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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

entry arrow12:18 AM | Fiction By Candlelight

The second issue of Story Philippines is finally on newsstands. (And the website itself has many interesting features, including new stories by Sarge Lacuesta and Emily Abrera.)

This new issue both excites me and horrifies me because ... well, because it includes "The Painted Lady," and I cannot help but cringe over this. (It's soooo old, it smacks of my very brief -- thank God -- Henry James phase. Just look at the title.) I had told editor-in-chief Vanni de Sequera that this was intended to be an anti-love story, for an issue supposedly devoted to love stories. Didn't think he would bite -- but alas. Still, it's nice to have this story finally see print. Written in 1998 when I was lovelorn and heartbroken (I always seem to be, eh?) in Tokyo, of all places, it's been languishing in the dark recesses of my hard drive ever since. Why didn't I submit it anywhere? I didn't feel it was ready -- besides, there was a time when I felt it was too autobiographical for comfort. It still is, in a way. Here's an excerpt:

The Painted Lady

She was one to talk, that giving in to breathing the tequila air was to take in, like a lover, the nervelessness of affection without hope or resurrection. Lost love can be found in bottom of the bottle, she said once, with that smile bordering on sadness; or madness. I remembered this because her face was a haze when she spoke to me last, but that was Veronica. She was always a puzzle. Also this: that everything else began to shrink around me, everything consciously there, and yet not there, everything throbbing and mocking.

(More here.)

By the way, did I tell you this was supposed to be pseudo-vampire story? No?

What was I thinking? Given that I share pages with these writing luminaries? You have Dean Francis Alfar with "The Maiden and the Crocodile." Mads Bajarias (also here) with "The Sound Wranglers." Vicente Garcia Groyon with "The Haunting of Martina Luzuriaga." Marie La Vina with "Welcome to Limbo." Rachelle F. Medina with "Girl on a Couch." Jo Pilar with "Quizas." Anna Felicia Sanchez with "How to Pacify a Distraught Infant." Michelle Sarile with "Hangers." Rachelle Tesoro with "Hibernation." And Marianne Villanueva with "Don Alfredo & Jose Rizal." I wanna go hide under a rock.

But Dean and Vince -- whose Palanca-winning novels I love with a passion -- are perfect companions to be with in an issue of Story. And two of my favoritest girls -- Anna and Marie -- are with us as well. Yay. With the legendary Marianne Villanueva pa.

Go buy a copy now.

(Dean, thanks for the copies!)

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