I couldn’t remember exactly when the writing bug bit me. All I know is, whenever I read komiks ( I spell it with a ‘K’ simply because what was available to me then were all local talents – writers and artists – from our own publishing, to use the word ‘comics’ would mean those Marvel and DC that are almost entirely out of my reach back then) and I would spend my hard earned money, and some ‘kupit’ on all the komiks I can rent, because my mother does not allow komiks in our household, with the exception of Liwayway Magazine which usually carries 2-three illustrated stories per issue. I would splurge on Holiday, Pinoy, Pilipino Komiks like a fiend. I’d follow titles like Vic Poblete’s Devil Car or anything ilustrated by Clem Rivera, Javinal and Alex Nino, which, by then has been rare. By the time I went to high school, I explored the classic illustrated stories – Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, The Hound Of Baskervilles, all illustrated by our local artists, which led me to the dark, dusty section of our library that no one really bothers to go to. It’s therewhere I discovered a tattered copy of The Lord of the Rings, Flowers for Algernon, The Tommyknockers and an even more grizzled copy of Diary of a Madman.
Now, by the time I got my bearings at being in high school, I, along with the very few friends I have started a sort of underground newspaper wherein I write stories and draw stuff – some poetry – but mostly just typical high school crap.
I love to read and I think it is the sole reason I want to write my own.
During college, I would spend on used novels from Recto and read 4 or 5 books in a month depending on my time soent working part-time at Cindy’s Hamburger and going to classes. Crichton, King, Koontz, Rendell, Patterson, Harris and Barker were and are my choice of authors simply because I can understand what they tell me. No Ayn Rand, please, that stuff hurts my head.
I have several sogs written that has not seen the light of day. More stories are either discarded o forgotten. And as I was mostly fending for myself, these writing and compositions seem to me like just another distraction, worthy of my time but not so much as something to really dig into.
Now a college friend IS a writer. And a childhood komiks writer has also become a sort of surrogate uncle. And maybe that is why I am writing my own stories now, with the aim of publishing because, dammit, these stories have been swriling in my mind for so long, I need to set them free to the world.
Thanks to new technology, I am able to write, edit, rewrite and communicate with my influences ( I haven’t read any Rose Tan books, I love her, but because her readers are often lovelorn females, I will put if off for later reading. Don’t get me wrong, we sometimes exchange ideas and some of my own maybe fit for her writing, given that the woman has a firm grip of the vernacular and the pulse of her readers.) and while I could ask Mr. Vic Poblete for advice, I chose to give the man his time and just read up on his work (I received a signed copy of Marco Piolo, and that single issue has taught me tons of how the man writes). Because that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Writing is more about reading. And what better way to learn from the real ones than just read up on their work. I have been listening to Stephen King’s “On Writing” and most of the lessons there are what I am currently dong now, and more on what I am doing wrong.
I read “Dekada 60” during college and loved it, but somehow the content felt like edited for decency pusposes. I mean Bautista’s writing could have been more edgy, smarting, hurtfully truthful. Instead what I really got was a sanitized version. Specially “Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?” which is by far the most in-your-face books I have read from a Filipino writer. My current new favorite is F.Sionil Jose, and his rhytmic writing has me oggling the book without pictures.
I have listened and read most of Jessica Zafra’s articles and the woman has her claws intact. She don’t take no shit form anybody.
So these things are guiding me with my writing and hopefully, when the first rewrite of my first graphic novel is done, I should be able to get into the groove on things and just follow up with my other stories.
And I have at east 6 books to write and illustrate.
Not bad for a semi-good-looking has been, right?