Monday, March 31, 2008

2007 Stoker Awardees

I've been having internet trouble lately, so this post comes really late. Still, congrations to the winners, the nominees, and to everyone involved! :D

Superior Achievement in a NOVEL
The Missing by Sarah Langan

Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill

Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION
“Afterward, There Will be a Hallway” by Gary A. Braunbeck

Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION
“The Gentle Brush of Wings” by David Niall Wilson

Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
Five Strokes to Midnight by Gary A. Braunbeck and Hank Schwaeble

Superior Achievement in a COLLECTION (tie)
Proverbs for Monsters by Michael A. Arnzen
5 Stories by Peter Straub

Superior Achievement in NONFICTION
The Cryptopedia by Jonathan Mayberry and David F. Kramer

Superior Achievement in POETRY (tie)
Being Full of Light, Insubstantial by Linda Addison
Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet by Charlee Jacob and Marge Simon

Monday, March 17, 2008

Make Prose (and Your Reader) Jump

Have been busy with work (always a good thing), so have only gotten time to post this overdue prompt today. Notice how I've filled my post with cute animals? It's in the hopes that my publisher will overlook my tardiness and focus on the animals instead. Hey, whatever works! Now here's this week's prompt: Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics Three things I've noticed in horror fiction that jumps out at you (and makes you jump in the process): The Shock Factor a href="">">Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics There is shock and there is shock. Though it can be argued that horror, at its basest (and sometimes laziest) is about shock it doesn't mean that making a ghost pop out randomly makes for good shock (though it seems to work for axe murderers). What makes the shock, er, shocking is the build-up. Think The 6th Sense, The Ring even Feng Shui. One of my favorite novellas that's big on the build up is David Morrell's “Blue is for Anguish, Orange is for Insanity.” It's about this guy who follows his college roommate's obsession with a certain painter. Morrell strings you along the whole story and when he finally drops the bomb, you're totally floored. You cannot help but be creeped out, and you cannot help but cry at how your own measly talents cannot ever hope to measure up to his. The story was freaky in 1988 and it's still freaky now. The Sex Factor Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics You don't need me to tell you that sex sells. But, like the excuse filmmakers use to get around the MTRCB, it has to fit in with the story. One of my all-time favorite short horror stories is John Peyton Coke's 1995 S&M-fueled “The Penitent.” It blurs the line between love/ sex/ death/ religion. And since a lot of it draws from Mexican Catholicism, it makes an extra impact t the Filipino mind. The story is basically about sex, but in the end, it's not the sex, but the factors that surround it, that makes the story. So. If you plan to write about, or use sex in your story, your story should not be just about getting it on. Otherwise, you're better off writing fan fiction. After all, you can never have too much slash on the interweb. The What the F**k Factor Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics Some stories, you read from beginning to end and all you can think after is “What the F**k?” If you like screwing with people's minds, horror is a good playground to practice your craft. Be warned, general weirdness is harder to pull off in horror, because you have the double task of slightly confusing and totally terrifying your reader. It's a though road to travel, one that I dare not set foot on just yet. Personally, I'm not a fan of this kind of story precisely because I'm never sure about what's happening. But there are times when the horror outshines the weirdness, and when that happens, the effect can be really chilling, as the WTF factor adds to the already gnawing pit inside your belly. Paul G. Tremblay's The Teacher (which has been nominated for this year's Stokers) is a well-written example.

Shameless Self Promotion March 2008

Publications I've written stuff for this month:


I'm part of the team that wrote Rogue's Cinema Portfoilio, where I interviewed cult filmmakers Eddie Romero and Cirio Santiago (I gushed all over Eddie, and I got business lessons for Cirio), indie film pillar Surf Reyes and self-confessed filmologist and all around nice guy Teddy Co.


I wrote a feature on Jack Teotico, an art gallery owner who is intent on bringing Filipino art onto the world stage. I had actually met him before when I accompanied a friend to one of Gene Gonzales' art sessions. That session is why I have an Alan Cocio sketch of myself tucked away in my bedroom, and why my friend has a half-naked painting of herself (forget who did it) hanging in someone's hallway. And this was before Shawn Yao!


