ned Balbo; “Liner Notes,” by Matthew Fiander; “In a Far Country,” by Khanh Ha; and “Fireworks,” by Charles Israel, Jr.

The nonfiction features “Glass House: The First Moment of Her Leaving,” by Hannah de la Cruz Abrams; “On Needing,” by Erin Grauel; “Halloween Glossary, D-H,” by Tom McAllister; “Corrida de Toros,” by Lane Osborne; and “Notes on Being a Mistress,” by Cynthia Schoch.

The poetry features “You Were Made for This Part,” by Paul Allen; “Priority Seating for People With Disabilities and Seniors,” by Agatha Beins; “Still Breathing,” by Jo Brachman; “In Vineland,” by Mark J. Brewin, Jr.; “Lottie” and “Pepsi” by Nickole Brown; “Operation I” by Michelle Chan Brown; “Apples or Waffles,” by Kathy Didden; “O Mary Lou” by Anthony DiMatteo; “My Lips Are Made of Wax, My Teeth are Furry Blades, and Other Lies,” by Karla Huston; “All That Happened,” by Donald Illich; “Faultline,” by Elizabeth W. Jackson; “Sometimes Winter Comes When You Least Expect It” and “The Bright Forever” by Terry L. Kennedy; “Entreaty” by Keetje Kuipers; “The Third Egg” by Diane Lockward; “Icarus at Lake Acworth” by Christopher Martin; “Crossing Peachtree” by Thorpe Moeckel; “Roadkill” and “The Astronaut” by Alan Michael Parker; and “Improvisation on Newsprint” and “Window Box” by Mike Smith.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Memory and Nostalgia: “Sutil” in The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review, Fall 1995

The Threepenny Review, Fall 1995

Still one of self’s favorite pieces.  It begins:

I was last home for my father’s funeral.  I say “home” even though I am an American citizen now, sworn in with a twenty-piece Navy band in the grand ballroom of the Marriott Hotel on Fourth and Mission in San Francisco.  Yet, “home” for me was always that other place, that city James Hamilton-Patterson describes as “a parody of the grimmer parts of Milwaukee.”

I’ve never been to Milwaukee, so I can’t tell whether this is true or not, whether Manila really is like a parody of a city in the far north of this country (or at least what I imagine to be the far north, in a general region of the country I associate with heavy snow and Laverne and Shirley).  But that it is different from here, of course.  It is the differences I loved.

When I was last home, which was for my father’s funeral, I slept with my mother in the big wooden four-poster in my parents’ bedroom.  This bed, handed down from my grandfather, was familiar and reassuring.  It was of heavy wood, a wood that doesn’t exist today in any Philippine forest, having been cut to extinction.  It may have been called “molave.”  I am not sure of this, as I am not sure of so many things about my culture, which I think I received very young, too young really to understand context or value.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Call For Hybrid Projects: Seneca Review

Self finds this Call for Submissions very interesting:

Seneca Review is soliciting submissions for a Beyond Category Special Issue, expected publication date: January 2014

Beyond the lyric essay.
Beyond the prose poem.
Beyond just words.
Beyond just images.
Beyond Category.

The hybrid format allows for a broad range of digital and analog projects:

Experimental typography, splicings, documentary poetics, visual-textual hybrids, multimedia essays, collage, live coding, new media, old media with new applications, audio, video, bio-art, book arts, etc.

Submission Deadline: Oct. 31, 2013

For more information, email

Awesome Quote of the Day (First Wednesday of August 2013)

Courtesy of Wigleaf:

A short story writer fields many questions about the genre, among them the persistent and accusatory:  But why didn’t you finish it?  Or the related:  Why didn’t you write a whole book about this?  Depending upon audience and context I’ve given any number of answers.  Because the job of a short story is to leave you in suspended animation, and let you linger there until you think you know what it means.  Because there’s something to the experience of being dropped into something and then forced to surface.  Because the right one-night stand can be as interesting as a marriage.  Because the world can change forever in a few centuries or in a few seconds, and we need measures of both.  Because closure is overrated and fiction’s job is to open us up.

