Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stories

When I'm not being crafts artist, I write. And in that area, Dean Francis Alfar impresses me. "Art is will." I think it was Ayn Rand who said that, and the way Dean goes about his writing career tells me he subscribes to this belief. Such focus and determination! He applies the same energy to his publishing ventures, it seems like.

When I decided that I wanted to get into fiction, his Kestrel Publishing's Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology was one of the markets I had targetted. So when in April he issued a call for submissions for the second volume, I made sure to send a short story before the September 15 deadline. From there, things moved along briskly. A short few weeks later, he had announced who made it into the book, sent letters of acceptance and contracts to the authors, and asked for revisions where these were necessary. Now that he's done editing, he's even sent the works back to the writers, for final corrections.

Okay, my experience is with magazines and newspapers, and I have barely any knowledge of how they make books, but still, the way this guy is going about it strikes me as imminently professional. You can feel that he's really there, working on the project. As a writer, you feel reassured, that your story is in good hands.

All this inevitably leading up to a plug: Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 2 is going to be launched in Manila in December, and you can find the table of contents here. ("Just Another Ghost Story"--that's me! I'm so happy I'm in it!!!) A bit of fantasy, some horror, short stories of a different sort, all making for a funky Christmas gift idea. Buy it. (I'm now sounding like a magazine writer, I know.)

P.S. I recently got word that Milflores Publishing is launching the anthology Sawi on the same month, December. (Another great gift idea!) It's all stories about heartbreak, and my contribution "Six Tales From the Single Girls Strip" is for my dear from-Boni-Avenue-to-Pioneer-Street friends. I'm sounding like I'm nagbubuhat ng bangko, but I'm just really made ecstatic by all this news.

11 comments:

A said...

Mamu congrats! Will look for the books in December, PRAMIS! Woohoo!

Makis said...

And will, you have. Congrats, Apol!

Katrina said...

CONGRATULATIONS, Apol! I think Dean is BRILLIANT (How many Palancas does he have now, 7?!), and I so admire his commitment to improving the Filipino literary scene. I used to read Dean's and his terribly clever wife Nikki's blogs regularly, till I got so busy. A smarter, wittier couple you will rarely meet. So you are in amazing company! I will be sure to look for both anthologies when they come out. Once again...Waging-wagi ka, Apol! :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Apol! I'll get myself a copy, then pa-autograph! (seryoso ako)

Kala

cafe rennais said...

Hi apol! congrats! i'm buying the books talaga! astig! :)

apol said...

Thanks, everyone! Whoever does not buy a copy of each book will get a whack on the butt!!!

Noelle said...

Lift away, Apol. It's a good bench to lift. I think it's great that you're publishing -- very inspiring! Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is "speculative fiction"?

petite said...

congrats, apol! i'll make sure to get a copy of those two books pag-uwi namin for bakasyon. :-)

apol said...

Hi, NOELLE, I was touched by your what-to-do-with-a-story-begun-long-ago post but never came up with a satisfying answer. With this new question, I can help: Speculative Fiction is, I think, just a new phrase coined to encompass all those genres not falling under fiction that respects the rules of the real world, so that includes sci-fi, horror, fantasy, magic realism, I even came across a story labelled "monk punk." I've long wanted to write fiction, but bored myself with my own realistic settings and scenarios, until I realized, HEY, I CAN IMAGINE EVERYTHING. My Aha! moment :)

Thanks, PETITE! I found your photo of head-beside-Buddha's-toe very charming.

KatsMeow said...

Apol, saan naman nabibili ang iyong libro? Suitable ba siya for a 12 year old boy? Nicco likes moomoo stories.

apol said...

Sa National and Powerbooks, KAT. I haven't read any of the other stories in Volume 2, but I have Volume 1, and that is suitable for a precocious 12.