Disclaimer: I’ve known Celestine Trinidad’s brand of magical writing in the many speculative fiction anthologies she’s part of. Her stories were the ones that have always stood out and became memorable to me that she’s become one of my auto-buy / auto-read authors in the genre. Her first foray into romance was sort of an exciting thing for me as a fan of her work. But let me tell you nothing…and I mean NOTHING braced me for what was to come when I started reading Ghost of a Feeling.
It’s finally out!
It’s no secret that I’ve been out of the writing scene for a year and it has been the worst. So I thought to get myself out of that rut hole, and Bookbed happened to serendipitously came along with the #BookbedFictory—a short story writing challenge based on a chosen prompt. Baby steps, yes?
I chose a prompt that’s close to my heart, something that involved local myths and everything fantastic. Writers chose from a selection of story prompts, and I have to admit there were a few that caught my attention. Eventually, I settled on a prompt that had something to do with siblings and a duwende, and thus, The Mark of the Duwende was born.
A germ of an idea popped in my head when I first saw the duwende prompt. Lower myths have always been a fascinating topic for me, and growing up in a household that still believed in age-old superstitions fueled my hyperactive imagination to write something about it.
For those who are not familiar, the duwende in Philippine mythology is a small creature (usually depicted as old and look like goblins or earth spirits) that can be both malevolent and benevolent. They are usually found on termite-like mounds or ant hills (a.k.a. “punso”) in provincial areas. In order to maintain order, people would sometimes leave food near the duwende‘s place of residence. These creatures were known to curse people who would defile their home or do something to anger them.
It wasn’t easy getting back into writing, though. I had to struggle with procrastination (who doesn’t?) and the overwhelming urge to delete the crappy stuff I’ve written. Deadlines proved to be a good enough motivation to get me to finish the first draft. The initial pass yielded around 5k+ words, but the final draft came out one word short of the maximum word count. And it made the deadline. What a relief!
The Mark of the Duwende is up on the Bookbed site. Hope you can take the time to read and share your thoughts about it. Have you encountered something similar, or know someone who did? Let me know! And if you enjoyed the story, I’d be grateful if you shared it and/or commented on the Bookbed website. Also, thanks a lot to my editor, the Bookbed beta readers and to Chris Mariano for helping me get this story to a great shape!
I could definitely see this as an anime.
E.K. Gonzales’s Activated is a YA high fantasy story of young programmers who control the elements. I honestly think it’s a creative way of presenting magic apart from what we’re used to. E.K. has a way of telling stories that resound well because of the interesting characters that come along with it. E.K. has been writing since forever, mostly for speculative fiction anthologies both here and abroad. Her short stories have always been a personal favorite precisely because of the characters that are pretty much complex and three dimensional.
I may have taken a break from romance writing, but I’m still lurking more or less at the #romanceclass group. Writing classes within the group have always been there, always bringing about a fresh batch of authors with new stories. Last year when Celestine Trinidad joined the group and had her story pitched, I was hooked.
I came to know of Celestine when she was (and still is) a regular contributor to most speculative fiction anthology publications that I follow. I know for a fact that this woman writes awesome stories, and when I read that her story for #romanceclass has a different spin to most contemporary romances, I’d always been on the lookout on when she’d release her book. And it all comes down to Ghost of a Feeling.
Of course, this goes without saying that the book cover is a-w-e-s-o-m-e, thanks to the magic of Miles Tan. I already have this feeling of wanting to pick up this book and start reading.
Although I’ve come to know the author as a great purveyor of spec fic stories, you have to admit, the mysterious element in the blurb kind of makes think all sorts of questions on how the story adheres to the class’s rule of adhering to a contemporary setting (meaning no magic realism of any sort).
I know I have to wait until end of October to dig in, but I’m sure it’s going to be worth the wait!
Celestine Trinidad is a physician (particularly, a pathologist) by profession. In her spare time, she writes fiction of several genres, including romance, speculative fiction, crime fiction, and children’s stories. Her other stories have been published in other print and online venues, such as First Love, The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, Philippine Speculative Fiction, Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic, and Insignia. Her author website is http://celestinetrinidad.wordpress.com.
So, yes, I’m still alive. I know it’s been months, but hey, I’m back! And with exciting news.
Prior to announcing the release of the second installment of my urban fantasy series, I did a thing…and that’s to give Bloodline Maharlika a new look!