Wednesday, May 24, 2006

UPDATE (05.24.06)—Summer Homebody, Indie/Buffalo Regroup, Immigration Reality TV

IT IS A MOSTLY sunny 80s Wednesday afternoon temp. Notwithstanding isolated/scattered thunderstorms and cloudiness in some days, it’s still basically at a high of 80s to lows of 58s/60s in the next few days. So summer is here. The spirit is on a more subdued sun/rain-drenched chill time, the “madness” is on a much-needed respite. What about you?
What’s going on with The Indie, Wander, Blue Sky Asheville, other Loved by the Buffalo projects, the Traveling Bonfires, Vagrant Wind road journeys...
I am taking things easy, reassessing/regrouping -- until the special 4th-year anniversary of The Indie in Asheville in July. We will definitely come out next month (I am not pressuring myself this much for now) and that issue shall cover the 4th-year birthday of the madness.
The Indie was reborn in Asheville NC in July of 2002, almost simultaneous with the Traveling Bonfires’ mountain coming -- from Manila, then New York City. The first Bonfires show was Oct 17 02 at Malaprops. I founded it in the mountains of the turbulent Cordilleras in the north of the Philippines in the summer of 1984, while covering the government’s anti-Communist insurgency program, eg war. When I “crashlanded” in Weaverville NC in the winter of 1999, I thought I was in the Cordilleras—it reminded me of that beautiful, fog-embraced, flower-bedecked province of my childhood.

THIS WOULD mean that the “anniversary issue” shall have more than the usual 28 pages. I am planning on 36 pages. But please take note that this issue will cover the entirety of July (+ last or two weeks of June). The next Indie, after that, should come out on the first week of August.
From now till the “birthday” issue comes out, I should have more time (to continue) to restudy options, reevaluate financial variables, redraw another 5-year entrepreneurial blueprint/plan, among many other concerns.
The quiet/peaceful aura that 61 Dunwell Avenue (aka The Bonfires Abode) offers me exactly that time/space to look within. More than five years in North Carolina... there are a lot of things to think about and meditate with. Apart from simply relaxing, that’s one reason why I’ve been inviting friends to come over and enjoy some chats, conversations/discussions, and dinner/barbecue in the house, help us make this also as your “spare abode,” or something. Bring your kids and pets (but, yes pls, no anacondas and pterodactyls).
There are so many, many things in this house that remind me of the many friends and supporters who helped me and Marta survive the “madness” all through the years. These beautiful things were all donated or loaned or given or sold/traded to me by the community.
So come over, bring some food to cook, maybe wine, ideas to discuss, or just watch a movie or do internet work (the house/periphery is wired). You can also hold one or two sessions of your writers workshop here or organizational meetings. I am always through with the backyard/garden landscaping and the porch is looking good.

AS I PREVIOUSLY indicated, distribution of our publications shall be handed to the Community Publishers Group, LLC—hopefully, starting the upcoming anniversary issue. CPG aims “to maintain a cooperative approach among independent publishers and manage joint paper boxes. The basic idea is a strength-in-numbers approach, which develops a long term presence” at choice and strategic spots in the community.
We have no choice but to go back to Iwanna Printing. Maybe or probably it’s true that being an immigrant or “outsider” in this town/city makes it hard to “trust” me. I can’t always say that 3/4th of my blood is native American Indian, even them are called “outsiders,” that is why, I guess, they confine themselves within the Reservation.
But I know that I have been leading a mysterious “outsider’s life” in Asheville, a predominantly white community. Business thinks I will just “hit and run” – oh well, five years of business/residency in this town won’t satisfy/reassure many. So we will simply take it easy – cash on delivery in the next printing, and henceforth. I am fine with paying up the one-issue each back accounts at Iwanna – and get the next issue out.

AS OF THIS WRITING, I still am not sure whether we’ll do a twice-a-month Indie (by Aug or start of 5th year), or combine Wander with The Indie, then Blue Sky with another “economically-viable” publication. I will announce later what’d be the final configuration, but for now, all magazines will come out in June.
I have submitted at least the past two years documentation (whatever that we retrieved) of these projects to the family lawyer/accountant for review—with the purpose of them giving me suggestions how to handle the future of this “madness” in this town. Apart from that, I have been rereading and rethinking advices and suggestions from you, those who have been here with us, in the last four years.
My lawyer/legal consult also has something to do with the current immigration debate vis-a-vis my own business/entrepreneurial plans vis-a-vis my so-called anti-war/anti US foreign policy stance (is it called activism?) In other words, my family’s advice, “Take it easy, relax, take care of your new house, and be extra-careful about your future in America.” Tonight or tomorrow or this week, I expect a call from my lawyer—after/when Senate’s decision reconciles with Congress. (I still don’t know if I’d apply for citizenship, the “practical/smarter” move – or maintain permanent residency.) My parents and my brother and almost all of my relatives in the West Coast and NY/NJ/CT are American (naturalized and/born in the USA) citizens.
No matter what happens, I do believe—family is family – irrelevant of the distance and space in between. This time, I will listen to their suggestions/advice.

THE TRAVELING BONFIRES’ projects this summer, at least, is all confined to “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park.” (The next is June 10 from 1pm to 10pm – of dancing with Touch Samadhi DJs). We are not booking any club or indoor events/gigs/concerts/poetry readings, for the time being. (We can read poems and sing songs in the house though.)
I have many (as ever) ideas and brainstorms but all these will have to wait until I get the publications on more stable and consistent character/stance/standing. One thing is sure—there will be no random/spur-of-the-moment bookings and collaborative relationships, anymore. Although I have reopened the possibility of discussing investments/partnerships with a few people, this time—my decisions shall come after/while lawyer’s advice is present.
Yes, I am open to partnership/investment talks and explorations – not only in terms of the publishing projects, but other entrepreneurial pursuits. These days we are on the negotiating table in regards the cafe/coffeeshop business, a catering venture (with a Filipino and American chef in town), and crafts/antiques imports project (from Asia). I might send Marta The Nicer to the Philippines within the year or early next year to help oversee the latter.

MEANTIME, I am fine in The Bonfires Abode – housework, NBA playoffs, sketching/prelim sculpture work, re-touching my 7-year old novel (“Waiting for Winter”), watching more movies. I am still not very excited with traversing through downtown (except occasional 30min visits to Pack Library, Malaprop’s and, of course, the supervision of the Pritchard Park events). Whenever I think of Lex Av, I still feel the wound – this downtown that once had me at hello has gone to sweet-talkin’ marauders who mouth the words of wisdom under ivory masks of entrepreneurial opportunism (subtle word in place of “corporate/profit-induced brinkmanship”).
By the way, in case you have any ideas, leads or suggestions – we are trading our van for a smaller vehicle that Marta The Nicer could maneuver easily and conveniently.
Okay, that’s it, for now. I hope y’all are slowly but surely sliding out of The Mercury Retrograde funk-by-the-mountain vibe. As ever – live good, love good, and eat good food!

GRACIAS! Saluti! Toksa Ake!


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