Look, Shooting Star! Or How To Build Up Suspense In A Story

First, let me tell you that this is not about sex. As always, this is about writing. But let’s have the sex rolling first.

Rex, of the male sex, and a freshman high school student, has been fantasizing about Lisa Arceño since they were classmates in elementary school. Although he still doesn’t understand the feeling, or even why he’s feeling it, one thing he knows is that looking at Lisa makes him ‘real hard.’ What is unclear though is how and why he gets ‘real hard’ when ogling Lisa.

‘Gee, I don’t know,’ Rex confesses to Blas, his classmate. ‘It really makes me real hard. Like. . . real hard, you know.”

Blas doesnt know. And neither do I.

Now picture this, if you may. Read more




when light is low

and it is dark


for then the shadow on the wall

would start to leap, and dance, and crawl

and when it senses you are near

it starts to twitch, and curl, and twirl

now if you see it stretch a formless hand

alas! it is too late; you have been warned!

when night is mute

and silence reigns


for then the whispering begins

that later turns into a scream

and once you hear the deathly sound

of this I’m sure, to hell you’re bound

to beg; to plead for help is out of hand

alas! it’s too late now; your soul is damned!

when light is low

and silence reigns

when night is mute

and dark is king





By reason of weird translation, many such instructions read like poem anyhow. — Brian Ferneyhough

Cacoethes Scribendi

Sickness, in almost any form, is not a usual thing to be desired. If you hear somebody say, “I want to be sick,” you’d almost always be inclined to tell him that he’s out of his effing mind. You’d even start to think that he might be suffering from an unknown mental malady since, as a matter of principle, only a sick person would want to be sick at all.

Today I badly want to be sick.  Read more

Clichés Are Sometimes Fatal 1/2

TUESDAY. 1:20PM. That particular Manila afternoon was killing me. The rainy season was supposed to have begun a few weeks ago but there I was, sweltering in my room and cursing for all I was worth because the fucking weather wasn’t helping me write something.

The heat was unbearable and it was eating up what little stored energy I had. It didn’t help that my PC was also having one of its seizures — restarting itself even if I was in the middle of a program.

Banging the mouse on the table, I got up, strode to where the airconditioning unit was installed, and turned it to full blast. I decided to discard my t-shirt, free-throwing it to the corner where the laundry basket was placed. I missed my mark, the sweat-stained shirt ending up lying rumpled on the floor. I would have wanted to take off my blue jersey shorts too but thought it awkward and downright disturbing to be writing with nothing but my briefs on. Read more

Here lies…

My writing nook

So I was attempting to write (mostly succeeding in the ‘attempting’ part but failing miserably in the ‘writing’) and, as is most often the case, I was at a loss for words. While in this semi-catatonic state, my attention was drawn to my environs: Yellowing and dilapidated books… A creaking and rickety table… A cup of coffee gone cold… Then suddenly I knew what my epitaph should read:

Here lies PadrePio, owner of battered books, a more battered writing table and a most bothered conscience.

The Benefit of Two Chickens

What is the benefit of having two chickens fuck their brains out in a barnyard?

Answer: We get eggs for breakfast.

That is why sometimes, before I gobble an omelet, I would close my eyes, bow my head for a few moments and whisper a few words, ‘Thank you rooster. . . thank you dearest hen. Big thanks for that good tumble and now I’ve got myself an egg to pair with my sandwich.’

That was the answer I gave to a certain dude who asked me about the benefit of an erotic-themed writing contest. My writer’s group, San Docena, popularly known as Literati in Symbianize Forum, conducted an erotic-themed writing contest a few years back.

I wasn’t exactly sure what he was trying to point out. I assumed he was asking a rhetorical question, maybe subtly implying the indecency of such a contest.

But it got me thinking: Is there really a benefit? Read more

The Man Below My Terrace

It was a dark silvery night

And the moon had gone a-hiding

And the birds had ceased a-chirping

When I beheld a bloody sight

A gripping, chilling tale of fright. Read more

Boredom, The Silent Killer

There’s a new killer in town and Boredom is its name. In today’s age where instant gratification is the norm, it thrives—it feasts.

Boredom is the silent killer. And once you get stalked by it, you’re screwed. Life for you will become a chore, even the things that you use to enjoy. Apathy and indifference will come to you, walking hand in hand. And as they get closer and closer, that feeling of unusual tiredness of the soul and body will start to creep in. Finally, when boredom has you locked inside its tight embrace, evil and good will become indistinguishable to you because you will feel nothing.

Read more

How To Know If You’re A Turtle

If you walk like a turtle and talk like a turtle, then there’s a chance you are one. In writing, one can also become a turtle.

When I first caught this disease called writing, I began observing the books that I read. When I say observe, I didn’t just read them for pleasure. I started to observe how they were written, i.e., the author’s writing style, the voice, the tone, the literary devices used, and all that jazz. A thousand books later and I came up with the conclusion that most writers can be safely classified into two—If they’re not a rabbit, then they’re a turtle. Read more

On Writer’s Block And Errant PCs

Let’s face it. Writer’s block is here to stay. There is really nothing we can do to dump it permanently. On second thought, maybe we could. But first, somebody (preferably a genius) needs to discover a way to convert it into tangible matter. Having accomplished that, eliminating it would be fairly easy. We can just ask North Korea—politely of course—to strap that converted mass into one of their missiles’ nuclear warhead the next time they decide to launch rockets indiscriminately. Then they can blast it off to kingdom come, for all I care. The target doesn’t matter; they’re used to having their own way anyway. The UN might be a-screamin’ and a-thumpin’ with rage but at least, writers all over the world will definitely be a-jumpin’ and a-cheerin’ and a-dancin’ and a-singin’.

But I digress.  Read more