There.  Isn’t that just the most beautiful quote about the impulse to write stories that you’ve ever read?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“All the Missing” (Phoebe 41.1, Spring 2012)

Spent the last few minutes watching Michelle Knight’s statement to the court, prior to the sentencing of Ariel Castro.

Of the three women held by Castro, Knight suffered the most:  She had a 2 1/2 year old son, and endured five forced miscarriages from Castro’s beatings (Her treatment was markedly worse than the treatment of the other two).

Castro forced her to assist Amanda Berry to deliver her child.

Here’s the opening of a piece self wrote several years ago, shortly after hearing the news that Jaycee Lee Dugard had escaped her captor.  It was published in Phoebe, Spring 2012.

When the news about Dugard first broke, self was so tremendously moved.  The piece practically wrote itself.

All the Missing

for Jaycee Lee Dugard

They’re alive, all of them.

One day they’ll present, alive and well.

They’ll be older; a few might even have their first grey hairs.

They’ll come out of tents or basements or caves or wherever it is they’ve been kept, all these years.

Their names are Ilena, Michaela, Polly, Sandra.

Some are blonde.  Some are brunette.  Some are redheads.

Some have braces.  A few have freckles.

The parents stand on street corners.  They organize search teams.

They hand out photographs.  They implore complete strangers:  “Please, please.”

The little girls’ hair is always neatly combed, their eyes are bright.  Most of them smile.  A few seem self-conscious.  These are school photos, therefore posed.

Not all of them are pretty.

Now it’s summer.  School’s out, the kids are everywhere, giddy with excitement.

That’s not all of it, but self thinks people should just go over to Phoebe and show their support for the journal by reading what’s available on the site.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

MANILA NOIR, Edited by Jessica Hagedorn: Opening Sentences

Introducing, in the order in which the stories appear in the anthology:

  • “When we learn about the sign, we must see it for ourselves.”  —  Aviary, by Lysley Tenorio
  • “Casa Manila,” the docent announces, pushing the massive double doors twice before they give way.” —  A Human Right, by Rosario Cruz-Lucero
  • “Do you know what shabu means?” —  Satan Has Already Bought U, by Lourd De Veyra
  • “Sunday talk and it was all gossip.” —  Broken Glass, by Sabina Murray
  • “When we finally roll out, our seats are pitched up like we’re on a plane lifting from the tarmac.” —  After Midnight, by Angelo R. Lacuesta
  • “Nearly 13 million Filipinos ride the Metrostar Express every day.” —  Trese:  Thirteen Stations, a graphic short story, by Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo
  • “The neck is broken.” —  Comforter of the Afflicted, by F. H. Batacan
  • “Somebody died in this car I’m driving.” —  The Professor’s Wife, by Jose Dalisay
  • “Lala makes the sign of the cross when she comes upon the naked, mutilated body of Vanessa Blanca hanging from the ancient balete tree on Moriones Street, a block away from the Tutuban train station.” — Cariño Brutal, by R. Zamora Linmark
  • “The story Magsalin wishes to tell is about disappearance.” —  The Unintended, by Gina Apostol
  • “Paco texted me, asking for a ride.” — Old Money, by Jessica Hagedorn
  • “Which parts of a bird are edible?” —  Desire, by Marianne Villanueva
  • “First of all, she wouldn’t change the locks on him.” —  Darling, You Can Count on Me, by Eric Gamalinda
  • “She doesn’t have to travel very far to see her fortune-teller.” —  Norma From Norman, by Jonas Vitman

Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Escape 2

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

Self spent the month of August 2007 here, writing in a little studio by the barn.

Here was where she wrote the piece “Jesters,” which was published January 2012 in Used Furniture Review.

Stay tuned.

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