The gravitational force who coordinated, collaborated, and made this rare celestial alignment possible was poet and professor and Festival Director Edwin Lozada who serves as President of the sponsoring organization PAWA Inc, and it was PAWA’s steering committee made this international festival a reality. Maraming salamat to Edwin and PAWA!
For the space of an hour, in the hushed setting of the Koret Auditorium with a crowd of fifty plus literarastes, I was honored to sit down and talk shop with Luisa Igloria, Jon Pineda, and Lysley Tenorio, moderating the panel “Writing Our Way Home: Shaping Tradition, History and Culture” as part of the Filipino American International Book Festival (Filbookfest 2)- Likhâ ng Lahi. Writing Our Way Home: Shaping Tradition, History and Culture. So how did it all go down?
We started with the beginning, when I asked the panelists, where do you start?
Igloria: Its more about finding time and a sense of place. Electronic devices allow her to write everywhere, so its a matter or carving out the space.
Pineda: Carries a journal, a $1 notebook and he fills the pages with characters. Not necessarily their physical attributes but what the character wants. He writes fully knowing he’s going to throw all of it away, but this is the fastest way to start dreaming about his characters. Its just a matter of allowing himself to explore, and in essence fail.
Tenorio: His writing is generally plot-driven, and he gets ideas from strange but true intersections, Filipino and American and Filipino-American. He cited his work from the story “Monstress,” which was borne out of horrible B movies that were spliced together–the worst movies of all time. He needs a sense of a beginning and an ending with a story, and so long as he outlines a rough plot that gives him no excuse to get through a draft.
Since all writers mentioned the use of media, we moved to how media shaped their process or inspired their writing.
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