Germination – on the 10th IYAS Creative Writing Workshop

I feel like a little seed from the parable in the Bible – I’m not just sure which ground I fell on, so I guess that shoots the analogy down. Also: I should stop thinking of seeds, because now I’m thinking “is it a monocot or dicot?”

The fellows: (from the top, L-R) Anne Carly Abad, Paul Gumanao, Gino Francis Dizon, Noel Fortun, Sim Gadugdug, Fred Jordan Carnice, Rogerick Fernandez, Alyza Taguilaso, Glenn Muñez, Roselle Jimeno, Elsed Tongonon, Vernan Jagunap, Arbeen Acuña, Charmaine Carreon, Jesus Insilada, and Gian-Paolo Lao (image c/o Jordan C)

The panelists: (from the top, L-R) Dr. Elsa Coscolluela, Dr. Danilo M. Reyes, Dr. Anthony Tan, Dr. Genevieve Ansenjo, Prof. John Teodoro, and Dr. Dinah Roma-Sianturi

The previous week was a blast, really. I had fun and met a couple’a snazzy people – I am so glad no one had an overblown ego (one of my qualms with workshops), it made learning from each other easier. I think I learned a whole lot more of stuff (thankfully) about the craft and have more ideas now. Everyone’s been talking about how fun the experience is so I guess to make it different, I’m posting my notes from the workshop here, i.e. sharing my blessings [kung pwede ko lang i-share ung weight na na-gain ko from the foodage. Hay. How I wish]– hopefully this serves to help anyone who’s interested in further honing their writerly tendencies.

Disclaimer: I TRIED segregating the fiction and poetry comments but I figured some comments can apply to both (and poets can learn a lot from fictionists and vice versa) otherwise, the notes are transcribed chronologically. Co-fellows, please correct me if I got anything wrong.

Also: some things might sound common sense or redundant – well, guess what? I don’t think they are. Some things I think, need to be said before we actually get them and the possibly redundant points indicate areas which [the fellows, and possibly anyone else] need to work on or seem to overlook sometimes, hence the frequency of these comments and their permutations.

To sum it all up [for those who are too lazy to read, although I strongly suggest you do]: DISCIPLINE.

Now, the long version [and I shit you not when I say “long”]:

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a different kind of poem + some news

Serafina Sleepy Cat


Serafina Sleepy Cat has all sorts of spots of black
That seemed to have been dropped like rain on her white, white back.

We adopted her years ago, sometime July – a small, scraggly stray
With such wide eyes but all skin and bones and asleep on our yard so early in the day.

When I first saw her I said “Shoo, shoo, you small thing! We do not need a cat!”
But my younger sister replied “Oh we do, we do! We need a cat and we need to make her so very fat!”

And I thought: what a ridiculous thing! She was thin as thin can be!
But I was surprised – she ate so much and grew plump like a piggy.

The fatter she grew, the lazier she became
Instead of moving, she would just meow in reply when we called her name

So all Serafina Sleepy Cat did was sleep most days and more so on nights:
Curling herself into a ball so that she wouldn’t be woken by any lights.

We would let her out to exercise and chase mice
But instead it would be the mice who would take her by surprise.

But Serafina Sleepy Cat is not so bad –
She’s the only cat we’ve ever had.

Wide eyes and stomach so fat, and yes, despite always extending her nap –
Serafina Sleepy Cat will always, especially when you need her, curl up on your lap.

As if to say (in her meowy cat-voice) during a gloomy day:
“Do not worry, let my fat cushion your sadness away”

Rhyming poems are hard.

This one’s for Boogs, my 9 year old sister who requested I make a poem (and a rhyming one to boot!) about our pet cat Serafina. I just read it out loud to her and she kind of likes it (but she believes our mother is a better reader. Oh well, can’t win it all). Makes me want to study how one’s supposed to write poetry for children 🙂

If you’re wondering, the said fat, sleepy cat can be seen this-a-way and that-a-way.

Also, some news which means I’ll be busy again this summer.

Yay.