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Over There

So as part of an experiment–not that I have a formal hypothesis or anything, though I should have, but I just wanted to see what it was like–I started posting my blog entries on product management and customer engagement on Medium. I’m many years late to the party, but I figured there were a good bunch of product managers who write excellent stuff on it, and maybe I could play along.

Writing posts on Medium actually goes against an old rule of mine. Different blog entries that sit in different walled gardens ultimately makes me hard to find or stumble upon. All my blog pieces live, and has lived, in the one place where I more or less have total control: this very website. Everything I post here is, well, who I am, and that includes writing that’s related to my professional career. It’s the sort of thing I promote on LinkedIn, as opposed to say, Facebook.

But discoverability is certainly key. It’s a lot easier to be found on Medium, because there are other like-minded people over there, and I’m a terrible promoter of my own work.

So, I’m over there too. I would have loved to tell you that I MADE $8K IN MY FIRST MONTH AS A “CONTENT” WRITER WRITING JUST 8 MINUTES A DAY–and there are suspiciously numerous Medium articles with that kind of title, I have to say–that is absolutely not the case. I did buy myself a beer, which is still the most I’ve ever earned from writing anything in the last decade or so.

So here’s what I have over there (some of these articles also have abbreviated versions on this blog):

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At Adobe Books, 5/22, for The Racket reading series

I’m part of a fine, fine group of people reading at San Francisco’s Adobe Books for Noah Sanders’ reading series, The Racket.

I see too that — other than the fact we’re from the Bay Area — a bunch of us were published recently in Joyland. (My story, “We Were Professionals,” was published in February.)

  • Tom Pyun [readers may remember his piece from The Rumpus last year]
  • Jenny Xie [whose work I’ve admired for some time — here’s “If You’re Reading This,” from Devil’s Lake]
  • Hugh Behm-Steinberg [some readers (I do!) might recall his prize-winning story “Taylor Swift“]
  • Maurisa Thompson [here she reads a poem at LibroTraficante]
  • Heather Marléne Zadig [read her story, “Vivisection,” in Joyland — so creepy]
  • Benito Vergara [that’s me!]

The topic for the reading is war, so this’ll be the first time I get to read from my novel-length work in progress about this Filipino guerrilla leader and his soldiers during the Philippine-American War.

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A Few of My Favorite Things, 2015 Edition

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.

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Seven Weeks.

curtain and wallAfter 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.

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December Updates.

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.