Monday, November 26, 2007

Flickering Snapshots

Hehe... I guess I can't hide under my pseudonym anymore, eh?

Oookay... first of all, thanks to everyone who texted and commented. Much appreciated, guys!

As for last night, well... lemme gather my thoughts first. Am still shell-shocked or something I think. Heh. Er. Better, I think if I relate my impressions of the whole night. Alas, I have no pictures because cameras hate me at the moment. (You can read dean's account of the night, which is a whole lot better than mine. Meanwhile, charles has a lot of pics.)

Oh, a disclaimer: sorry if I'm a bit incoherent. Hmm...

- what I did over the weekend

Came in with [identity-protected] and her siblings around 4:30 p.m. yesterday. Heard a shout and saw vin, charles, and andrew. Later saw dean (complete with camera), nikki and the ever-cute sage. While registering, exclaimed at the recognizable names in the shortlist: ian casocot, michael co (both 1st place winners in last year's contest), luis katigbak, and yvette tan (an honorable mention last year). Shot the breeze (well, cigarette smoke) for a while before a Fully-Booked person chased us finalists into the shortlist corral. Good thing they also allowed friends and family to fill in the seats.

- can you see my hands?

Finally saw the magician Erik Mana in action. Pretty good but I thought his last act was best when he showed his geekhood and asked Neil Gaiman to sign his Sandman books. Then the show started by honoring last year's winners (including michael and ian) and the official book launch of Expeditions. At the half-time break, we got to see this cool group called Bahaghari. Boy, did the kids and the old man kick ass.

- it's rock and roll, baby!

They started announcing the winners. By this time, I was craving for a smoke. Mind, not out of nervousness. Someone asked earlier how I felt; I said, "wala lang (nothing much)." Weird, which is why there were some surprises for me from the night. First surprise: Fully-Booked organizes the event but it's Neil who supplies the prize money. (Later on, confirmed this when the check shows both Gaiman and Fully-Booked chief Jaime Daez's John Does. Oooh, a joint account!) Wow, Gaiman has a heart as big as his imagination and he really believes in us Filipinos.

- kicking doors, taking names

Cheered like hell when andrew scored 2nd place in comics category. Did the same when ian tied 2nd also for prose with yvette. Funny enough, vin and I got a kick out of FB's boo-boo when they posted ian's name first on the screen instead of yvette's and ian still none the wiser. andrew managed to make a whole slew of fans envious when he kissed Neil's cheek. ian tried to follow but alas, was not looking when Neil puckered up. Hah!

- pardonnez-moi?

Was about to hear the 1st place declaration ("The first place goes to... Logo--mmph!") when [identity-protected] hugged me in excitement. My brain stopped after that, with only impressions leaving a trail like... well like stardust: almost tripping out of the aisle, only seeing Neil and Daez's hands when they congratulated me. Not being able to say anything to Neil except, "Ah, I'm honored... I'm honored...." Got my brain back when I stepped off the stage and stood beside andrew.

- a feast of mind and body

And then there was the dinner. Thanks to heubert and kristine who managed to convince the Fully-Booked staff if the winners could bring a guest, I brought [identity-protected] in. (And also urged yvette to bring her date, luis, in.) We sat in a table that had dean, nikki, andrew, ian, heubert (3rd place comics winner) and his date, kristine. Had a smoke first outside while waiting for the food (nikki was hungrily looking at the table flower already, uh-oh). Was introduced to award-winning playwright Tony Perez, which was cool. Second surprise of the night: Perez telling me that my story was good enough for international publication. Corollary to this: him telling me I should write a novel. Shook a bit.

- when titans meet for dessert

We had dinner and heubert was so excited to hear that Neil would be chatting with us in a bit, the guy couldn't sit down. I had to laugh when we lined up for the buffet and Neil was right behind heubert: serendipity at work again. After dinner, Neil came up and sat with us. dean was the perfect host-interviewer: not taking control of the conversation but still managing to put in his own inputs. I wish charles was there to record the conversation of the Dream King and the Dean-- er, King. andrew couldn't stop grinning the whole time even as ian took the opportunity to have a whole library of books signed. I, on the other hand, found my brain still slow when I forgot I've already read Neil's "Sunbird." Gah.

- priceless

Alas, all sweet dreams need to end and so most of us started to go home. Talked to Daez a bit to say goodbye and got my third surprise: he said Neil actually called them up to back my story. Oh dear, the floor's a bit wobbly.

