At best it was a horrid day.
Not because of bad things that happened, no there wasn’t. But I am quite sure elsewhere, worse things did. The day was gloomy from the dark clouds and the threat of heavy rainfall was evident. But that was just it, just a threat. All day long it was sweaty and hot. The perspiration that dried at the base of my neck has become gritty salt when I noticed.
But I was in a good mood. Rarely do I get sad or weary.
There is still that novelty of learning new things. And I am learning a lot. When I woke up from a very long night of studying favorite authors’ works, my own inking progress and even more research, my process has turned to seeing and reading and listening.
I’ve had a signed copy of Vic Poblete’s Marco Piolo and amidst the vast stories and novels the man has published, mostly vague recollections of stories read from my youth, this particular komiks is the one that has taught me more than an interview with a person might turn out. I have met Vic Poblete and the man is what he is – feisty, intelligent, quick to wit and what we call the personification of the word masculine – and yet, if you’ll get the chance to shoot the bull with the man, he’s a simple and as real as any father or uncle can be. Which I wouldn’t mind considfering I grew up without a father. And Marco Piolo is so precise in it’s words and pacing that all I need to do was read and look and read again, catching how the man put descriptions and dialog. The man’s mastery of the vernacular is enviable. After reading F Sionil Jose’s The Feet of Juan Bacnang, which is another author I admire, and his prose is very much a sort of transcendental reading, but Poblete’s wit and grasp of the NOW is plain to see, you can feel the abruptness of events happening in the story. There is another author I need to study, another friend, but with her work I need to get my feminine mojo on, because I am, admittedly, not really into love stories. But Ms. Rose Tan has been writing for two decades now, and her vernacular prowess has grown into staggering proportions that she only needs to quip a part of her writing on social media and her fans are swooning! I may have to read Arik, but not right now. I’ll do it after I let her read my manuscript, after all, the best critic will be a friend who tells you what stinks.
Oh, you may have guessed by now that I am writing. Mostly fiction of the sci-fi and fantasy orientations. And have applied what I have done with my previous work, approach it as a newbie, learn as much as possible about it, and do it. If roadblocks appear, do research and solve the damned thing that is getting in my way. And reading up on it is teaches me more than attending writing classes and seminars. Those books I have read and lost long ago, Perez, Bautista, Bombeck among the few, and those I still have with me are actually teachers for my story telling.
I’ve been listening to an audiobook by Stephen King, On Writing, and the writer who has given me Pennywise and Roland and the Tommyknockers is teaching me more than just taking me to places in New England and of people I will never meet but totally exist in that hemisphere. He’s talking about what I’m learning from Poblete and Tan, from the booksale find of three Ruth rendell Wexford novels I am reading in between drawing and writing, from the est of my measly collection of thriftshop hardbounds and paperbacks. Oh, I would still like to write like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or HP Lovecraft, but these authors I have with me now – King, Poblete, Tan – they are what’s closer to me, in different ways possible.
Soon as I prepped for the days drawing, setting up my media player with my headphones and the day’s selection of music, probably Heavy Metal or Jazz, depends on how noisy it is outside my door, I dive deep into learning. Even with my drawing I have seen my own progression. There is a difference between wanting to and doing it – the confidence of doing it is the key. And I have become confident in what I am doing.
Maybe because I have grown.
Or maybe I have accumulated all sorts of experiences and it is time for me to tell stories, to describe each experience within the walls of my fantasy. All the love, the hurt, the exhilirations and frustrations, misgivings, apprehensions, disappointments, immorality and honesty, exaltations and confusion. I’ve even made it a point to illustrate what I believe happened rather than what was taught me in since childhood.
It’s what good about writing and creating, I can shut the worl out and be with myself and the stories. Even with the constant braying of the twin kids below my room, or the incessant cha-cha music from the other side of the street, I could be with my own, in a world where I am learning as I move along.
But when the couple next door happens to make love, all bets are off. The house moves like a jellyfish and that is the only distraction I cannot possibly ignore, so I stop, giving them enough time to finish and I start again.
And by the time I have my fill of learning, writing, drawing, it’ll be past 3am, which is what I will be doing affer I have written down this affirmation of sorts.
Heavens, please make it rain, it’ll make the night cooler and much more lucrative for creativity . . .
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. Continue reading