I think I did the reviews section for this month's issue – books, films and music centered on simple pleasures. I'm sure k.d. lang is in there somewhere. Speaking of which, I haven't gotten her latest album yet. *pouts*


The March issue marks the second installment of Luis and my advice column. Our advice for the month: What do you do if your girlfriend is more experienced than you? Luis, as always, has the funnier answer. I'm too busy trying not to let my prudish nature shine through. ;p

Friday, March 14, 2008

Reading for the PGS Halloween Issue

Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics Finally got down to reading the submissions for Philippine Genre Stories' Halloween Issue, which I'm guest editing. I've had really interesting submissions (and a possible main story), but still need more. Which means you can still send in your stuff! Check out for details.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rouge Sunset Cruise

I spent the afternoon on a yacht that went around Manila Bay. It was Rogue's Exclusive Sunset Cruise, a party that the magazine threw for its friends.

Luis and I thought that we would be late, but thankfully, we made it well before the yacht set sail. The one person who didn't was walking tour guide Carlos Celdran, who reached the dock exactly just as the yacht pulled away, so he had to be brought in via boat. He was pretty game about the whole thing, which was cute.

All our troubles seemed to melt away as soon as the boat left the dock. There was an assortment of Japanese food to choose from, and a vodka-fueled open bar as well. From the middle of the bay, Manila looks like a first world city.

For some reason, I was able to navigate the yacht's many stairs without much difficulty, which was a surprise. Luis was surprised as well, since the stairs were pretty difficult to climb, even for a normal person. Could it be that the food supplement I've been taking is doing its job and making me stronger?

After our cruise around Manila Bay, we had dinner at the port. All in all, a pretty good party, made even better because we were among friends.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cebu... B?

Just got back from a work-related trip to Cebu. I want to go back! That was only my second time on the island, and I think my first time in the city proper. Since work meant that I had to be cooped up in the hotel all day (a not unpleasant experience), I only got the chance to see the sights at night. You cannot imagine how hard it is to find a decent place to hang out there on a Monday night. Any other day of the week though, the place is buzzing with a distinct island flavor.

And the food! I think I had the best-tasting uni there. And the services are cheap, too. Got a facial with a diamond peel at Pranav, the spa in the Crown Regency, the lovely hotel we stayed in, for Php560 (that's with a 30% discount). Also found out that the hotel's General Manager was a few batches below my dad in La Salle. I didn't think that I would have any use, save sentimental ones, for my dad's numerous stories about his high school friends but apparently, it makes for great conversation with another La Sallian of that generation. I wonder why we don't get the same kind of camaraderie in all-girls schools. Probably because we're too busy catfighting. Rwowr!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Activists Can Have Fun, Too...

Got this in the mail from a well-known FilChi activist. See? Activists can have fun, too. I guess it's not bigoted if the race that you're making fun of is your own. :)

Take a break during these stressful times...

Prepare now for the Beijing Olympics.

Learn Chinese in 5 minutes (You MUST read them aloud)

English - Chinese

That's not right! Sum Ting Wong

Are you harbouring a fugitive? Hu Yu Hai Ding

See me ASAP Kum Hia Nao

Stupid Man Dum Fuk

Small Horse Tai Ni Po Ni

Did you go to the beach? Wai Yu So Tan

I bumped into a coffee table! Ai Bang Mai Fu Kin Ni

I think you need a face lift! Chin Tu Fat

It's very dark in here! Wai So Dim

I thought you were on a diet! Wai Yu Mun Ching

This is a tow away zone! No Pah King

Our meeting is scheduled for next week! Wai Yu Kum Nao

Staying out of sight Lei Ying Lo

He's cleaning his automobile Wa Shing Ka

Your body odour is offensive Yu Stin Ki Pu

Great Fa Kin Su Pa