Saturday, February 08, 2003

I can't help but ask: Will people recognize me tomorrow?

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Friday, February 07, 2003

I knew I didn't have a dentist appointment today but the questions by my parents made me think twice. So when I went to the dentist, it was embarassing when one of the dentists said that they only had business during the second and fourth weeks of the month.

Day wasn't a total waste though. Was able to make Steph smile, loaned Tracy the Cowboy Bebop DVD, promised Liana (she likes fantasy!) to loan her Magic's Promise next week, gave some spare After Eden posters, and met up with the cute members of the Comicol.

On a side note, here are some anecdotes of the day:

Me: *reading Magic's Pawn*

Girl: What book is that?

Me: *shows the book*

Girl: Mercedes Lackey?

Me: Yup. It's fantasy.

Girl: Oh. Is it like...

Me: Lord of the Rings?

Girl: Yeah.

Me: I don't know why but ever since they showed that movie, people often ask me that when I'm reading a fantasy novel.

Girl: Or is it like Harry Potter.

Me: That too.

-Scene 2-

Me: *reading Magic's Pawn*

Liana: *walks up and looks at the book*

Liana: Okay. Read that one already.

Me: So you came all the way up here just to see what book I'm reading?

Liana: Yeah. Have that one already.

Me: So you haven't read the second and third books?

Liana: Why, do you have it?

Me: *brings out Magic's Promise* You mean this?

Liana: *puppy eyes* Can I borrow?

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Thursday, February 06, 2003

It's official: Arnold Arre (Mythology Class) is coming to Ateneo on Wednesday at the SOM 111 room to give a talk about his graphic novel, After Eden, and will do book signings. And Comicol will be selling copies of After Eden at P250 (with free poster). You save like P45.00.

The SF&F con is also official. It's at New Worlds and it's free admission, unless you wanna watch Nemesis, which costs P200. Various fan groups like Philippine Tolkien Society, Pinoy Slayer, Harry Potter, X-philes (can't we come up with a better name than Pinoy Slayer, Pinoy Harry Potter, etc.?) and surprisingly, Aegis (the RPG group I'm in) is listed under "activity groups". And it's getting coverage from Flip and Studio 23.

And there's the anime prom than I really don't have any reason to go (unless someone invites me *hint* *hint*) or the money to spend. And unlike a certain someone, I'm not going out on a date every day next week.

Currently reading Magic's Pawn. Russ told me before that one of Mercedes Lackey's books had a yaoi pairing. Apparently, this is the book...

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Tuesday, February 04, 2003

I didn't plan on blogging (when will blogging be an offical verb?) today since I have to study for my Phil. Lit. midterms but well, browsing through Neil Gaiman's journal, one of the Feb. 4 entries mentioned him being pelt by fanfiction fans.

For those of you who's too lazy to read the link, Neil Gaiman is asked if he reads fanfiction. He straightly says out no but he says that all forms of writing (including fanfiction) hones a writer's skills (Gaiman also wrote a potential funny LotR slash which features Gollum and Smeagol). He then clarifies that he follows the "write the story only you can tell" philosophy and that fanfiction are just training wheels. I don't get what the fuss is about.

Maybe I'm just itching to get flamed but I agree with Gaiman. Fanfiction does contribute to a writer's skills and a lot of writers probably went through that stage. But there's a "next level" to the craft of writing. When you write something original (be it a short story, script novel, etc.), you are a step closer to writing the story that only you can tell, which is what some (well, I'd say all but then not everything that's available is good) writers are famous for.

When I think about it, a writer (and probably artists as well) goes through the first stage of mimicry. They read (or see, in the case of artists) something they like and they start getting curious. They try their hand at it and copy the writer's style, or sometimes just copy the writer's text outright. I think this is common when we were all kids. This I like to call the first stage.

The second stage would be fanfiction. You're not copying the writers words but using your own. However, there is still an element that doesn't belong to you. Be it the setting, the characters, or their reputation, when writing fanfiction, you are relying on someone else's piece. When I come to think of it, all those slash (like Harry Potter and Malfoy, or say, Frodo and Sam) are enjoyed primarily because people have seen the original (be it the books or the movies). It's seldom (maybe I should rephrase this to infrequently) that a person reads fanfiction before knowing the original work.

