Learning To Fly

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 . . .

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It’s The Little Things

Last night I hardly slept. I should have, you know, snored halfway to valhalla, if we  factor in the copious amounts of brandy I had in my system (I came from regular  hangout with friends from way back and needless to say, alcohol and food is a  staple in those parts). Not that I am complaining, I didn’t spend anything. And  these friends know that. These are the same friends that held my hand when I was  about to break from the endless deluge of rejected job applications and failed  business deals. It’s these small handshakes, the little pat on the back that assures  me they have my back. Even a brother whom I bothered too often about my  financial predicaments suddenly sent help, and in the most timely manner,  because I am really going for the loanshark at this time, which my Mayor Street
friends discouraged.

So, short bursts of sleep, and series of graphic books in the works, a life saving  rescue by my brother, and the unflinching loyalty of friends, what else is there to  be thankful for?

It’s the little things.

  • Those free Uni Ball Eye pens that went with my purchase of three felt-tip pens at National Bookstore. I was looking for drawing ink but bought a 03, 06 and 08 Uni Pen and didn’t realize till I was home that the freebies were put in my bag.
  • Books and audiobooks.
  • Pares and Mami carts that provide delicious sustenance for the thrift. The chili and fried garlic added liberally makes it better.
  • Gigabytes of data riding tiny USB flashdrives. The 80s saw a Chess Grandmaster square off with Big Blue, a machine that was powered by 1Gb of data that was stored in something as big as a house. Nowadays you could carry the data you need 32 times over on a thumb drive.
  • Coffee. No buts about it.
  • Street corner laundry service. Even if I try to do my ow washing, sometimes it’s better to have them done, just because I have nowhere to hang the laundry to dry in my current inhabited space.
  • Mp3. Digital music. Yes, I long to hear music the way it should be heard, on vinyl, on a phonograph, with the amp and speakers tuned through an extensive equalizer set up and played loud. But I need a home to do that, and in this city living, Mp3 is my saviour. I could write and draw continuously with my favorites playing in the background.
  • Mall comfort rooms. Don’t ask.
  • Analog mobile phones. Smirk at the idea, but the way I see people griping about battery life and lugging extra powerbanks just so they can browse continuously, I go for the bar phone that lasts a week with a single charge. And don’t get me started about android updates, nor iPhone upgrades.
  • Twitter. And no, not for reasons most people think.
  • Internet connection. However shitty the service is, still something to be thankful about.
  • Blogging. Not for fame, nor profit, but for my sanity.
  • Wix!
  • Technology in general. Most people take this for granted but growing up with less, access to modern technology is still a joy to behold.
  • Movies. In data format. I could marathon The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings as often as I want. And all the films I want to seeover and over.
  • My landlady. Her kind heart let me stay even if I can hardly pay the rent. She understands, bless her.

And we could go on and on about the little things that make life worth going through each day, but go list your own.

Trudge

After a while, I get to thinking all that has come to pass. I get this way when I walk. A sort of locomotive thought unable to stop once the resolve to just take the stride and the feet kept switching places before one another, towards any destination I have in mind.

  • This or maybe I just don’t have enough money for a bus fare. Which work both ways since at these times I do a lot of pondering.

Like turning your head from whence you came but moving forward:

The love and affection, freely given,

  • This often starts then whole thought engine revving.

The songs sung with wanton sincerity,

The capturing of life and ideas into detailed ink depictions on paper,

  • Of course I have decided on this long ago but took some time taking off, what, with all the financial inadequacies that has befallen my so-called artistic career.

The hurt sustained by those we love,

The pain we gained from those we loved,

  • Truth is, up until now I still think I was adopted, even with all the evident hereditary characteristics present in me as by my siblings, still I feel very different from my brothers. I even feel that I share a kind of Thor-Loki relationship with one, but I’m not sure which one- the brute or the prankster.

The trust professed and destroyed,

All the trappings of a feeling human whom we pictured ourselves to be, those whose beliefs in a higher power, whom we are supposed to follow without questions, but whose wrath may soon come upon us in fiery brimstone and searing horror. The sainthood our forbears tried to instill on our childish minds, feeble thoughts of tne afterlife may be a reward for our suffering…

  • And the idea of worshipping a wrathful, vengeful godhead is absurd. If that is true, then by no means the devil is much more agreeable.

Yet…

We suffer for our passion, we suffer for our art. Continue reading