Here's the cherry at the top of my halu-halo: [identity-protected] suggested we go out for drinks. I said yes but added that since I only had P200 bucks, a few beers is all I can afford. As if that wasn't enough, while walking to the CR of the Big Sky bar where we ended up, I discovered the right foot of my black leather shoes was starting to lose its soul-- er, sole.

Ah, I seriously doubt success will ever go to my head as whatever powers are there in the world almost always takes me down a peg or two after.

Update: Just remembered: for next year I'll have this story up for publication in the 2nd volume of Expeditions. But also, vin talked to me and said his dragon anthology, "A Time of Dragons", might be ready for publication then. Cool, that's two stories for 2008 then.

And charles is busy furiously transcribing all of Gaiman's speeches and he got down this description of my story. I like that Gaiman describes it as 'almost indescribable': for a man whose livelihood is words, being unable to describe your story is a compliment, I say. Here's the actual text:

The first place winner is science fiction and fantasy and uniquely Filipino and very, very, very odd in all of the nicest possible ways. And it's a story called "Logovore" about somebody who eats words and their encounters with the people--it's almost indescribable and I've never read anything like it before and was absolutely ready to go on the world stage. I looked at that story and--it could have been fantasy or science fiction and it ought to be picked up by the best of the year anthologies.

Oh man.


Vin said...

Congratulations again! Woohoo! I can't wait to read your story. :)

banzai cat said...

Haha thanks man! :-D

Charles said...

Congrats again!

And sorry, I'm nobody's guest so I'll always be the eternal stalker. =)

Don said...

Sana umatend ako!!! Arggh!

Congrats again! :D

the spy in the sandwich said...

congratulations again! :)

Leigh said...

Huge props. Huge, huge props. :) :) :)

Dean said...

Well-deserved, boyo :)

Alvin said...

CONGRATULATIONS! And how Gaiman described your story--what a rush you must've felt. Pabasa naman! Ü

banzai cat said...

hee thanks people.

charles: yeah but given you're track record, you're now an essential part such that if you're not there, people will say, "hey, where's charles?" ;-)

alvin: just send me an email, will send you the story. :-)

anansi girl said...

Congratulations, Banzai! Any chance you could send me a copy of your story too? I'm so intrigued by what Neil said about it. I promise I'll buy the anthology when it comes out.

banzai cat said...

Hehe thanks! Will do. :-)

P.S. Met a friend of yours there, Mike. :-D

Jego said...

The first place winner is science fiction and fantasy and uniquely Filipino and very, very, very odd in all of the nicest possible ways. ...I looked at that story and--it could have been fantasy or science fiction and it ought to be picked up by the best of the year anthologies.

Pucha! Nasan na 'to? Do we have to wait for the second volume of the Fully Booked anthology? Excerpt naman dyan.

banzai cat said...

Heh well it's supposed to be published next year in the 2nd Expedition volume but I can send you the story if you like. Email me-- use the url address as email name.

(Also buy the book when it comes out!)

Jego said...

Dyahe naman, sir. Your story is worth a lot now. After that win and that endorsement, Im willing to pay the price of admission to be able to read it. Im looking forward to the day when our story-tellers will be able to make a living telling stories. I promise I'll get the book if youll get part of the proceeds.

banzai cat said...

Heh, it's not a problem man. I can still send you the story just as long as you promise to buy the book it will be in when it comes out.

(This is why I'm planning to get both Expeditions book when I have the time and even though I don't have a story in it. Fully-Booked is doing the publishing and I'm making it a point to give them every reason to continue publishing it. ;-)

Ditto also with trying to buy each issue of the Philippine Genre Stories so that kyu will continue publishing them!)

Jego said...

I'd be honored.

Your email address is estranghero@...? I can't seem to find the domain in the User Profile.

banzai cat said...

Yup. :-) It's gmail.

bingskee said...

this is late but congratulations, mr banzai!

can i have a copy of the story, too?

saan ito ginanap?

JP said...

WOW! I think I once read an early excerpt from Logovore and it couldn't happen to a better story! COngrats, man! I'll have to get your autograph fast before you become too famous. :)

banzai cat said...

bing: Sige, email kita :-)

Two Sundays ago sa Fully Booked sa Serendra sa Fort Bonifacio yun e.

jp: Hehe yeah, that was a test excerpt alright. Didn't know he'd go that far. Thanks man. :-D