Learning Curve

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?

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