I’ll start with a downer: 2015 was an awful, miserable beast of a year, and bidding it good riddance and wishing for a better 2016 kind of strikes me as perverse magical thinking. Bad luck, human caprice, and institutional corruption and racism don’t really obey the artificial thresholds of calendar years.
But nonetheless the end of a year provides a time for reflection. There were good and beautiful things too. But some of these bright spots in a dark year are below.
After my father died, I threw myself into a frenzy of writing. It was, in retrospect, an unlikely time to be productive. My writing did not happen in the relative calm of the weeks after the funeral. It happened in the midst of everything.
My essay on being a young reader in the Philippines, “A Life Inside,” is part of Entropy’s literacy narratives series. It’s also about books, sibling rivalry, libraries, parenthood, being an introvert, and (spoiler alert) literary sexual perversion.
Also, the awesome folks at SmokeLong Quarterly (thank you!) nominated my story “Stone, Well, Girl” for a Pushcart Prize.
Lots of good reads the last two weeks, though I ended up writing on the Myers-Briggs Test instead.
First up, M. Sereno’s poem, which left me speechless — all I could say, repeatedly, was “wow:”
Diversity: what a strange and bloodless word, rinsed clean of the gore
birthed in war and struggle and the breaking of bones, cracking teeth,
the slice to open veins: to speak, write, survive.
“Reasons I Checked out of Diversity Discussion Du Jour” (Awitin Mo)
My mother, a librarian and English lit major, loved books so much she couldn’t sell or give them away. So I grew up in a house surrounded by books, and learned early on about the joys of reading and — as you can imagine from having a librarian for a mother — how to properly take care of a book. Always use a bookmark; don’t bend the cover; always remember who you lend a book to, and don’t forget to ask for it back.