Life Update: my thesis, and other stories

First things first. You ought to visit this blog which is my nonfiction class' community blog where we post all sorts of found things from the depths of the internet accompanied by well-written (hopefully) recommendations. I've found some pretty interesting posts so far, the most intriguing of which was a reaction to  reaction to the Philippine lit-in-English scene and their supposed puffed-upness, bias, etc. You should see for yourself!

Second, the life update. I know it's been months. It's July, and we're hurtling into our second/third month of the semester. It's been short but violent outbursts of rain, an increase in the mosquito population and the mad dash to acquire thesis sources before everyone else does. My thesis topic is going to be tackling (Philippine, of course) magic realist short stories, spirit of place and the journey of the young adult. Yes, that is a LOT of concepts thrown in together, which makes it quite specific, and also a pain to do research on since it's three different topics, haha. Anyway, I'm having fun working on this, and really, will willingly devote hours in the library just reading.  Despite Nick Joaquin writing magic realism before the Latin Americans did, there hasn't been a lot written about the Filipino vein of it. My thesis prof says it's a rather long tradition over here, which is understandable given how tightly bound we are to our folklore-- it seeps into modern life. Dwendes by the pool, ghosts in the campuses, snake-men in the malls and fortune-tellers right outside Quiapo church.

I'm not too sure if Candido's Apocalypse can be considered young adult + magic realist, but it does tackle the same themes as, say, Catcher in the Rye (Holden's "phony" and Bobby's "over-acting"). Thing is, Bobby's spell/dream/delusion is just that: his imagination going overboard. It isn't actually real. Great story, though. Growing up has never seemed this horrifying (and I mean that as a compliment).

As for story ideas, I've around two or three sitting around, still unwritten (I need time, a table in a room with air and sunlight, and a laptop with a working battery) but there's the whole of next sem for that, if I get my stuff done properly. There are ten of us in CW199 and my batchmates are noisy crazy funny and generally make for good company. It's a comforting thought that you suffer by group, but I'm sure these guys will make it through.

Thesis-ing aside, I've got a whole bunch of other things on my plate: a fledgeling involvement with our church/my org's ministry to international students, a stint as my org's secretary (horribly bogged down by Bukluran's nasty downtime, but hey, that is life) and a quest to hunt down certain freshman and engage them in Bible study for the rest of the year. (Tall order, but I pray these things shall be done with the utmost joy, out of a little daughter's wanting to make the Heavenly Father crinkle his moustache up into a smile.)

Books: I still haven't finished The Elephant Vanishes. I bought The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie and it's been a rollicking good ride so far, what with the melding of Indian and Greek mythology and the language of Mordor. (I still remember that Ramayana play we did back in third year high and the dubious existence of my character. Did Sita really have a younger sister? Ah well.)

I'm going through this phase of wanting to do digital art again. I know I keep saying there's no time, but there actually is, if you make some. One of the first things that popped into my head was to make illustrations of Catdance (a comic I wrote about Pisay, still just in script form) and of Candido's Apocalypse (because seriously! dancing bejeweled creepy aunt skeleton!).

That's all for now, I suppose.

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