An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

19 April 2013

Oh, the cover

Very late one night in April, as I was about to go to sleep, I received a Gmail chat message from a friend of mine, fellow Bicolano and Atenean, photographer and designer extraordinaire Vic Nierva. He wanted to show me the cover study that he had designed for my third book (and my first collection of short stories), Married Women.

And the cover study simply just woke me up! It is beautiful, it is in the minimalist style that I love, and it has the ampersand that I requested him to use, to symbolize the union between the two parties in a marriage agreement.

What I truly did not expect-- and what blew me over and made me a huge Vic Nierva fangirl -- was that he used the ampersand element to render a vortex-like image, which represents the dark and murky vortex that married-ness almost always sucks people into. All hail Vic Nierva!

The book is being published by the Ateneo de Naga University Press, and I do have to thank my good friend and multi award-winning writer Kristian Sendon Cordero for leading me to it, and for the Press Director, Fr. Wilmer Tria, for accepting my manuscript right on the same day that I sent him a query letter, without reading the manuscript itself! I am humbled and touched at the confidence that he has in me.

This book has a personal story. I was planning for it to be my thesis for the degree I have been studying for, Master of Arts in Creative Writing, in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Ever since I got admitted to the program in 2002, I have been working towards writing this book. I even got a Palanca award for one of the stories that's in the book.

However, somewhere along the way, I have outgrown this book. I felt like I could no longer stand before a panel of my my professors and experts in the field to defend the theories, principles, and aesthetics behind this collection, and situate it within a larger story, a wider discourse. Going through the stories in the collection, I detected a strong feminist slant, and I am afraid that I am not feminist enough to speak as one, much less in defense of a work that would inevitably be tagged as feminist. It was all I could do to let it go.

And let it go I did. I have let the book fly away to wherever its destiny will lead it, while I shall stand here waving it goodbye, now free from the burden of having to talk about it anymore. Because that part of my life is over. And even though that part of my life will become immortal as a book, it's still a beautiful book, with a beautiful cover, and that's all it is. The rest of the stories behind that book, ones that were never translated into words on paper, shall nevertheless remain in my heart for as long as I live.


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