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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Projects’

Weekend in Cebu: LitFest, Writing Boot Camp, fabrics and accessories

September 17, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Design, Food, Places, Projects 2 Comments →


I left the house under the guilt-inducing gaze of Drogon, who disapproves of any activities that do not involve him.

I was in Cebu from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning for two events organized by Hendri Go, who runs the Cebu Literary Festival. I like Cebu: One can still breathe, even if the traffic is getting heavy; there are enthusiastic creative enterprises like Happy Garaje the design studio and Anthill the fabric gallery; there are intense chocolate creations at The Chocolate Chamber and that cake at the coffee shop of Big Hotel; and the major malls have wider, taller spaces than the ones in Manila. Also, Avatar earrings and accessories and Sunburst fried chicken.

After a quick lunch and chocolate fix, I did a reading and Q&A at one of the Cebu LitFest venues, a rooftop amphitheatre at SM Seaside. Near the amphitheatre is a cafe staffed by fluffy, lazy cats.

I slept like a baby at the Marco Polo Plaza, where the lovely staff sent up midnight snacks: ensaymada and tea on the first night, chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk on the second.

Before boot camp the next day I visited Anthill, a gallery and training center for producers of indigenous handwoven fabrics and accessories. I bought a reversible shawl that can be worn sixteen ways, which means I only have to bring a bunch of black T-shirts and jeans when I go to Tokyo this week.

Writing Boot Camp was held at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the I.T. Park in Lahug. I talked about building the habit of writing, gave writing exercises, and interviewed each participant about what was keeping her/him from writing. Then we talked about the writing projects they will undertake, the first five pages of which are due on Saturday, 30 September.

En route to the airport I stopped by the Avatar showroom, where I stuck to my resolve to buy only two or three items. Lately I’ve felt that my things are closing in on me like the trash compactor in Star Wars, so I limit my purchases to stuff I need or really like. Hence, the slightly weird.

Thank you, Cebu! I’ll be back.

Megacity Fictions: Constructing the megalopolis with words

November 02, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Projects No Comments →

megacity

In October I got an email from Kathleen McCaul-Moura, a novelist, journalist, and doctoral candidate in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She’s doing work on megacity fiction and how the infrastructure and architecture of massive urban hubs affect the literature which is created within them. She was looking for partners for the Megacity Fiction website and the anthology to be published by Boiler House Press in 2018. I’ve written several stories about Manila so I said yes, and volunteered my friend Budjette Tan (now based in Denmark) whose Trese series investigates Manila’s mystical underworld.

The Megacity Fictions site is up, with stories by Budj and myself. (Lamentations 5:23, which I wrote for an art exhibition many years ago, appeared in my book The Stories So Far). Coming up: stories from Moscow, Jakarta, São Paulo and Chongqing. Visit the site, enjoy the stories, and submit your own writing.

10 writers, 10 stories in our just-concluded Writing Boot Camp

October 23, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Projects 4 Comments →

oct-workshop

The objective of Writing Boot Camp was to produce a story in the time between our two Saturday sessions. Last Saturday, the participants stood before the class one by one to read their first drafts. We got an intriguing range of stories, from fantasy epics to alternate histories, from the beginning of romance to the end of friendship, from the shenanigans of confidence tricksters to the inner worlds of small children. Good work, everyone!

Watch out for the Writing Boot Camp anthology featuring the complete and final versions of these stories.

Angel With A Stoma by Ramy Roxas. A surgeon finds his logical assumptions about life, sex and death challenged by a seriously ill patient.

The Confident Man by Kyo Mendoza. Hard work is all very well, but if you want your rewards quickly—like, right now—what you need is confidence.

Men, Not Boys by Jeffrey Resurreccion. In a violent, hedonistic society, a boy with a mission hopes to be chosen for a strongman’s harem.

Vivid Vengeance by Michael Bartolo. A secret agent wakes up from a coma in an alternate 1980s in which the Philippines is a socialist country.

Commuter by Rizza Estoconing. A call centre agent longs to escape her daily commute and live in the city. Is it worth it?

Anatomy of a Break-Up by Barny Rivera. One minute you’re giddy with happiness, the next minute you feel like a bag of trash hurled into an active volcano.

Boy by Philler Uy. We always assume that kids are making up things, but what if they’re not?

Harsh Tag by Rizalee Ibarra. When Zen logs onto Facebook she turns into Zena the Warrior Princess, obliterating dissenters with the strength of her political convictions. Then her online and real lives collide.

The Wrong of Being Right by Zack Lim. A teacher realizes that he could’ve changed the course of history, but is the past really past?

Ghost by Alexis Roxas. Is the blond boy sitting by himself in the woods a ghost, a figment of her imagination, or a time anomaly?

The next Writing Boot Camp will be held in February, 2017. For inquiries, or to commission a Writing Workshop for your group or office, email saffron.safin@gmail.com.

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Thanks to WSI Corporate Center for our excellent venue and facilities. WSI Corporate Centre has spaces for seminars, parties, wedding receptions, family reunions, clandestine superhero conventions and so on. For rental inquiries, call (02)8585405.

Freedom! I’m on leave from column-writing for the month of July.

June 30, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Projects 2 Comments →

saffy yoga

Must finish novel by August. Lockdown very helpful, but having to stop periodically to meet deadlines halts my momentum, and writing a novel is all about momentum. So I have decided to take a month off from professional commitments and allow myself the luxury of doing only one thing.

I am on vacation from InterAksyon, BusinessWorld and the Philippine Star, but will continue blogging for my own amusement. The freedom of being able to watch a tv show without reviewing it in my head! Life as life and not as research! You can reach me in Comments.

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Would you watch a travel show hosted by these two?

March 21, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Projects, Television, Traveling 6 Comments →

trippies

Me and Pepe Diokno (With our advertising team Crizza and Mick at the back). Yes, it’s an odd combination, but in a good way or a bad way?

Drogon thanks you for coming to his signing.

July 07, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Projects 4 Comments →

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Human, cat, Roni, book.

Thanks for coming to my personal appearance at the human’s book-signing last Saturday. You can see all the pictures at

Instagram @thelibraryofbabel
Web access http://instagram.com/thelibraryofbabel

Twitter @thelibofbabel
Web access https://twitter.com/thelibofbabel

Meanwhile, we must check our Minister of Propaganda Allan into Camera360 rehab for abusing what Deo calls “beauty by filtration”.

Also, thanks to Evan for figuring out that the reason I was listless and refused to come out of my carrier was because I was wearing a harness. I hate harnesses! A Drogon is not a slave.

And thanks to Cibo for letting us have the book-signings at their cafes. Catch the book-signings later this year at Cibo in Gateway, Greenhills, and Robinson’s Magnolia. I will be present if the malls allow cats.