Saturday, May 5, 2007

Why we're writing this blog

When I was in the eighth grade, I decided that I wanted to be a writer. I went through high school and college with this career path in mind, not entirely sure of how to start doing it, or what tools I would need. I got my B.A. in English because my parents were paying for it and because I figured that with a general English degree, I could learn about different types of fiction and how to write it.

Around the same time, the Internet started to gain mainstream popularity, to the point of where I was able to convince my parents to get us a computer so I could surf the 'net to keep up with my various geek-related hobbies. We had several fights over my hogging of the phone lines at night, and my dad took to email with a rapidity that astonished me.

I've always known that my dad was a creative guy. He used to paint when I was younger, and I remember one day where I got into his oil paints and accidentally ate half a tube of black. Man, was he pissed. He tried his hand at sculpture, and got two of his pieces into the Brea Art Gallery. The last time I was home for Christmas, he was still working in collages, sculpture, and of course, in words.

See, what I didn't realize until a few years ago is that my dad is an amazing writer. He's always been funny with his college buddies telling jokes; he's just as funny (and possibly a bit corny) in his writing. He started writing long missives to his friends and the rest of our large extended family, and gained a small following.

If there's one thing that my dad and I always clash on, it's the fact that he wants me to become a successful writer. "Why don't you just write a book?" he always asks, and I always tell him that I'm not ready to, I'm not skilled enough, I don't have time... a myriad of excuses that we both know are bullshit. In truth, I'm scared and I don't know how to convey that to him.

At the same time, I know that he's wanted to become a published writer, too. He wrote two songs that he tried to get on the radio, he tried writing a children's book for my niece, he's tried to get into magazines. Living in New York City, I know what an uphill battle he's got ahead of him if he wants to gain credibility.

So last Christmas, I decided to give my dad the gift of publishing. After doing some research into the free blogger systems out there, I decided to get him an account here so that I could upload his stories (edit his grammar a little bit) and the world could see just what a great writer my dad is.

The reason why I'm uploading his stories rather than him doing it himself is that a) we live 3,000 miles apart and I don't trust in my ability to teach him how to use this blog over the phone and b) he wants me to polish up his grammar to acceptable levels of English. I've pretty much left his text alone, except for changing some verb tenses and adding particles of speech where they usually should go. All the phrases in Tagalog I've left intact because I don't know what they mean (and that's a blog entry for a different day).

Every other day or so, I'll either put up a new story or dig one up from his vast archives. I might pop in and contribute an article or two, but only if I think it really relates to what he's talking about.

I hope you enjoy my dad's work.

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