Mary Grace Bertulfo

the writing life, filipino culture, & the natural world

Archive for the 'Writing the Flow' Category


NaNoWriMO Day 4.1

Friday, November 4th, 2011
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Getting a late start today – it was good to sleep in a little. So many distractions. The sun is out and the fall earth smells good. The cafe is noisy and filled with crying kids. My dog needs walking. I’m buzzing with static. LOL. This is just how it is sometimes. Some days for […]

NaNoWriMo – Getting passed head static

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
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It’s day 3 of Nanowrimo. 5,880 words total so far. (Making time because who knows how much I can write over Thanksgiving travels.) Today, I wrote my big battle scene – the one that has me scared and shaking in my boots. How does a pacifist write a battle scene? LOL. Well…all I can say […]

NaNoWriMo 2011

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
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This year, I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time – for both the fun and the discipline. Woke up this morning at 6 a.m. and wrote 3,800 words. So happy. Is there such a genre as eco-historical fiction with a supernatural twist? Like a martini with coconut and lime.   – M.G.

Historical Research in the Digital Age

Friday, February 18th, 2011
Hour of the Sliding Bracelets, Writing the Flow | No Comments »

Today, I’m in the final push…to really lock-in what I know and what I don’t know about my historical characters. So, for the last 2 weeks, it’s been a headlong rush into titles that are found regionally in Cebu – which is fabulous, except that I live in Chicago. What can a fictionist in the diaspora do?

Growing Up Filipino II

Thursday, January 28th, 2010
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So it’s with the greatest pleasure that I share with you all the U.S. launch of the anthology Growing Up Filipino II, edited by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard.

How Creativity Works, A Theory

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
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What a pleasure it is to witness creativity in all my friends. Just wanted to give a nod to the gods, goddesses, and muses that inspire their talents. When you read book jackets, author bios, artist statements, even articles about artists, there’s often a focus on the specific piece or project they’re promoting. People get […]

“The Earth is Our Mother…”

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
Hour of the Sliding Bracelets | 1 Comment »

For my birthday, I recently received a beautiful book I’d been longing for called THE WOMEN. It is filled with the haunting and evocative sepia photos of 19th century photographer Edward Curtis. Curtis spent 30 years of his life traveling North America photographing and recording the Native nations he met, documenting traditions, cermonies, languages, and […]

Inky Fingers

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
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I had a great discussion with my friend Anna last weekend, one of those rambling conversations about creativity and life, cultural politics and the way we struggle to remain real and compassionate. The thing I’m realizing about creativity lately is that it requires Time. Time to slow down. Time to observe. Time to get down […]

Flow, Stop, Go

Friday, February 13th, 2009
Hour of the Sliding Bracelets, Writing the Flow | 3 Comments »

One of the things I love about writing is what, over the years, I’ve come to know as The Flow. It’s that Time beyond time. It’s when the words come, in a smooth rush or a river of images, and I no longer feel I’m “in control” of the story. The Voice that rings in […]

Sliding Bracelets

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
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In the 16th century Philippines, Visayans had ingeniously divided the day into hours based on events like: Iguritlogna, the time that hens lay eggs. Or Natupongna sa lubi, the time when the sun descends into the palm trees. My favorite is Makalululu, the hour when you point to the sun and your bracelets slide down […]