11:02: Workshop starts. Jing Hidalgo moderating. Carl's folio, part of his forthcoming "And the Geeks shall Inherit the Earth" (Milflores), to be discussed after his poetics earlier, titled "Things I Worry About: The Poetics of Insecurity." (Na hindi ko nalive-blog dahil hung over pa ako.)
11:03: Dean and Iwa agree: No need to be insecure. But I think 'yun mismo 'yung ugat ng humor, di ba-- 'yung sinasabi ni Carl na incongruence na ugat ng inability niya to navigate social situations.
11:06: Everyone agrees that humor is there. Craft-wise, Ma'am Jing thinks that there needs to be a bit more bang in the closures. Carlomar Daoana: Element of surprise important; good handling of introductions.
11:08: Butch Dalisay: Dramatization is important-- "most successful" piece comes closest to what we expect from story. Big, dramatic moments need to be, well, kailangang babaran.
Interesting workshop legend about "dessicated prunes." Inside shit na lang namin 'yun.
11:14: Sorry medyo choppy nga ang connection. Pero anyway, craftwork pa rin ang usapan. Vlad Gonzales talking about greater rendering/ detail to add to depth of persona.
11:15: Stories abound. Funny shit about dessicated prunes earlier, and now former students shit. Sin is excitement, says Ma'am Jing: "You always expect some kind of perversion... but if the persona is a nice guy, does he pretend? This is a problem that fictionists that do not face."
11:17: Carljoe's persona in his work described as a "man-boy." Jing Panganiban-Mendoza comments-- "E parang ganu'n naman talaga ang geek, di ba?" Butch Dalisay: "He can pull out all the stops here (re: perversion) without being nasty, because you're setting yourself up for the fall." This of course is the root of Carl's poetics.
11:21: Tinanong ko si Carl how he sequenced the work in his forthcoming book. Generally daw longer pieces were interspersed w/ shorter ones; geeky stuff interspersed with family or macho stuff. Basically variety ang guiding logic, para nga naman hindi nakakaumay.
11:23: Carl talks about other pieces in the book-- one, he feels, "sticks out like a sore thumb," where he has to explain to his sister "kung bakit (sila) hindi mayaman."
11:25: This is the third time Ichi Batacan was asked to speak a little louder. Funny thing is, may microphone naman na umiikot. Sabi ko sa inyo, para kang sinusubuan ng lugaw kapag nagsalita, mehn.
11:26: Talking about viscerality (-ness?) vs. cognitive leap in physical vs. verbal comedy.
11:30: Jumping into stuff about non-fiction na, hindi na lang sa akda ni Carljoe. And literature and institutions in general.
11:32: Talk about Palancas: Jing P-M: "Kapag sumali ka, huwag mong gawing gauge kung maganda 'yung akda mo o hindi."
11:35: Ayer Arguelles: "Gaano ka kalaya bilang non-fiction writer sa pagpapahayag ng mga karanasan mo? Magsi-stick ka lang ba sa mga karanasan na dinanas mo, o puwede bang mag-imbento?" Ma'am Jing H. and I were talking about this earlier, how the biggest difference bet. fiction and non-fiction is the contract of the writer with the reader: "Nangyari ito, paniwalaan mo." Nag-iiba ang dating sa mambabasa if he/she takes the work as truth.
11:36: Carljoe: "Lahat nang ito talagang nangyari..." I think ang point niya, hindi niya concern ang invention, kasi at this point in his life ang daming nangyayaring weird sa kanya. Rich ang material ng buhay niya.
11:39: Question about self-indulgence in nonfic vs. relatibility: "How do you make your own personal experience relatable?"
11:40: Good point by Neil Garcia: Putting information in tones down self-indulgence. "Tha panty piece can be an occassion to put in material on panties. Why not do research on panties?" Oo nga naman, Carljoe, 'no. Why not? Hehehehe.
11:44: Jing H: Challenge is in blending of information and narrative; minsan, ang peligro, kapag naoverload ng information nawawalan ng interes ang mambabasa. Butch D: Skill is in how you insert the factoids without making them stick out like a footnote in the middle of the thing? Says Vanity Fair and old Playboy mags the best in doing this. Adds, may kinalaman sa word-count na target mo.
11:47: Good suggestion by Sir Butch: Before writing, give yourself a word-count. Masarap paglaruan; you practice economy and vision.
11: 53: Jimmy Abad: "One way of deciding whether factual information is necessary would be for the author to ask himself or herself what particular effect he or she wants for the whole piece... There seems to be too much anxiety about making the piece relateable or universal. The essays, comic as they are, are already relatable... One need not ask 'what's the point,' because you're asking for insight." I think what he means is that you're asking for the insight to be expositionally rendered. Pero in Carl's stuff, nasa narrative 'yung insight, e.
11:54: Rio Alma talks about variety in length of each piece, in book form. Naghahanap ng angkla ang reader sa isang libro.
11:55: Carljoe talks about joining a reality show once, re: research in his work. The essay turned in for it reached more than 20 pages. Back to balancing information with narrative. Neil Garcia: "And, of course, research is in keeping with the geek persona." Funny moment about Carljoe identifying with Boy George when he was younger.
11:57: Vlad Gonzales: Baka 'yung pagka-Pilipino nandu'n sa essay na 'yung kapatid mo kinakausap mo. Kasi di ba hindi ka naman mayaman enough para maging geek, e. I think, oo nga, nandu'n ang tension dapat nu'ng libro.
12:02: Butch Dalisay on geek culture and where it's going: "In geekdom, you don't just think of the guy with all the toys... that's too easy; any guy can do that. This is the way the little guy gets back at the guy with everything, using just his wits and skills. It goes back to the underdog figure, except na dito, technology ang ginagamit mo." Galing, di ba; resistance pa rin. The geek as subversive.
12:06: Neil Garcia: "You're aware that your life is interesting. You're self-aware." And that's what makes this interesting material. Differences between geek and nerd. Do geeks have some sort of secret handshake, parang mga Mason?
12:09: Question by Gelo Suarez: "How do you negotiate between this 'connector' who enjoys length, teka, ang pangit pakinggan, extremeties, teka, I mean, extrems, with the earnest storyteller in you who wants to achieve balance." Laughter there. Sobrang repressed yata ng mga tao dito. "Our long extremeties?" Ichi mutters.
12:12: Carljoe: Sees himself as a spokesperson of the geek. Sir Butch: Iniintindi pa rin ang audience.
12:13: Question posed to Vlad: What accounts for your book's success? Do you have an idea?
12:14: Vlad: Awareness ng bagahe, pero hindi pagpapadrag-down dito. Honesty. Inalis ko 'yung mga bagahe ng duda... regardless kung anuman ang nangyari, may sense ng sigurado ako dito... Or baka lang po 'yung physical beauty ko ang trip nila.
12:16: Jing H: I posed the question kasi, you as writers, if you want to be read, necessarily have to think about that.
12:19: Jing H: "So in being true to themselves they're actually being true to their generation." I forget kung ano ang ugat ng quote na 'yan, pero it sounds cool, 'no? Sige, sige, lunch.
Labels: carljoe javier, liveblogging, up national writers workshop 2009