Of course to me, fanfiction is different from adaptations or retellings. The former is aware of it being separate from the original and tells a story that happens either before, after, somewhere in between, or an alternate universe (which I call the what-ifs and what-should-have-beens). The latter recognizes that it can tell the story in a different manner, perhaps employing different techniques or different perspectives, and in the process reinvent itself.

Mr. Yuson tells me that since a lot of stories have already been written, it's difficult to come up with something wholly original. We can't expect each and every writer to come up with something that has not been thought up before (which is why a lot of stories get tied up to genres). However, that doesn't mean we can't tell a story only we can tell.

As Gaiman said, he isn't against fanfiction. It's good in fact since it gets people into the act of writing. If you're a fanfic writer, be proud of it. But anyone who considers himself a serious writer must step out of that mold eventually. I'm not saying you do it now, or tomorrow, or the day after that, but at a point in a person's life, it's time to do the hard stuff: writing what "we can give to the world and no one else can".

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Just uploaded to Stalker Chronicles my two feature articles. Read it at your own distaste. =P

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I started the day with P3000 in my wallet. After paying debts and purchasing birthday presents for people, I now have something like P700 left. And this is why I don't have a bank account...

So there, I came to look for Elbert in the pub room when I see Kapi and the first thing he asks me is if Arnold Arre's After Eden is a true story. *sweatdrop*

I was supposed to lift my short story onto a transparency but for some strange reason, most of the photocopiers in school today were out of order. And those that were working wouldn't accept transparencies.

On a side note, I already have my limited edition Coraline with glow-in-the-dark cover and some extra notes by Neil Gaiman. There's also a couple of books on writing I want to get from Powerbooks but you can probably guess my financial situation by now.

Got dragged to the Ateneo's Art Gallery where some people were performing but not before I spot Carlos who is avoiding me and Elbert since has not yet written the essay about comics. Which is weird considering 1) Carlos is a comm. student, 2) Carlos is a fanboy when it comes to comics and 3) he only has class around three or four days in a week.

Theo 131's group report was on homosexuality. A few expressed their vehement protests against homosexuals (like gays wearing dresses) while others were well, condemning the church's stand, since it is flawed.

Been acting delivery boy yesterday and today is no different. I was actually supposed to meet Krizelle at 5 pm but when I text her asking where she is, she replies she's still at home. >.<

I've always wanted to say this since last week but haven't managed to find the time to do so. Bush is an ass. If people were wondering how Germany managed to follow the lead of Hitler and lay war on several nations during World War 2 and not be bothered by their conscience, well, we can now all look at the United States. Only time will tell if the protests are enough to sway America's government.

I've halfway through Stephen King's "On Writing". Just found out where most of my automatic writing errors regarding adverbs and dialogue comes from. King attributes it as "swiftiness" based on the fiction character Tom Swift. And I happen to have a set of Tom Swift books at home. No wonder I use statements like "he said loudly". And one other thing I learned from Stephen King: I really need a female companion, so that I can ask her all these questions about the opposite gender. =P

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Sunday, February 02, 2003

Still have a fiction short story to write as well as an essay about comics for LitSoc. But anyway, it looks like I'm broke again (especially with buying Fellowship of the Ring Extended). Goodwill is still on sale and they have new books! There's the autobiography of Piers Anthony but since I'm not THAT much of a fan, thought I'd save money by not buying.

Money went to Tad William's Otherland series since Vern did recommend it. Hopefully it'll last me before A Feast of Crows arrive...

Tower Records also had selected items on sale, and Powerbooks is stocking up on various Tolkien books.

One of the strange things that happened on my way home (aside from raining, which is a good thing I brought my jacket) is that my MRT card got rejected by the stupid machine. I wonder why.

And of course, dropped by the Atlanta Center in Annapolis, a building that hosts Slimmers World and other small businesses like Artfarm. Had to become delivery boy for Elbert since he is sick (at least he should be better now). Didn't bring my ID so I just gave the guard my old high school ID.

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